By observation, advertisements on CTA trains and buses seem to fit into these few categories:
1) Ads that champion evil for-profit institutions that rip people off and suck federal money
2) Incompetently graphic-designed ads that espouse some amateur author’s latest work
3) Tourism ads for boring, flat states in the Midwest that aren’t Illinois
4) Ads for lame, creepy copycat digital startups
5) Ads targeting impoverished, drug-addicted, broken people for research
6) Charity ads (can’t hate on these)
One was named Gon. I’m spelling it like how it sounded. Tall, skinny, wiry guy with a mop full of dry hair that had not seen the blessings of shampoo in a while. His high-pitched, staccato voice fit his figure.
Another was named Emily — true to her gender, she had an immaculate room. There was one other guy — his name was Mickey. Chubby, hunched-over middle-aged guy with sticky hands that have not seen the light of soap in a while. You never want to cringe while shaking somebody’s hand, but there are those rare occasions where keeping a straight face can be tough.
Gon and Mickey were both somewhat…idiosyncratic in speech and mannerisms. Mickey moreso than Gon. Nice guy, but one of those folks you can never have a real conversation with. Talks to you, but never really addresses your responses.
Never had a chance to meet Emily.
Not sure what I think about people squatting, fixing up and modifying a place they don’t own — I’m a fan of abandoned buildings as museums. And once someone makes a location their home it then starts belonging to them — urbexers are no longer free to traverse the location. But to give the squatter gang credit, they did an impressive job fixing that place up.
Gon had a cell phone. He pulled it out to take a call from his mom. I’m pretty sure I raised an eyebrow in perplexion at the time. How did he own his cell phone? Did his mom know where he was?
There are many ways to live a life.
There was some impressive graffiti. One particular empty warehouse has essentially become a gallery.
Free — my favorite cost of admission.
Apologies for the blurry pictures. My camera phone sucks (I am one of the few people in the world that does not own a Canon DSLR). And also, I took these pictures with an unsteady, surreptitious hand. I felt somewhat uncomfortable blatantly taking pictures without permission.
@ Brach’s Candy Factory. This happened 04/07.
Met this crazy badass Army vet — his name was Elwood. He lived in a tent tucked away on an upper floor of the complex. Jumped on top of passerby trains to get to and from.