Monday, March 14, 2011

Western Avenue Series

Mile 3: 106th Street-98th Street
This sketch is a part of my Western Avenue Series, through which I'll be making 24 watercolor paintings, one to document each mile of Western Avenue, in Chicago.  I started this project because while it is not considered to be among the most “beautiful” of Chicago’s streets, Western Avenue is a perfect place to document the humanness of Chicago, the positive and the negative. In the words of Stuart Dybek, "Western, with apologies to State Street, is a great street,  Unlike State, it is a street that goes to the interior, the heart of the city, as it glides and glows through a United Nations of neighborhoods."  Check back next Monday to see the painting completed based on this sketch.
The third mile of Western Avenue had a character rather similar to first two.  I would characterize it primarily as commercial strip, with a bit more pedestrian traffic and density than the first two miles.  There are a lot of old businesses like Beverly Glass and Mirror,  Morand's Liquors, Fox's Beverly Pizza, and Janson's Red Hots.

A review of Janson's notes not only it's 15 foot high sign, which caught my eye as well, but also their pizza puffs and banana shakes, $3 each respectively.  A pizza puff, an item of food with which I was unfamiliar, is it seems a miniaturized version of a pizza, whereby the dough is folded over in a rectangular pattern and is deep fried. The result, crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. The banana shake is recommend on the basis of the fact that they use real bananas not banana flavoring and they don't skimp on the ice cream!

Have you ever eaten a pizza puff?
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