Friday, April 27, 2007


Go here to read all about a documentary on Maxwell Street:

Growing up in the ‘burbs, my exposure to this part of town was minimal (sadly I ended up doing my dirt-mall shopping at Swaparama) but I have been waiting for someone to document the rise and fall of one of Chicago’s most interesting sights. As legendary and important a part of the city as Wrigley Field, Maxwell Street was cut, diluted, polluted and ruined in order to make room for UIC area condos. Papa Daley displaced more than his share of natives to what was once Little Italy and Daley part II did likewise to the area of Halsted and Maxwell, and all points south to Pilsen. I like how this Reader reviewer—and I assume the movie—speculates that little Daley might have once gotten his ass beat on Maxwell, thus leading to his blink-of-an-eye decision to bulldoze the area and uproot its denizens.

As stated above, Chicago has a long history of doing just that. I suppose the fact that it is safe to walk near Cabrini Green is evidence of how this gentrification is not a bad thing per se, but clearly the thinking is centered solely on the wallet and not the people who have long lived in the area and then find themselves tossed out.