Things Seen

Kinzie Industrial Corridor:
A couch spray painted "Otto"
Hundreds of pieces of toast on the sidewalk
A dog in a shopping cart sitting out a rainstorm
A ladder in the center of the street (it stayed for four days)
7 cartons of broken eggs
Men getting blow jobs, hand jobs
An empty shopping cart full of cans and a winter hat and coat
A dead dog that I photographed until someone took the skull (4 months)
A woman peeing (much more rare than men peeing)
A pipe that leaks adhesive with a bucket full of dead bees below it
A dumpster full of rising yeast
A car on fire (3x)
A drag race
A guard dog that can bark at you while holding a five gallon bucket in its mouth
Tommy's Grill
Homeless people in huts
Pieces of cars, most often bumpers
Abandoned stolen cars
Abandoned pieces of clothing, most often single shoes
A path of small black rubber bands - it stretched for an entire block
Incredible icicles under the Kinzie and Damen bridge
A woman running down the street with her breast falling out of her dress and a small child following
Snow angels - I don't know who made them
Raccoons, opossums, an owl, crows, rabbits, cats, the occasional dog, horses (from the carriage people), lots of rats, and Deborah saw the circus elephants
A guy with a living room arrangement under the viaduct, (couch, end table, lamp). He was sleeping on the couch.
City workers napping
A guy walking on his hands in a parking lot


Kedzie Industrial Corridor:
Scripted in concrete, beneath the freeway: Martha loves Mary
A pigeon carcass with a cigarette butt in its beak
Poster advertising sale on Young Antler
Five razor blades on asphalt
Ex-Fed-Ex truck painted enamel black
Half a car on a scrapper's truck
A pink tarwagon
The Prayer Furnace: "24 hour prayer, worship, and praise"
Rusted tacks protruding from low brick wall
A clown in a teal astro van
Man scrubbing the street with a rag


North River Industrial Corridor:
From North Ave. bridge: yellow lifejacket, green kayak, red oars
Heavy chain on rotting pilings surrounded by algae cloud
Cascade of styrofoam pellets, white on gravel, guts of a dessicated couch with olive-green fringe
Sky-blue empty worm container, spool of monofilament, empty bag of Eagle Claw brand fishhooks, empty pouch of Midnight Special tobacco
Black man pushing red shopping cart between empty dumpsters
3 white people in shorts looking around
Dry piling horizontal near dumpsters with oil drum concreted, askew, to its end
A black droplet of surveillance camera; a voice from the Wm. Wrigley Co. instructing us to "come closer."
3 boats (one named "Magnum Force") containing parties waving to each other; on one a man with a tattoo of a cross spanning his back
An open warehouse full of dusty BMW's
A girl being taught to drive in a white Tercel
A van hauling a flatbed bearing a massive red clown shoe
A man pulled over in order to finger an imperceptible blemish on his black Lexus
Dismantled sandwhich, partly eaten: turkey, ham, cheddar cheese
Gravel barge being moved, slowly: on its side, the words MATERIAL SERVICE. A man paces the front of the barge in a puffy lifejacket
Boats at the dry dock named: Great Escape; Frolic & Detour; My Brother's Fault
A brand-new Audi being test-driven on North Branch St.: it passes three times
A filthy white curly-haired dog in a small chain-link enclosure, barking incessantly


Addison Industrial Corridor:
Ladder propped against wall of building providing access to riverbank beneath Irving Park bridge
Through a break in the trees above the east bank of the river, a giant skull
A garden atop the Basic Wire and Cable building
A Bentley with tinted windows slowly approaching
Giant spindles
In cement: jorge is a pussy
Outside WGN studios, silhouetted geese around a shimmering puddle
Seen from behind on sidewalk: woman with white hair, black dress, sleeves dangling past hands
Along a miniature alley of identical garage doors, regularly spaced black garbage bins
In the concrete backyard of a townhome, a miniature BMW
2 large empty rusted metal spools
Desiccated fish on a stick on pylon in the river
Old man on bike on sidewalk gripping aluminum stock taped across handlebars
Boy sharing kayak with tiny dog
Hot Dougs
Hooligans on the riverbank, smoking weed
Fish jumping from river
Sign warning against human body contact with river water
Cop tossing a ticket onto the windshield of an abandoned joyride


- Melinda Fries