Monday, June 6, 2011

Catching up...

I've been a little out of touch lately as every once in a while, to quote myself when I had to explain to my son's soccer coach why the boy couldn't make it to a few games, life seems to get in the way.

Here are a few links to excellent posts from some of my favorite go-to sites, starting off with a lovely (as seen from the rear view mirror) tribute, to of all places, Indianapolis, from Aaron M. Renn, aka The Urbanophile.

From a guy who always seems to post the things I merely wished I had, here is Robert Powers' eloquent take on architectural preservation from his blog: A Chicago Sojourn.

On the topic of preservation, here are two more links on parts of this city's history that have fallen or are about to fall through the cracks:

I was reminded of this post from a couple of years ago on Jyott Srivastava's excellent blog: Chicago - Architecture & Cityscape, when I rode my bike the other day past the wood block alley behind the Cardinal's residence on State Parkway, and discovered that it had just been dug up. Thankfully she documented it before it was wantonly destroyed.

Even though I've lived in Chicago all of my life, I still discover things I had no idea existed. A few weeks ago I was riding the Green Line on the south side when I noticed an imposing old auditorium building with its name spelled out on the facade, The Forum. As these things go, it made a strong impression on me at the time and then I put it out of my memory, until this morning that is when I saw this article from Lee Bey on its imminent demise.

Finally, on his great blog: Pete Lit, Pete Anderson has a 60th birthday tribute to my favorite book about my hometown, Nelson Algren's Chicago, City on the Make. Pete points out that there are passages Algren lifted directly from other sources without attribution, but goes on to call this a "minor irritation." I would have to agree. To me the book reads a little like the poetry in the works of the prophet Isaiah.

The book is eminently quotable. Here are two of my favorites:

Chicago lives like a drunken El-rider who cannot remember where he got on nor at what station he wants to get off. The sound of the wheels moving below satisfies him that he is making great progress.

And this one which is often clumsily misquoted as: "loving Chicago is like loving a woman with a broken nose."

Here are Algren's actual words:

Yet once you've come to be part of this particular patch, you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may find lovlier lovlies, but never a lovely so real.

1 comment:

Pete said...

Alex Kotlowitz borrowed from the latter Algren line for the title of his Never A City So Real: A Walk In Chicago, a lovely book which I highly recommend.