Archive for the ‘Urbanal’ Category

IMG_0002This is probably the best street art I’ve seen in a while. I wish I could pair it with a circa 1997 midi file of “Man on the Run,” but alas, the internet has not been so kind to me today. Oh well.


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This is not the most amusing piece of e-correspondence I’ve received from my elderly landlords, but it’s a good example of Their Ways.  A posting for a vacancy in my building stated dogs are not permitted; my lease says they are allowed with written permission.  I wrote asking for clarity as I may at some point in the future wish to live with a person who has a dog.  I received this response.


December 1

Dear Ms. [MiddleChild],

The listing is correct, and the lease is consistent because we in fact are not willing to approve a dog for any of the apartments in [address].  We absolutely do not want a dog in that building.

A future revision of the lease for this property will state that dogs are simply not permitted.

We have apartments in another building where a dog is permitted, but there is no vacancy there at present.

We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Best wishes,
[Mr. Landlord]


I think you’ll agree the best part of this email is the last line.  As if I might go ahead and have a dog anyway?  I live on the ground floor of a building with six units.  Further, the dog in question is a very healthy barker.  I don’t think he could be clandestinely kept in the apartment, but I am amused at the firm wording of this email.
[You should totally start pooping in the yard and barking in the night.  – UGGS]

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This morning Mr. Uggs had a link to this set on Flickr. I don’t have the same Chicago roots or nostalgia levels as my fellow preroggers, but I do love a good abandoned building. According to the photographer:

Edgewater Hospital was founded in 1929 and most of the current buildings were constructions in the ’40’s – ’60’s. It’s famous as the birthplace of both John Wayne Gacy and Hillary Rodham Clinton. In 2001, the hospital abruptly closed its doors permanently when its management and many of its doctors were found guilty of committing Medicare fraud.

Photo by Comtesse DeSpair

The set is a treasury (and sometimes a children’s treasury) of empty hallways, a creepy morgue, strange equipment, labs, people’s medical records and funny signs. Judging by Comtesse’s other sets, abandoned buildings are kind of her thing.

It reminded me of a book my sister has. I love pictures of places left behind and the warm post apocalyptic feeling they give me.  As this same sister said, “Post Apocalypse is my favorite historical period.”

Which then got me thinking about my brief trip to New Orleans over a year ago.

I was there for a conference but dipped into the Lower 9th when a plucky volunteer offered to take me out of the French Quarter. It was awful and fascinating and sad all at once. The image above was taken almost two years after the hurricane.

I think what I like about the EMC photos, the Chernobyl book and to a lesser extent my pictures of NOLA is the idea that little pieces of the world are ending everywhere but we never get to see it unless we go looking.

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I was in L.A. last week and we hit up the Fairfax flea market. In addition to seeing Agynes Deyn, the new unofficial face of converse (a title previously owned by the likes of Karen O), I overheard probably the dumbest conversation of the entire week — a week that included a road trip through America’s heartland of meth abuse, from Chicago to L.A. In this conversation, an American-Apparel-and-vintage-clad flea market vendor, a young woman in her early twenties, attempted to seal the deal with another similarly dressed young woman by complimenting her potential new look: “Oh my god, I love the brown. Brown is so Kurt Cobain. Its really cute.”

Yep. Marinate on that for a second. Neo-grunge is upon us.

I don’t know whats worse, that bands will accelerate to Nickelback lows at record speeds or that the high-fashion epitome of herion chic, Kate Moss, never even stopped being cool. We have reached the time-space continuum of recycled style.

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One of my favorite things about Gmail involves Gchat status updates. Earlier this week, two former interns from a former workplace (who I am pretty sure are friends in real life) had oddly complimentary updates, each featuring a hipster stereotype. As our good friend M3rb0t pointed out to us earlier this week, hipsters seem to be getting a lot of flak these days. So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you all to Amazing Girl and Whimpster, courtesy of two cool ladies that I don’t really see anymore but still think about because they consistently say interesting things in their Gchat status updates.

Amazing Girl can best be summed up thusly:

Backpacking through South America, smoking hash with locals; reading Sylvia Plath in the park; earnestly worshipping Frida Kahlo in museums; dancing barefoot in the rain everywhere. While many are hippies, they are not all, by any means. They come in all nationalities, all shapes and sizes, from earth mother to ethereal. Some are insipid, others lively, some bisexual and others not, some vegan and some merely vegetarian.
But to them all there is a certain underlying sameness. All are vaguely creative, all sort of political, all sweet and kind and sympathetic and all lacking in any critical judgment whatsoever. Indeed, a lack of harsh judgment might be called the central tenet of their sisterhood, and perhaps a key to their particular magic.

And her gendered counterpart, Whimpster, fares little better:

Whimpsters are men who use cultural artifacts and politically correct platitudes in place of the empty spaces where real thought and emotion should be. Whimpsters are men who unwittingly enjoy Bukowski’s misogyny. Whimpsters walk a tenuous tightrope between their secreted, terribly warped masculinity and the mainstream manliness that they claim to abhor

Both of these rants must have been written by young, jilted hipsters. I love how they skewer, and yet subconsciously idolize these stereotypes. It’s hard work, hating on someone that the counter culture declares cool. I have totally been there. I have slept with and been spurned by (or even worse, for) Amazing Girls and Whimpsters. (Thank God I am getting Too Old For That!). I guess what I’m saying is that encountering these shitters is all a part of growing up. Especially since, in the era of the Internet, it’s so easy to flame them. I’m pretty sure this is the modern evolution of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s work…and that’s actually kind of depressing.

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I miss Chicago. Waah. It’s all I talk about. Waah. Sympathize with me, especially considering that before I moved I just wanted to leave because it’s too cold. POOR ME.


He is even sitting on a DECK that might collapse any minute... but I forgive you, "Gotham."

I swear to Jesus Christ's Holy Colon, no one here can cook anything that isn't some thai fusion shit. Maybe I'm exaggerating. But I want some greasy lamb that was prepared by a greasy dude who has been working in the same greasy 3am joint since he hopped off the goddamned boat.

The dicks who move here for a summer to intern for the government and who ride the Metro (but stand in the door and don't move for people to get on and off) and who talk very loudly about how important their fathers are and who yell on my sidewalk at 3am make me want to puke orange soda in public. In Chicago there are dicks, but at least they're not dicks who will threaten to have you deported.

No shit.

Things that don’t make me homesick:

  • Work
  • Public Transit
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • The entire month of February
  • Middlechild

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I’ve been walking to work once or twice a week lately, which is a great change of pace for me. Instead of taking 20 minutes to bike to the office, it takes me an hour to walk three miles at a leisurely pace. It gives me time to reflect on the day, plan out what I’ll do when, and generally take in my surroundings. I’ve also got two free hands to carry coffee and a breakfast treat from Sweet Cakes, my favorite bakery. Walking, especially when you’re looking to purchase real estate, is a great way to get a feel for a neighborhood. I focused on the side streets today, and tried to really tune into the changing architecture and populace of each block.

It helped that the weather has cooled off and dried out. The weekend was an exhausting, muggy mess–but today is cool and a little crisp. As I was walking along the Bloomingdale Line, past the building I want to buy, I saw a small flock of geese heading south. Such a brief summer this year! July is already almost over, and winter is on the way.

[Didn’t winter JUST end? I love you Chicago, but wtf. – UGGS]

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