Thursday, October 18, 2018
Good morning —
Welcome to the 5th broad—cast of C̶C̶H̶H̶I̶I̶C̶C̶A̶A̶G̶G̶O̶O̶S̶ Alt Chicago Park District, a̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶t̶n̶i̶g̶h̶t̶l̶y̶ an irregular series of whirligigs & loop-de-loops through the Chicago Park District.
E̶v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶S̶u̶n̶d̶a̶y̶ When feeling solvitur ambulando we will be park-hopping around the city d̶o̶c̶u̶m̶e̶n̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ tracking its myriad examples of g̶r̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶s̶p̶a̶c̶e̶s̶ public open spaces. We will e̶x̶p̶l̶o̶r̶e̶ etch—and be scarred with—desire lines through everything from tiny playlots and pocket beaches to urban farms and the crown jewels of the park district and on to the far future pavilions for viewing the Andromeda-Milky Way galactic collision.
As carless Chicagoans, we will a̶l̶s̶o̶ ̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶o̶p̶p̶o̶r̶t̶u̶n̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶c̶h̶e̶c̶k̶ ̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶i̶t̶y̶’̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶n̶-̶v̶e̶h̶i̶c̶u̶l̶a̶r̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶n̶s̶i̶t̶ ̶i̶n̶f̶r̶a̶s̶t̶r̶u̶c̶t̶u̶r̶e̶.̶ ̶W̶e̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶p̶e̶d̶a̶l̶ ̶d̶o̶w̶n̶ ̶b̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶l̶a̶n̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶i̶l̶s̶,̶ ̶h̶o̶p̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶b̶u̶s̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶i̶n̶s̶,̶ ̶d̶e̶f̶i̶n̶i̶t̶e̶l̶y̶ use our own two feet,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶p̶e̶r̶h̶a̶p̶s̶ ̶f̶l̶a̶g̶ ̶d̶o̶w̶n̶ ̶a̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶o̶e̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶v̶i̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶s̶t̶r̶a̶n̶g̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶g̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶u̶s̶ ̶p̶i̶g̶g̶y̶b̶a̶c̶k̶ ̶r̶i̶d̶e̶s̶.
This is the second in a series of █████ █████ ███ ██████ ██████ ██ ███ ███████ ██████████ ████████ ██ ███████ ███████ ██ █████ █████ █████ ████ ███ ███ ████ ██ ███ ████████████████ ██████ ████ ██ ███ ████ ███████ █████ ████ ██ ███████ ████████ ████ █████ █████ ████ ███████ █████ ██ ███ ████ █████ ████ ███ ███ ███ ████ ██ ███████ ███████ ██ ████████ █ ███████ ████
At 71st St & South Shore Dr & Yates Blvd & Exchange Ave—
Starting where we left off last time at the entrance to South Shore Cultural Center.
At 71st —
At 71st & the Lakefront —
Here where the Lakefront Trail ends in the south, the public lakefront also ends its unobstructed run.
At 72nd St —
It’s another dead end.
At 73rd St—
At least here there’s no manicured shrubbery to block the view.
At 74th St —
We don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
At Arthur Ashe Beach Park —
The beach here at first looks neglected. The seawall is crumbling, and thrash is about the place. Nothing cheap and easy can be done about the seawall. However, as we’ve seen up and down the lakefront, stretches not recently touched by the expert but flavorless hands of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—those unofficial beaches that seem to have been decaying for decades, if not centuries—remain favorite swimming spots with locals. As for the litter, it’s just a brief, one-person job. The beach is fine, in other words.
What makes this pocket beach—one scalloped out of an inaccessible stretch of the lakefront—looking sad and pathetic are the unsightly private flood defenses and security fences bracketing this public jewel.
At South Shore Dr —
We will never tire of saying it:
Walking on South South Shore Drive in South Shore on the South Side heading south by southeast to South Works in South Chicago.
At 75th St —
Reconnecting with our public coastline at the north end of Rainbow Beach Park.
At 77th Pl—
Here’s an artifact from the first Chicago Architecture Biennial.
At 78th St —
“It is solved by walking.”
At 78th St—
A tree grows in yet another cryptobeach.
At 79th St—
The lakefront is our happy place. And our happy place in our happy place is this way. Partly blocked by ComEd.
At Park #566—
This broad—cast coincides with our Autumn site visit to South Works. Below are some photos, but look for the full report over @southworkspark at a later date.
At Park #566 —
Besides ComEd, two guys involved in the “habitat enhancements” project were out “control[ling] invasive plants.” So there was a strong whiff of pesticide permeating the roughly coiffed landscape. The distant grove of trees to the right of the road is on U.S. Steel property.
At Park #566 —
A plant, drawing.
At 85th St —
The ore walls appearing around a bend in the road is one of the most breathtaking sights in the city.
At the Ore Walls—
Incubating between two super-collosal monuments of the Industrial Age, a mycogarden for a fantamagical large park.
At 89th St —
Another development fail.
At 92th St —
Crossing the Calumet River from South Chicago the the East Side.
At 95th St —
Another one standing in the way of continuous public lakefront..
At Calumet Park—
“As you bike it…”
At 98th St—
We love Calumet Park, too!
At Ave G—
The biodiversity of Chicago’s parks is astounding.
At 103rd St—
The end of the road is close.
At the Illinois—Indiana border—
This obelisk marks the border between Illinois and Indiana. The plaque in the front reads: “ALLEN J. BENSEN PARK.”
At the Illinois — Indiana border —
Immediately adjacent to the border monument is the trailhead of a new bike trail, which runs through the former property of the now demolished State Line Generating Plant and connects with existing trails along the shoreline of northwest Indiana.
It’s super-inviting, but we’ll leave it for another time and head back up northward.
At 103rd St—
We love the fact that there’s actually a sidewalk that takes you all the way to the Illinois — Indiana border.
At 102nd St—
The Chicago lakefront continues further down from here to the Illinois—Indiana border by a little over a quarter of a mile, but this southern edge of Calumet Park is also where the public lakefront ends.
At the Calumet Park Cultural Center—
Popping in for a quick archival research at the James P. Fitzgibbons Historical Musem for @southworkspark. Open only on Thursdays but additional on Saturdays during the school year. Admission is free.
At the Calumet River—
Waiting for the all clear at a proper border crossing.
To be continued…
[Postscript: Below is a simplified map of our stops and route. Only use this as a general reference guide to plan your own outings, NOT for point-by-point directions.]