Tuesday, January 17, 2006

That's not writing, it's typing.

Culled from yesterday's email exchange with LcHuge`...

I would love to read some of Joseph Mitchell’s collected work as I was, in fact, deeply influenced by Joe Gould’s Secret. I imagine that this will require my returning the long overdue “Lies (and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”?

The strip of Ashland that you speak of is Back of the Yards (or less commonly known as New City.) I know of and have read a bit of Dom Paycyga on the internet while informally researching various south side neighborhoods. In fact, I was going to post a link along with yesterday’s shots to a piece he wrote a few years ago on the shifting definitions of neighborhoods.

I dig the scenario you paint of an opening for a solo show of my shots. My main motivation might be just to create that mix-tape! And this beatnik vibe that you evoke reminds me of this great giddy bohemian jazz scene we watched last night in D.O.A. that was set at a fictitious Fisherman’s nightclub in San Francisco in 1950. As phony and contrived as it was, it was interesting to see such a portrayal of this scene seven years before the publishing of “On the Road.” This was practically at the same time that Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady really crossed country (in 1949) in search of kicks as they inhaled deeply and consumed/devoured the moments that Jack excreted subsequently. Still, I would like to make it a primary goal for this year to finally put together such a showing.

The Waits reference reminds me of breakfast last Monday with my mom at Room 12 at the NW corner of Roosevelt and Wabash. This joint is a breakfast/brunch shrine by the same souls who created the Bongo Room up on north Milwaukee in Bucker Park. The space was a former carry-out liquor stop in the Roosevelt Hotel, which was a grand “residence hotel” (SRO) before being recently converted to condos and apartments. That morning’s soundtrack was a stream of Waits followed by, of course, a course of 80’s new wave. The vantages from this location are pure city of Chicago, now and then, with the deteriorating remains of the Trailways bus station across the street framed by the new rising South Loop.

“In one of my favorite old noir movies, D.O. A., Edmond O'Brien's character, on a visit here from Los Angeles, (editor’s note: actually it was Banning) gets a little something from a hotel desk clerk as he's checking in. "Here's a guide," the clerk says, a bit ominously, ‘telling you how to have fun... in San Francisco.’”

Who has the time to sift through all this blogging diarrhea?? Just consider the link above as a footnote or a tangent. And I know how much you DIG my web of tangents…

Blogging IS NOT a literary movement -- it’s a bowel movement,
Curt Spins

at the corner of 45th Street and Michigan Avenue

The following was culled from a recent photo exchange with Ron @ http://slats.org

"Regarding Bronzeville becoming a yuppie den in 5 years, it certainly has the potential to become a “buppie” den if the housing bubble doesn’t pop. However, the historic patterns of racial segregation in Chicago, particularly in that neighborhood, will prove challenging to uproot. And then there is the question of amenities. Some retail geniuses must find the balls to develop some local shopping opportunities."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

“It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses. Hit it.”

"It only did fair box office? Not even all that funny?" No, a "cult" classic that far surpasses the likes of freakin' Stripes and that's a fact, Jack. A comic book deadpan farce with grit, it has real meat (in a smokin' soundtrack) and gristle (in the use of "authentic" locations) on it bones as it captured a slice of Chicago (vs. Vancouver or Toronto or Winnipeg) that was disappearing. Yes, the white fanboy dork factor, they who "discover" the blues via this vehicle, and how this film has filtered many fans' (even Chicagoans') perceptions of the Avis City complicate the evaluation and appreciation of this musical car-wreck. Still, on a scale of one to five, I'd rate it 4 1/2 Orange Whips. I would also recommend Used Cars of the same year (1980) by Robert Zemekis (and starring Kurt Russell & Jack Warden.) It should have been a hit, but it was buried by The Blues Brothers. "Tagline: Estimated Laugh Count: 287 City, 410 Highway. Use these numbers only for comparison. Your actual laughs may vary depending on how you feel about used car salesmen, nude women, spectacular car stunts, and the President of the United States."