Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Don't pee in the alley, Sally

When you staggger out of one those few remaining Chicago beer gardens in Ukrainian Village after a night of too much 'zimne piwo' (go ahead, Google it) and start the slow crawl home to your graystone garden hovel, be careful where you relieve yourself, water the flowers, see a man about a horse...Or more specifically, don't pee in the alley behind the 1007-1015 block of N. Wolcott Ave. It is a designated urban art district of sorts. 'Tres cool,' as they used to say at the forever hip but now disinterred, Lava Lounge on Damen (most recently morphed into a place called Piccolo that serves gelato and bruschette---HUH?). Sorry, gelato is a lot of things but 'hip' isn't one of them. (Same with the 1200 block of Milwaukee Ave as compared to the 800 block of Damen back in the day. Go ahead, Google it too.)

An excerpt from the most recent issue of TimeOut Chicago's Art & Design section explains the West Town neighborhood phenom to which I refer, in further detail:

The buildings belong to sculptor Jerzy Kenar, who began commissioning alley art in 2003. And by commissioning, we mean he gave neighborhood teens $100, a can of paint and some Coca-Cola and had them go to town on his garage doors. Since then, the alley has been filled with cartoons or graffitiesque letters. Teenage boys work on the garage with their girlfriends in tow, “smoking and passing cans of paint...”

In other words, it's art. Try not to piss on it. Zimne Piwo!

(Also... Greg Whelan just sent me this link. Like I said earlier, tres cool. He lives in the UK Village.)

Geno Petro

i took the pix

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