The alley had a curve, which was uncommon for Chicago. The City’s grid of right angles and diagonals had no tolerance for curves between the blocks. On the left side, at the west end, someone had painted part of the brick alley wall black. Even during the day this anti-artistry exaggerated the shadow in the alley. At night, the blue light bulb above the tavern service entrance produced a two color ghastliness to the goings in in the narrow darkness. The sounds of slurring menace and breaking bottles devolved into echoes against the curving bricks. The fire escapes above, brushed blue by the tavern bulb, hung silently, intermittently hiding a spectator, or a cop, reviewing the parade of undesirables below.