Sun-Times intrepid columnist Dave Hoekstra is a master at capturing city life (especially if it's in a barroom with great music) or tidbits of Americana chronicled during his travels on his favorite road.
His latest series, Girls Gone Chicago, takes us to a Ukrainian Village coffee shop and the lives of three 24-year-old immigrant gals — Ukranians Elena Lypnytska and Nadiya Yatskiv and Polish immigrant Monica Syniweicu — adjusting to American life, the Chicago Way.
While some of his skeptical colleges have been overheard saying, "Yeah, right. Talking to cute girls on Saturday night. What a scam," Hoekstra does a fine job of capturing a slice of life that too often goes overlooked — the struggle of new (and I assume legal) immigrants. Most of the focus of immigration coverage tends to center on the amnesty for illegal immigrants debate, which is worthy of front page headlines.
Hoekstra, however, has found a trio of girls who are making Chicago a home away from home, which takes some adjustment.
Back home, gals don't usually leave the house without putting on makeup or wearing high heels, let alone where gym shoes or flip flops in public.
The gals work at Village Cafe, which sounds like a nice place for coffee. If you're in the hood, here's some places to visit courtesy of another of my favorite guys, freelancer, hip-hop critic and former Red Streak alumni David Jakubiak.