The Bridgford Foods Mural is Genius

If you’ve been keeping tabs, this would be the time you’d normally expect find HOB and I travelling somewhere. But here we are—another Chicago staycation. There’s still Covid, but now on top of that I’ve had vertigo for three months and I am unable to take long distance transportation, Anyway, not here to whine but to tell you what I’ve been up to, given the complications. It’s like that tv show my mom used to watch in the early 2000’s, when the chefs are given a secret ingredient as a special challenge. “Start with one global pandemic with raging, deadly variant, and the secret ingredient is….vertigo! Now go make yourself a delicious and productive life in 30 mins or less.”

So I’m doing stuff close to home, in short doses. This week I took HOB to see my favorite Chicago mural, the Bridgford Foods Mural, in the Fulton Market Neighborhood, to convince him of the genius of the thing.

Why the actual heck is my favorite Chicago mural a commercial mural about the history of meatpacking? Let me convince you of the genius too.

Bridgford Foods is a meat processing facility that hired the Chicago Artist Czr Prz in 2015 to make a mural on the wall of its plant. The mural is right next to the elevated train tracks, which makes getting a picture of the complete mural fairly challenging.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Fulton Market, here’s a brief history:

19th – 20th centuries

meatpacking

21st century

yuppies living in former meatpacking warehouses

high-end restaurants inside former meatpacking warehouses

corporate headquarters inside of former meatpacking warehouses

a few great murals on the walls of former meatpacking warehouses

The Bridgford mural covers the 19 – 20th centuries, with a bit of 21st century packaging thrown in.

I’m assuming the butcher guys in the lower left are some old-timey Bridgford butchers.

Ooooh those ghostly butcher-of-bygone-days faces!

This must be the warehouse for cold storing meat.

And the Fulton Market storefronts with abstract miasmas under their awnings.

Let’s just stop here and talk about how the artist is just full on embracing the slaughterhouse vibe with that dominating blood red paint.

Sneak peak over to the lower right with a domino fall of sliced pepperoni underneath the weirdly lovely pink and red hanging sausages. Grimacing butcher man surveys the scene.

Yeah you saw the pepperoni dominos, but were you ready for a freaking beef jerky mountain!??!

Okay best part right here.

The artist put the ghost signs in. Do you know ghost signs—they’re the faded signs of advertisements past. But these are new ghost signs but on an old building.

Meta.

If you want to eat old-school, pre-yuppie Fulton Market, I have it on good authority that J.P Graziano serves primo cured meat sandwiches.

We opted for the cannoli.

I’m not sure I sold HOB on the meat mural but he was most definitely a fan of that cannoli.

10 comments

  1. Wow, brilliant wall!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! If you visit Chicago, I hope you can see it. Another great one by Don’t Fret, also with a meatpacking theme, is close by.

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  2. I’m sorry to hear about the vertigo…just when you could get out and about again! Fate can be unkind sometimes.
    The murals are great….but tell me about the neighbourhood. The warehouses are used by the ‘creatives’ and expensive restaurants…just what happened in areas of London I knew. One has grown to despair their arrival, as they are the precursor to ‘development’ which drives out the original communities. Still, J. P. Graziano looks good! Long may it last.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Helen. I’m starting physical therapy for the vertigo next week so hopefully that will be the ticket.

      I’d rather the old buildings be reused than be torn down and I like the liveliness of the area. There is no economic diversity in the area, however, which is not the kind of community I would personally live in.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the photos and the story! Sorry about the vertigo! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! I appreciate the sympathy for the vertigo—hoping my head figures out where north is soon.

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      1. You’re welcome.

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  4. I love that mural: not a bit of cheerful yellow or green, although I’m glad the picture has some blue (miasma or not) to punctuate that red. It could be genius, but give me that food on a plate any day.

    Hope your therapy works. Usually vertigo is an inner ear problem. Closing your eyes while walking cures it (but may have other complications).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right about the restricted color palette. I think this makes the mural more successful.

      I’ve been doing some exercises that are meant to move around the crystals in my inner ear. Not sure if they work for vertigo but they do seem to help me sleep.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As usual, always a treat to walk with you anywhere, and especially in Chicago. Hope you are getting over the vertigo. Bruce

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