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This cache has been archived.

Greenback: It's been a month and I haven't made it into the city so I guess I'll archive this puppy.

Thanks for all the visits.


My old stomping grounds

A cache by Greenback Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 02/17/2012
1.5 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

Welcome to my odd stomping grounds.

I moved to Chicago in 1991 and for three years I lived at 9th and Wabash (Burnham Park Plaza) the building you see just southwest of this cache. The building immediately north and across the street wasn't here then, it was just a parking log.

I had a one bedroom apartment on the 14th floor with views north of the city and east of lake Michigan. The building had been the largest YMCA in the world, then was renovated into apartments. Years after I moved out it was renovated again and turned into condos.

One of my most memorable experiences was my first winter in Chicago. The building had a huge open air whirlpool hot tub on the roof. I went up there one snowy night, sat in the hot tub facing the Sears Tower. The steam was rising all around me with the snow falling and the city lights twinkling. It was a magical moment.

The neighborhood has undergone a near total rebirth. Almost every business which was thriving when I lived here, is gone today. But all of these have been replaced and it seems every abandoned building is now renovated..

In my day the parking garage behind this cache was an abandoned parking structure with a 1960's look, in fact most of the buildings for quite a few blocks south from there were vacant, abandoned, and didn't even have glass in the windows. I use to sit in my apartment and watch the pigeons fly through the broken windows to nest inside the buildings. Today some of these same buildings are high rent condos and offices.

On the corner of 8th and Wabash in those days was Buddy Guys Legends club, it was quite a dive and in the same building right next door was an XXX rated peep show, they charged 25 cents and I never saw a single person enter from the front door, but the back door was pretty busy LOL. With the renovation and gentrification of the neighborhood, thankfully that building was demolished. Buddy Guy moved his Lengends north a block and there are no signs of the peep show.

In my time the local grocery store changed hands every year. Their inventory almost never turned over, I once purchased a can of beans which I discovered a little too late had aged many years past the expiration date as evidenced by the fussy disgusting mess inside. Today, there's a Trader Joe's a couple of blocks south, what I wouldn't have given for that.

Did I mention a couple of blocks south? In my time very few people walked south from my building. There was only one thriving business south and that was a family video rental and sadly they're out of business. Everything else south was scary indeed. In fact, at Roosevelt and Wabash was the old Roosevelt Hotel, rental by the week was something like $25. I walked into the carry out which occupied the first floor and desperately wanted to leave immediately. Today the building has been renovated and they're charging $750 a month for a single bed, the sign doesn't even say room, just bed.

Even the head quarters of Ebony and Jet Magazines are gone, thriving businesses when I lived here, but more recently they had to sell their headquarters building to raise money to stay in business.

My old stomping grounds, if you were going to walk anywhere you had to be big and mean, crazy, homeless or stupid. I did it, at all hours of the day and night, I guess the geocacher in me was already searching for something. Thankfully today you can walk around here and it's much safer and downright pleasant.

Congratulations to astarandson as the first to find!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

ivfvar vf gur pher

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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