West Town 2019

West Town… located in Chicago, northwest of the Loop, on Chicago's West Side is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas. Much of this area was historically part of the city's Polish Downtown, and its name may refer to Western Avenue, which was the city's western boundary at the time of West Town's settlement, but more likely was a convenient abstraction by the creators of Chicago's community areas. Then, as now, West Town was a collection of several distinct neighborhoods. It was the most populous of the community areas from their creation until it was surpassed by Near West Side in the 1960s. The boundaries of the community area are the Chicago River to the east, the Union Pacific railroad tracks to the south, the former railroad tracks on Bloomingdale Avenue to the North, and an irregular western border to the west that includes the city park called Humboldt Park. Humboldt Park is also the name of the community area to West Town's west, Logan Square is to the north, Near North Side to the east, and Near West Side to the south. Currently, as well as historically, the collection of neighborhoods in West Town along with the neighborhoods of Bucktown and the eastern portion of Logan Square, have been referred to by media as the Near Northwest Side.

West Town also has its share of colorful murals. And in venturing to West Town, I also visited the Lakeview neighborhood as well. This day made for a great day of photographing murals. Some of my favorites were from: Rahmaan ‘Statik’ Barnes, who had four murals at the Irie Jerk Bar and Grill in Lakeview, WERM's 'DS Fajita Factory' colorful building mural in the Boystown neighborhood, Louise 'Quizi' Jones' 'Urbs In Horto (City In A Garden)' mural and a 'Kanye West' mural on the side of Cafe Tola. A classic mural by Sam Kirk, Andy Bellomo and Sandra Antongiorgi called 'The Love I Vibrate' of holistic healer and interdisciplinary artist, Kiam Marcelo Junio displayed outside the Howard Brown Health Center is a ‘must see'!

I photographed nine murals in an alley that were done by My Dog Sighs (Eyes), Pipsqueak Was Here (Little Girl with a Bear), Jay ‘Lie’ Turner, Collin van der Sluijs, Alex Senna (Boy's Shadow), NVY (Flying Birds), Stinkfish and Muebon (Bird Eyes). Other favorites of mine were by Sick Fisher, Lauren Asta (School Of Rock), Fnnch (The Honey Bears), Birdcap, Afrokilla, JC Rivera (The Pizza Bear Champ) and Matthew Hoffman (Love).