ANNOUNCING: The Neighborhoods Project
The City of Chicago has over 200 neighborhoods, which are part of 77 distinct community areas as divided up by the Social Science Research Committee of the University of Chicago in the 1920s. Unofficially, of course. From Lincoln Park on the North Side to Hyde Park on the South Side and Humboldt Park on the West Side, each neighborhood has its own unique qualities to separate it from the pack, while maintaining a common thread that makes it intrinsically Chicago.
I've been to some of the neighborhoods. I've spent considerable time in a few but usually I just pass through most of these neighborhoods. While riding the 'L' I often see interesting buildings or attention grabbing restaurants that beckon for me to make a visit. I often don't make it back. But I'll see it again on another 'L' trip and again consider stopping in next time. In nearly 18 months in the city, I haven't stopped in enough.
So that's where the Neighborhood Project comes into play. Starting in 2011, each weekend its feasible* I'm going to trek to a different Chicago neighborhood and experience it. Maybe for an hour. Maybe for half a day. Certainly long enough to get a taste of what makes the neighborhood unique. I'll take photographs of the ordinary and extraordinary. I'll stop in at a local restaurant for lunch, dinner, or a snack. I'll do my best to capture the essence of the neighborhood so that I can translate it back through a captivating blog post. (*Who knows what that means- temperatures above freezing, its not raining, I'm not hungover, I don't have other more exciting plans...)
The motive is two-fold. I want to photograph my beautiful surroundings more. And I want to really experience what makes Chicago the wonderful place it is. And you get to tag along. Maybe next time you're in the neighborhood, any of the 200+, you just might stop in at the restaurant where I had an awesome lunch or check out the really interesting building I photographed.
In my mind, by the end of this it wraps up into a wonderfully awesome coffee table book about Chicago neighborhoods, all from my first hand experience.
So please join me on this journey. It's going to be long. It's going to be eventful. It's going to be Chicago. You can find The Neighborhoods Project page here. Special thanks to my brother, Mark, for the awesome logo he created (seen below). I sent him a few photos of Chicago and the surrounding neighborhoods, and he took his artistic license to create a logo that sums up the project in a great graphic.
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