Richard Does Wicker Park

Wicker Park used to be the third largest artistic community in the USA

So I took the day to run down to Wicker Park, my old neighborhood in the city of Chicago. I’m about 35 miles N/NW in the suburbs, where I live now, but I try to get back to my old haunts whenever I can. Ah, it was so much fun to run around. I went back in order to distribute about 200 postcards and about 20 posters. Most of the shops were very cool about letting me post up and drop off.

My first stop was Bongo Room, to get some food. One breakfast burrito and I was set. Great potatoes too.

Bongo Room, 1470 N. Milwaukee

Next, it was off to Myopic Books, one of my favorite used bookstores in all of Chicago. Tacked up a poster and then went hunting.

Myopic Books, 1564 N. Milwaukee

What did I find? Well, I got LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, THE BIRD IS GONE (A MANIFESTO), DEMON THEORY, some William T. Vollman, 13 STORIES & 13 EPIGRAPHS, and two copies of THE PARIS REVIEW (both with stories by Ben Percy, one with Aimee Bender). No Baer or Clevenger.

Then it was Reckless Records, where I put up a poster RIGHT THERE the right of the front door in the window (both sides). They still sell vinyl there.

Reckless Records, 1532 N. Milwaukee

I hit Untitled, Urban Outfitters, dropping off cards.

The Siver Room (1442 N. Milwaukee) is always cool, they’re having a big party tomorrow.

Metamorph Tatoos (1456 N. Milwaukee) was a really cool tattoo parlor and piercing salon. Great art on the walls. I think this guy was there when I walked in. He was pretty intense.

Micah Greenlay

Una Mae’s (1528 N. Milwaukee) is another really great shop. Used to be called Una Mae’s Freak Boutique. They put up a poster for me, very generous. This is their old sign but it brings back memories, so I posted it up anyway.

Brooklyn Industries is very cool, has this awesome art on the brick wall outside of their space, I shot some dust jacket shots there, but they didn’t make the final cut for Transubstantiate.

Found this little head shop called Dude, I Forgot, some really awesome hand blown glasswork and fantastic incense.

Then I headed over to Quimby’s, my other favorite bookstore in Chicago.

Quimby's, 1854 W. North Ave.

They have a ton of edgy stuff – comics, graphic novels, art books, you name it. I’ll be reading here October 16th with some Otherworld Publications authors. Time and details TBD.

What did I get? Well, after 45 minutes, I walked out with these:

The latest issue of Juxtapoz, an edgy art+culture mag I love:

And some new comics/graphic novels that looked good Couldn’t find The Last Days of American Crime.


Unwritten (1) by Mike Carey & Peter Gross


Transmetropolitan (1) by Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson

So after that it was time to head home. Made two stops on the way back. Dropped off some cards at a really great Tattoo Parlor up in my neck of the woods, Lucky Seven Tattoo Studio (229 Peterson Road, Libertyville, IL) and my old buddies at Dreamland Comics (105 West Rockland Road, Libertyville, IL). They both helped me out by letting me take some counter space at Lucky 7 and inserting postcards into the sales at Dreamland.

One last stop. Goodwill. They have BOOKS! And for $13 I got some good stuff:

Tim O’Brien THE THINGS THEY CARRIED (love the short, now I have the collection)
Ayn Rand, THE FOUNTAINHEAD (never read it!)
Ray Bradbury, Farenheit 451 (don’t own a copy!)
George Orwell, 1984 (also don’t own a copy)
Robert Heinlein, THE PUPPET MASTERS (classic SF)
Kurt Vonnegut, SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE (another I don’t own)
Thomas Harris, RED DRAGON (great book, didn’t own it)
Augusten Burrough, DRY (HC 1st)
Clive Barker, THE DAMNATION GAME (HC 1st)

Quite a haul.

Had a great time, thanks everyone for your help and support.

7 Comments on “Richard Does Wicker Park”

  1. Pingback: Cruising Wicker Park « TRANSUBSTANTIATE

  2. Would be cool to someday get back to that neck of the woods.
    No Leo’s or Smokedaddy? 🙂

    Looks like a great day. Great places and some good book finds!

    I froze my ass on that El platform more times than I care to recall, but it has a lot of good memories attached as well.

    After a decade, I’d kind-of hate to see a lot of the gentrification that has most likely taken place. It always leaves me a bit sad as neighborhoods progress, change, or warp. (I recently looked up a street view of an old apartment and I couldn’t even recognize it anymore).

    • Leo’s is long gone, I think. LOVE Smokedaddy, it’s still there, just a bit south of where I was walking. Some things are the same, but it always makes me sad, missing Urbis Orbis, the original Blue Note, Soul Kitchen, Busy Bee, etc. But there are some cool places still there. If they ever got rid of Myopic or Quimby’s I’d cry for sure.

  3. Just read Last Exit Brooklyn a few days ago. Why did I wait so long?

    Man, I’d like a shopping trip like this one. Beats buying online.

  4. Selby is a trip. For sure beats shopping online, that’s why I love Wicker Park. Aren’t that many neighborhoods in Chicago where you can just walk around, and find all kinds of glorious things. Not just books, but food, drink, fashion, fun. That’s why I lived there for so long. But Quimby’s and Myopic are very cool, my favorites.

  5. Nice pics, Richard. I just discovered your blog and your new novel. Seems like you’re having fun promoting your work. I also lived in Chicago close to Wicker Park in a place called Noble Square. Used to spend a lot of time reading in Myopic on that gnarly couch.

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