How often do we walk past something on a regular basis but never take a second look? I’m sure we can all think of someplace that falls in this category, and often it’s very close to home. For me it was Goose Island. Chicago’s only island, it is the area between the North Branch of the Chicago River on the west, and the North Branch Canal on the east. It covers 160 acres and is only a couple miles northwest of downtown Chicago. Being mostly a light industrial area, I came here regularly only to visit my favorite camera store.
The other day a client requested some photos from Goose Island, and I was embarrassed to admit I had never taken a photo of this neighborhood. To rectify this oversight, I returned here, camera in hand, and started exploring. What I discovered was quite a revelation: fascinating historic buildings in various states of disrepair, views of two waterways, several bridges, picnic areas, kayakers, railroad tracks, parks, ComEd substation, and a few paranoid security guards.
But I was rewarded with more than the colorful photos I took, I learned an important lesson: a hidden treasure can be right under one’s nose if one chooses to look.