Walking Chicago 2017

Walking Chicago 2017: I will admit, as an only child with extremely supportive parents, my mother picked this class for me. As an optimist, I was looking forward to any DePaul Discover class to take. However, after entering this class and getting to experience a myriad of adventures foreign to my Texan self, it has become an ordeal that I have learned so much from and will surely never forget.

As we explored diverse neighborhoods, varying from wealthy communities surprisingly in the Southside, to a neighborhood where a large number of Puerto Rican people reside, it was fascinating. I took this picture in the Puerto Rican neighborhood and it was on a wall covered in murals of different influential Puerto Rican Politicians, families, and activities painted on the side of a building which housed family owned restaurants and businesses. It was alluring to witness the diversity and obvious segregation that differentiated from neighborhood to neighborhood. As we strolled from street to street, block to block, the smell of oriental chicken, freshly baked Italian bread, and my personal favorite, Sushi continued to linger as we walked around. One thing I happened to notice was the decline of homeless people from other areas we had walked from to this one. Even though this district was not necessarily the fanciest, wealthiest area- it was still very manicured. By manicured, I mean that every sidewalk was clean, had a larger area for pedestrian walking instead for cars, and a dedicated portion of the street for flowers.

A Sunset Walk Through Uptown

This sunset/nighttime walk through Uptown was by far the most unique, part of Walking Chicago. The reason being, that we got the eye opening opportunity to walk through the section of Uptown that is notoriously known for being less affluent and holds a higher crime rate. We continued on to strolling past articulately built homes, and onward to a Vietnamese neighborhood. It was apparent that the start of our walk began in a higher crime rate neighborhood based on the empty, run down shops and abundance of homeless people. Interestingly, the homeless people in this area had the most character and personas in any other area. As we started walking past Target on, I made the connection that the part of Uptown we were in was a lower income neighborhood due to the quality of homes, and shops with sketchy looking characters hanging around to put it bluntly. We then made our way through an area of homes that looked very different from any other area we had first visited. I genuinely loved getting to see the Vietnamese neighborhood. Not only was it astonishing that this neighborhood was dedicated to Pedestrians by the speed limit being 15 MPH, the pavement being charmingly carved, and most surprisingly… flowers on the ground! It was honestly a gorgeous neighborhood. The one thing that completely caught my eye was the mural of Vietnamese people interacting with each other, improving their neighborhood.

Overall, this experience was life changing and I wouldn’t have wanted to take any other course. I know that sounds generic but it’s the honest truth. I learned more than I ever would have imagined, made some pretty fantastic friendships, and formed bonds with the mentors who guided us through this journey- making me look even more forward to my future at DePaul.