Little Village

Common Law

Sporting their trademark red berets and white hoodies, Miguel “3rd Rail” Fuentes and his fellow members of the Chicago chapter of the Guardian Angels risk their lives attempting to deter crime and save the lives of strangers.

In La Villita

Quiara Alegría Hudes’s story of Washington Heights, Manhattan could have been adapted into a musical about Chicago’s Southwest Side–and in a few small ways, it was.

Behind the CPS Closures

On March 21, CPS announced the closure of more than ten percent of the city’s elementary and middle schools. The decision concluded five months of conversation between communities and the district. Officials hail the effort as genuine engagement. Others call it a sham.

El Sabor del Desdén

Last Friday night, readers and community members gathered in Pilsen’s Casa Michoacán for a reading and discussion of local author Victor M. Cortés’s latest work, “El Sabor del Desdén”. Little by little, it became clear that each character of the event, from the guitarist playing throughout the reception to the book’s presenters, has his or her own personal relationship with the author–his readers are his friends, his neighbors, his family. They are, also, the characters of his stories and his novel.

A Different Sort of Cart

Maria-Elizabeth got her current cart seven months ago, and it is now arrayed with a neat and colorful display of bananas, tomatoes, and oranges. It’s part of a larger collaboration between the city of Chicago and two social service organizations, Streetwise and Neighbor Capital, to promote fruit stand vendors. The program hopes to tackle two social ills at once: unemployment and food deserts.

Everybody loves Raymond’s

I have to watch my step as I hop up three outside stairs to the densely tiled interior. A series of signs, posted at eye level along all four walls, remind me not to talk on my cell phone while ordering, to pay in cash, and, of course, to feel welcome. It’s 10:30am, the witching hour between breakfast and brunch. But Raymond’s is hopping. A line of patrons leans along the front counter, ordering in a mix of English and Spanish.

Troha’s Shrimp and Chicken

You won’t find any vegetables on this menu. The distinct scent and hushed bubbling of deep fryers in Troha’s Shrimp and Chicken invite you into this mom-and-pop style joint—and immediately you know you’re in for a fried food feast. The…