Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A windy winter's stroll ...
through Chicago's Wrigleyville

While trolling through the camera roll of my phone recently to retrieve the photos for my brewery/meatery post the other day, I decided to clear out pictures I'd forgotten about but wanted to use in future posts.

This post is devoted to one set of such pictures. They were iPhone shots I took when I was on the Northside of Chicago in mid-February for the birth of my newest grandchild, Anniston Marie. Her parents live in Wrigleyville -- walking distance from the home playing field of Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs. So on Feb. 20, the day after Anniston's birth, when there was a lull at their apartment, I hit the streets for a self-guided tour of the blocks near Wrigley Field.

Unfortunately, there was significant construction going on in the small area of open space on the ballpark grounds (the area near Clark and Addison streets, as evidenced by the banner in the photo leading off the post), so most of my photos are construction- related. I talked to one of the guys in hard hats who happened to be near the sidewalk along Clark when I strolled by and asked him if they were building a parking garage.

A quick sidebar: I've been to only one Cubs game in my life (it was in September of 1998 or '99; I definitely remember it was one of the two years that Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa vied to set new single-season home run marks in the 60s or 70s), and I frankly don't remember much about what we did for parking. I was in a group of four or five, and someone else was driving. The driver found a parking spot on a neighborhood street somewhere southwest of the park. I do remember a sense that accessible, easy parking was lacking. 

The construction worker told me that the structure going up (first picture below) was not a parking garage but an office building (I think he might even had said it was for the Cubs club headquarters). However, he did point across Clark Street to where there is a McDonald's restaurant (see photos two through four below) and said there are plans at some point to clear that property and build a hotel, which would include a parking garage and would have retail space for McDonald's to come back.

In mid-February, one should have seen snow in Chicago, but that wasn't the case when I was there. However, on this particular day, winds were wicked and fierce. Several times I had to fight to not be toppled or knocked into the street. You can sort of get a sense of that from the plastic sheeting in the first photo below or the leaning construction cones in some of the pictures.

Photo geek stuff: I shot all of these with my iPhone 6s Plus in HDR mode. Because these were taken on a very overcast day, I adjusted each in Photoshop Elements 13 to address issues of exposure and shadows. 

Above: The skeletal framework of what the construction worker told me would be an office building. 

Above and next two below: The construction told me there are plans to use this McDonald's property, on North Clark Street across from Wrigley, to build a hotel and parking garage. McDonald's would move back into the development and operate in retail space within the building.  

Above: Wrigley Field from where Sheffield Avenue meets Addison Street. 

Above: I took this photo because it wasn't too long ago that I sampled my first Goose Island beer. This had been the Wrigleyville branch of the Chicago brewery, at 3535 N. Clark St., but I understand it is permanently closed. 

Above and below: Two Cubs souvenir and merchandise stores, the Cubs Store above at 3620 N. Clark St., and the one below, Sports World, at the corner of Addison and Clark.

 Above and below: Two views of the Rockit Burger Bar at 3700 N. Clark.  

Above: Yak-Zies at 3710 N. Clark St. and Trace's nightclub next door at 3714 N. Clark. 

Above: Big G's Pizza at 3716 N. Clark St.

Above: A Cubs office building at 3721 N. Clark St. 

 Above: Wrigleysville Dogs at 3737 N. Clark St. 

Above: Another view of Wrigley along Addison from east of Sheffield Avenue. 

Above: A look Chicago's "L" line going over Addison Street east of Wrigley Field and just east of Sheffield Avenue.

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