If you stop to get lunch in Hyde Park, it’d be understandable to think Rico Nance owns just about every restaurant in the neighborhood. From the original LiteHouse Whole Food Grill at 55th Street and Hyde Park Boulevard, which opened in 2013, his family of restaurants has radiated outwards. In 2016, Mikkey’s Retro Grill popped up two blocks north on 53rd, with a second location opening in Avalon Park in 2018.
Chicago has an urban flooding problem. The latest report on this issue, released by the Environmental Law & Policy Center and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in March, found that climate change in the Great Lakes will result in an increase in “extreme precipitation,” heavy rainfalls that are more likely to lead to flooding. This report is only the latest in a series that have sought to quantify the problem of urban flooding in Chicago, and its disproportionate impact on the South Side. In the wake of this report’s release, the Weekly went through literature on urban flooding, and pulled out the most important numbers that describe the problem.
The planned Obama Presidential Center (OPC) in Jackson Park has drawn praise and criticism from the beginning. Proponents argue it will bring jobs and spark economic development in Woodlawn, with the Obama Foundation estimating that, over ten years, the OPC will generate $2.1 billion in additional income for South Side business owners. But critics of the center, led by the Obama Community Benefits Agreement Coalition, argue that a legally binding agreement is needed to ensure that influx goes to supporting residents, rather than displacing them.
Readers expecting a detailed account of urban coyotes may be surprised by Gavin Van Horn’s new book. The Way of Coyote blends memoir and ecological research in a work of creative non-fiction that explores Chicago’s wilderness and how we live alongside it. The beauty and wonder of urban nature are treated in much the same style as traditional, wilderness-focused nature writing, and Van Horn acknowledges on the first page that his “Plan A” was to live in a cabin somewhere with no cell reception. That plan fell through, however, and instead of lions or wolves, Van Horn finds beauty in the birds and butterflies that call Chicago home.
Indian Ridge Marsh is not one of the Chicago Park District’s flashiest properties. It doesn’t have a basketball court, a field house, or any of the other features that draw people to parks like Marquette or Calumet. While a small gravel lot provides a few parking spots, no sidewalks lead to the park, and the nearest bus stop is nearly a mile away. Indian Ridge is a new type of park, focused on restoring the natural areas that once covered this part of Chicago.