WBEZ | near West Side http://www.wbez.org/tags/near-west-side Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Swept from their homes, Chicago's Latinos built new community http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160012330&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Chicago is famous for its ethnic neighborhoods. And there&rsquo;s a funny thing about them. A neighborhood&rsquo;s identity can seem like it has been in place <em>forever</em>, even when big ethnic shifts took place just one or two generations ago. This is how many Chicagoans see Pilsen and Little Village, a corridor with the biggest concentration of Latinos in the Midwest. These neighborhoods have so much vitality &mdash; dense housing, bustling commercial strips, packed playgrounds &mdash; that it seems like Latinos must have been there for ages. A curious citizen named <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#CM">CM! Winters-Palacio</a> was wondering how long, so she asked us:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Why are Latinos concentrated in the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods? When did it happen?</em></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/LUCY%20FINAL.jpg" style="float: right; height: 328px; width: 400px;" title="Near West Side resident Rosie Valtierra holds her goddaughter there on the day of her baptism in the mid-1950s. City Hall has embarked on massive construction projects that will raze much of the area. Valtierra and many other displaced Latinos will end up in Pilsen. (Photo courtesy of Rosemarie Sierra)" />We answered the <em>when</em> part of the question just by looking at census numbers: Pilsen did not become mostly Latino until the 1960s; Little Village didn&rsquo;t until the 1970s. Answering <em>why</em> those changes happened took a little more work. We interviewed experts, searched newspaper archives, pounded Pilsen&rsquo;s pavement and tracked down some of the neighborhood&rsquo;s first Latino residents. In our audio story (above), Lucy Gutiérrez, 87, tells us about bringing her family to Pilsen when the place was still populated mainly by Central and Eastern European descendants &mdash; including the Bohemians whose forebears named it after Plzeň, a city in what is now the Czech Republic. Our research also led to some text snapshots from the history. The snapshots begin on Chicago&rsquo;s Near West Side, which included the city&rsquo;s largest Latino enclave just a few decades ago.</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">In old neighborhood, the beginning of the end</span></strong></p><p><strong>FEBRUARY 15, 1949</strong>: A Chicago housing official complains about residents refusing to leave a 14-block stretch from Desplaines to Paulina streets to make way for a new superhighway along Chicago&rsquo;s Congress Street. The official, Detlef E. Mackelmann, says some would not go &ldquo;until the buildings next door were being torn down.&rdquo; The highway&rsquo;s first section, completed in 1955, will displace thousands of people. It will be among several massive construction projects that will raze much of the Near West Side, including a Mexican neighborhood that dates back to the 1920s. The projects will include three expressways, a university campus and public-housing developments. Some of those Mexicans will move to Pilsen, a neighborhood just south. They will form the nucleus of what will become a much bigger Latino community. The Congress highway, for its part, will eventually be named the Eisenhower Expressway.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">1</a></strong></span></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1%20TAYLOR%20STREET%20FINAL.jpg" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1%20TAYLOR%20STREET%20PIES%20FINAL.jpg" style="margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px;" title="(WBEZ illustrations by Erik Nelson Rodriguez)" /></div></div><p><br /><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">White exodus from Pilsen makes room for newcomers</span></strong></p><p><strong>OCTOBER 18, 1953</strong>: St. Procopius, a 72-year-old Czech parish in Pilsen, rededicates its school with a Sunday dinner. The meal includes turkey, dumplings, sauerkraut, rye bread and kolacky. The music includes the Czech anthem &quot;Kde domov můj?&quot; and an Antonín Dvořák composition. Although the school has begun to enroll some of Pilsen&rsquo;s first Latino children, today&rsquo;s program includes no hint of their cultures. And Rev. Peter Mizera, the St. Procopius priest, has been complaining to the archdiocese about &ldquo;the recent infiltration of the Mexicans.&rdquo; But Pilsen&rsquo;s white population is declining and growing older as young families head to suburbs. St. Procopius and other parishes will have to open their doors to Latinos. By 1955, six Pilsen parochial schools will be enrolling Mexican children. Over the next two decades, several Pilsen parishes will retool themselves, sending priests to learn Spanish in Mexico, building altars and shrines to the Virgin of Guadalupe, even bringing mariachi music into masses. Some other parishes, slow to adapt, will close.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">2</a></strong></span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">Campus construction pushes more Latinos into Pilsen</span></strong></p><p><strong>MARCH 19, 1961</strong>: Led by a mariachi band, hundreds of Mexican protesters march from St. Francis of Assisi Church and tie up Near West Side traffic. The protesters slam a City Hall plan to replace their neighborhood with a University of Illinois campus. They blame Mayor Richard J. Daley and shout, &ldquo;Down with Daley,&rdquo; &ldquo;Daley sold us out&rdquo; and &ldquo;Respeten nuestros hogares&rdquo; (Respect our homes). The protest is part of a much larger effort to derail the university plan. Italians, the area&rsquo;s biggest ethnic group, are leading the resistance but Mexicans are also visible. Roughly 4,800 of them live in the census tracts the city wants the university to take over. The resistance will fail. On May 10, the City Council will designate 106 acres for the campus. Some of the Mexicans will move a few blocks west, but campus expansions will displace them again. Many will end up in Pilsen. The University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus, meanwhile, will open in 1965.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">3</a></strong></span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">Chicano movement builds neighborhood&rsquo;s new identity</span></strong></p><p><strong>APRIL 24, 1969</strong>: More than 100 residents of Chicago&rsquo;s Pilsen neighborhood gather for a public meeting of the Latin American Alliance for Social Advancement, known by its Spanish acronym, ALAS. The meeting occurs at Howell House, a community center focused for decades on Czech immigrants. At the meeting, ALAS endorses Arthur Vázquez to lead Howell House; he will be its first Mexican-American director. The meeting also develops strategies to improve Pilsen schools, expose police brutality and publicize a national grape boycott. The organizing reflects two major changes in Pilsen. First, Mexicans have been pouring into the neighborhood for two decades. Along with the arrivals from the Near West Side, many have come from South Texas or various parts of Mexico. A smaller Latino group in Pilsen has roots in Puerto Rico. The 1970 census will record the neighborhood&rsquo;s first Latino majority. The other big change is the rise of the Chicano civil-rights movement. Reflecting that change, Howell House will get a new name: Casa Aztlán. <span style="font-size: 11px;"><b><u>4</u></b></span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2%20MEETING%20TONIGHT%20FINAL.jpg" title="" /></p><p><strong style="font-size: 22px;">Latino community expands west to Little Village</strong></p><p><strong>OCTOBER 30, 1979</strong>: At the urging of Latinos and veterans, the Chicago Park District board agrees to a proposed memorial plaza honoring Manuel Pérez Jr., a World War II hero killed by enemy fire at age 22 and posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Pérez grew up on the city&rsquo;s Near West Side long before his neighborhood was razed and before many of its Mexican residents moved to Pilsen. The city will build the plaza in 1980 in Little Village, a Southwest Side neighborhood known as the &ldquo;Mexican suburb&rdquo; because of its proximity to Pilsen, its larger homes, and its fast-growing Latino population. Next year&rsquo;s census will show that Latinos constitute the majority of Little Village residents. The Pilsen and Little Village corridor now has the largest concentration of Latinos in the Midwest.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;"><b><u>5</u></b></span><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3%20PLAZA%20FINAL.jpg" title="" /></p><p><span style="font-size:22px;"><strong>Neighborhoods help put Latino in Congress</strong></span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/web%20PilsenFoundGutierrez1crop_0.jpg" style="height: 242px; width: 190px; float: left;" title="" /><strong>MARCH 17, 1992</strong>: In a Democratic primary election for U.S. House, Chicago Ald. Luis V. Gutiérrez (26th Ward) easily defeats his strongest challenger, Juan Soliz. A 1990 court order required a Chicago district with a Latino majority. Shaped like an earmuff, the district covers the Pilsen-Little Village corridor and Puerto Rican neighborhoods on the Northwest Side. Gutiérrez, who was an ally of the late Mayor Harold Washington, has Mayor Richard M. Daley&rsquo;s backing in the Congressional race. After the general election, Gutiérrez will become the first Midwest Latino in the House. Although his family is from Puerto Rico, whose residents are born with U.S. citizenship, Gutiérrez will champion immigrant political causes and maintain strong support in Pilsen and Little Village. <span style="font-size: 11px;"><b><u>6</u></b></span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">Pilsen remains Latino, but for how long?</span></strong></p><p><strong>MAY 20, 1997</strong>: In the name of job creation, Ald. Danny Solis (25th) leads a rally for a plan that would extend the University of Illinois at Chicago southward to the edge of Pilsen. The Daley administration, meanwhile, is planning a tax-increment financing district to boost industry in Pilsen. Some residents are linking those efforts to gentrification on the neighborhood&rsquo;s east end. Those residents say the changes are threatening Pilsen&rsquo;s Mexican-American character and pushing rents and property taxes too high. This summer, artists led by Hector Duarte (<span style="font-size: 11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">7</a></strong></span>) will transform an outdoor wall at 1805 S. Bishop St. into a colorful mural called &ldquo;Stop Gentrification in Pilsen.&rdquo;&nbsp;The mural will depict United Farm Workers co-founder César Chávez and Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata flanking a multigenerational Pilsen family, a pushcart vendor and anti-gentrification protesters. Such efforts will not stop affluent newcomers from moving into Pilsen but, for years to come, the neighborhood will remain the cultural heart of the Chicago area&rsquo;s Mexican-American community. <span style="font-size:11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">8</a></strong></span></p><p style="margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="color:red"><o:p></o:p></span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4%20MURAL%20FINAL.jpg" title="" /></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;"><a name="CM"></a>Our question comes from: CM! Winters-Palacio</span></strong></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cm winters FINAL.jpg" style="height: 194px; width: 185px; float: left;" title="" />African-Americans in Chicago cannot help but look at the city&rsquo;s most heavily Latino neighborhoods with some envy, according to WBEZ listener CM! Winters-Palacio, who lives in Auburn Gresham, a South Side neighborhood. &ldquo;If you drive through Little Village or Pilsen, they&rsquo;re thriving with little local stores,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;When you go on the South Side, it&rsquo;s a totally different experience.&rdquo;</p><p>Winters-Palacio chairs Malcolm X College&rsquo;s library department and tells us her interests include community development and racial segregation. So what does she think of our answer to her question? Pilsen&rsquo;s Latino identity is &ldquo;relatively new,&rdquo; Winters-Palacio says. &ldquo;It helps dispel one of the myths.&rdquo; Namely, that a strong community must have long historical roots.<a id="sources"> </a>Winters-Palacio says Pilsen and Little Village provide hope for her part of town.</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">Notes</span></strong></p><p><strong>1.</strong> Lilia Fernández, <em>Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago</em> (University of Chicago Press, 2012). &ldquo;City&rsquo;s &lsquo;DPs&rsquo; sit tight in path of big projects: Evacuation notices just a &lsquo;wolf cry&rsquo; to them,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (February 16, 1949). <strong>2.</strong> Deborah Kanter, &ldquo;Making Mexican Parishes: Ethnic Succession in Chicago Churches, 1947-1977,&rdquo; <em>U.S. Catholic Historian, Volume 301:1</em> (Catholic University of America Press, 2012).&nbsp;<strong>3.</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;Protest rally today against U. of I. campus,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (March 20, 1961). &ldquo;Council OKs W. Side U. of I. site, 41 to 3: Crowd in gallery boos action, vows fight,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (May 11, 1961). Fernández, op. cit. <strong>4.</strong>&nbsp;Fernández, op. cit. Administrative History, Bethlehem Howell Neighborhood Center collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago. <strong>5.