I’ve been visiting Chicago again this week, or at least pieces of it.
I lived in Chicago, IL. for about a year just after college. In December of 1991 I met my wife while visiting friends over christmas break. We saw “white dog” at the Music-box and held hands. We went to the Green Mill, and stared at each other over vodka tonics. We went to Cabaret Metro and I talked about Ulysses like an idiot. I wore a brown winter coat from Target and a black beret and just shivered on the EL-stops. My ears turned bright red. Then we kissed and listened to snow crunching outside our window. I fell madly in love after just a week. And, once I was out of school I moved up to be with her. I was running to be with a girl, but Chicago seems to have come along for the ride. I adore Chicago, but never as a whole idea, just as random pieces and fragments. My wife is from Chicago, so she has the whole idea in her mind. Me?, I’m just visiting. I’m familiar with the concept of Chicago, I’m comfortable with it. But, I’m on the outside looking in with my hands pressed against the storefront windows. We come up to visit a few times every year. So, I’ve been here a lot over the last 18 years. And, everytime I’m here, I’m struck by fragments of my memories. I don’t remember the obvious things. I remember the pieces; Water towers peeking over parapets, Bridges, Wires, graffiti, crooked brick walls, Peeling paint, Signs, Cracks in the walks, Cold breezes, Squeals from trains, Cold water, Ice, Grey. I can’t really shake the fragments. They just come along with me for everything I do. And, a few times a year, I come back and gather up some more pieces.
All photos are by Heather Phillips (aka-like,totally) and are used under the creative commons license via – Flickr. Check out some of them below and see even more of her amazing photos here- http://www.flickr.com/photos/hphillips/