Under the El…

Took this shot yesterday morning, wandering the loop, clearing the head at around 7am. I’m part of a photography show this evening, and these kinds of things…I mean, I like them because people come to look at your photographs, but at the same time I’m very introverted so being anywhere but the sidelines and shadows is uncomfortable for me. I have a friend who organizes these things and I’m grateful for the exposure and the time he puts in, but I’d rather be like this guy, an indiscernable silhouette.

Oh yeah, and coming to New Orleans in 20 days, but who’s counting.

Have a nice day.

– Drake

Cave2

The Commuter…

Chicago, she’s a large place. Large buildings, streets, elevated trains, geographically spread out, to go from one place to another can take well over an hour and this getting around can give you a lot of time to think, to feel isolated, alone, even when surrounded by thousands, millions of people. This size is both to the advantage and detriment of a life here…but we are a city of commuters. Sometimes I’m okay with this, sometimes not, sometimes I’m just looking forward to time in New Orleans to slow this all down and feel like I’m with family again…

Have a nice day.

– Drake

Swallowed

Unapologetically…

This shot was taken last evening in Chicago’s Loop at the protest against the killing of Paul O’Neal by the Chicago Police Department. The organizers of this event, and others are four high school students: Sophia Byrd, Eva Lewis, Natalie Braye (speaking) and Maxine Wint.

“The United States was built on  the oppression of people of color and women and we cannot move towards a more equitable society without acknowledging this fact. … There is an obvious need for change in this country and it needs to happen now.” – Natalie Braye

What these four young women are doing in the city of Chicago is both important and powerful.

Have a nice day

– Drake Toulouse

Unapologetically

Ghosts…

There’s an Army Navy store in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago with this large mural painted on it’s side. I’ve always enjoyed the mural and have taken its picture previously but was trying to find a way to make it more interesting, for me anyway. Across the street is an insurance office and I wondered what it would look like if I shot the mural purely as a reflection. All I needed was somebody to wander into the scene, and then they looked over at me, I assume, to wonder why I was taking a picture of a nondescript window…here’s the result.

Have a nice day.

– Drake

Ghosts of War3

Where the city meets…

I ride the trains everyday, to work, to play, to wherever…when I grabbed my apartment in Chicago, it was most important to be within a block of the El-Train stop as these short steps to the train really are the keys to this huge, spread-out city. Riding the trains, you see a lot, a lot of people both willing and unwilling to be a part of each others lives, and the trains have a way of making everyone your closest friend. There’s no choice in these smaller spaces and the cars really are one of the few places where the city meets and sometimes talk, and even sometimes talk about what should be done to improve this city, conversations that happen whether Rahm likes it or not.

And he really doesn’t. Conversation can bring people together and create change, even when people pretend to be all alone among a sea of arms.

Where The City Meets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a nice day.

– Drake

American Beauty

That moment when you’re walking down Michigan Avenue with your camera and see a ridiculous, huge advertisement on the wall for Sephora cosmetics, and it’s right at street level so you figure you can probably get a decent photo of someone wandering by, set against it and here comes somebody in a wheelchair, or this grizzled old guy who looks mad about everything and then, here she comes…and you take an image of a message that resonates with your personal beliefs on a number of subjects.

Have a nice day

– Drake

American Beauty2

Toil

A Saturday afternoon in Chinatown…one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city, one I’d love to actually live in but won’t. Like most cities, gentrification has taken hold in many parts of Chicago and I really don’t want to be a part of it, or at least I want to minimize my role as much as possible. So how do I do that? One way is on the occasions I visit neighborhoods like Humboldt Park, Pilsen and Logan Square I try to spend money in the more traditional, local businesses while staying the hell out of their newer blight: craft breweries, artisanal coffee shops and beard waxing salons.

And speaking of traditional, how long has this man been selling cotton candy in the area around Chinatown?

Most of my adult life, year after year.

Have a nice day,

Drake

Toil

State of the Union

This political season is exhausting. Bernie, Hillary and Donald: I suppose I like what Bernie has to say a lot of the time, but his candidacy seems pretty much over – which leaves Hillary as the second coming of Ronald Reagan and Donald as the first coming (at least in this country) of something even uglier. I haven’t voted in 24 years and you can say what you want about that but my own politics doesn’t permit, especially when presented with the choice between two monsters, especially when our politics are ruled by something that (to me, anyway) has very little to do with politicians, no matter what they promise.

Have a nice day,

Drake

State of the Union