I have been wandering around Chicago looking to feed my new photography habit. In general the wandering happens from the safe, warm confines of my car. Given that it is currently near 0 degrees Fahrenheit, the car is a necessity. I have become fascinated with the south side of Chicago, the old buildings, the derelict neighborhoods, the empty lots and interesting storefronts. So far no one has bothered me in any way, but I have been cautious not to put myself at risk. There are still Chicago neighborhoods where it is not safe for a white woman to go alone.
Sunday I went for one of my rambles. It wasn't one of my better outings. I am reluctant to stop for a picture when there are people around in case someone objects. I had assumed that the sub-zero weather would keep people indoors but actually there was a lot of activity. I only managed a few shots and decided to start heading back to indulge in my other hobby, lurking in Borders and reading over a cup of coffee. On the way back I passed an interesting looking series of buildings that were all boarded up and shuttered.
I decided to investigate. It turns out it was part of a nearly defunct housing project, the Ida B. Wells Homes in the Bronzeville neighborhood. (See my post on Robert Taylor homes for photos of one of the high rise projects). Against my better judgment, I drove around a little bit and took a couple of photos (all my nerves would allow). It was very creepy, especially since the graffiti seemed to include some gang insignia. All those empty buildings seemed to be potential homes for danger.
My better judgment won out and I decided it was definitely time to head home. I turned down a street away from the abandoned projects and turned right into a street lined with projects that were definitely more lively. The street was narrow and a lot of men were loitering in and near the street. I guess the weather didn't keep these guys indoors. I have no idea what they were up to and decided not to find out. I drove out of there a bit faster than was ideal. Nothing bad came of it but I decided that I need to be a bit more careful where I drive. Even though no one threatened me, my imagination was sufficient to leave me a bit shaken up. I'll try to keep the photo ramblings a bit more sensible in the future.
Oh, and do me a favor, don't tell my husband what I've been up to. I might get grounded.
For more on the Ida B. Wells Homes click on this link.