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Punctuations on Armitage

Punctuations and focal points are essential to downtown street life because they add variety to a city and make the city interesting for the walker to look at. Punctuations are the little details that improve a landscape and make a place what it is, “punctuations of all kinds appearing a little way ahead of them–spaces, or greenery, or windows set forward, or churches, or clocks. Anything really different, whether large or a detail” (Jacobs). A focal point is a unique, singular aspect of a place that brings life there and attracts people. “A focal point can be a fountain, or a square, or a building–whatever its form, the focal point is a landmark, and if it is surprising and delightful, a whole district will get a magic spillover.” (Jacobs). It is important for places to have focal points because they result in a “magic spillover” meaning a focal point will make the surrounding space more popular and result in more visitors and revenue from those visitors. There are many punctuations in Lincoln Park. Parks: Jonquil, Oz, and Julia Porter are some of the nearby green spaces that add to the district; there are also many churches and beautiful homes. The Lincoln Park itself is the most significant focal point of Lincoln Park; it is a 1,208-acre park and has a zoo, conservatory, and museums. Depaul itself is also a focal point of Lincoln Park. Often a colleges’ surrounding neighborhood will economically grow from not only the students but those who visit.

The block I walked.

Although I know Chicago much better than I did two months ago, there are still so many places for me to see. I walked from N. Fremont & W. Armitage around the block, heading north up the block first. I am an indecisive person so I cannot 100% guarantee that this block is my favorite in the whole city, but I enjoy it and the qualities it has. The ‘front’ of the block on Armitage is much more fast-paced and busy than the rest of the block which is mostly residential. I’ve realized that most things I notice on walks are punctuations.

Starting my walk, I noticed a poster(?) slightly scratched off the side of the building. It smells like rain, but I don’t think it rained today. A curb your dog sign is against the tree, that’s good for making a place feel cleaner to walk. There is a lot of green up this block and I enjoy it a lot, there are many plants and some moss. People walk past me; they seem like young successful types. Most everywhere has a gate which is the only thing restricting walkers, while I’ve noticed the only hostile signs such as ‘do not enter’ and ‘do not block driveway’ only apply to vehicles.

A girls car keys jingle. There is a church across the street; it looks big.

I see a few little chickadees in the fenced in green space to the left of the sidewalk. There is some fall decor up; some houses have Halloween cobwebs and ghosts on the front of their homes; I pass one fence lined with corn. I hear a bike wizz past on the street as I turn the corner. Two PMI trucks are beeping.

There is a cool door knocker. As I approach the N. Dayton side of W. Armitage, there is a lull in interesting scenery due to a Walgreens. I see more people and storefronts. I enjoy this block because it both has sides of commotion and calm. The greenery and beautiful houses are fun to look at, while the shopfronts on Armitage draw in the walker. There is a good, slightly overpriced coffee shop on the corner called La Colombe; I recommend their honey oat latte and a canelé.

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