WBEZ | Diplomat Motel http://www.wbez.org/tags/diplomat-motel Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Reporter's Notebook: From neon to newsprint http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/reporters-notebook-neon-newsprint-108646 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Thomas Hawk motels.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Nicole Kirkwood has lived in Chicago&rsquo;s Lincoln Square neighborhood for over 10 years. But, whenever she drives down that one stretch of Lincoln Avenue between Foster and Peterson, she asks herself the same question: What are all of these old motels <em>doing</em> here?</p><p dir="ltr">It&rsquo;s a good question, one that&rsquo;s been investigated by a number of Chicago news outlets (especially in the early 2000s, when Mayor Richard Daley <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-04-21/features/9804210142_1_motels-drug-sales-mayor-richard-j-daley">called for a number of the old motels to be demolished</a> to help kickstart the area&rsquo;s redevelopment).</p><p dir="ltr">So, Nicole is well aware of Motel Row&rsquo;s reputation for seediness. But she&rsquo;s still curious &mdash; maybe<em> optimistic</em>, even &mdash; about what keeps them in business. As for the rumors she&rsquo;s heard? &ldquo;Well, they&rsquo;re the ones you hope aren&rsquo;t true &hellip; local commerce &hellip; and whatever,&rdquo; she says.</p><p dir="ltr">By &ldquo;local commerce,&rdquo; she means prostitution, drug trade and violent crime. And while there may be some truth in that, we both agree the motels couldn&rsquo;t have first opened with that intention. So, what went wrong? How much do the motels actually rely on the &ldquo;things you hope aren&rsquo;t true&rdquo; for survival?</p><p dir="ltr">We&rsquo;ll keep you posted on what we find out in the reporter&rsquo;s notebook below:</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="650" src="http://embed.verite.co/timeline/?source=0Am-AbC8HDbXMdExHOGhfbG1FaktHUTBLb01BUmEtOVE&amp;font=Bevan-PotanoSans&amp;maptype=toner&amp;lang=en&amp;height=650" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Logan Jaffe is Curious City&rsquo;s multimedia producer. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/loganjaffe">@loganjaffe</a>.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 12:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/reporters-notebook-neon-newsprint-108646