Illustration by Grae Rosa

This year of crisis has really put into perspective the people and places that matter to us, hasn’t it? For the first time in the eight years that we’ve been doing the Best of the South Side, the writing process has been simultaneously painful and sobering as we mourn our losses and count our blessings. 

We weren’t shocked when we heard that the neighborhoods worst hit by COVID-19 were Black and brown and poor, and that our institutions were ill-prepared to care for us. But hopefully we also realized, if we didn’t already know, that we are essential parts of the city and we make it run. 

When college students left their campuses, downtown workers went back to the suburbs, and out-of-towners went home, Chicagoans were left to their own devices in all their glory. The pandemic reminded us that we’re vulnerable and that only we keep us safe. 

South Siders found a variety of ways to heal, whether it be through neighborhood mutual aid groups, unity marches, homemade cooking, repurposing a school bus, making music, medicinal teas, stocking a fridge, painting rocks, rediscovering a local park… we’re figuring it out.

In this issue, we uphold the ways that South Side residents have worked against the odds to ensure a better life for themselves, their families, and their city. #BoSS2020

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Best of Archer Heights & West Elsdon

Best of Avalon Park & Calumet Heights

Best of Back of the Yards

Best of Beverly & Morgan Park

Best of Bridgeport

Best of Brighton Park

Best of Bronzeville

Best of Chatham

Best of Chicago Lawn & West Lawn

Best of Chinatown

Best of Clearing & Garfield Ridge

Best of East Side & Hegewisch

Best of Englewood

Best of Gage Park

Best of La Villita

Best of McKinley Park

Best of North Lawndale

Best of Pilsen

Best of Pullman

Best of Roseland

Best of South Chicago

Best of the South Loop

Best of South Shore, Woodlawn, & Hyde Park

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    1. Due to circumstances beyond our control we were unable to include a full section on Hyde Park in this issue, but we have now added two HP-related items to the section formerly limited to South Shore & Woodlawn, and renamed that section.

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