On a Sunday afternoon in the middle of the recent heat wave, a handful of volunteers dug into beds of steaming compost with forks and spoons. Half the group was planting kale and collard-green seedlings with the chewed-up cutlery, while the other half lay compost with a Bobcat mini-loader to create new raised beds. This laid-back Sunday work crew was bringing City Farm’s new urban farm, in the South Side neighborhood of Washington Park, one step closer to fruition.
City Farm’s one-acre farm on the site of the former Cabrini Green housing project has become a fixture on the local food scene, selling produce at its on-site farm stand, at the Logan Square Farmers Market and through a CSA program. It began as part of the Resource Center, a multi-armed organization founded by Ken Dunn in 1972 that aims to revitalize Chicago through recycling, composting and urban farming. The mission is holistic, the goal being to integrate education, land reuse, local investment and jobs, community beautification and healthier agriculture and eating. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo: Sam Feldman
By Sam Feldman
In the architectural renderings, twenty-one high-rises line the south lakefront amid rows of orderly green trees. A newly built pedestrian bridge arcs over the Metra Electric tracks and Lake Shore Drive to connect the shimmering high-rises to the lakefront attractions, which include a new fountain, amphitheater and swimming pool. On the side of each high-rise is visible a symbol that’s slowly sliding from ubiquity to oblivion: the Chicago 2016 logo.
In real life, the scene by the Metra tracks in Bronzeville couldn’t look much different. There’s no fountain, amphitheater or swimming pool, no sleek new bridge to connect the city and the lake; instead of the rows of trees there’s a mostly empty parking lot; and instead of the Olympic Village, there’s a thirty-seven-acre deconstruction site. All that remains of Michael Reese Hospital’s thirty buildings are a few ruined hulks, several as-yet-untouched buildings, and numerous piles of rubble with demolition vehicles posed victoriously overhead. Read the rest of this entry »
Andersonville, Bridgeport, Bucktown, City Life, Edgewater, Humboldt Park, Hyde Park, Irving Park, Kenwood, Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Little Village, Logan Square, News etc., North Center, Pilsen, Roscoe Village, South Shore, Ukrainian Village, Uptown, Washington Park, Wicker Park, Wrigleyville
By Sean Redmond
Entering Wicker Park by the Blue Line, you emerge into the intersection of Damen, North and Milwaukee to a long-familiar sight. There’s the Double Door across the street, Flash Taco and, until just recently, the façade of Filter, Wicker Park’s former hipster coffeehouse extraordinaire. These staples, like many along these primary roadways, fade into the background with repeated visits; yes, you know you can find Reckless Records and American Apparel and the venues and art galleries in the surrounding area, but getting where you want to go requires little thought once you’re situated enough to put your eyes to the sidewalk and your feet into autopilot. But then one day, you get off the train and, surprise, the boarded-up shell of Filter is replaced with an expansive Bank of America, and your mind jolts back into motion. Suddenly, a wave of thoughts bursts forth: “Man, there are a lot of banks in the area,”or “Wicker Park really is getting commercialized,” or “Maybe I need to start spending more time in Logan Square.”
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