Life in the city: February 2008 Archives

Make no mistake, Sox fans like me couldn't care less if Wrigley Field gets renamed Starbucks Stadium or Old Style Park. The Friggin' Confines at Clark and Addison by any other name would smell just as rank to us.

Still, we can empathize with fans cursing a Cubbie blue streak -- like Tribune boss Sam Zell at a newsroom meeting -- over the billionaire's plan to hawk Wrigley Field naming rights.

So you say you know Chicago. Your kind of town, eh.
But do you know Real Chicago and all its tiny tucked away jewels that define our city more than a mirrored bean, glorious skyline or ancient ball park ever could?
I’m talking about places that simply feel like Chicago as soon as you encounter them — a stunning view, a friendly spot, a hidden piece of history or a joint with the best grub a neighborhood can offer.
If you’ve ever lived here, there’s probably a place that’s a must when you want to impress your out-of-town pals when they visit — and it’s probably not some tourist trap with a view like the bar on 95th Floor of the Hancock. Though, that’s nice, too.
More likely, you’ll find Real Chicago deep in the neighborhoods and off the main road — a canoe ride on an industrial leg of the river, a West Side music shop run or the mystical beauty of our city’s hidden lake.
That’s where folks who really know our kind of town — Chicago historian Tim Samuelson, architectural know-it-all Lee Bey, muralist Jose Guerrero and gallery owner Carrie Secrist — say you can find the soul of our city.
Just listening to them is like a guided tour of what it means to be a Chicagoan. So, let’s take a stroll.

Turns out, Darvia Munoz can't raffle her Chicago home.
The West Beverly woman was informed by the city and Illinois Attorney General that it's illegal, even for a charity, to raffle off a prize in Chicago that's worth more than $200,000.

So her house raffle was cancelled and everyone who bought a ticket was refunded their money, Darvia says.

Darvia, who's house was facing foreclosure, says she has found a possible buyer for her home. to save her from loosing it to the bank. But she hasn't given up on raising cash for women in need. She's running a new charity raffle — with prizes outside the city limits.

"I'm now raising money for non-profit organizations. I want to reach out and help other people who are going through trying times as well," Darvia says.

Good news. My neighborhoods column returns top the paper on Friday. It's slimmer — only one page — but it's back.

Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Life in the city category from February 2008.

Life in the city: January 2008 is the previous archive.

Life in the city: March 2008 is the next archive.

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