More 1970s pop-art psychedelia from Vince Collins:


Casual Shadows

I plead no contest to the charge of being fascinated by shadows and the odd perspectives they inspire. Fall (and Spring) are good times for shadow:

Sheridan Road near Morse Avenue. Photo by Roman.
Self-portrait in absence. Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Bars on Estes. Photo by Roman.



While Lake Michigan often gives unwary visitors an oceanic feel, it rarely comes very close to the mountainous rages of the real thing. This is about as lively as you’re likely to see, though the Lake can do better. Nonetheless, it was an odd Fall day. Both the Lake and the clouds seemed to come in waves, and the light did strange things with the air. It gave the afternoon a magical feeling of expectancy.

If this were fiction, it might be the setting for a story about a forlorn ghost that searches for the answer to a simple question: Why?

This isn’t fiction. But for the air and the light, it was a mundane afternoon.

Mid-November, 2018. Photo by Roman.
Mid-November, 2018. Photo by Roman.
Mid-November, 2018. Photo by Roman.
Why? We still don’t know. Photo by Roman.

Glenwood Avenue

The northern end of Glenwood Avenue in Rogers Park can be a bit confusing. A railroad runs down the middle of it. That’s not unheard of, except that the railroad (the Chicago Transit Authority) is elevated above street level so as not to obstruct or collide with street traffic; it’s not obvious to a new visitor that the street number you may be looking for is on the other side of the tracks. The tracks were not always elevated, but growing traffic congestion and accidents moved the Chicago City Council to demand that railroads elevate their tracks. While the ordinance was passed in 1907, the project elevating what is now the Red Line was not completed until 1922.

Glenwood Avenue is also mildly unusual in that some of the original brick paving remains, albeit asphalt patched. Several other blocks of original brick paving exist elsewhere in Rogers Park. It hadn’t occurred to me until now that all of them that come to mind are North — South.

Looking south toward Lunt Avenue. Photo by Roman.
Looking south toward Lunt Avenue, but the west side of the tracks. Until a few years ago, this was still brick paving. Photo by Roman.
Looking north toward Estes Avenue. This block is still mostly brick paving. Photo by Roman.

I once met a five year old boy who was absolutely smitten by garbage trucks. It’s a fascination that I find just barely comprehensible. It’s big. It’s noisy. It’s powerful. It has all manner of moving parts. Check all those boxes, fine, but still…

Photo by Roman.

On the other hand, my cat Rainbow was always terrified of garbage trucks, even though (or maybe especially because) they were never visible from the apartment, just a terrifying roar with a ghastly stink. This makes far more sense: a monstrous predator with fetid breath. Even a cat’s imagination might be more alarming than reality… by a little bit.

Photo by Roman.

Comin’ to get you, kitty.


Monday Snow Day

The blizzard was mostly a bust in Rogers Park, but I was pleased to declare it a personal snow day nonetheless. The Chicago Public Library will just have to wait for its books!

An inch or two of snow. It was mostly rain along the lake until the last few hours. Photo by Roman.
Courtyards tend to be warmer, thus the trees remain awake long past bedtime: it should have been snug its roots by now! Photo by Roman.


God of the Flies

Fruit flies share my house.
Their manna is my waste.
I kill them one by one.

They adore me, circle round me;
I clap my hands
To kill them one by one.

Seeking light for wisdom, they land.
It’s easy then
To kill them one by one.

Still they adore me and fly in my face
As if to seek the eye of God
And they die, one by one.

— Yip

Fly illustration credit: By Sanjay Acharya – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,