The forecast was for rain all day — so I thought I would probably bail at some point and just head for Iowa. But the prediction was wrong and the weather got better as the day went. So in Chicago I stayed. Couldn’t help myself. I could stop every 10 minutes but had to steel myself and stick mostly to my list. I must have at last 200 photos just from today. A nice chunk uploaded to Flickr just now and a similar sized stack ready to go here.
Sparkle’s been purring along without a hitch. I’m now way behind schedule. Lolly-gagging in Chicago plus the mechanical fiasco. I have a bit more Chicago stuff that I’d like to do — and some other “important” Illinois stuff. So, if you don’t hear from me tomorrow night — don’t worry — I’m banging out interstate miles en route to Iowa and too beat to crop photos & write something. I’ll at least drop a hello before I pass out. Or maybe I’ll come up with another plan. If the weather’s crummy, I might just high tail it out of here and get where I’m supposed to be.
Let’s get on with the photos then. Oh yes, the dogs are fine — really hot & humid for all of us and so the runs were fairly short. I still managed to find huge abandoned lots for them in the heart of the city — even incredibly nicely mowed grass with no sign of ownership. Tomorrow morning, I’ll give them a very special treat — one of our favorite places: Montrose Beach.
This inexplicable clown in front of Classic Auto Insurance in Gary, IN:
More from Gary: a massive and mysterious sign. Most recently “The Cave” but before that… don’t know:
The “Char-El” must’ve been some other entity originally. I’m guessing a motel — and probably neon on the metal piece; and a larger metal piece where that hideously boring plastic box is. Glad they didn’t mess with the ballies:
From Crete, IL — I haven’t seen a Speed Queen sign before though obviously these must have been mass-produced:
An awesomely wonderful, politically incorrect sign from South Chicago Heights:
In Blue Island, IL — Burr-Oak TV has signs in front and on the side of their building. Lots o’ color here — as a TV shop should have I guess:
Also Blue Island — love the drippie rust and rusty pole:
I know I’ve included Chicago area rock-i-tecture in a post last year — but I can’t help myself — here’s some more:
Chicago — how do I love thee, let me count just some of the ways… Signs everywhere. Hands-down more vintage signs per square mile than anywhere on the face of the earth. And maybe 50 of them suspended from these rooftop structures. I have never been able to determine a more precise name — so I just call them “hangers”.
More rooftop action – lots of wires & chains involved with signs in Chicago/Chicagoland. Very little of this stuff in any other city. Love the duplicative effort here:
Even the plastic signs need a little help with chains. Maybe it’s because Chicago’s the “Windy City”?
Just about every corner in Chicago is a visual festival. Here’s a nice melange of religious art, Art Deco details, and modern signs. Surely, that plastic sign was once steel and needed that hefty rooftop hanger:
Here are some more random details from various eras:
There’s a former Tastee-Freez entombed in this frenzy of color and signage. You can just make out that tell-tale lip over the take-out window at the right. If you don’t know what I mean by “lip”, here are some classic T-F buildings:
I’ve read that this place “Slow Down, Life’s Too Short” used to be a bar. It’s been closed for several years now but the funky artwork still remains:
And to close out tonight’s marathon session — a sweet little sign from a motel still hanging on (by a thread I’m sure) on North Lincoln: