The 66 is my bus route that runs east and west through Chicago. A single line between two points. But how very different those two points can be.
Typified by it's name, on one end is the Gold Coast; a mosaic of material abundance and extraordinary affluence. Life that in many ways is larger than itself. Booming businesses and storefronts, wealthy families, and fancy spas fill this neighborhood around.
Contrasted by the other end: Austin - typically known as the most violent and dangerous neighborhood in Chicago. It is difficult to find a grocery store but rather easy to find a dollar store. Boys flood the corners and streets throughout the summer, life is quiet in the winter. Poverty and gang violence abound. Lack of infrastructure and investment inundate the area.
When riding the 66, the paradoxical mix of these realities envelops you. An oddly common yet atypical community of its own. Everyday, urban mass transportation provides a unique space and short-lived moment for diverse interactions; it is a microcosm of America's "melting pot".
And that's why I've chosen to document and share my experience on the 66. For me, so much of America's differences have never been so simple and clear as two points and the straight line between them. As you ride from one end to the other, you cannot help but notice how economics and race play a part in the drastically changing landscapes.
The 66 could be in any city, so that's what makes this project extra special for me. It is a harsh reality and tragedy to document what happens as the 66 drives towards Austin, one that we must face and confront so that cities like Chicago can make changes that lead to increased social, racial, and economic equality.
Please follow my journey on instagram - @thesixty6.