</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;New post of Legion honors Mexican-American hero slain on Luzon,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (June 30, 1946). &ldquo;Slain vet who killed 75 Japs is honored in memorial service,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (February 14, 1949). &ldquo;Ordinance requesting the City of Chicago to convey the Manuel Pérez Jr. Plaza to the Chicago Park District,&rdquo; <em>Journal of the Proceedings of the Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Park District, </em>1979-1980. <strong>6.</strong> John Kass, &ldquo;Gutiérrez picks up Daley&rsquo;s backing for Congress,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Tribune</em> (December 10, 1991). Lou Ortiz, &ldquo;Gutiérrez coasts toward big win in Hispanic district race,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> (March 18, 1992). <strong>7.</strong>&nbsp;Editor&#39;s Note: Duarte is married to WBEZ reporter Linda Lutton. <strong>8.</strong> Gary Marx, &ldquo;Opposition brewing to UIC expansion; proposal may drive out the poor, foes say,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Tribune</em> (March 12, 1997). Ernest Tucker, &ldquo;Latinos urge UIC to move forward with expansion,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> (May 21, 1997). Teresa Puente, &ldquo;Pilsen fears upscale push may shove many out,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Tribune</em> (November 4, 1997).</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a>&nbsp;is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1" target="_blank">@ChipMitchell1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud" target="_blank">@WBEZoutloud</a>. <a href="http://twitter.com/ero_nel" target="_blank">Erik Nelson Rodrigue</a><a href="http://twitter.com/ero_nel" target="_blank">z</a>&nbsp;is an&nbsp;illustrator and graphic designer in Chicago.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538 Public housing or downtown luxury: How home shapes Chicagoans' lives, Part 1 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/public-housing-or-downtown-luxury-how-home-shapes-chicagoans-lives-part-1-107684 <p><p>Chicago is no doubt a city of stark economic differences, a fact that prompted Heather Radke to ask this question:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>What&#39;s it like to live in public housing versus the fanciest apartment downtown?</em></p><p>&quot;The real impetus behind this question is actually about disparity &mdash; income disparity and housing disparity in the city,&quot; Heather said. &ldquo;I was thinking about what sort of questions might bring out an answer that would reveal the real big differences between how poor folks live in the city and how many, many wealthy folks live in the city.&quot;</p><p>But to hear more about what separates &mdash; and possibly connects &mdash; life on either side of Chicago&rsquo;s social divide, we needed a game plan. We quickly settled on the first ground rule: The reporting needed to be specific. So, just as there&rsquo;s no prototypical public housing experience, nor a prototypical &ldquo;fancy housing&rdquo; experience, we are profiling two Chicagoans who live on either side of the spectrum.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR WEB portrait.jpg" style="float: right; height: 167px; width: 250px;" title="Crystal Palmer in her home, a $373-per-month, two-bedroom apartment in the Westhaven Annex. She says she wants the same thing in her life that anyone else wants. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" />We&rsquo;ll look at not only about how and why they ended up living where they live, but also how their homes define their lives. I&rsquo;ll also ask them everything from how they do laundry to what they eat for dinner. And I&rsquo;ll bring in relevant demographic data about their neighborhoods and the people they encounter daily. And, most importantly, I&rsquo;ll ask both people to comment on each other&rsquo;s insights and perspectives.</p><p>As we continue our search for someone interested in sharing their experience living in what would qualify as a &ldquo;fancy apartment downtown&rdquo;&nbsp;(see the <a href="#Note">editor&rsquo;s note</a> below), we bring you what we&rsquo;ve learned from a woman who can tell the public housing side of our story.</p><p><strong>&lsquo;I do all my good stuff in my house&rsquo;</strong><br /><br />Crystal Palmer lived in the area where the United Center is now for much of her life. From 1968 to 1994, she lived in the Henry Horner Homes, a Chicago Housing Authority public housing project that was composed of high-rise buildings along with a sprinkling of low-rise buildings.