On my most recent trip to the Harold Washington Library, I took a rather mundane photo of the Jackson Blvd Red Line station platform. Could playing with photo editing filters make it more interesting? I ran it through GIMP’s “oilify” filter to soften the image (and if any of the victims had privacy concerns, well… ) then ran it through the “clothify” filter to add texture. It would be nice if I could describe what each of the parameters in two filters actually does, but I remain consistently an amateur.
This platform, incidentally, runs all the way north to Lake Street, making it the longest station platform in the world when it was new, although it actually served four stops on the line. It’s since been shortened slightly and, who knows, maybe some platform elsewhere exceeds it now.
Off topic: the trip to the library was productive, I think. I picked up a DVD of the BBC’s production of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. This is based on a truly outstanding fantasy novel by Susanna Clarke. If you’ve not read this book, it demands a place near the top of your bucket list. The BBC production is very nearly as good. You can find it online for pay in the usual places.
I also picked up a novel, Rosewater by Tade Thompson. This is advertised as a first book in a trilogy. These days “trilogy” is a demerit in my book. But the writing looked interesting, told in first person, and the book is advertised as “winner of the Nommo Award for Best Novel”. This award is handed out by the African Speculative Fiction Society, about which I am woefully unhip. The computer screen occupies far too much of my time so I’ve not yet begun the book. I do have elevated expectations…
In cold weather, even pigeons take the train. Sometimes they lurk in the subway or in the pedway. So far the Chicago subways haven’t developed their own ecology as I understand London has. Too small, too new. But I could see new species of rodents, perhaps.