All posts tagged: Chicago

Still from Chicago: Greatest American City

MY Chicago: The Great American City [video]

I LOVE Chicago. I’ve lived in Puerto Rico, in New York, and in , but Chicago will always be home. You don’t have to love this city like I do to love this video, but if you do your pride will swell. “Chicago: A city that talks the talk of the American dream, without having to shout it. It is, as a city, what happens when you get down to the truth of things….”

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Becoming human [guest post]

The fifth in the “Defining Moments: Search for Identity Series.” This one comes to us from writer, Hector Luis Alamo, Jr. Read more of his personal blog, On the Contrary and follow him on Twitter, @HectorLuisAlamo As a mixed-race, mixed-nationality, second-generation Latino American, my identity has been in constant flux for much of my young life.Born in Humboldt Park, and surrounded by my dad’s side of the family, who seemed to end every other word with “-ao,” I was sure I was 100-percent boricua — albeit, a dark one with a lot of indigenous blood coursing through my capillaries. My grandfather Ines, whom everyone called “Papi Two,” was a short, bald old man whose dark skin made him look like a coffee bean wearing a golf cap and a white mustache. My grandmother, Doña Ana, whom everyone naturally called “Mami Two,” was an equally diminutive old white lady with red hair that made her look like a much aged Lucille Ball. Now, here’s where things started to get confusing for me. When I was younger, I thought Papi Two was …

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You can take the girl out of the ‘hood, but you can’t… well you know the rest

I’m sitting up in bed, giving up on sleep for a little while longer as it’s currently denying me its comfort. It’s the kind of windy Chicago night that I love; the sound of the wind blowing both ferocious and familiar. Tonight it’s a little different though; I hear wind chimes too. I’m enthralled and look to where it’s coming from. Seeing as I’m accustomed to the sound of a symphony of sirens, loud music, and car alarms attempting to harmonize throughout the night, the wind chimes are an enchanting and welcome change. They are a reminder that there is beauty in everything in this world; a reminder that there is hope, even in this neighborhood where abandoned buildings, empty lots, and new developments outnumber affordable housing. But that’s life in the ‘hood now. In my younger days, there weren’t new developments in Humboldt Park or Logan Square; at least not anywhere near me. In my neighborhood, we were all poor and life was great. Sure, as children we wanted for things, but not having …