Recent shootings in Chicago has prompted many to worry. However, Ceasefire Chicago seems to be playing a big role in preventing violence. Ceasefire uses public health models to stop violence in its tracks. They try to cool down situations and mediate between parties that have differences and who may want to retaliate for whatever the reason may be.
According to the 2011 Chicago Murder Analysis issued by the Chicago Police Department, the number of murder victims has decreased significantly over the years from the year 1991. However, the number of murder crime complaints has increased year-to-date by 40 percent.
The Chicago Police Deparment issues a weekly report detailing the number and percentage of crime complaints for the week, month and year. As of July 2, 2012 to July 8, 2012, there has been a 50 percent increase for the same week period compared to 2011.
In the last month alone, there has beeen a 58 percent increase noted by the police from 2011 to 2012. Other crimes that seem to be on the rise in the past seven days are crimincal sexual assualt, 3 percent, and robbery, 1 percent.
The unceasing crime in Chicago has begun social movements, from organizations such as Ceasefire to documentaries like “The Interrupters”. By spreading awareness of the issue, the hope is that more people will step up to help stop crime and injury to one another.
View the trailer for “The Interrupters” below:
To read more on the statistics on crime, visit:
When foodies don’t have the pleasure of summer weather, finding good winter cuisine is even more important to the palate. But the same way a frosty wind drives people indoors, Chicago’s premiere food experience, The Taste of Chicago, is suffering in warmer climates.
During the sultry summer days, restaurants from all ends of the city gather in Grant Park for a highly anticipated one-stop dining experience. “The Taste,” as it’s known to locals, epitomizes Chicago’s identity as the ultimate foodie destination. But this year will bring changes to the Taste due to consistently declining attendance, cutting the length in half in hopes of maintaining profitability.
In the last 10 years an average of 3.3 million visitors attended the Taste of Chicago food festival during its 10- or 11-day run each year. This year the Taste will be cut in half, running only five days from July 11 through July 15, according to a press statement by Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events last month.
One of the largest food galas in the world, the Taste showcases classic Chicago food favorites including deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, Maxwell Street Polish Sausage, barbecued ribs, Eli’s Cheesecake and various ethnic cuisines. It also features performances from local and international musicians, along with visits from players from the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs.
“Taste in the last few years has had some financial difficulties in terms of covering its expenses,” said Cindy Gatziolis, spokeswoman for Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in a phone interview.
Adding days to the festival adds expenses, and the department is committed to be fiscally responsible of taxpayers’ money, Gatziolis said. “Additionally, we are also seeing this new model as possibly opening up the restaurant participation because certain restaurants may feel 10 days was a tough act to do.”
A deficit of $635.7 million in the city’s budget has resulted in spending cuts for many public programs. Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended the move to cut five days from the Taste this year: “I have all the confidence that people will continue to enjoy it,” he said in a press conference last week.
The first Taste was held on July 4, 1980. The event was greatly successful drawing an estimated 250,000, surpassing its modest goal of 75,000 people. The festival drew record attendance of nearly 3.7 million in 1999.
In the past, Grant Park fireworks have been a regular part of the Taste activities, drawing nearly a million people to the festival, Gatziolis said. Mayor Emanuel shelved the fireworks program in 2010, resulting in a drawdown of crowds. In contrast to the 2009 attendance of 3.4 million, crowds of 2.7 million and 2.4 million came to the Taste in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
The whole idea of Taste is to market local Chicago restaurants and cuisines, Gatziolis said.
“Someone who never goes to south side might try mustard-fried catfish of a South-Side restaurant,” Gatziolis said.
Despite its shrinking attendance figures and fiscal difficulties, the Taste has become a unique feature of Chicago’s cultural life. It is a celebration of people that ignores social hierarchies and geographical boundaries, and seeks what is common to all people.
“I would be sad if they got rid of it,” said Amelia Mutso, a resident of Wrigleyville, who has attended the Taste for the past three years. “[The Taste] lets me try restaurants that are not from my neighborhood that I would never get a chance to try otherwise.”
