71: Two Numbers
I visited the 606 for the first time. This park is a walking trail, bike path, and public park that snakes through a partial path of four neighborhoods on the northwest side of our city: Wicker Park, Bucktown, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square. The novelty of this park is its utilization of the Bloomingdale Trail that sits above the city’s ground level. I wrote a poem while walking through it.
The trail floats above the city
Visitors become voyeurs
Neighbors that don’t share the same area code as I
Neighbors who’s backyards are made of materials I’ve only seen in showrooms
Marble, speckle, blind my eyes
I slow down and take a seat
Gazing at a life different than mine
Memories flashback to 2012
I snuck on the Bloomingdale Trail with a friend
The 606 was just a thought in developers’ heads
We walked along train tracks dodging condom wrappers
Crumbled Busch cans, broken glass, blind my eyes
Peering into the backyard of Rick Bayless’ house
Now it’s 2015 and I’m peering into a dog park
Scuffles of furry beings wrassling among different breeds
Friendliness only noticed by vibes and similarities along the trees
Owners become the law, wrangling up their family, to either play or perform for others
Such as myself, glancing down, a voyeur in a neighborhood different than my own
The trail runs through pockets of the same area
Those I only knew by bus or bike
Grounded to the earth
Now I hover into strangers on a legal pathway
I start on Cortland
Strollers strut between Lycra-clad cyclists
Yoga plans are held on listened in phone calls
Older folks shuffle to the right
The longer I stay on the path, the younger the crowd becomes
Spanish conversations are intertwined with young men
Performing tricks on candy colored bicycles
Those I have passed before give me a glancing nod of familiarity
The smells of pine and fresh dirt envelope my nose
Along with concrete, stone, highway smoke
Around the corner from the trail
On the street
I dodge another condom wrapper, crumpled Finch’s can, and broken glass
What did I find interesting this week?
★ Whenever I go to any rural area, I do speed tests on websites that I’m working on or have worked on. This was a fascinating look into what some developers learned while having slow internet for two weeks.
★ I never trust anyone that gives the advice of “Don’t Worry About Money, Just Travel”
★ A nice reminder that you are what you let into your life.
What’s coming up?
★ Cher and I will be recording a new episode of our podcast, Open Ended, with guest Rachel Adams of Dinner was Delicious. You can check out our latest episode with guest Lauren Ash of Black Girl in Om on our website, iTunes, or in any other podcast player. Be sure to rate us on iTunes and send us a donation to keep our lights on.
★ CHGO DSGN: WHEREVER show at LVL3 in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood is up until August 16th. I’m showing a piece with a bunch of other talented folks.
★ The group exhibition, Three the Hard Way, is up until August 23rd at The Logan Center in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood with Ayana Contreras and David Leggett.
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Thanks for reading, and see you next week.