Friday, July 1, 2016

Gangsters, Some Moments Of Beauty & The $1.50 Lunch, My Trip To Riverside Il.

It was a beautiful summer day on Wednesday 6/28 and being a day off of work for me I decided to take a bike ride. My destination was Riverside IL. an architecturally  historic community a couple of miles south of my location in Forest Park. It was designed by landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted who designed NY Central Park and the landscape for Chicago's Columbia Exposition of 1893.

Besides it's historic architecture it is known for it's curving streets that before Google maps were bound to leave you lost and scratching your head. Today was no exception I got a little lost until my smart phone set me straight. Then as I was heading to my destination I came across a truck driver pulling one of those block long trailers. He was just parked in the middle of the street and clearly lost. Not even in the right town as it turned out. But we quickly got him on his way.

Anyway our first stop was the Riverside library which was built in 1930 and is right next to the Des Plaines river. I'm a library person ever since I was a kid and we lived right next to Oak Park's Maze branch. Nowadays they have so much to offer, everything is so accessible and it's free. You just know that it won't be long before those that seek to destroy public services try and shut them down.

(No I didn't take this on Wednesday)

What I wanted to film were the windows in the south side of the building which have all kinds of stained / art glass inserts. At almost eight minutes it's kind of long but there's 17 different "pictorial" inserts and other panes with little chunks of colored glass in them.

On the way out I browsed through the DVD's and found a copy of the T.A.M.I. show a great 1960's concert film that features among others; James Brown, the Rolling Stones & Diana Ross & the Supremes. Back outside I wandered over to the river and enjoyed a few meditational moments just enjoying the beauty that was all around me.

Heading back my final stop was at a house that at one time was the home of Chicago outfit higher up Claude "Screwy" Maddox a labor racketeer and planner of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Always on the lookout for a new entry to my series Chicago Crimes Now & Then I couldn't pass this place up.

On the way back I was feeling the pangs of hunger so I stopped at CostCo where you can eat pretty well for not much money, even if you aren't a member. For a buck and a half I got afoot long hot dog and a 20oz drink. A pretty good dog too not what you'd expect for the price.

If this post leaves you hungering for more about Riverside visit our Suburban Chicago playlist and you'll find more clips including three designs by Frank Lloyd Wright.

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