Updates & Community Togetherness
I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had much time to knit or run around the city at night. I somehow always think I’ll have the summer from my childhood where days were endless and you could just run around in the sun as much as you wanted. Rarely is this the case, and especially not this summer. There are so many weddings, events, and obligations I’ve found that every weekend of my summer is packed full. I’m desperate for some time to relax! For anyone who looks at knit graffiti and thinks, “they must not have anything better to do”… you couldn’t be more wrong (but of course, without any time to create not much gets made either).
Speaking of knit graffiti, I walked past my white “organism” on Rockwell a couple of weeks ago and some asshole had decided to start cutting it off, not even on the seam but down the middle of the knitting. They only got a couple of inches into it and then stopped so the top just flopped over and hung there. I’m not sure if someone stopped them in the middle of it or what (for some reason this one in particular has been really cared for by the neighborhood so I’m guessing this is the case). I kept meaning to go fix it but just have been so busy (see paragraph 1) that it never happened. Of course, part of me also wanted to see what happened if I just left it alone… this whole thing is kind of a social experiment anyway. Yesterday I walked past it in the morning and it was still hanging all sad-like. BUT then I walked past it in the evening and someone had stitched it up! It made me feel so happy that someone cared enough to do that and really did make me realize that public art does evoke a sense of pride and togetherness in the community.
My hope is that this sense of togetherness will carry over to other areas of the community. Recently an online publication for the larger grouping of neighborhoods that includes Lincoln Square, called The Center Square Journal, reported on The Chicago Reader’s “Best Of” Poll. Lincoln Square was runner-up for best neighborhood this year, out-voted by Logan Square. They write, “Sounds like the poll was taken over by hipster, Blue Line-riding, former Art Institute students to us. They better watch themselves when they come for their African dance lessons at Old Town. They might get run over by a double-wide stroller.” What kind of message does this send out about our neighborhood? That we’re all the same and intolerant of anyone who’s not part of a straight, white, “normal”, upper-middle class family? There are ALL KINDS of people in this neighborhood, including “hipsters” and people who get discriminated against much more seriously than that. I understand this statement was probably meant in jest, but I just don’t see the point of it, especially coming from a professional online journal.
Its this sort of tug of war of emotions that I feel sometimes on a daily basis that can be overwhelming: proud of my community for its actions and then discouraged by my community for its actions. But I’m realizing that the discouragement is only a stronger reason to keep doing what I’m doing. I am planning my biggest project yet for the end of summer. Without saying too much I’ll just tell you it involves a lot of little yellow things that float. :)