Sunday, November 9, 2008

Always Take Pictures

Kids today are used to cell-phone cameras. We all know that some of them have had issues with using those powers for good. Just to be clear, I'm in favor of girls sending naked pictures, especially when they're to me, but not when they're under the age of consent and live in a fucking ass-brained jurisdiction where that could get them charged with a felony! But cell-phone cameras and the internets are good things, like knowledge, and I'm in favor, but there's one thing these kids today might not know so much about, so hopefully they can learn something here: good shit needs to be fucking photographed!!! It needs to be fucking photo-ed right fucking now!!

When I was living in Roger's Park, my part of it was not very exciting. I was right a mile south of Howard street, which the border with Evanston. The hood combines the boringness of the suburbs with the shittiness of some of the moderately shitty parts of the city, until you get to know it, then you realize that you're not only saving money on rent, but you have blogworthy shit all around you. It's a totally wierd intersection of the normal mid-west and the weirder parts of Chicago. There's bars like "The Ho", where you order a Jameson and get a wierd mix of peppermint schnapps and pappy's corn squeezins from Iowa and a lecture on how everyone in this neighborhood gets mugged eventually from the drunk at the next stool. There's much that's good in that neighborhood. I never did get mugged in the year I was living there, but I think my drinking skills are a bit ahead of that guy. There's a gay bar near there called The Jackhammer. I'm not looking to get jackhammered in the ass... not by a man anyway, but if I was, it would be good to know that there's a place that openly advertises that and that this place is in a neighborhood where I can buy a family valuin house, walk the dog to the beach and pick up crack-whores on Morse.

Now you're wondering, that doesn't sound like anything I want to see a picture of. And you're right, suburban streets, with the occasional crack whore get-mugged block shuffled in, it's not the kind of thing anyone should ever photograph, well, occasionally there's something like this whack ass house. Does anyone know what you call that pattern?

But the point is, even in places that look boring on the surface, there's shit worth seeing if you look close, and Roger's Park also had one store that I will regret not taking pictures of for the rest of my natural fucking life!! It was called CASKET CITY. They had a sign almost as in your face as The Drug Zone, but the letters were block square and when it was lit up it just called out to you. "Step right up casket lovers! We got white caskets! black caskets! brown caskets! SMELLY CASKETS! If we don't got it you don't want it! If you buy one casket for us, we'll throw in a casket of equal or lesser value for a penny!!" I used to pass by it and say to whoever I was with "We need to get some photos of that!". And we would agree, but we wouldn't get our fucking asses out there in the always way too hot or way too fucking cold Chicago weather and actually take the fucking photo, and then the place went out of business! I've recently been searching all the internets for a picture of one of the world's coolest storefronts, but there are none. I did find a yellowpages profile that teases me with the idea that this place is still in business with a phone number and everything.

The fates conspired to tease me again when one of the Brandybucks told me that there was a picture of CASKET CITY at Prairie Joe's, a restaurant in Evanston. First of all, a restaurant with a website that looks like a Butthole Surfers album cover is my kind of place. Second of all, the food is really good. But they had taken down their Casket City picture. If you're ever in Evanston, you should go eat there, and tell them that Luke Baggins is still hoping to see that picture. I gave the guy my email and he said he would dig around for that image, but he had an actual job, unlike me, so things like digging up pictures of CASKET CITY don't go to the top of his Things-to-do list.

But kids, photograph things that don't get you felony charged and post them online, that's the moral of the story.


Nora said...

Good advice. I try to always take pictures, whenever possible. Some, though, just aren't appropriate for blogging.

I'm going to look for Casket City when I go back North. If it's still there, you shall get your picture.

Nora said...

Oh, it's out of biz. Too bad. But Autumn and I are going to stop by an eating establishment at like Pratt and Western that is Home of the Ghetto Fries. I can get a picture of that for you. Should be blogworthy.

Luke Baggins said...

Pictures of food from the midwest... you know how happy that can make us out here on the coasts.

We even have a Chicago based contributor to Seattle's The Stranger posting pictures of deep-fried bacon, because he knows what we lack out here.

How pornographic is that?

Yeah, Casket City went out of business a good couple of months before I moved away. One day I was on my way to the Thai place and it just wasn't there. That sucked! I'm hoping Prairie Joe will find his picture of it. He said he had the image on his computer somewhere.

Mr. Smoot said...

You forgot about the Ferryman Funeral Homes jingle from WKRP in Cincinnati:

That's classic....especially group rates...

Ron said...

As far as that house goes...It is apparent that it is deconstructivist modern with a nuance of neo-classic flare. Sheesh, doesn't everybody know that?