One of the wonderful things about Chicago is the neighborhoods that make up the city. The Loop is nice and all, but I prefer the huddle masses.
A few weeks ago, Robert and I travelled down to the Ukrainian Village neighborhood with a friend of his. On a Sunday afternoon, not many of the Ukrainian restaurants were open, but the pair of them managed to sniff out a Ukrainian Deli. I enjoyed a bit of a laugh watching them navigating the foreign labels and people, but both left with well-earned prizes in hand. We visited a few ornate churches; I was, as usual, prepared with my Nikon in hand. Then we walked a few blocks to grab a bite at a dine and dash middle eastern restaurant with some fantastic hummus.
While still distinctly part of Chicago, Ukrainian Village gave us a snapshot of how a people from half a world away can assimilate and still carve out a slice of home. Signs in Ukrainian line the streets, and unique pieces of art can be spotted in front of taverns, cultural centers and the like. It can give culture-starved explorers a chance to feel something different – regardless of if it’s authentic.
I love seeing visiting other parts of the city because each community shapes Chicago in its own way. You can’t understand Chicago fully without seeing each one of its cogs turn.
Alright, enough clock metaphors.