<br /><br />She returned to public housing in the neighborhood a few years later, as the CHA redeveloped the old Henry Horner homes. Today, Palmer lives in a $373-per-month, two-bedroom apartment in the Westhaven Annex, which sits on a plot of land seemingly carved out of the main parking lot of the United Center.<br /><br />Listening to Palmer talk with her in-unit dryer spinning in the background, it became clear that she&rsquo;s proud of the home she&rsquo;s made for herself.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20united%20center.jpg" style="float: left; height: 214px; width: 320px;" title="Crystal's apartment complex sits right in the backyard of the United Center. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" />&ldquo;In my house where it&rsquo;s quiet and peaceful, this is where I eat and I enjoy and I sleep. I do all my good stuff in my house. I do all my business outside,&rdquo; Palmer said. &ldquo;Once I&rsquo;ve done all that business, meeting after meeting and place after place, I want to get home, get me a good meal, get me a shower, maybe do some work and go to bed and get up and start it all over again.&rdquo;<br /><br />Palmer knows there are differences between her living experience and others&rsquo;, whether they live next door, in other CHA housing across the city or even in the Loop&rsquo;s Trump Tower.</p><p>But these differences are in the details &mdash; the view from the bedroom window, traffic during Blackhawks games or the distance she has to travel to the grocery store.</p><p>On the whole, Palmer says, she wants the same thing in her life that anyone else wants.</p><p>&quot;I live in public housing and those who live in a condo, they live the same exact way,&rdquo; Palmer said. &ldquo;There&#39;s no difference in the way that they live and I live. People tend to think that we live different than others.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>Location, location, location</strong></p><p>The location of her home is ideal for Palmer. But Palmer has a car just like many &mdash; but not most &mdash; of her neighbors. That makes it easier for her to go to the grocery store or get downtown for work as CHA&rsquo;s liaison with the Central Advisory Council, the voice for public housing residents around the city.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;m close to downtown,&rdquo; Palmer said. &ldquo;I can actually reach out and touch downtown from here.&rdquo;<br /><br />Palmer knows that&rsquo;s not true of residents of the city&rsquo;s other public housing developments, which can be isolated not only from downtown, but from fundamental services like grocery stores and public transportation.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20inside%20apartment.jpg" style="height: 213px; width: 320px; float: right;" title="Tanveer Ali, right, interviews Crystal Palmer inside her apartment. Palmer said her home is “where it’s quiet and peaceful, this is where I eat and I enjoy and I sleep.” (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" />&quot;We have a food desert here. We have grocery stores, but we need to catch a bus to get to them,&quot; Palmer said.<br /><br />For Palmer&rsquo;s neighbors who don&rsquo;t have easy access to cars, the location to the CTA&rsquo;s #20 Madison and #50 Damen bus routes helps reach grocery stores like Jewel-Osco, Mariano&rsquo;s or Dominick&rsquo;s. A Pete&rsquo;s Fresh Market being built on Madison Street and Western Avenue will be a 20-minute walk away.<br /><br />Women helm 85 percent of those households, in the Horner/Westhaven Park CHA site Palmer lives at, according to CHA data. CHA says slightly less than two-thirds of all adults less than 54 years old and non-disabled heads of household are employed.<br /><br /><strong>The neighbors</strong></p><p>The median yearly income of households in the area hovers slightly over $12,100, which is on par with CHA housing as a whole.<br /><br />For comparison, the median household in the census tract that includes Trump Tower is about $89,350, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.<br /><br />Palmer says figures about income disparities don&rsquo;t tell the whole story about her, or her community of public housing residents.<br /><br />&ldquo;A large percentage of us are employed and want something better and take care of our homes, take care of our units take care of our families and don&#39;t get into any trouble,&rdquo; Palmer said.<br /><br />There is crime in the surrounding area, Palmer acknowledges, but outside of noticing a few drugs deals outside her bedroom window, it hasn&rsquo;t affected her life much since she moved into her current place.