Topography

photo by me, 1984-ish, developed in some bathroom somewhere.

Chicago belonged to Marv, absolutely.  Roaming it at night, on foot and by car, was his legacy to me.  It is with some shame I confess I can’t be sure any more whether this Art Deco el station is on Milwaukee or Western Avenue – though I know it is north of North Avenue and south of Fullerton.  Beginning with my first camera in high school, Marv fuelled my obsession with the fading, vainglorious facades of deteriorating buildings by driving me whenever I wanted to take pictures of them, which was often.  What he made of his odd teenage daughter, while he waited as I jumped out of the car to record views of name plates, tiled entry ways, crumbling ornamental plaster, he kept to himself, but I think he had his reasons for indulging me.  By the time I got my license, I could navigate the Northside with confidence, by streets and landmarks, from Evanston to Old Town, and Lakeshore Drive to California Ave.

He never wanted us to feel afraid, or lost.  Well, Pop, I never did.

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