Thursday, September 28, 2006

Flower shop on Clark

More is more. Here's another confused drawing of a confused storefront. This is your one-stop-shop for stuffed animals, mylar balloons, cut flowers, chess sets, phone cards, and plastic toys.

I love the lettering in the windows. Certain letters have peeled off and been replaced with different colors. The overall effect is nice, and may be intentional. Or maybe those were the only colors available.

This may be the last storefront on Clark that I post, although I want to stick with night images for a while.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hair salon on Clark

I'm amazed at how many stores my neighborhood can support. And I can't claim there's enourmous variety, either. In the three block stretch of Clark between Greenleaf and Farwell there must be 8 taquerias, 4 bakeries, 10 dollar stores, and 4 hair salons. How do they differentiate themselves from each other? Not through design or signage. What makes one dollar store successful, while another closes within a month? I don't know. There are probably ties in my neighborhood that I never see.

But I realize that we've fallen into our own pattern of patronage. Is there any reason we go to Taqueria Uptown instead of the one two storefronts over? Is there any reason we always go to the corner store at the southwest corner of Lunt and Clark instead of the larger one just east of Clark? Maybe there's enough density in my neighborhood that it's able to support hundreds of these patterns and habits. Maybe that's what makes small businesses successful in the city. I have to admit- the ones that stick around are there for a good long time.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Busy week!

I'm still alive, although it's been a while since I've posted. Above is a detail from a larger image that I can't post just yet. I think it's an interesting study of street furniture. If I was really motivated I would have a separate notebook for stuff like this.

I went back to The School of the Art Institute to give two brief lectures on neighborhood research. It was two sections of the same freshman studio, but it was fun. I don't kid myself into thinking that I do that sort of thing very well, but it was a great change of pace. And maybe I would get better if I did it more often. Or not. I found myself focusing on kids who were really interested and kids who were really bored.

I forgot about the crummy classrooms at the Champlain Building on Wabash and Monroe. Last night the odor of garlic permeated an entire floor. I assumed it was a performance art thing.

With 15 minutes until the 6:35 train I hopped on the Madison bus, got to Ogilvie in 10 minutes, had time to buy a ticket at the reduced price, and got a window seat with 2 minutes to spare. All while it was pouring rain. Who doesn't love public transit?