Snapshot of a summer day

Looks like Google Maps just did a refresh of Street View. Chicago proper has been available for a while, but they’ve just added most of my neighborhood, Roscoe Village. The shots were clearly taken on a beautiful day this summer. A little gift as we hunker down for even more winter weather. I haven’t seen the sidewalk through the snow in weeks.

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Let’s start at the west end of my street where the Four Treys Tavern announces “Hey This Is a Party Block” to entrants (also the scene of the flaming garbage truck). Apparently the Four Treys has been on this spot since 1887. It’s a bit out of whack with the style of other bars in the area, a throw-back to earlier incarnations of the neighborhood. Part biker bar, part karaoke bar, part never-really-left-the-1970’s bar. Why the “Four Treys”, you ask? Location: 3333 N. Damen. (Took me, oh, two years to figure that out.)

Proceeding eastward down Henderson you encounter a typical streetscape of mostly single-family homes, part of the urban grid of 25′ x 125′ lots. My neighborhood restricts height to three stories except in a very few special cases. Basically no one towers over anyone else, sunlight is equitably distributed (or, more accurately, equitably not distributed) and the scale of the street stays mostly in line with the tops of the trees. It’s a charming block, a mixture of homes, a condo building or two, and renters. Jane Jacobs would be proud.

Interestingly, it is possible to date this panorama almost exactly without leaving the block. This is first because of the presence of MySweetRide on the south side of Henderson. (A dark blue/gray Honda Accord. Who can spot her?) Using my car’s Twitter archive I see that she was parked in this exact spot on Sunday, July 1 and then again on Monday, August 27. My first thought was that it had to be July 1 because of the number of American flags hung out in from of houses and the fact there are so many cars on the street (i.e., not a work day).

But the proof is at the other end of the block. Two flimsy roadblocks lean against the last house on the north side of the street. These barricades were loaned from the alderman for our annual block party, held on Sunday, August 26. (Other evidence confirms that the GoogleMobile was in town in late August.)

It’s kinda fun sleuthing about various lifestream data points on the web like this. In all I consulted Street View, Twitter, Weather Underground, Google Calendar, and my own blog and archives to figure out merely when a photo was taken. (I could have told you what music I was listening to when this shot was taken, but it was not, in itself, relevant to the problem at hand.) It’d be great to have some kind of meta-aggregator for the data-wake one leaves moving through time.

But mostly the new view is just a comforting reminder of a lazy summer afternoon. I suspect I will be returning to it for the smile it brings a few more times this winter.


A couple of notes on Street View itself:

Never noticed this before, but there isn’t a single readable license plate I can find. I think Google has deliberately blurred every one of them. Amazing.

Would be great if you could link to specific orientation of the panorama like you can to a specific address.

How soon until you can annotate Street View like you can the maps themselves?