Monday, September 20, 2010

Old Style Chicago

Ollie's Bar in chicago Edgewater neighborhood

A Chicago corner bar---in the Charles Bukowski tradition.

I've never actually stepped foot inside the neighborhhood dive on Berwyn Avenue, tucked back between the greystone grid of Winthrop and Kenmore, but I have glanced into it's perpetually open front door over the years. There's something sickeningly sweet, from the sidewalk, about the waft of stale beer and cigarette smoke as you pass by at seven in the morning; sepia visions of a washed out Faye Dunaway in a gin soaked camisole slipping off a barstool...

Inside.  No music plays here. Not even of the Tom Waits ilk. Serious, silent drinking only.

Turn a corner into the side alley and witness a punch drunk Mickey Rourke putting up dukes against the watered down Stallone (brother Frank) amidst the dumpsters---an EL train Red Line rumble beneath the ancient iron bound trussel. And although Bukowski was more of a seedy L.A. sort of sop, I'm sure the man could have waxed his own poetic word about Ollie's in Edgewater Beach.

But this is mere conjecture. Like I said, I've never actually stepped foot...inside, or slipped's belly.


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(iPhone photo by Geno Petro)