Justin Skolnick lives and works in Portland.

Rows and rows of houses

Originally posted to blockquote.org on in Chicago, Illinois

Take the bricked downtowns of trainstops, river towns, pre-war county seats (street lamps, hand-lettered windows, winter garland) carved out like sheet cake and tight packed. There you have Chicago beyond the Loop — a hundred small towns end to end. Having only know it through day trips as a towering, cramped, breakneck metropolis, “small town” Chicago is an image I doubted before moving to the city proper. Talking cities with a friend’s coworker, I admitted my anxiety over being somewhere so massive. “Chicago,” he explained with grace startling to one raised to expect pornographers brusque and greasy, “is a small town.”