For those of us who live in Chicago, the “L” is a way of life. The “L” is a rapid transit system that extends throughout Chicago and some of the neighboring suburbs. Through it, we gain access to many of Chicago’s ethnic neighborhoods and foods.
As a student at UChicago, the L’s Red Line is the main way by which students can travel to downtown (the Loop), which is the center point of the L system. It runs from 95th street in the South Side all the way up to Howard in the Far North Side. On the way, we travel by Chinatown, the White Sox’s stadium and the city’s largest Trader Joes. Chicago’s L system has allowed students to travel quickly and inexpensively throughout Chicago.
Chinatown is the nearest Ethnic neighborhood to UChicago. You will find bubble tea, savory dim sum and greasy donuts. What is probably most interesting about Chicago’s Chinatown is its rich history and culture. Chinatown was first formed in the late 1800s when approximately 150 ethnically Chinese settled in the southern Loop to escape anti-Chinese laws and violence that had developed on the West Coast after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.
In 1928, the first traditionally styled building was built to commemorate Chinese culture and heritage at the cost of 1 million dollars. Perhaps ironically, the first commemoration was built to house the headquarters of the powerful Chinese gang, On Leong Tong. Today, Chicago’s Chinatown is one of the largest in America and stands as a testament to the longevity of an ethnic group that has been repressed over the years.
Personal recommendations include: Lao Szechuan, Lao Hunan, and Lao Shanghai.