Living in Chicago



Even New Yorkers, Londoners and Parisians will tell you that Chicago is a microcosm of America. And in this case, they will not be using the word America as a misnomer for the United States, for Chicago is the second largest Mexican city in the world and is home to one of the very largest Guatemalan settlements. It is the largest Polish city in the world outside of Warsaw. So it is not simply an American city, but something more: a concentration of peoples from the North American and Central American continent, and from around the globe. This process is not new or sudden, but basic and essential to the birth of the city (founded by a Frenchman of African descent) and its growth and continued vitality.

The campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago was relocated to the near West side in the early 1960s as a means of separating a vital commercial Chicago from neighborhoods with strong national ties: Greek, Italian, Ukrainian, African-American. Even today, the neighborhood remains resolutely ethnic, the campus remains a transition between older Chicago and the newly booming commercial west Loop and the downtown remains the economic center of the city and the region.