During the pandemic, many painted Chicago as a war zone. That narrative hasn't let up either. The television spoke mostly of violence and danger on the side of the city where my father's mother was born and raised, where my mother's father provided for his family as a fisherman through the 1970s, and where I was living at the time (South Shore neighborhood).
So with just my bike and a rough video/audio set-up, I decided to highlight the south side that I knew by releasing monthly, live, on-site, DIY, single-frame videos (Harlem River Blues at 606 Records being the exception with three cameras utilized). The first video in this series (Bill Monroe's Kentucky Waltz) is by and far my favorite capture over the course of the year. It was recorded in October 2021 just after the moon rose out of Lake Michigan.
For personal reasons, I made the choice to relocate to the north side of Chicago in mid-2022. And by October, I made the decision to record my final VIA CHICAGO video due to logistical and financial challenges. In the end, this series featured 16 different videos, all of which I'm incredibly proud! My time in South Shore lasted just over two years, and I feel lucky to have called it my home for that long.
Thank you for your support, everyone. Wishing I had the resources and mental bandwidth to keep this project going. Still, it was a good year of making these videos. Please do not write off Chicago's south side. It's home to your neighbors and alive in ways you simply cannot understand unless you've experienced the area with your own open eyes and ears.
P.S. Click here to visit the VIA CHICAGO webpage at mikereeb.com