Pilsen / UIC

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Christine Harrell

Off 18th

  • Age: 28
  • 'Hood: Pilsen
  • Fave spot: Simone's

Christine Harrell is a teacher and freelance writer who lives right off 18th street. When she is not teaching young children or writing, Christine studies Flamenco dance at Pilsen's Clinard Dance Theater, wanders aimlessly around Racine and asks neighbors what the alderman is doing wrong now. She also hunts down all the Vegan food in the land of carne.

Falafel comes to Pilsen Subway

Falafel comes to Pilsen Subway

A few weeks ago, I saw a poster in a southwest suburban Subway for a falafel sandwich. That burb has a huge Middle Eastern population.  So, I thought the falafel sandwich was just a local thing. Well apparently, Subway has been test-running their falafel sandwich in Chicago all year.  I just saw a poster for…

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Local crochet queen sells customized accessories

Local crochet queen sells customized accessories

I recently started working in Canaryville, which is about a zip code away from Pilsen.  A client, who is a resident of Bridgeport/Canaryville, told me about Maggies Closet 09, the business of a local crocheter. Is “crocheter” even a word? Anyway, Maggie’s Closet 09′s claim to fame is their crochet items for kids and babies. …

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Another Southside hood you’ve never heard of

Most of my friends live up north, and to some of them, anything south of Downtown is “Far South,” including Pilsen. Also, to some Northsiders, the “Southside” is a homogenous mass.  Just U.S. Cellular Field and ghettos. But like the Northside, every Southside neighborhood has a different vibe, a different story, and reflects a different…

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Jewelry for your inner nomad

Jewelry for your inner nomad

Well, Flamenco attracts the coolest students! If you’ve shopped at City Soles lately, you might have noticed some jewelry that resembles twigs, fossils and other artifacts from a faraway excavation site.  Turns out the one who created that jewelry is Laura Prieto-Velasco, one of my Flamenco sisters and a Pilsen-based artist. The jewelry is all…

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Teatro is not always so classy...

Teatro is not always so classy…

In previous posts, I sang the praises of Ristorante Al Teatro’s pizza and drink selection for vegans.  I also liked that it was a classy alternative to greasy pizza joints and dime-a-dozen Mexican restaurants.  Well, “classy” compared to some of the other places in Pilsen.  I guess the decor is a little much. Now I…

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Citizens march against coal in Pilsen

Citizens march against coal in Pilsen

While driving down 18th street this Saturday, I found a group of a few dozen or so people marching eastbound with placards and megaphones.  At first, I thought they were members of Occupy and marching for that movement, but upon closer look realized that they were marching for something a little closer to home. They…

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