THE ROGERS PARK PROJECT
Welcome to the Birth of my Rogers Park project. I love people. I love photographing people. I love writing. I love community. I love the beach. I love walks. I love Rogers Park. I love walks in Rogers Park. I've been wanting to combine all the things I love in a creative way for far too long. I had let a wall of lame excuses and obstacles stall this process. So finally I decided to dedicate my self to my Rogers Park project and just do it! I hope you enjoy it. I would love to turn it into a community portrait project but these days people aren't so apt to let you take their pictures. I'm hoping with the building of this page, people will check it out and then be willing.
Rogers Park Saturday April 17th 2017
Spring has sprung.
Someone made some shadow art on in the sand.
Rogers Park Saturday April 15th 2017
Rogers Park Saturday January 14th 2017
I must admit it has taken me over a week to post these shots. Today's date is actually 01.25.17. Got up and out of the house early because Vanessa was leaving for a work trip and was catching an Uber at 6am. So I decided I would stay up and grab my camera and head to the lakefront to try and catch the sunrise. Holy Wow. It was just about the most beautiful morning I have ever seen. The images, as beautiful as they are just do not even come close to doing it justice.
_TK_9742 _TK_9746 The water was so still it served as a mirror to the sky. Everything felt tranquil. The colors were just magnificent. It is always so interesting to me the different personalities of the shore. Some mornings it is as still as a reflection pond and other morning's its rushing as fast and hard as it can to the sand.
_TK_9747 _TK_9751 _TK_9756 Almost every surface was covered in ice. It was cold. I generally do not like the cold. It reminded me of a landscape out of a cartoon, perhaps a care bears episode I once saw as a little girl. At this time in the morning the lakefront is a ghost town with the exception of the occasional person walking their dog or a police patrol. Everyone I came across this morning was affected by the beauty and grace of mother nature. Each person said hello or mentioned how beautiful of a morning it was. You could see mother nature in their faces, the excitement and wonder at this great miracle we call sunrise.
_TK_9797 _TK_9796 _TK_9834 I took the tripod, which I don't do as much as I should because I find it heavy and cumbersome. I couldn't be happier I sucked it up. I was able to get a few really gorgeous panoramas, as the one below. I'm afraid it's glory will only ever really be expressed printed large and well quality printing these days has been more of a challenge for me than ever before. My access to affordable quality printing took a crash dive when my alumni status dissipated as the doors of my learning institution shuttered. Poof, into thin air.
This morning was so beautiful I told myself I would get up every morning and make it down to the lakeshore for the sunrise. I woke naturally every morning that followed between 5:30 and 6am, however it was always raining, damp, or super cloudy so I let myself out of going. I did go this morning 01.25.17 and as it was still beautiful it was no comparison to the morning of the 14th.
Rogers Park Saturday January 7th 2017
My first post of 2017. Temperatures are in the single digits today and with the wind chill factored in it's in the double negatives. Perfect day for a walk to the lake...lol. The good news is the sun is shining and that was my motivation to suit up and get out there. I recently purchased a sony a6300 mirrorless in hopes to have something lighter that was easier to carry around on a daily basis for this project. I took it out and snapped some shots with it a few times after watching some youtube videos on it's functions. I was just unhappy with the sharpness of the images, I've decided to return it. So back to my trusty Canon 5D3. Sure enough after two unhappy trips out with the sony and images I decided weren't of calibre to post all I need was a little bit of sunshine and my 5D3 to feel the magic and beauty of the neighborhood again even in sub zero temperatures.
I love weeping willows and have since I was a small child. There used to be this creek that ran along my grade school when I was growing up. It was behind a long tall fence that at one end had a hidden spot that was pulled up just enough to fit my five year old little body underneath. I spent hours alone creating stories and having adventures with lions and tigers crossing this great river by swinging from the vines of several huge weeping willows up and down the creek bed. These trees were a part of my private and beloved childhood solace. So, naturally the weeping willows at the end of Pratt have always drawn me. I have photographed them many times in different stages of season. Someone recently put a single wooden chair at the base of the far tree in this picture, you can see it if you look close enough. I loved this. Of course I went and sat in it and have every time I have been down there since it appeared. The two shots below is the view from that seat.
Rogers Park Thursday December 8th 2016
Today is one of the coldest days so far this year. Needless to say there were not too many people out this morning. It was the first official day I had to wear two layers of pants to last more than a few minutes outside. The temperature according to the Weather Channel is 23˙ feels like 8˙ with the wind chill.
The amount of random signs I find around the neighborhood continue to inspire me. This one must be pretty fresh, it's just an 8.5 by 11 piece of paper with what seems like water color. I love the message. It's an important one. I wish we could make this sign more permanent.
Rogers Park Project Day 3 Monday December 5th
I was only able to go out in the hood for a short walk today to drop some boxes off at the UPS store. Returning the new camera I had been waiting on for weeks because when it arrived it was not working. The camera was to be my first Sony the a6300, an inspiraton for this project and a hope to get back to my ABC's (Always Bring your Camera) as it is light and small but still fit for a pro. I was concerned even before leaving the house that my short walk might not provide enough material for a good post.
