Wabash and Lake: An Old Exit

I had no idea. Really, I didn’t. In 1999, a movie was released called The Matrix (you may have heard of it). In this movie, there are several references to Chicago. Recently, and I mean fifteen years after the initial release of the movie, I watched it. In 1999, I was an undergraduate. In 1999, apparently Neo was on the run and moving toward “an old exit [at] Wabash and Lake,” aka Harold Washington College–an exit from the matrix.

Here’s the clip where you can see the reference.

I remember when The Wit wasn’t there or Dunkin’ Donuts, and I remember Old Timers, too. Some of you have been teaching in the neighborhood a very, very long time. And PhiloDave’s post about Ephrem (and I couldn’t agree more!) got me to thinking about what our little corner of The Loop has looked like over the years.

My goal in this post is to gather a little bit of institutional memory about how The Loop has changed and what our colleagues remember about those changes. I was quite fond of Old Timers, and the conversations I had with colleagues there.

Anyone care to wax nostalgic and provide a little piece of their HW Loop memories? Anyone remember that matrix exit on the corner of Wabash and Lake? Anyone know if it still works?

4 thoughts on “Wabash and Lake: An Old Exit

  1. Love this, KB. It explains so many things for me…

    (And, I have NEVER noticed that reference before, despite having screened and taught the movie AT Harold. Trrible.)

  2. I have no idea how I stumbled on this, but towards the end of the intro/credits for the CLASSIC tv series “Perfect Strangers” there is a good shot of the side of our building. The whole intro w/ immigrant narrative set against the cold war backdrop is pretty mindblowing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vbnLYROCj8

  3. That is interesting, Chris–both the clip itself and knowing that little bit of trivia. When we place HW in the context of the community that we serve, you’re right: it is pretty mindblowing. Thanks for sharing (I loved that show back when!)

  4. For many years, if you were looking for the “Johns” (and by that I mean Hader and Metoyer) you could find them at Old Timers, eating their lunches and waxing poetic about everything from Kung Fu movies to historic photography techniques.

    And my only memory of that Dunkin Donuts is not a good one. The main entrance to the DD was on the corner of Lake and State. A bit further down Lake toward HWC there was a small recessed side entrance where in the wee hours of the morn, you would often find folks sleeping, trying to stay warm. On other mornings, if there wasn’t someone sleeping there, it was because someone else had used that space as a toilet sometime in the night. I had forgotten about both of these memories until you posted this….

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