First, I zigged over to Rogers from my apartment. If you want to play along, this is a good starting point:
|Hidden from the scrap metal thieves, behind an electrical box.|
Screwed to a storefront at Clark & Rogers, and since covered up by an traffic control box, is an old historical marker. It celebrates the family that gave their name to both streets, and the Indian Boundary Line, which Rogers Avenue follows.
|Sandler's Drugs, just east of Rogers & Touhy (since remodeled)|
Rogers takes us up to Touhy, which isn't as bad to bike on as I feared. Going west on Touhy takes one through an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood with kosher pizza restaurants and religious centers.
|Bernard Horwich Community Center|
Upon hitting the Sanitary Canal, I turned north and followed the bike path to Howard. Howard was a pretty easy ride west, passing lots of ranch houses until I hit Lincoln. I turned onto Lincoln, following a pokey street cleaning machine, until arriving in downtown Skokie.
|Aww Yeah, electrical boxes!|
However you arrive downtown, one is cheerfully greeted by traffic control boxes that have been painted by Art Baltazar. Besides being a local artist, he co-owns the local comic book store.
|First National Bank building (now Chase) built in 1973|
The downtown is dominated by a massive, brutalist office building. Around this block are arranged the local stores and restaurants. I decided to stop and have some carbs and coffee at Sweetie Pie's. Besides having tasty outdoor cafes, Skokie also provides free wifi in the downtown area. So, a good commuter stop all around.
|Iced coffee, day old pastries and free wi-fi.|
While sitting outside, I noticed that Skokie is having some sort of weird fire hydrant sculpture fest. You know, like how Chicago had big cows all over the city that local artists decorated? But fire hydrants. Because that's what I think of when I think of Skokie. Perhaps it's meant to refer to the old Engine House? I don't know.
|Historic Fire Engine House built in 1887|
Anyway, I decided to try Oakton for the next bit of my excursion west. It started off well, lots of room, lots of weird mid-century architecture.
|8001 Lockwood, built in 1966|
And then things started to get bad....