This image of a nativity scene in front of The Vegas Motel was made a few years ago in Chicago, on Lincoln Ave.
Like a lot of roads in this country, Chicago’s Lincoln Ave. is an old Native American trail. It used to be called Little Fort Road because it went up to Waukegan, IL., or Little Fort, the first town of any consequence north of Chicago. If you ever want to experience a real slice of Chicago, drive Lincoln Ave. south from Touhy on down until it stops in Lincoln Park. You’ll probably see a couple of the old 50’s era motels still standing. I photographed many of those old vintage motels along Lincoln Ave. in the 90’s with no intent other than to just record them and the great neon signs they seemed to have. Most of the signs were made by Chicago sign maker White Way and I thought they were beautiful. Now those great motels are mostly gone. One very famous motel, The Spa, was a destination motel for many rock and roll bands until it was torn down and a police station was built in its place. I never got a chance to photograph it. It was right around the time I was just learning one of the golden rules of photography: Whatever hassle it may be, if you see something that inspires you, shoot it when you have the chance because whatever it is you’re shooting probably won’t be there in a month or two! Since then, if I’m passing something on the road I want to make a photograph of, I always stop, turn around, go back and shoot even if I’m dead tired. This was shot on 35mm Fuji Velvia and scanned on a Nikon 9000 scanner.