Revisiting the Ordinary

September 8, 2014

Issue statement by Iker Gil, editor in chief of MAS Context.


Mas issue ordinary cover opening

It’s truly a common man marvels at uncommon things and a wise man marvels at the commonplace.

During a recent trip to my hometown, I realized that I had become, for a lack of a better word, a local tourist. Nothing that I did during my trip was new: I went to places that I had seen many times before, ate food that I grew up with, and attended celebrations that were a routine for years. However, having lived away from the city for many years made all those ordinary moments special. Every little detail became important and I paid close attention to things that I had taken for granted for many years.

The trip pointed out something important: the need to look and enjoy all the ordinary places and moments in the city that we call home. We go through our lives without noticing them until, one day, we realize that they are no longer there: the local bar by your house, the traditional business impossible to replace, the unassuming building, or the dinners with friends that you expect to happen forever.

Now, I am looking forward to rediscovering the ordinary elements of Chicago that I take for granted.


Ordinary has had invaluable help from Michelle Benoit, James Black, Elyse Blennerhassett, Jennifer Bonner, Alberto Campo Baeza, Andrew Clark, André Corrêa, Deborah Fausch, Kyle Green, Katherine Herzog, Michael Hirschbichler, Charles Holland, Linda Just, David Karle, Tom Keeley, Cristina Keller, Thomas Kelley, Taek Kim, Andrea Leon, Luis Mendo, Julie Michiels, Steven Montgomery, Carrie Norman, Michal Ojrzanowski, Michael Pecirno, Antonio Petrov, Regina Pozo, Bud Rodecker, Gerardo Salinas, David Schalliol, Denise Scott Brown, Henry Shukman, Joshua Stein, Zenovia Toloudi, Rick Valicenti, Elly Ward, and Mimi Zeiger.