J. Rojo – Week 1- Block Map

It’s a sunny morning. A couple is walking their golden retriever on the sidewalk and pass by me. I smile at them as I walk along the Fox River on South Grove Street in Elgin, IL. A fairly large city in the suburbs of Chicago, it’s the place I’ve grown up my entire life. I haven’t been here for a while and suddenly realize the construction going on across the street from me. Between the construction and I is a large parking lot. This is the parking lot of the Grand Victoria Casino. They’ve just finished painting the boat, a casino that’s a boat, and changed the bright red exterior to a royal blue. I can smell the fresh paint as I continue walking. A couple of people are fishing near by the casino and a small boat suddenly comes by underneath the bridge of cars. Two joggers pass me and they look very focused. Each are men, wearing black workout attire, all branded of Nike. One however is sporting sunglasses while the other is wearing a Nike hat. After passing them, I decide to cut through the parking lot of the casino and find my way to the large water fountain located in Festival Park. The parking lot was fairly empty, with about only thirty or so cars parked in place. Usually the casino is packed at all times throughout the day. The parking lot is also connected to a ramp, which has 4 floors. I find my way to the water fountain and see several children playing on the play ground. I sit on a bench and watch the water rise, then fall. It suddenly brought me back to the good old days of when I was a child. Although times have changed and this area has become larger and more renovated, it still brought back memories of when I would walk downtown with my family as a child. The clean, crisp air was sky blue. It was relatively quiet, but the sweet sound of children’s laughter makes up for it. The bench I was sitting on I could tell was still old. It was made out of wood, and the dark brown color of it was chipping away.

After sitting down for a while, I observed my surroundings behind me as well. The Fox River is long, and flows in the same direction as the small boat I first saw. Other than the sidewalk, there are small trees and pink flowers planted along the river. It smells fresh outside, which makes me only cherish this place even more. I start to see a school bus beginning to park outside the park, in front of the fountain, and a small group of kids come out. They must be in kindergarten or first grade. They are formed in a small circle with their teacher because being able to run to the monkey bars at the park. I wave a little girl who waves at me. I then decide that it’s time to go home, so I get up from the bench and begin to walk to the parking lot. It feels more hot out now, and I start to see more joggers as I walk by. I head to my car, and look back once more at the sidewalk that connects to old memories by the large water fountain.

Downtown Elgin, IL: Festival Park on South Grove St.
Downtown Elgin, IL: Festival Park on South Grove St.

One thought on “J. Rojo – Week 1- Block Map

  1. I liked that you shared so many details about what you were seeing, smelling, and hearing while you were walking around. I’m curious about what those things meant to you though. Based on what you were saying, it sounds like it was an upscale, safe kind of neighborhood. I think maybe because of the men running in Nike, I thought that the area was one of decent income and safety with all of people walking around. I would have liked to read some more of the analysis of what the things you saw meant to you because just from reading your description, I was making my own conclusions but I do not really know if they are accurate. What made you choose to share or notice the details that you did like the Nike brand of the clothes? What do the people walking around and the children playing outside say about the area? It sounds like a great place to spend an afternoon!

Leave a Reply