Lake Forest Service Plaza, 2017

The Lake Forest Oasis Service Plaza on Interstate 94 is one of my favorite moments in America. It’s a modern marvel where you can eat fast food on top of eight lanes of freeway traffic, hypnotized by an 80mph river of concrete, steel, and glass. Built in 1959, this tollway plaza just north of Chicago became a destination for motorists, and it was renovated in 2003 to “give patrons better views of the highway.” Last time I was there, a Buddhist monk in an orange robe and sneakers paced in front of the Taco Bell counter, anxiously waiting for his order. An angry man in flip flops kept saying “shoot me an email” to nobody in particular while he pumped more quarters into the candy machine. Five elderly women in floral pantsuits solemnly examined the offerings at Panda Express, their white hair like a system of low-flying clouds.

Dirty Beaches – A Hundred Highways

Badlands | Zoo Music, 2011 | Badlands
Each night in 2020 I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these times into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
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