Chicago “Ghetto Tour” Stirs Debate

A woman who’s intimately familiar with Chicago’s public housing is offering “ghetto” bus tours of former projects, including the Robert Taylor Homes and Cabrini-Green:

‘Ghetto tour’ showcases Chicago projects

“I want you to see what I see,” says Beauty Turner, after leading the group off the bus to a weedy lot where the Robert Taylor Homes once stood. “To hear the voices of the voiceless.”

Turner, a former Robert Taylor Homes resident, has been one of the most vocal critics of the Chicago Housing Authority’s $1.6 billion “Plan for Transformation,” which since the late 1990s has demolished 50 of the 53 public housing high-rises — including Cabrini-Green — and replaced them with mixed-income housing.

City officials have heralded the plan. But Turner believes the city once accused of leaving residents to be victimized by violent drug-dealing gangs is now pushing those same people from their homes without giving them all a place to go.

It’s interesting to hear Beauty Turner’s perspective on things. She’s upset with the city’s plan to replace the projects with new mixed-income housing. From her perspective, this is hurting the previous residents who’ll be pushed out by the new, costlier, housing.

Debates like this are not unique to Chicago. Minneapolis is having similar debates in areas of Phillips where new housing is going in, as well as in some areas of the North side.

People who are living on a fixed income also don’t like seeing their property taxes rise, which is inevitable as neighborhoods are improved, causing their property to appreciate.

The progress problem.

Chicago Drawings by Kids

Interesting experiment:

Students from a South Shore High School art class were granted a simple assignment. Written on the chalkboard were the words, “Which Chicago Do You Live In?” and there were stacks of paper and writing utensils to use. Draw a map. While at first the students were confused as to why they were doing this, the results show some very interesting and personal portrayals of individuals living in a neighborhood that many fellow Chicagoans have little awareness of.

chicago drawing

I like the shout-out to Oak Park. My birthplace.

If this was done at high schools in Minneapolis, I bet things would look a lot different on North Minneapolis vs. South Minneapolis drawings. For one, I would expect to see a lot more lakes on S. Minneapolis drawings.

via Platial blog

Chicago Rocks / Sucks / Rocks / Sucks

Jeff breaks down the pluses and minuses of Chicago living with a top-10 and bottom-10 list at The Daily Score. On the positive side, he includes:

Neighborhoods: Buying a Chicago neighborhood map was one of my first purchases. It’s what makes the city so unique.

While most large cities have defined neighborhoods, Chicago does seem unique in it’s ability to have neighborhoods with character.

On his 10 Worst Things:

Parks: Walking around Lincoln Park is all right, but this city only has a couple big parks and they get real busy and full. When you have trains going by one end of the park and major streets going by the other, that just isn’t that ideal of a situation.

Compared to Minneapolis, Chicago has no parks. If I worked or lived near downtown, I think I’d get sick of Lincoln Park and the lake shore over time, and where would I go next? And road biking? Forget it.

Hula Hooping Fitness Strikes Chicago

Frick-n-A. I think Chicago’s ahead of Minneapolis when it comes to fitness fads:

BEEP (( Get Busy ))

“In hula hoop fitness classes, the hoop itself isn’t the same piece of equipment you remember as a kid. The fitness hoops are heavier and larger, which makes them easier to control and also gives the individual a more strenuous workout. The hoops can range in price from $30 to $45.

Some of the moves Crosby teaches include the “booty bump,” which focuses on the abs and rear; the “eagle,” where you use hoop on your chest, going from one arm to the next; the “spunk,” which concentrates on the top of the knees to the hips; and the “slinky” where you dip your arms in and out of the open area while hooping.

I’m all for any exercise that helps people get into better shape. Even running.

It’s not clear from the article whether Jeff Schwister did any hula hooping for his story.