>Stop the Car!
By idiotphotographer in Chicago
We were driving through a west side neighborhood looking for train tracks when I spotted this out of the corner my eye. I think I just said “Stop stop stop” like an idiot, rather than “Stop the car”.
Patron bottles, lots of Patron bottles. Like this is maybe 1/6 of the total number of bottles. All circled around the base of a tree. The largest bottles were closest to the base, along with a few large Moet bottles, but the bulk was these smaller bottles. From sidewalk to curb. Some locals noticed us getting out of the car, cameras in hand, and came over to tell us a little about it (I think they were pretty amused by the whole thing). Seems it is a memorial for a young man who was shot and killed (likely gang violence) and the only thing he drank was Patron. So people who knew him memorialized him by bringing all their empties and circling them around the base of this tree.
The lady we spoke to said there was another such memorial in the neighborhood (West Side can be an exciting place to live…) but it was smaller. As we were getting back into the car a man in an SUV stopped to chat with us about it as well.
One thing I’ve found in these neighborhoods, and in Gary Indiana, is that people don’t really seem to mind odd people with cameras. Most Gary history I know comes from talking to the locals. Sometimes we are greeted with suspicion, but once we explain what we’re up to the warm right up to us. I think they like having the story of their mostly ignored portion of the world told, even if it is by a pair of unknown and unregarded hobby photographers.