A Journey To The End Of The Night

The house I grew up in was a block away from a big crack corner in Philly. And when crack was big in the late 80's/early 90's my house was repeatedly broken into; mostly just crack heads grabbing what they could so they could flip it and get high. This is where my fear of the night began. I remember as a child lying in bed half the night scared that someone was going to break in any minute, waiting for a window to open or a footstep. Eventually I got over this and had other things to worry about and keep me up at night. But for me there will always been something about the night, a world that does not exist during the day.

I recently did some work in Chicago for my new project - a journey through the night from the airport (Midway) of a city to its center, the business/tourist part of town. At some moments I thought I was in a movie or a bad dream, how could what I was seeing be real? At 2am on one intersection I watched two people breaking into a car (on the street side of the corner!) and across from that wild, desperate and bored teenagers ran in and out of a corner store that separated the employees and customers in bullet proof glass. As kids ran in and out they gracefully and effortlessly stepped over the man who was passed out lying on the sidewalk in front of the store's doorway. As I proceeded half a block down a man with a gun in his hand quickly walked past me towards the store.

The next night I was in an abandoned industrial area and I came across a mannequin head amongst the trash ridden street. It had just begun to rain. As I was in mid exposure two teenagers slowly rode by on their bikes talking loudly and trying to be tough. As they slowed down to see what exactly I was doing they instantly fell silent when they saw the head lying in the trash and then simultaneously looked at each other and screamed at each other "AHHHHHHH" and sped off as fast as they could. I laughed to myself.

I won't be doing the usual sneak peek for this project, at least for now, but I offer a series of photos of photos being made in Chicago (Thanks Bianca!). I will give a signed print to anyone who can match the street corners listed below to that corner's corresponding photo.

Chicago Corner List:

-43rd & Morgan
-42nd & Halstead
-Wabash & E. Cermark
-Leavitt & Diversity, Lathrope Homes
-Kinzie & Canal
-48th & Princeton

Know your cities! Don't abandon your city!