Best of the South Side 2017 | Far Southeast Side

Best of the Far Southeast Side 2017

Jason Schumer

There are so many little things that make living in Calumet Heights special, insignificant things really, but the older I get, the more I realize that little things are what matter most to me in life. My neighborhood has no great monuments except for a few charming churches where neighbors gather to give thanks each Sunday. The parks I enjoyed in my youth can’t rival their more famous cousins downtown. Our major thoroughfare, Stony Island, is a workhorse that funnels suburban commuters to the north, not one of the beaux arts visions that sprang from the minds of Burnham or Olmsted when our city was keen to flex its muscles to the world. Even the sleepy little street where I grew up, Ridgeland Avenue, is eclipsed by its more famous sibling to the west, but despite these things I couldn’t be more proud to call this place home.

Best of the South Side 2017 | Chinatown

Best of Chinatown 2017

Zachary Jesse

I was born in ’52. There weren’t a lot of new immigrants coming in, and at the time, everybody was being Americanized. In my family, we tried to keep the language and the culture going. My father wanted us to speak Chinese at home all the time, and we went to Chinese school every day for six years.