In the thirty-plus years that Joan Lawson, eighty, spent treating sick people in their homes throughout Chicago as a public health nurse, she gained unique insights into the human condition. It wasn’t until the Vatican selected her to be part of a collection of stories about elders from all over the world, however, that she realized her words could have an impact.
Just in time for Día de los Muertos, a colorful exhibition named “Not Forgotten” has opened at East Side art gallery Under the Bridge, featuring the work both of artists who have passed away, and living artists painting their ofrendas—ritual altars honoring deceased people with objects from their lives. Many of the artists, whose mediums include painting, photography, and printmaking, are Chicagoans, and some died as recently as a few months ago.
Once the home of Ebony and Jet magazines, the historic Johnson Publishing Building on South Michigan Avenue is currently being transformed into rental apartments. Meanwhile, the building’s iconic interior fixtures are being shipped out across the city to keep the Black publishing house’s legacy alive.
On May 1, the South Side Home Movie Project launched its digital archive, a globally accessible online portal to home movies shot by residents of Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods between 1929 and 1982.
Under the current administration, national parks face massive budget cuts. Protected U.S. monuments are shrinking, and as the budget for national parks decreases, admission costs are rising. Next year, entry to parks like Yosemite could cost as much as admission to Six Flags.
As December comes around again, many people put up a Christmas tree, go to White Castle, and watch terrible television. Yet most people have unique traditions that make the holidays special as well. The Weekly caught up with a few South Siders this week to find out what makes the holidays special for them. As told to Bridget Gamble at the Hyde Park Dunkin’ Donuts and Kiran Misra at Kusanya Café in Englewood.
Ignacio Bautista is the owner of Gio’s, a casual Italian café and deli in Bridgeport known for their Sicilian dishes. Gio’s opened in 2001 after Ignacio and his now-retired business partner, Giovanni Liuzzo, alongside chef Victor Quezada, decided to take their combined four decades of Italian restaurant experience and open one of their own. Since opening, the restaurant has grown from four to sixteen tables and become a favorite for neighborhood locals and suburbanites alike.
Rain fell in Chicago on January 19, Barack Obama’s last night in the White House. That night, a new administration descended upon D.C. for an inauguration “welcome celebration” featuring “traditionally American” musical acts.
Hermene Hartman is a Chicago publisher who runs N’DIGO magazine, a publication focused on black perspectives and experiences. In 2005, Hartman honored Muhammad Ali with the lifetime achievement award at N’DIGO’s 10th annual gala. She spoke to the Weekly about how the event unfolded, what Ali meant to Chicago, his introduction to then-Senator Barack Obama, and how the Champ will be remembered in his once-hometown after his recent death.