No money? No problem. Check out our map of Chicago-area museums that offer free admission during “discount days” throughout the summer and fall. Art museums are marked in pink, history in yellow and the rest in blue.
Chicago has risen to become a haven for foodies from all over the world. Food festivals, unique dining events and restaurant specials are offered throughout the year and this summer is no exception. Scroll through this interactive slideshow to get a glimpse of just some of the city’s upcoming food events.
Chicago is a foodie paradise if you know where to look. Luckily, there are tour guides for that!
1. Taste of Chinatown:
Who: Chicago Food Planet
When: Mondays, April through November, 11 a.m.
Why: To try Chinese food delicacies from the Canton, Mandarin and Szechuan regions.
How much: $60 adult | $35 adolescent & child. All food tastings are included in the ticket price.
2. Fork and the Road:
Who: Fork and the Road
What: If you’re a cyclist, foodie or just want to see the city, this tour is for you. The shortest route is 13 miles and the longest tour is 22 miles, but each has three or four stops. Everyone can find a tour to fit their taste buds: the Deli-cious, Ice-cycle, Latin Meat Lovers, Mediterranean Cruise, Tour of Asia or ‘Wich Way.
When: Weekends through Sept. 26
Why: To work off all the delicious food you’re eating.
How much: Tours range in price from $50 to $60 a person.
3. Pizza Tour
What: Sample pizza from four of Chicago’s greatest pizza venues and decide which to pledge your allegiance to. The tour visits two deep dish and two thin crust restaurants including Gino’s East, Giordano’s, La Madia, Pizzeria via Stato and State Street Pizza.
When: Every weekend
Why: Because everyone loves pizza.
How much: The tour is $48 for adults, $32 for college students and $24 for children 8-18 years old. Children 7 years or younger are free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
4. Bucktown and Wicker Park Food Tour
Who: Chicago Food Planet
What: Discover the unique artists’ colony that has slowly evolved into a hidden foodie paradise as you enjoy delectable food and drink samples from six authentic mom-and-pop restaurants and ethnic eateries in the Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods including George’s Hot Dogs, Hot Chocolate, Goddess & Grocer, Sultan’s Market, Piece and iCream.
When: Tuesday through Saturday, April through November starting at 11:30 am.
Why: To support “mom and pop” specialty restaurants and one-of-a-kind local cafés.
How much: Ticket price of $45. All food tastings, enough for lunch included.
5. Near North Food Tour
Who: Chicago Food Planet
What: The Near North Food Tour visits seven of Chicagoan’s favorite eateries in the tasty Gold Coast, Old Town and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, including Bacino’s Pizzeria, The Spice House, Delightful Pastries, Ashkenaz Deli, Old Town Oil, Tea Gschwendner and The Fudge Pot.
When: Seven days a week, March through November starting at 11:30 a.m.
Why: To see architectural gems, beautiful gardens, historic mansions, backdoor venues, hidden parks and of course, to eat.
How much: $45 adult | $30 adolescent | $15 child. Tasting included.
6. Coffee & Pastry Tour
Who: Chicago Savvy Tours
What: Chicago Savvy Tours offers an eye opening, sweet fest with our Coffee & Pastry Tour of Andersonville and Little Saigon including three coffee shops and three sweet venues for a delectable balance of sugar and caffeine. Also includes a visit to the Andersonville Galleria for shopping.
When: Saturdays and Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
Why: Because you’ll stop at Anne Sather‘s Swedish restaurant, where you’ll taste the best cinnamon roll ever.
How much: $27
7. Chocolate Tour
What: Enjoy a guided walking and tasting tour to select chocolate shops, bakeries, and cafes, including secret chocolate treasures and famous favorites.
When: At least one tour a day. Times vary.
Why: Because you’ll learn about the history of chocolate, while eating it.
How much: The tour is $40 per person.
Where are Chicagoans enjoying icy treats this summer? Here’s a map of popular parlors around town.
You’ll find Italian gelato marked in green; custard in blue; and frozen yogurt in pink. Everything else is just plain, old ice cream. It’s National Ice Cream Month so have a lick–I mean, look!