Hip-Hop Wake Up Call: North vs South

chicago-poetry-calendar

Chicago tends to split views once you take into question how certain issues affect specific areas. As it relates to Chicago crime, there is a huge gap in perspectives between the North Side and the South Side.

Where I live in Uptown, there are always police officers, very little instances of crime, and when there are incidents, there is usually a quick response from the police department. A similar perspective can be felt in the Wicker Park area–at least before you walk into Humboldt Park territory. A lot of my friends argue this is due to the amount of white people who live in the area. No matter the reasoning though, the crime rate is still noticeably better.

Then there are areas like the Wild 100s and Washington Park, where police officers are scarce, resources are few and far between, and the death tolls are increasing daily–most of which are Black and Latino. It’s only Wednesday and the area has already reported five homicides according to the Redeye Homicide Tracker. All were African American males.

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Envisioning the Final Project

For my final article, I was probably (I never like to commit too early) going to continue on with my bicycling story. I’ll go a little more in-depth with the topic, focus more on an organization or specific cyclist, and what problems there are in the city with biking.

There are a number of bicycling groups in Chicago that deal extensively with the Wicker Park/Bucktown/Logan Square/West Side area, so I might try to profile them. For instance, I found one group in Pilsen, so perhaps I can speak with them or find a sister organization in Wicker Park.

One thing I do know is that I’ll be going with all new sources for my final paper. I talked with two random strangers on Milwaukee Ave., so I won’t be able to track them down again. Also, the lady I talked with who works with The Chainlink was nice, but it was a huge ordeal to speak with her. I’ll move on from that.

If I don’t write another biking story, I might go with a story on pick-up basketball, or I might just walk around the neighborhood this week and see what catches my interest.

Gentrification: Changing the Face of Logan Square and Wicker Park

Wicker Park

Wicker Park

For my final story I’m looking to take a dive into the topic of gentrification and the impact its had on the Wicker Park and Logan Square communities during the last decade.

This topic is particularly interesting to me, given that I’ve grown up around these areas and have seen them transform before my eyes in a matter of years.

Logan Square is a neighborhood that I grew up in and in a matter of 5 or 6 years it has been slowly experiencing change evident through the new faces in the neighborhood, new restaurants, boutiques, and demographics in general.

There are a couple of streets which clearly reflect the changes taking place in Logan Square, such as the intersection of Kedzie and Milwaukee. At this intersection, Kedzie has become populated with small trendy restaurants, including a tapas bar/lounge whose atmosphere and look is reminiscent of those in Wicker Park.

As far as Wicker Park goes, the neighborhood has become inhabited with a ton of trendy and many times pricy boutiques which reflect the income levels and changing demographics of the area. Wicker Park has transformed from a high crime neighborhood into a neighborhood full of pricy shops, real-estate, and an abundant amount of restaurants and bars.

However, although all may seem great from the outside, in conducting my research and interviews for this story I am looking to see what the impact of these changes are on the longtime residents of the area and am looking to figure out how these communities deal with these changes.

The Debate On Internships

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For my final article I am going to build off of my midterm and focus on young adults doing internships in order to gain more experience in their field. Using the young girl from my midterm as inspiration, I want to focus on the idea that many young adults are going back to school or taking unpaid or underpaid jobs as interns so that they can qualify for positions in their field of study.

A recent article in the New York Times focused on the struggles of internships. Many young adults are working short hours, for even shorter amounts of pay. According to the article, the idea of entry level positions are disappearing and internships are taking over. The article focused on the negativity of internships and how they seem to drag on forever.

The girl from my midterm has spent her last year of grad school interning at several different clinics. She has spent her last two semesters interning at two different internships that are both unpaid. Although she is gaining experience in her field of study, she is unable to work. She still has to rely on her parents for money and she is still unsure if she will have enough experience to qualify for a position in her field. As graduation approaches, she finds herself applying for jobs in her field and finding very few jobs that are offering entry level positions.

I am curious to see the affects that internships are having on young adults and if they are really helping them to qualify for jobs or if they are holding them back from a steady income.

Ryerson Elementary School Closing: Violence and Student Safety Concerns

Ryerson Elementary School C/O L.A. Times

Ryerson Elementary School Photo/ L.A. Times

As the date approaches for the 54 schools on the list of CPS schools closing this upcoming 2013-2014 school year, parents, teachers, students and communities at large prepare to take on the many changes that come with the closing of these schools.

Parents like those of Ryerson Elementary School, located in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the northwest side of the city, who are fighting to try and keep their children’s schools open.

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The Fuel, Not The Fire: Aerias & The Clyde Project on Chicago Hip-Hop & Crime

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Local hip-hop band Aerias & The Clyde Project address Chicago crime and how their musical maturity transcends it’s negative influence on hip-hop music.

“I don’t think hip-hop music causes violence, it may be a consequence of it though,” says Josh Luis, lead guitarist and composer for the Chicago-based hip-hop band Aerias & The Clyde Project regarding concerns of Chicago hip-hop having an affect on the city’s crime and venue interests.

This is due to  reports of Congress Theatre being shut down due to drug-related and other alleged violations at the popular venue, which may, or may not, pose a negative threat to Chicago’s hip-hop industry and how other venues tighten up to avoid potential suit.

But when asked if there were any noticeable changes in the Logan Square’s concert/venue community, the band was soft-spoken. As a matter of fact, the band considers the area their best venue and credits their success to fans in the area.

“The shows that we’ve done so far are shows that I’ve only dreamed of doing..[and the] wicker/Logan Square has always been a bit of a ‘hot spot’” says trumpet player, Tyree Williams, the band’s newest member.

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CPS School Closings: City’s West Side

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Yesterday, I took the opportunity to attend an open hearing at the CPS offices for the Ryerson Elementary School, which is on the list of possible school closings to take place during the Fall of 2013. Ryerson a school located in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the west side of the city, is 1of 4 schools on the infamous list of school closings.

The hearing discussed the city’s rational behind the closing of Ryerson, putting forth that the reason the school was to be closes was that it didn’t meet “enrollment efficiency”, meaning that the school was “under utilized” given it has a capacity of “900 students and 30 classrooms” and is only enrolling to date “399 students”.

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