Tag Archives: Chicago

Gangsters, Bigots, and Tough Guys: Growing Up Chicago by Alejandro Diaz

Chicago spelled in lights
 

Chicago is in my blood, even though today I consider myself a Californian. My parents immigrated to the Windy City in the late 1950’s; my younger brother, my three older sisters and I were all born on the Westside. Chicago has always been a tough, blue-collar town, made up of different ethnic neighborhoods that can be downright hostile to outsiders. But when my parents moved there, it was also a city where housing was very affordable, where working class wages were strong, and a place where you could get a good education at a fair … Continue reading Gangsters, Bigots, and Tough Guys: Growing Up Chicago by Alejandro Diaz

Despite What Beer May Come

Plate of food and bottle drink
 

The dogs at Chicago’s Belly Shack are the best. In the bare, post-industrial setting of this diner beneath the rumbling tracks of the L, you can get a Belly Dog loaded with egg noodles and pickled green papaya. Add a little mustard and a side of Togarashi fries and you’ve got the makings of a beautiful episode of indigestion. Which I got. And which propelled me into a local 7-11 for some Tums on my way to the funky independent bookstore in Wicker Park. I was waiting on a plane to land at midnight, bringing … Continue reading Despite What Beer May Come