James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

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

60622

 

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

60622

 

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

60622

 

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

60608

 

The trail runs through pockets of the same area

Those I only knew by bus or bike

Ground level

Grounded to the earth

Now I hover into strangers on a legal pathway

60622

 

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

60622

 

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

60622

 

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

60622

 

Around the corner from the trail

On the street

I dodge another condom wrapper, crumpled Finch’s can, and broken glass

60642

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What did I find interesting this week?

Like, um, yeah, so, maybe the way women talk isn’t the problem.

★ I’m not a big comics reader, but when I came across this profile on comic writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, I became interested. H/t to the newsletter of Jen Myers.

★ 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.

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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 websiteiTunes, 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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Special shout out to Jayson, Subi, the Revision Path podcast, Allyson and Will for supporting this week’s newsletter. You keep this boat a float.

Thanks for reading, and see you next week.

-James

James T. Green