Autumn on Armitage
It’s 5:00 PM on a Tuesday and I’m stepping off the platform at Armitage. Armitage is probably my favorite street in Lincoln Park. I don’t want to say it’s just for the shopping, but it’s mostly for the shopping. I have unfortunately inherited my mother’s curse of spending too much money in as little amount of time as possible. Besides my future bankruptcy haunting me, I love the atmosphere on the street as well. It’s normally very clean and filled with families and younger people. Today is no exception. After stepping out on the street and heading left, I notice that for a Chicago street it’s relatively quiet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still loud in comparison to small town streets. But compared to the rest of the city, it’s a nice break of serenity.
The first thing I spot after getting off the L and walking a few feet is a newspaper stand. In hindsight I should have mentioned that I misplaced my original paint swatches, so I hit up the local Home Depot. In the theme of primary colors I picked both blue and red.
I quickly spot another similar structure, except this one is completely empty of sellable material. The good news is it matches my next paint swatch.
As I walk I notice the weather. It’s rather amazing actually. It’s about 70 degrees and slightly windy, making the thin jacket I’m wearing perfect for the situation. The leaves are also starting to fall, something I hadn’t really had a chance to notice over the past few days. It’s nice to take a second to acknowledge the change of seasons. Fitting with this idea, I notice an autumnal fall display which matches the paint swatch I have in various places.
I also notice how muted conversation is. There’s plenty of people on the street. Families, college students, and kids coming back from school are the majority but they all remain fairly quiet. It feels out of place almost, knowing that the rest of the city is in rush hour but I’m here in a seemingly stagnant bubble.
The real struggle here is trying not to seem creepy while taking these photos. Many of the photos I took involve store window displays, or photos of actual people on the street. I don’t want to blatantly take photos of these people or the shops within their or the worker’s eyesight, so if these pictures are slightly blurry blame my awkwardness and commitment to this assignment.
As I was taking these photos I was enjoying the beautiful scent of breakfast wafting out of the open door of a bagel restaurant. I consider myself a breakfast enthusiast, so I wrote down the name for future reference. It’s the Chicago Bagel Authority if you would like to visit in the future. From the smell alone, I highly recommend.
I like Armitage because it reminds me of home. Busy, but quiet and peaceful enough for you to enjoy walking around without a purpose. A street away from home in the middle of Lincoln Park.
What is mappable? What is un-mappable?
Places are mappable. Landmarks are mappable. States, countries, and counties are mappable. Roads are mappable. Large bodies of water are mappable. Mountain ranges are mappable. What isn’t mappable are emotions. You can’t sit and map how a particular place makes you feel, the excitement or sadness it invokes in you. You can’t map the weather of a particular day on paper, it’s always changing and shifting. You can’t map experiences. What you saw and heard on a particular day in a particular place, or what you experience previously. People aren’t mappable. The way they move and change, never needing or wanting to stay at one place. Continuing with people, you can’t map their thought processes or the way their thoughts and feelings change. One can try, but you can never quite detail every particular thought. It’s too quick and detailed, maps would never be able to explain and cover the extent of it. The unmappable are the ever-changing. Things that move too quickly and too extensively, or are too difficult to ever fully explain on paper.
Some extra photos: