Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Chicago Changing

The Sun-Times details demographic changes in Chicago neighborhoods.

The article is very positive about redevelopment in Chicago, even to the point of being a bit of cheerleading for the Daley administration. But I think it probably papers over some of the tension this must be causing in these neighborhoods. For example:

For decades, the stretch of 63rd Street near Pulaski was the Arab neighborhood.

"It was like one family living in a huge building," said Steve Adawi, owner of Steve's Shish Kabab. "You walk up the street and you see [Arabs] everywhere. There was a feeling that this was our neighborhood."

Those days are gone.

It's very fun until someone loses an eye.

A neighborhood where I live has experienced similar changes. When my wife first came to the U.S., it was almost entirely Russian. No we see more and more Arab and Indian shops opening up. In fact, a huge Russian bookstore faces a huge Islamic bookstore across the street, a combination I was quite surprised to see.

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