Pride of place

Pride of place (Chicago), © 2014 Celia Her CityThe number of small businesses in Chicago is dizzying.  They line the long, unbending commercial streets, small fibers of a gargantuan economy.  Some are thriving and cheery; others ugly, halfhearted, even sinister.

This place, Lee’s Foreign Car Service, is a standout on the bland stretch of South Jefferson between Roosevelt Road and the Loop.  Regardless of what the service is like, the meticulous fusion of paint and signs on its exterior is impressive.

Wistful for Wolcott

Wistful for Wolcott: A spring view of the street
I get wistful for Wolcott when it gets to be spring.

When I was in grad school, my younger friend, Joan, lived in a two-flat in Roscoe Village.  The flat, on Wolcott Avenue, was unusual because it had a big side yard.  Joan basically had the whole place to herself, because the old woman who owned it and lived in the bottom flat, had gone to live with her daughter, leaving her things in place. More

The gloomy grandeur of the Pittsfield Building

Interior hallway of Chicago's Pittsfield Building, © 2013 Celia Her City

After my visit to Toni Patisserie, I wandered into the Pittsfield Building, a sort of museum piece when it comes to architectural glory.  Built in the 1920s, before the Great Depression, the Pittsfield is an instance of retail magnate Marshall Field’s broad and enduring impact on Chicago. More

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