Autumn sun, Lincoln Park, Chicago, 1978 The above photo was one of the first that I took with my new Pentax KX SLR in 1978. I bought the camera when I graduated from Northwestern University, and I still have it over 30 years later; I used it until I bought my first digital SLR a couple of years ago. In 2 days I’ll fly to the USA for the first time in 5 years, in honor of my father’s 85th birthday. I’ll visit my brother Kenton, and end my trip with 6 days in Chicago. I’ll be returning to places I knew many years ago. It will be a sentimental journey, but also a bit of a time warp and a culture shock. According to the internet, the Chicago temperature is in the 80s, but in my home state of Missouri it’s supposed to climb to 97 (36 Celsius) in the next few days. Whew. I’ll spend a lot of time indoors. I’ll update my blog with photos, and impressions of my home country in the midst of an economic depression, joblessness, and attacks on workers, unions, and public employees. I wonder what kind of place it will seem to me. I’ll let you know.
I’m feeling nostalgic. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be making my first visit back to the USA in 5 years, since moving to China in 2006. I’m expecting some reverse culture shock, as well as an opportunity to eat vast quantities of American food. I’ll also be able to reconnect with my family for a week or so. Even though the photos below were all taken in Los Angeles, I won’t be going there; I’ll be in my home town of St. Joseph, Missouri, in St. Louis, and in Chicago. In the next few days I’ll dig out some ancient photos from my Chicago days (the 1970s and early 80s) and post a couple of them here. Chicago has been calling me back for a lot of years; if I do ever move back to the States, it’s one of only a couple of places I would consider living. There’s something about the city’s energy, its architecture, and – OK, I’ll admit it – the food, that keeps calling to me. Deep dish pizzas, Greek gyros sandwiches, kick-ass Mexican food, Polish sausage, Thai food, deli sandwiches – I’m gaining weight just thinking about it all. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these black-and-white film images (digitized and Photoshopped) from my L.A. days, now just a distant memory. They were all taken in my Hollywood neighborhood, around Hollywood Blvd. and Western Ave. Hollywood and Western, night Tower and palm, Hollywood Blvd. Pink Elephant Liquor, Western