Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Alley Walks: The Illustrated Version

A few weeks ago, I discussed my daughter and my new tradition of walking the alleys. What that post lacked was pictures. So here they are. Our alleys are pretty boring, as you shall see, so these walks are a process of finding something magical in practically nothing, an exercise that serves one well throughout life. Just the fact of walking through alleys though, where people generally don't, confers something special and otherworldly on the event, and I love to hear her digressions of thought and the feel of her warm hand slipping casually in and out of mine as she chatters. 

Here is a garage roof on the ground. The new roof is on the garage, you cannot see it.

This huge parking area behind/next to a building appears to be constructed with some thought as it is made from materials that absorb rainwater, rather than sluice it straight toward Chicago's overburdened sewers. But in all our alley walks (3 total), we have never seen a car parked here.

 A rare bit of color.

There is really not much of interest in our alleys. They are prim and sterile. The nice thing about the dearth of interesting is we get real excited about practically anything, including these two toolboxes. We approached timidly, as if they contained bombs.


 Lets play: what is this?

 Nice arrangement, but no thanks.

This got us a little excited because we thought it was an impaled animal.

 Aw, that thingymabob is smiling at us.

Now we're talking—a fenced-in vacant lot. She wants IN.

 But there is not much to get in for. Is it so ugly it's beautiful—or just ugly?

 It looks like a beach, Jessie says. I find this strangely beautiful. Unlike the Northern California coast, which is just beautiful beautiful.

 Whoa, a huge pencil and a rock.

OK, she's in. The mere fact of being fenced out made crawling under the fence irresistible.

I feel like I'm visiting her in jail. I hope this isn't a portent.

Super great find—a padlock. Her brother was so taken by this treasure, he insisted on going on an alley walk also.

1 comment:

  1. Aha! So it's people like you who make things magically disappear from alleys! That system of recycling still amazes me. I recently put out a bunch of kid chairs we no longer use, and sure enough, the next day they were gone. Enjoy your walks!