Foot in our first door

We have met our first Chicago train neighbor/participant! After nervously waiting outside his apartment door last Friday and establishing last-minute code-words should something go really weird (hey entering some stranger’s house comes not without risk…) he buzzed us in and we trudged up to last floor of the three-story walk-up on Milwaukee Ave. and found an incredibly beautiful cozy musician’s studio. Seriously his place was dope. It was what you imagined a cool artist should live like.

Our man’s name is Gary Marks. Once upon a time in the late 1980’s he ventured out to Wicker Park and opened an antiques store. The neighborhood at that time was so bad that he didn’t even put a storefront up and you had to know the business was there by word of mouth. Many years later he is now the owner of the building and the storefront downstairs is a hip clothing boutique.

Gary shows us what the building used to look like:

Gary is an accomplished pianist and is an independent filmmaker. He produced the documentary Dream Havana and it was chosen as part of the PBS series Voces in 2009.

Pietre and I were thrilled to bits to have found such an interesting and cool guy to be our first window drawing. Pietre measured all his windows and yes we heard the trains go by.


Very encouraging start. P will start drafting his drawing of Gary and his apartment soon. We have another couple hopefuls in the works–so fingers crossed!

6 responses to “Foot in our first door

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