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Despite a handful of age-old city-to-city rivalries, America’s massive metropolises have plenty in common, at least as far as the surface goes. Such commonalities shine through city grit in the images taken by Chicago creative Cameron Offer. Employing a chilled muted palate, Offer turns his lens on empty subway corridors, tired commuters, rusted train trellises, jutting skylines, and sweeping overpasses. It’s all familiar territory for anyone living in Boston, Detroit, or New York--although, we’ll be the first to admit it: The Chicago River looks about 100 times cleaner than anything running through NYC’s five boroughs. We’ll let Boston and Detroit speak for themselves.
Here we talk to Cameron about the secret to surviving another Chicago winter, deep dish pizza, and when to avoid the drunks on the CTA.
City of origin:
I was born in England. My family moved to the suburbs when I was 11 and I’ve been in Chicago since then.
City of residence:
I live in Lincoln Park.
Describe your city in 3 words:
Clean, efficient and affordable.
You have $15 to spend at your local bodega. You buy:
Hi-Chew, green tea, Salt & Pepper Kettle chips, and maybe a granola bar.
Best food you can get in Chicago that you can’t get anywhere else:
Deep dish pizza and Italian beef.
Worst thing about Chicago:
The worst thing about Chicago is taking the CTA when there’s a baseball game. The trains are crowded and people are rowdy drunk.
Favorite place to shoot:
Favorite place to shoot in the Chi is the Financial District early morning.
Any Chicago artists/creatives we should have on our radar?
There are so many awesome Chicago creatives, but some of my favorites are @trashhand, @6corners, @transmental (he just moved), @alinatsvor, @Vetulus, @nolisuniverse, @Instasamz, @Sirbruceleroy, and @ddesigns_ .
Biggest stereotype about Chi that’s not true:
That people from Chicago are fat. We’re not that fat.
Biggest stereotype about Chi that IS true:
That finding a parking spot is nearly impossible.
How do you survive a Chicago winter?
To survive a Chicago winter you've got to stay cozy. I survive Chicago winters by layering. On a typical winter day I might have four or five layers on.
What’s the first thing you do when the weather starts turning to spring?
Once the weather warms up I’m busting out my bike, and my Nike runners. I love riding around the city; you get a completely different perspective from bike.
Would you ever want to live anywhere else?
I would like live in Vancouver or Tokyo.