The great Chicago refrain, that ours is a “City of Neighborhoods,” is at once a boast and an apology. We boast because roots go deep in Chicago. Traditions live on here because newcomers from near and far have held out against the amnesia that often accompanies life in a new place. We apologize because we don’t quite know our city. Aside from a few symbols with which all identify–a flag with four stars, jerseys and ball caps–Chicago can feel like many places, totally distinct and separated, each demanding that life be appreciated on different terms. The saying is also an acknowledgement of a painful past–even a glance at history will tell you the intense local character of Chicago neighborhoods is as much a product of racist real estate practices as of tenacious collective will. This can sometimes feel like a city of someone else’s neighborhoods.