Batting 300 Million

  They say it takes a village to raise a child. But what does the child say about the village? What if the village happens to be a testosterone-fueled 300 million dollar megalopolis of athletics conceived by a boisterous alderman…

Entropy at mile 21

“It is marath-ON!” So declared Dustin Shaw as he slipped on his volunteer jacket and rejoined a circle of his friends, all huddled together like penguins against the stiffening cold. Shaw and a motley collection of local high school and…

Whose Destination?

Underneath the Metra tracks at 53rd Street and Lake Park, a row of gleaming bicycles sit outside on the sidewalk. In a window behind them, bikes hang inert from hooks like animal carcasses. For the past few weeks, builders have…

Floats Your Boat

Three types of people turned out last Sunday for the Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show: boat people, family people, and conventioneers. The boat people flocked to McCormick Place for the boats. They bought boats (last year’s floor models), sold…

Sticking Up for Lacrosse

Paul looked on appreciatively from the sidelines as his son came off the bench for the first time in the game. Two years younger and a head shorter than the other players around him, Paul Jr. chased down stray balls…

Contact sports

The camera wobbled as it zoomed in on two sets of hands rubbing Vaseline on a man’s cut eyelid. The man with the bloodied, swollen face was Mike Alvarado, and he was losing this boxing match.

Playing the Advantage

Juan Moreno stands at the edge of a small astroturf soccer field and motions around at the encompassing school building that his architecture firm JGMA designed. This freshly built structure at 51st and Kedzie houses the United Neighborhood Organization’s (UNO) Soccer Academy, a school designed to incorporate academics with a soccer training campus.

Fast Tracked

The old U.S. Steel Mills have been abandoned for almost 30 years. Prairie has fought through the vast fields of concrete, asphalt, and steel; most of the permanent structures have been torn down or have disintegrated over time. Tucked in a corner of the sprawling 576-acre lot, an oversized bowl rises above the wasteland.