About karinelsu

A chemist by education and self-taught photographer, painter and writer I combine right and left brain hemisphere in telling stories, unwrapping our psyche, and asking questions through my photographs. I like to find the quaint, disregarded, overlooked.

Tommy’s Guitars and Trading Post, Chicago 4

So… I was staying in East Garfield Park. Before my first visit I looked up the demographics and wondered just how much I would stand out, being 97% Scandinavian. If you google East Garfield Park, all you’ll come up with is its place very high up on the lists of crime rates. It didn’t feel like that. And even though there are no cafes closer than a district or two over (Ukranian Village) there is a great Pete’s Fresh Market.

I would write more but I would likely be putting my foot in my mouth and be a stupid white tourist. I can say, though, that old houses are gradually being torn down and new built and one day at Pete’s I saw a family right out of the Bay Area arrive in a Mercedes convertible. Gentrification has begun.

Tommy’s Guitars and Trading Post, Chicago 3

Well, last picture showed just how much is in this store so let’s break it down into details.

Along with these details, I owe Tommy an apology. Because when I came to shoot away to my heart’s content, Tommy had a lot of stories to tell. So I asked if I could come back and hear more. I could – and I never did. Life happened but I still don’t feel right about never returning.

Tommy’s Guitars and Trading Post, Chicago 1

Backstory: in 2019 I lived in the district East Garfield Park for 3 months, a district none of the people I hung out with through Meet-up had ever heard of (more about that later). The closest café was the Star Lounge Coffee Bar in the Ukrainian Village (there’ll be a feature on that one too) and across the street from there was Tommy’s Guitars and Trading Post. Obviously I absolutely had to check it out!