Street Tape Chicago ’75

Skip Blumberg walks the streets of Chicago, getting those he meets along the way to talk about what they do for a living. Some of the interviewees include a bartender, an Abraham Lincoln impersonator around 06:30, a produce clerk, a housewife, and a prostitute. Plus an interview with Democratic 43rd Ward Committeeman Dan O'Brien in front of the Biograph Theater. Also includes a follow-up with Wheelin' Lovin' Al, who was featured in It's A Living a few months earlier. The interviews have been taped over an unrelated science video about the human body.

0:00Copy video clip URL Open to video recorded from inside the human body. The interviews for this street tape have been taped over by a science education video.

0:08Copy video clip URL Cut to a sidewalk. A man walks out of his apartment building. Blumberg asks him if he wants to be on public television and then asks him what he thinks about having to work for a living. The man: “I think it’s good, but it’s alright to have a little vacation.” The man is a bartender at the racquet club at 1365 N. Dearborn. They get on the bus together.

1:01Copy video clip URL Cut to a man wearing a suit and tie in the plaza at 10 South Dearborn Street, Chase Tower. The man talks about being satisfied with his work.

1:33Copy video clip URL An African American man driving in a car stops at an intersection and asks Blumberg for directions to Halsted Street. The driver works as a consultant in the county building.

2:09Copy video clip URL Shot of Lincoln Avenue and the Biograph Theater. 43rd Ward Committeeman Dan O’Brien stands outside the Theater and is interviewed by Blumberg. He is sponsoring Senior Citizen Day. He also talks about the problem of unemployment.

5:52Copy video clip URL Cut to outside the Artist’s Cafe on Michigan Avenue. A man dressed as Abraham Lincoln walks down the street. The camera crew stops him for an interview: “I’m trying to make some money this year after five years of not working.” he explains how he’ll teach history to children and tell them to avoid drugs. He says: “If I can’t make it this year then I’m not gonna make it. Just because a person is born doesn’t mean the world owes them a living.”

9:23Copy video clip URL Outside a parking lot in the loop on Wabash Avenue. The crew interviews a valet attendant. He has worked with the crew before. He talks about his family and young wife. He goes to work on the lot. Crew records inside a customer’s car as the attendant parks the car. He describes the differences from the previous year.

12:41Copy video clip URL Cut to outside a grocery store. Blumberg interviews a housewife with her groceries. She says housewives shouldn’t be paid to do what they do: “It’s my duty to raise my children and keep the house clean…” She thinks people who are crazy about their job aren’t honest with themselves. She’s satisfied with her family life. The camera records a young girl somersaulting over a bike rack. Blumberg asks the woman if she’d like to see the playback of the tape. She demurs, saying that when she once heard her voice she thought she sounded like a man.

15:22Copy video clip URL Cut to an African American man outside the same grocery store. He wears a sweater and tie. He is a produce clerk for the store. He says the job is okay and that he does it for the money to pay his bills: “It’s something you have to do to make a living.”  He thinks he would enjoy being a jet-setting corporate executive, because, the more he saw of the world, the more likely he could change the world for the better.

17:09Copy video clip URL A woman interrupts the interview and says she has a stressful job working as a prostitute. She likes to do it because she doesn’t have to pay taxes and can “do it the way you want to do it.” The grocery clerk talks about how the law can oppress the people. The prostitute then explains that she’ll end up making $250 that day, but she says she can’t be a prostitute all her life. She walks away.

19:34Copy video clip URL Cut to a busker on the sidewalk: “I’m trying to make it. I need someone to help me.” He plays a song. The crew interviews him. When he is well he works construction but these days he plays the blues on Maxwell Street. He plays another song.

23:07Copy video clip URL End of segment. Cut to video of red blood cells. Science educational video about white blood cells and the heart. Video from inside the heart.

25:07Copy video clip URL Cut to a skyscraper construction site. Close up of a worker eating food. Cut to an x-ray video of someone eating food. Closeups from within the human digestive system: esophagus, stomach, and intestines.

27:42Copy video clip URL Cut to a man walking down the street. Narrator introduces a segment on motion. The man gets painted red and black to show his flexor and inflexor muscles, respectively. X-ray video of joint movements and bones.

29:29Copy video clip URL Narrator: Humans are the only animals that get around exclusively on two feet.  Cut to a mother, father, and infant daughter walking down a shoreline. Cut to a man’s legs running on a treadmill. Narrator discusses pounds per square inch. Cut to a segment on the hands: “The most versatile instrument on earth.”

31:18Copy video clip URL End of tape.




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