If anything was going to make me nostalgic for my childhood summers spent driving through beach towns on the white-sand coasts of Alabama, I didn’t expect to find it in South Shore. But Surf’s Up South Shore encapsulates everything I remember about the restaurants in Southern beach towns: the colorful painted interiors, the pithy “Life’s a Beach” wall art, a diagram explaining the difference between “you,” “y’all,” and “all y’all,” and of course the menu offerings: deep-fried (or grilled!), richly seasoned, and generously portioned seafood platters that already had me ready to bring out the flip-flops and sunglasses for a beautiful summer day at the Point.
Boasting four tall towers, each topped by an American flag and flanked by well-groomed flower beds, the South Shore Cultural Center drips of stateliness. Inside there is no less pomp and circumstance—cascading chandeliers, embossed ceilings, detailed early-twentieth century wallpaper, and floor-to-ceiling windows give the space a palatial quality.
- Best Peaches and Herbie
- Best Soon-to-be-Irreversibly Altered Part of the Park District
- Best Vegetarian Burrito
- Best Ancestral Resurrection
- Best Barbecue to Tempt a Vegetarian With
Roman Villarreal is an artist and lifelong resident of South Chicago. He operates Under the Bridge, 10052 S. Ewing Ave.
Murmurs and greetings circulated through the wood-paneled meeting room of Bryn Mawr Community Church as one hundred South Shore residents settled in for the monthly 5th Ward meeting on May 23.
Before Charles Barlow moved to South Shore earlier this year, he wanted to scope out the neighborhood. He looked up the local grocery stores, got in his car, and drove to the corner of 87th Street and Lake Shore Drive, where he expected to find a Mariano’s. Instead of fresh food, he was greeted by grassland and the promise of future development.
A quartet of male performers walks solemnly onto dirt and rock, holding steel sheets above their heads. An aerial view of a flock of birds flying over the Calumet industrial corridor is projected onto two jagged concrete pillars with a break of open space at its center. The performers break away from formation and scrape the metal sheets in feverish circular motions, creating clouds of dust. Already the performers embody the spirit of steel mill workers and mimic the machines surrounding them.
“You never know what you can make with this stuff, and I’m always trying to get creative with the park.” – Todd Agosto
When Benyamin Macabee, owner of the only Black-owned art space in Chicago between Hyde Park and the Indiana state line, talks of South Shore, there is a pride in his eyes that doesn’t falter, a steadfastness that mirrors South Shore’s own spirit. “The work I’m doing, the work we’re all doing here, is the work of the universe.” Here, between 67th and 83rd Street, the road to community development is music-, art-, food-, and soul-filled, as evidenced by its unusual smorgasbord of claims to fame: the largest group of Black sailors in the country, a comic book collective called Team Visual X, soulful vegan, vegetarian, Chinese, Mexican joints, a huge public golf course, public and private beaches, weekly jazz concerts and musical jam sessions, are all located in the neighborhood.