Posted inFood & Drink

Something magic’s growing at Back of the Yards Algae Sciences

Vivid green fluid silently courses down a vertical stack of cascading glass tubes on the third floor of the Plant, the sustainability-oriented Back of the Yards small business incubator where the meat-packer Peer Foods once processed industrial quantities of ham, bacon, and sausage in cavernous stainless steel smokers.  Nearby, spirulina-spiked Beyond Burgers sizzle and char […]

Posted inTheater Review

Get on the bus

The Uvalde school massacre put a somber hue on my mood going into 57 Blocks, Free Street Theater’s latest ensemble-created piece that takes a sharp look at public education. But by the end of the evening, which starts out at Free Street’s Pulaski Park home in Wicker Park, takes audiences on a bus down Ashland […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sweat equity, radical politics, and gentrification

Before Pilsen welcomed gallery spaces and Little Village became La Villita, the city’s Mexican population fought to make their voices heard and for places to live. Georgetown University historian Mike Amezcua chronicles this decades-long struggle in his compelling Making Mexican Chicago: From Postwar Settlement to the Age of Gentrification, published in February by University of […]

Posted inCity Life

When the hog butchers left

For just over 100 years, there was the smell. Writer Upton Sinclair called it “an elemental odor, raw and crude,” in The Jungle, his 1906 novel revealing the conditions of Chicago’s Union Stock Yards. “It was rich, almost rancid, sensual, and strong,” he wrote. “There were some who drank it in as if it were […]