Between the prairie and the lake, fate and happenstance, Chicago was built by the twin American tastes for the freedom of the wild frontier and the promise of the metropolis. The historic South Side of the city has been witness to the result: the grit and the glitz, industry and commerce, social injustice and community activism, the lonely places in merry crowds. This is the community we are proud to call home. In this issue, we offer quirky and different takes on the “best” of the South Side as a prelude to our big sister Newcity’s “Best of Chicago.” Our designations are not meant as formal titles but as general indicators, way points for the places and things that dot our memories as we claim our share of the American dream. Between the prairie and the lake, fate and happenstance.