Monday, April 2, 2007
Letters on Bricks
OK so here's another one of my little visual fixations around town. There are all these humble little stores, factories, plants, offices, etc that are mostly low-slung brick buildings. And most of them seem to have signs composed of freestanding three-dimensional letters applied directly to the brick outer wall. There's something about that which appeals to me. It's as if the signs are made by a puff paint typewriter on a sheet of brick paper. Maybe that's a bit fanciful. But I'm just trying to come up with a reason to explain even to myself why I find these images fascinating. Anywho. I also like the stories implied behind the walls of these places. These are businesses run by the kind of hard-working, often recent generation immigrant folks that make Chicago Chicago.
This particular place is an active tire shop on Western Avenue, the longest street in town. The black band at the top and shadow along the bottom are from the Western Ave. viaduct that passes over Belmont Avenue. Writing this just now it occurs to me that there is no rule of thumb like in New York City where avenues are north-south streets. Still, getting around here is a simple affair of orienting yourself on a pretty regular grid. And if you know where you are relative to the lake then you know the compass points, since the lake is the city's eastern boundary. Hopefully I haven't bored anyone to tears with all this geography talk. What can I say, I like maps!