Friday Favorites: A narrative map of Chicago


map of Chicago from 1910, via Forgotten Chicago
map of Chicago from 1910, via Forgotten Chicago

We are pretty obsessed with urban studies over here, whether it involves reading up on the history of Beverly for a new meadery project or finding out about native plant species in Illinois. We thought we’d share some of our favorite Chicago-centric blogs with you, especially those that concern what really makes up a city’s character: the people that live in it.

1,001 Chicago Afternoons A contemporary collection of snippets from Chicago life, based on Ben Hecht’s 1920’s column by the same name. Paul Dailing started the blog to “write 1,001 stories about the Chicago of today, with hipsters where Hecht had bohemians, with 2012 trixies instead of 1921 flappers, with cops, crooks and the working poor where Hecht talked to, well, cops, crooks and the working poor.” Though Dailing is the founder, and we presume, the main fountain for its ink, the site welcomes story tips, so the accounts could be anyone’s.

Chicago Anthology Poems, stories, and prose of all kinds with the aim to evoke the soul of Chicago’s many neighborhoods. Currently the site only has work spurred by Pilsen, Logan Square and Hyde Park, but it plans to create platforms for more neighborhoods soon.

Chicago Detours provides rich architectural and historical tours of the city, and their blog is an enticing extension of this via their staff. For example, intern Klaudia Siczek’s piece “Forgotten Architecture of the Polish Neighborhood,” where Siczek explores the “Polonia Triangle,” and its churches, cuisine and history.

Forgotten Chicago The mission of this site is to document little known and nearly forgotten elements of Chicago architecture, infrastructure, and neighborhoods, in hopes of sparking more dialogue around preservation. We love their “Postcards from Chicago” column, where a found postcard with imagery from Chicago is researched and traced to today. For the map enthusiast, there is also a page of downloadable maps throughout the past 100 years.

And this one isn’t in Chicago, but, which we just found out about via the wonderful Swiss Miss, just interviews people sitting around New York City on Wednesdays. What they have to say is humorous, poignant, practical and everything in between. (Hint, let’s get one of these going here). If you have more, please leave them in the comments!