It felt like it was cold enough for there to have been real snow this past Friday, but the fact that the snow was isolated to one tiny stretch of the 1300 block of North Milwaukee Ave. piqued my curiosity.
Is that... a snow machine? Who can afford a snow machine in this economy?
Though I wasn't allowed to go inside, and speak with any of the crew, a guy from the production crew hanging out by the snow machine told me that I am welcome to take pictures from the street.
"What is the commercial about?" I asked.
He couldn't say, but he did divulge that the empty storefront "Needs to look like a real store."
In a time of closing stores, I found that kind of ironic-- Wal-Mart descending upon Wicker Park to utilize one of the neighborhood's empty spaces to simulate a real store for the purpose of promoting its holiday season wares in a TV commercial. While the rent they paid to takeover the vacant store for the commercial will indirectly go back into the local economy, and the workers probably ate and drank in Wicker Park that day, shopping at Wal-Mart this holiday season will directly contribute to even more vacant storefronts in Wicker Park, and in other neighborhoods.