February 25, 2021

My 15-Minute City: Michael Kmak on Logan Square, Chicago

Our Michael Kmak has authored a new photo essay as part of Common Edge’s 15-Minute City series focused on Logan Park, Chicago.

For anyone unfamiliar, a 15-minute city is a neighborhood designed with essentially everything its residents need within a short walk or bike ride’s distance. In his piece, Michael explores Logan Park, Chicago, a neighborhood he previously called home.

As Michael writes, “I found inspiration and memory while tracing steps I’ve walked thousands of time… I lived in Logan Square when I returned to Chicago, after being gone for nearly eight years. I did a lot of growing up there during college, in the twilight of the new millennium. And now, 20 years later, it’s somehow both the same and completely different. I miss the people, the places, the restaurants, the neighborhood. It feels good to travel again.”

The full piece is available online. Below are some of Michael’s images from the photo essay.

I will travel to the end of the earth for Intelligensia Coffee, and while this trip was no mission to Mars, it felt like it. One day we’ll get to go to the theater again.

Centennial Monument at Logan Square. The center of it all. The monument defines the neighborhood as an icon. Usually the meeting spot, in more “certain” times.

Logan Boulevard Courtyard Apartments. There are dense courtyard unit buildings throughout the city. They allow ample light and create active neighborhoods. This example on Logan Boulevard was used as Sandra Bullock’s home in While You Were Sleeping (1995). Chicago’s film history is everywhere. But for some reason, a lot of it is Sandra’s. I often joked about hosting a Sandra Bullock Tour of Chicago. Someone would pay for that, right?

CTA Logan Square Blue Line Station. Most people would describe their public transit system as a necessary evil they contend with every day: easy and efficient, terrible and broken. It’s all of those things but, deep down, we love it. This subway station is what gets us home and takes us to work. That iconic blue is defended and degraded in the same breath. Like family.