The Monday Roundup

Thanks to the amazing Mariano Chavez (of Agent Gallery Chicago and New York) for introducing me to his very stylish, kind and interesting friend and customer Josh. When Josh’s girlfriend stumbled upon Agent Gallery’s Damen Avenue location, she rightly suspected her beau would love Mariano’s curated mix of salvaged finds and overall aesthetic. Sure enough, Mariano helped Josh deck out his two-level Printers Row loft, and the result is very, very good. Open House coming soon. In the meantime, check out the building’s spectacular Art Nouveau lobby:

Hot summer nights

Even though it was nearly eight p.m. when I returned home from shooting Josh’s loft, the sun was still shining, and the combination of the hot, humid air and the rhythmic chorus of the Cicadas acted like a gentle mental sedative. The one-way street where I live is very narrow, so the very little traffic is mostly local, and the parkway between the sidewalk and the curb is very wide and lined with massive Catalpas, which are beautiful despite their jagged bark and mangled, claw-like branches. Several years ago, the Asian Longhorn Beetle decimated Ravenswood’s tree population, and the prospect of the same thing happening in Edgewater Glen terrifies me. While new trees can be planted, it’s difficult to imagine this neighborhood without the gorgeous monsters, which were probably planted at the same time the homes were built when Chicago’s population boomed in the early twentieth century.

The magnificent Catalpa tree. We salute you.

The red brick 2-flat where I hang my hat was built in 1913. It’s one of the block’s many brick 2 and 3-flats, which are intermingled with vintage, single family homes. Although the neighborhood is changing, the pace seems completely sane, a slow turnover as longtime residents sell and new families move in, fix up their homes and discover the joys of life in Edgewater Glen. People still gossip over the fence (to that, I can vouch) and actually take the time to get to know one another. Which sometimes results in feuds but which ordinarily defines community. My brother and his wife live upstairs, and one of my oldest and closest friends lives kiddy-corner. It’s very 1938.* I’m on a first name basis with at least fifteen of my neighbors, including Brett and Shane, who live at the end of the block and will be featured in an Open House later this summer.

When the new owner moves into his newly gut renovated house, I’m thinking about framing this photo and leaving it on the door as a welcome to the hood king of thing. Nice or weird?

Speaking of Brett and Shane (warning: comic books referenced)

Speaking of Brett and Shane’s future Open House, here’s a sneak peek. An avid comic book collector, Shane bought an original piece of comic book art that appeared in the DC Comics series Adventure Comics. As you can see, Superboy is battling Lex Luthor aka papa numero uno. In a textbook case of comic book angst, Superboy’s other dad is, you guessed, Superman. It’s less impossible than you might imagine. (Lex gets him every other weekend and for two weeks in the summer). This piece was drawn by hot penciler Frances Manapul, who has since moved on to choreographing The Flash’s fast-footed maneuvers. (silver age speedster Barry Allen’s back). Here’s how a different panel looks in color:

Superboy and Christina Crawford should meet for regular talk therapy.

I love comics for their ongoing narratives, plot-twists and bright colors. Maybe that’s why I love these mid-century modern occasional chairs upholstered in red leather, which I spotted at Scout in Andersonville last week. Pow! I mean wow!

Super cool and a steal at $95 each.

Also at Scout, I was stunned by the beauty of  this unusual, spectacular coffee table, which has a sleek built-in drawer and a surface that can only be described as buttery-shimmer.

Speaking of red, what do you think of these pieces (above and below) I spied recently at Andersonville’s mod shop / garden emporium Room Service? They would make quite a statement in many a room. (What are you waiting for?)

Walking home the other day, I noticed this charming little, ground-floor balcony. In the city, people figure out ways to make even a tiny concrete stoop into a beautiful, outside space. Of course, bright punches of color help liven things up.

A random photo

Month at the Museum

Finally, get a load of the red wall in this room, which CB2 designed for the Museum of Science and Industry’s Month at the Museum contest. Thanks to Lesley at The DesignFile for turning me onto this contest, because I’m thinking about entering. Discover and New Scientist are two of my favorite magazines, and the Museum of Science and Industry was the site of my favorite school trips as a kid, so I think it would be kind of fun. Imagine roaming around at night, seeing how things work after hours and hanging out in the World War II German submarine. And that’s just for starters. When I was a kid, my favorite attraction was a tunnel of light, and I think that’d be a pleasant place to roll out a sleeping bag. And last but not least, were I to win, I’ll finally know how Kal-El must feel when he hangs out at the Fortress of Solitude.

Not to mention Robin Williams. Image from Mister Digital Files. For more information about Superman, visit DC Comics.

What do you think? Should I apply?

Hipstamatic (oh how happy you make me)

And I leave you with some random photos taken with the brilliant Hipstamatic iPhone application. The Hipstamatic makes any boring photo look arty, although in my own defense, these are exceptional photos.  😉

LSD in Chicago.

* Why did I place an asterisk after 1938? Tick tock.

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10 Responses to “The Monday Roundup”

  1. Loooove the lobby tile!

    The enclosed front porches of that 2-flat make me want to grab my sledgehammer.

  2. I agree MB. While I love that old brick 2-flat, it’d be great to see its huge front sun porch opened up to the world with big glass windows.

  3. I also love the lobby of the Printer’s Row building. Too bad so many of these treasures are long gone. By the way, you weren’t driving when you took those last five photos were you?

  4. Hi, Tate! Put my name on the abstract wall hanging adjacent to the red desk at Room Service in Andersonville. I think the * before 1938 is to draw our attention to the last truly peaceful time in your country (and mine) just before WW2 began to blast through Europe, quoth the historian. You can tell me if I am right or not.

  5. A photographer never tells Mother, but please don’t worry.

    While you are technically correct Carol, that’s not exactly the answer I’m looking for. But the date does relate to an important part of this very long and rambling post.

  6. Alright. You’ve had all day – give it up on the cryptic 1938 reference.

  7. Alright, I guess you’re right MB. Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1938.

  8. Ah! We should have known that it was Superman related! :)

    God! I hope our lovely catalpa trees don’t get decimated. The cut down a couple on Thorndale a few years ago, but luckily have replanted new ones.

    Love that coffee table from Scout. It’s seriously perfect. Very similar to the one I have now, but that secret storage makes it 10 times more awesome!

    Oh and Tate we need to get together soon. Way too long!

  9. lovely post about our little corner of the planet
    I look forward to gossiping over the fence soon 😉