Masks of Chicagoland: Portraits of Masks in The City

Edit: Take a look at parts 2 and 3 of this series for more portraits.

One thing is clear. COVID-19 will change America. We’re too close to it to see it now, but everyone knows it’s coming. There’s a lot to talk about: politics, economics, culture, et cetera.

One thing we know now. Masks proliferate on streets where we once gave the side-eye to anyone silly enough to cover a face in public. Over the last three weeks, I have taken street portraits of people who happen to walk by me. Here’s what I’ve learned.

The City In Their Faces

A close up photo of a woman in a blue medical mask with sunglasses that reflect the street and a homeless man.
Michigan Avenue reflected in her sunglasses.
A woman in a red coat, orange hat, and sunglasses wears a white cloth mask while we see the lake’s reflection.
A walk near the lake brings a time for reflection.
A woman wears a pink buff while out for a walk on a sunny, cool day.
A pink buff protects this Gold Coast walker.

It’s All In The Eyes

A couple stands outside of Grant Park in Chicago.
A woman wears a Joker themed mask outside of Oz Park in Lincoln Park, Chicago.
Near the edge of Oz Park in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.
A medical mask and sunglasses can’t cover up her expression.
A medical mask and sunglasses can’t cover up her expression.
A man with a black hat and a narrow green mask.

Chicagoans Will Talk To A Stranger

A Chicago Transit Authority worker poses for a portrait while waiting for his bus route to start.
A Chicago Transit Authority workers poses while he waits for his bus route to start.
An elderly woman wears a mask improvised from a scarf.
On the north side of Michigan Avenue, a local goes for a walk on a sunny day.
A pair of young women stop to smile (maybe) for the camera, perhaps with a hint of ennui.
A pair of young women stop for a portrait in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago.

Masks Are More Than Protection

Just outside of Jewel Osco, a man on a bike uses an improvised SpongeBob Squarepants buff for a mask.
Can SpongeBob Squarepants filter out a virus?
A young man with a hat, headphones, and a black and white mask pauses in downtown Chicago.
Taking a walk across from the Bean in Millennium Park.
Two men exiting an apartment building show off their masks.
Two men exiting an apartment building show off their patterned masks.
A woman in sunglasses wears a mask with a shirtless man in jeans standing in front of an old truck.
It’s a country song for your face.

Work Gets Done

A man in work clothes sits with his dog outside a hospital in Berwyn, IL
Work boots and Work gloves outside a hospital in Berwyn, IL
Chicago’s finest stands with a black mask near Michigan Avenue, keeping watch over the city.
Keeping the City of Chicago safe.
A hospital worker stands in front of the parking lot sign outsider her workplace.
A hospital worker stops to pose before starting a shift.

A pastor, writer, and geek who lives in Chicago. https://jameshuenink.wordpress.com

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