On Saturday, I got to explore my hood a bit more intimately. Though I’ve eaten my way through Rogers Park’s diverse food options, I haven’t gotten around to meeting the people who create this melting pot of cultures.
This week in photoj class, we focused on portraits and faces. In one day, I was able to meet three new people, all from different parts of the world. While for completely separate reasons, we’ve somehow ended up in this polar vortex together, sharing the frigid air and getting our faces whipped around by the snowy winds.
Sometimes, I forget how small the world can be.
Octavio Trujillo is the owner of Estilo Beauty Salon in Rogers Park. He has been cutting hair for more than 25 years.Trujillo’s reputation precedes him. His customers say they know him to be a great stylist, which brought them in for their first cut. He moved from Mexico City to Chicago 10 years ago. Though he loves cutting hair, what he really loves is playing with make up. “It’s an art,” he says. “Like the photos in the magazine.”
Belize-native Dennis Thompson moved to Rogers Park in 1991. Though Econo Coin laundromat isn’t the closest one to his house, he prefers the friendly, clean atmosphere of this one. Thompson left Belize over 30 years ago. Though he hasn’t been able to find a steady job, he currently works as on the dock, loading and unloading shipping containers. “I go where the money is,” he says.
Qemail Kabashi, 25, moved from Albania when he was 10 years old. He loves his job at The New 400 Theaters. The best part of his job is getting to meet new people, he says. He’s been working at The New 400 Theaters for almost 11 months. “I’m just trying to be a good boy,” Kabashi says. “Stay away from trouble.”