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20courtyard%20view.jpg" style="float: left; height: 213px; width: 320px;" title="Tanveer Ali, left, and Crystal Palmer stand in her complex's courtyard. She says she could never live in the taller building, as she prefers her courtyard apartment. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" />&ldquo;I wasn&rsquo;t used to that and they would be making noise out there all night and they even also would be selling drugs out there,&rdquo; Palmer said. &ldquo;I was like &lsquo;Whoa, you guys need to move away from there.&rsquo; &hellip; It&rsquo;s all about a relationship.&rdquo;<br /><br />But that stays outside of the apartment complex, a set of three-story rowhouses and a seven-story apartment building that surrounds a well-manicured courtyard.<br /><br />The only way in is by passing the security desk, helmed by guards handpicked and well-known to the residents.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve left my doors open many, many times. It&rsquo;s just safe,&rdquo; Palmer added.<br /><br />But Palmer&rsquo;s days in CHA housing are hopefully numbered. Her apartment has been lined with packed boxes for the past several months as she awaits closing on a house nearby that she got for a &ldquo;very good deal.&rdquo;<br /><br />That move, she said, will hopefully come at the end of the month.<br /><br />&ldquo;For you to go from subsidies to your own, it&rsquo;s a big thing. It&rsquo;s a real big thing,&rdquo; Palmer said.<br /><br /><em>Tanveer Ali is a freelance producer who has worked for organizations that include WBEZ, the Chicago News Cooperative and DNAinfo.com. Follow him @tanveerali.</em></p><p><em><a name="Note"></a>To best answer Heather Radke&rsquo;s question about life on either side of Chicago&rsquo;s social divide, we need to hear from people of means who live in downtown Chicago. If you would like to know more or have leads for us to consider, please contact Shawn Allee, Curious City&rsquo;s editor, at 312-948-4723 or write him at sallee@wbez.org.</em></p></p> Thu, 13 Jun 2013 15:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/public-housing-or-downtown-luxury-how-home-shapes-chicagoans-lives-part-1-107684 There in Chicago (#2) http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2012-01-27/there-chicago-2-95727 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-27/roos halsted 2_schmidt.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-21/11--2012.JPG" style="width: 495px; height: 353px;" title="Roosevelt Rd @ Halsted St (view west)"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-21/1944--copy.jpg" title="1944 (CTA photo)" width="495" height="352"></p><p>How well did you find your way around 1944 Chicago?</p><p>Most of the buildings in the picture have been demolished to make way for the UIC campus. But there are some clues.</p><p>We have a wide street here, and there are only a few like this within a three-mile radius of State and Madison. In the background, the spire of Holy Family Church is cleary visible. And in the foreground is Gold's Restaurant, a well-remembered landmark of the Maxwell Street area.</p><p>To those of you who had the correct answer--good work!</p></p> Fri, 27 Jan 2012 13:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2012-01-27/there-chicago-2-95727 Examining how the United Center has impacted Chicago's near West Side http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-09/examining-how-united-center-has-impacted-chicagos-near-west-side-86242 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-09/United Center.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When the <a href="http://www.unitedcenter.com/" target="_blank">United Center</a> was built back in the early '90s many thought it would put Chicago’s near West Side on the map. The hope was the stadium would spur further economic development in the surrounding neighborhood, akin to a Wrigleyville West.<br> <br> More than 15 years later, has the home of the Blackhawks and the Bulls been a good neighbor to other residents? To find out, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke to <a href="http://www.uic.edu/cuppa/upp/faculty/weber.html" target="_blank">Rachel Weber</a>, an Associate Director of the <a href="http://www.uic.edu/cuppa/gci/" target="_blank">Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago</a> and an urban planning and policy expert.</p></p> Mon, 09 May 2011 14:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-09/examining-how-united-center-has-impacted-chicagos-near-west-side-86242