I love when I see spaces with these question marks. It's a good tactic of intrigue. I hope it will be a new delicious food spot. The question marks took up two or three store fronts at the corner of Lakewood and Devon. From the look of things it will be sometime before our questions are answered.
After UPS I needed to make a stop at the CVS near Loyola for some ear plugs. Sally (My Cat) has gotten extremely vocal at night lately. I am truly worried. He is an older cat. I've read a few articles on possible reasons and tried to employ all the possible tactics, next step...vet visit. After purchasing my ear plugs I decided to walk the alleys back. I love Alley's. Always interesting things in the back of places. The behind the facade places.
This was in a storefront window of what seemed like it may be or may once have been a gallery space. Either way I loved the message. In all of my church going this was one message I always appreciated about my very welcoming Reconciling Ministry Church BUMC. We all sit at one and the same table. The table of life is for us all. Thank you to whoever left this message up for all who pass by to see.
One of my favorite things about Rogers Park are the many murals. Murals everywhere. Under almost every train overpass. So many alley spaces brighten by big, beautiful murals. When I saw this one I thought to myself how perfect. The writing near all the faces are common statements you hear around here about all the things people love about Rogers Park. My favorite is down to the left it says "People talk to each other as they walk down the street. "Hello" I honestly do my best to make eye contact and say hello to everyone I pass. If it is the only thing or even the easiest thing I can do to change my world for the better, I'm doing it. We need to build community and what an easy way to do so. If we are familiar we are less likely to be afraid.
A few blocks from that mural I rounded the corner and saw this! Not only is it awesome to see all these amazing murals everyday it's even more awesome when you see a friend and artist you admire's name attached to them. Megan Sterling! We don't see each other often but our proximity is unmistakable. Megan was an instructor where I went to photo school for many years. After that time had passed for both of us she ended up my neighbor in Lincoln Square. I lived next to her work space at the Chicago Print Makers Collaborative. Now in Rogers Park which is also her neighborhood I get to see her art again, at our 3rd stage of proximity.
I see many familiar names at the buttom of many of these murals. Some are dated some are not. I love that this daisy mural has been here since 2011. Almost 7 years and it still looks fresh, a sure sign the art around here is highly respected and appreciated by all of the neighbors. I do not know Brenda. I realized that statement made it seem like I did. I hope to one day, I would like to photographer her near some of her murals. Brenda, if you ever read this...get ahold of me.
Another December fate of a Jack O Lantern.
Yellow. What a great color. When I was walking under this tree I felt like I was under a yellow canopy almost like being in an illuminated yellow cave. If only the lovely Vanessa was here so I could have photographed her in this yellow cave. Thats it for today, thanks for checking it out. See you tomorrow.
Rogers Park December 4th 2016
The first real snow of the year. It started coming down thick and heavy in the morning and lasted until around 6pm. I'm not a huge fan of snow however December is the only time I don't mind it too much. Today is one month shy of year since loosing my father. The 4th is always a rough day which made it all the more important I get outside and and concentrate on the things that I love, even in the snow. Big Thanks to the lovely Vanessa for willingly subjecting herself to the cold wet weather of this day to support me and provide me with tenderness on my mission. Which gave her a chance to try out her new boots.
My beautiful courtyard in the snow.
Just yesterday I posted a photo of these flowers looking bright and pink hanging on for a last day of sun, and today they are heavy and covered in layer of iciness. Vanessa still smiling and somewhat dry, check out those boots!
December Red. I've lived in Chicago for over 15 years in many different neighborhoods all of them wonderful in their unique ways. Rogers Park has great color, lots of color everywhere from all of the amazing murals to the fantastic trees, plants and flowers that seem to be more prevalent up here than anywhere else. I'm so thankful to walk past beauty such as this every single day.
These pink post it's have been appearing all over the neighborhood on different poles at different times. I love them. I hope someday the person who puts them up sees this and receives my gratitude. Maybe I will get lucky and catch them one day and they will let me take their portrait and add it to the project.
Today in Rogers Park Saturday 12.03.16
December and colors still in the garden. Everyday I walk out my door, I am touched and my day is brightened by the beautiful courtyard I am so blessed to live amongst. My amazing neighbor Michael is responsible, I think chlorophyll drips from his fingers. He builds beauty and community for everyone in our courtyard. Thank you Michael.
December fate of the forgotten Jack O Lanterns.
The beach. I live about a 6 block walk from the beach. I try to get there as often as possible. I am so centered by the water. The sound of it calms me. Often I run into the same people on these walks. Today I asked two ladies I see almost every time If I could take their photo, the declined so I took one from behind.
My first successful approach of asking for a photo in this project. They were taking selfies of them and their pup when I approached. I offered to take one for them on the phone they were using but turns out the front facing camera wasn't working. So I asked if I could take one with my camera. I gave them my card and told them to email me and I would send the photo. I hope they do. I need to figure out a fast and non intrusive way to get emails from my potential portrait people. Carrie, Carrie and Jaxs (not sure of any of the spellings).
Messages from Rogers Park.