Day 11: Greetings from Chicago!

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:

Fun stuff from South Side Shidokan Karate in Chicago:

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:

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