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The corner of North Talman Ave. and West Devon Ave. in the West Ridge neighborhood.

The corner of North Talman Ave. and West Devon Ave. in the West Ridge neighborhood.

Maggie Sivit

Curious City is spending time in West Ridge. What questions do you have about the neighborhood?

At Curious City, we’ve been answering your questions about Chicago, the region and its people for the last ten years.

Our mission is to reach residents from all corners of the metro area with the goal of finding the answers to their questions together.

A couple years ago, we looked at how many submissions we were getting from people living in every Chicago-area zip code.

We wanted to reach out to communities that we didn't hear from often. We started in Pilsen, working with community organizations, holding in-person tabling days and producing stories based on questions submitted by people from the neighborhood.

That was the start of what we now call our “Neighborhood Series.”

Since last fall, we’ve taken the “Neighborhood Series” to West Ridge, on the city’s North Side. The neighborhood is home to the historic Devon Avenue, a hub for dozens of South Asian businesses — including grocery stores, sari shops and jewelry stores. The area also serves as an entry point for diverse immigrant communities arriving in Chicago.

This spring, we held in-person tabling events to gather questions at the Indo-American Center and the Rohingya Culture Center, and we’ve got several more outreach days planned.

We’ve answered a question about how recently arrived immigrants can access resources like health care and legal support by learning about community navigators. And we’re in the process of reporting other stories inspired by questions we’ve received from West Ridge residents.

Ultimately, we’ll look for ways to bring these stories back to the West Ridge community beyond just sharing them on our podcast feed. This might look like holding live events in the neighborhood, printing the stories in zines or coming together for a community listening party.

If you live in the West Ridge neighborhood, we’d love to hear from you. What are you curious about? What stories do you think we should cover about your community?

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