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This week in thankfulness

To start with I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

I’m visiting NY for the weekend to see my family and reflecting a bit right now I’m thankful for a lot. I’ve switched to part time at my retail job and I really have started to find a good work / life balance. I turned 29 on Saturday and had an awesome party with awesome friends. I can’t express enough how important and awesome my friends are. Thank you everyone. This has been a great year. What I am thankful for going forward though are exciting projects. If you know me, dear reader, I’m not happy unless I’m doing a million things at once, here is what is going on right now:

  1. I’ll be working with dynamic improv duo Batterymouth to promote their upcoming run Fridays at DeMaat Theatre at Second City from Jan 21st – Feb 25th. So far we have one publicity photo ready but there are more on the way. In my eyes Batterymouth is one of the best kept secrets of Chicago theatre and I’m very excited to be working with them.
  2. Speaking of comedy… Long Pork is still going strong. The Gentlemen are hard at work on their next show which is set to debut at the Chicago Sketchfest on January 13th 9:30 pm. Also they’ve been invited to preform in the Charleston Comedy Festival for which they are super excited and honored.
  3. Still doing the ChicagoNow thing. Yesterday I published a photo set of Wrigleyville during last Saturday’s Northwestern vs. Illinois Football game. You can check that out here. Tomorrow I’ll be publishing a holiday gift guide for photographers so check back then.

That’s all for today friends. I hope you all enjoy your turkey dinners!

The Siren Call of Blue Island

blueisland-6

Not long ago I received an email from my friend Paul in NY. Paul, among many other things, is an enthusiast of great beer and was writing me for some assistance with a recent discovery.

Apparently Guinness is testing a Black Lager beer in the Chicagoland market. Paul, knowing my passion for good beers knew this would piqué my interest and it would take very little coercion to get me to track it down. Sure enough I did, however the only place where it’s available for purchase that isn’t a bar was located in Blue Island Illinois, just south of Chicago. Seeing as I’ve never been there before I figured this would be a good opportunity to explore and photograph.

I hopped on I-94 and briefly followed signs to Memphis and made my way there. My first impression of the town upon my arrival was that it felt like a city lost in time. Much of Blue Island has a beautiful 1950’s charm to it, the downtown area (along Western Ave – yes, the same one) is filled with historic buildings and it would be easy to imagine it bustling with people going to the local Woolworth’s back in the day.

Sadly it seems time and the economy have not treated Blue Island especially well and many of the building are empty with historic companies long since closed. Despite all that, Blue Island’s charm shines through in it’s decay. Maybe it was just the light on this particular day but the sun seemed to shine on these old buildings and give them an air of urban friendliness.

In some ways Blue Island feels eerie with it’s charm. Like the dinner party scene in “The Shining”, almost as if the ghosts of what once was here were still hanging around inviting me to join them. I felt drawn to the area, wondering to myself: “could I live here?” The answer of course is no but something made me want to ask.

Enjoy.