Grand Crossing

Directing Democracy

If you didn’t know what was at stake, you might have mistaken the 5th Ward Neighborhood Assembly at St. Philip Neri School in South Shore for a small PTA meeting. By 6:40pm, less than two dozen people had gathered in the school’s blue- tiled gymnasium, only enough to fill the first two of the ten rows of seats that had been set up.

Greater Grand Crossing

Just a minute south of Midway Airport, with her seat belt securely fastened and an obsessive glint in her eye, an airplane passenger might notice the nearly perfect right triangle beneath her and wonder about what she has spotted. At…

Best of the South Side 2012

Chicago is a city that boasts, and this is our contribution. Our half of the city–the South Side–is many things, and in our annual Best Of issue, we haven’t tried to solve the riddle of what makes this place tick…

Eating Right

When I meet Arel Brown, he is in his hairnet and apron, sporting the neon green T-shirt that is the uniform of Eternity Juice Bar & Deli. He is in the middle of preparing food, and shows me the pieces…

5 Loaves Eatery

A brown banner behind a window is the only sign Five Loaves needs. Inside, calming yellow and green walls are the perfect backdrop to a collection of splashy African art that hangs about the room.

High-Octane Sound

Johnny Drummer wants to know if Lady Cadillac is in the building. A woman at the back of the joint in white go-go boots, ostensibly not Lady Cadillac, calls out to the septuagenarian bluesman, letting him know that he is …

Act II

While the group’s mission has not waivered since it was founded in 1971, eta’s leadership is currently going through a major transition. The foundation’s long-time president and co-founder, Abena Joan Brown, stepped down this past March, on the 40th anniversary of the opening of the theater. She passed the reins to Philip Thomas, a charming graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Chicago. According to Nancy McKeever, eta’s board president, “This is the first time new leadership has occurred.” With Thomas’ appointment, other firsts are on the way.

Greater Grand Crossing

In 1853, two trains riding along rival lines collided at what is now the intersection of 75th and South Chicago Avenue. To prevent future crashes, the government mandated all trains to stop at the crossing, bringing in hundreds of visitors daily. Since that time, nearly half the area’s population has slowly bled away. Nonetheless, a critical mass has gathered along the area’s commercial thoroughfares.