Best of the South Side 2014 | South Shore

South Shore

LUKE WHITE

It seems almost impossible that the geographical bulk of the South Shore neighborhood—running from Stony Island to Exchange and from 71st to 79th—encompasses only a few square miles of land. The neighborhood gives off the impression of being far more expansive. The commercial arteries are fat and long, stuffed to the brim with knickknack shops, convenience stores, and steam-filled restaurants. Stony Island is a massive six-lane thoroughfare cut along the middle by a huge median, while 71st Street and Exchange are both bisected by the Metra Electric tracks. Turn off any one of these boulevards, though, and you’ll find yourself on quiet, tree-lined side streets like 73rd or 76th, Paxton or Constance—streets filled with old houses where kids play in the street and men sit smoking on porches. Those same streets have seen the crime and gun violence that ranks South Shore just behind Englewood and West Englewood, the two South Side neighborhoods with the most incidents, according to Red Eye’s homicide tracker. Continue reading

Chatham | Interviews | Music | South Shore

Return of the Student

Jazz musician Marquis Hill plays for the hometown crowd

MarquisHill

Trumpeter Marquis Hill, originally from Chatham, returned to the South Side two weeks ago for a show at the House of Bing in South Shore, and also played at WHPK’s annual Black History Month concert last Saturday at the University of Chicago’s International House. Continue reading

Features | Housing | South Shore

The New Road

What lies ahead for the Lakeside development?

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

Blurbs | South Shore

Deep Roots

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.

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Bronzeville | South Shore | Visual Arts

Conversation Pieces

What's an ugly shack got to do with public art?

JEANNE LIEBERMAN. A temporary shelter at 71st and East End.

JEANNE LIEBERMAN. A temporary shelter at 71st and East End.

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

South Shore | Stage & Screen

Revolutionary Revival

For one night, Troubled Island returned to life

D. HAMPTON PHOTOGRAPHY

Contralto Gwendolyn Brown as Azelia and baritone Kirk Walker as Jean-Jacques Dessalines. D. HAMPTON PHOTOGRAPHY

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

Best of the South Side 2013 | South Shore

South Shore

Patrick Leow

Patrick Leow

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