In the basement of one of the old, ornate buildings along South Shore Drive sits The House of Bing. Continue reading
On the morning of October 26, Rahm Emanuel stood on an imposing stage at the intersection of 79th and South Shore Drive. He was surrounded by a throng of onlookers, cameramen, security guards, and a high school marching band. Behind him, the parking lot of the South Shore Food & Liquor shop, which is usually filled with people chatting, was empty. Continue reading
In South Shore, a few hundred yards from Lake Michigan, is a secret garden. Its fences are overgrown with trumpet vines and morning glories, sheltering dozens of individual plots from the noise of the nearby roads. This is the Rainbow Beach Victory Garden, over sixty years old and, as such, Chicago’s oldest community garden.
At the northwest corner of the intersection between 71st Street and East End Avenue stands a wooden structure, a shack—something less akin to a building than an overgrown wooden crate marked with a modernist interpretation of tribal designs. The walls are cobbled together from boards, some newly painted pastel yellow, others black, with mahogany and aged pine planks filling in the gaps. The roof falls about four inches short of covering the whole floor on the southern side, leaving something to be desired for anyone who might come to the shack looking for protection from the elements. But as one neighborhood resident put it, “sometimes you just need a place to cry,” and as a personal refuge and a social catalyst the shack may appear oddly placed, but it is well equipped. Continue reading
Langston Hughes was brought up hearing stories about the Haitian Revolution from his grandmother, and he had long been drafting a play about the revolution when the opportunity for an opera arose. This is “Troubled Island,” composed by William Grant Still and written by Hughes and Verna Arvey. Until Maestro Leslie Dunner led a performance at the South Shore Cultural Center on Saturday, the show had not been seen in its full form since 1949. That was enough to attract Lesly Condé, consul general of Haiti. “The story of Haiti is rich in stories that could inspire many a poet, playwright, or composer,” he told the audience in an introduction to the performance. Continue reading
It seems as though the center couldn’t possible hold in South Shore. In a city where homogeneity within neighborhoods has been the rule for decades, the uneasy marriage between rich and poor, progress and stagnation—at times just a block away from each other—is blatant and inescapable. Continue reading