Sweet Home Chicago

I’ve grown up in the suburbs of Chicago my entire life.  I never really like the city when I was younger, but I’ve gain a love of my home, especially after all of my travels.  Some cities are good for a break, other are good for business and other for parties.  Chicago has everything!  It has museums, one of the greatest music scenes ever, bars, clubs (if that’s your thing) and places to just enjoy some sun at the beach (unless you’ve been spoiled by the ocean and expect the water to actually be warm).  Its so beautiful and we have the Bean, it’s pretty cool.

The neighborhoods, the areas that aren’t in tourist guide books, are separated by different groups, as they are in most cities.  I love going to Humboldt, though because of it being a dangerous area I don’t stay long and go in the mornings.  It’s one place where you can find Puerto Rican food in a grocery store.  In the suburbs, there aren’t any places that sell Puerto Rican food and being part Puerto Rican, I love my florecitas and other food!  Logan Square also had this great restaurant, Cocina Boricua.  So good! I just love it!

The city is a beautiful place, a wonderful place, especially if you live or go to the parks and museums or in the suburbs or some scattered neighborhoods.  Other areas though, areas like Humboldt Park are dangerous, very dangerous.  In these past years, the violence has gotten even worse in the city, not just in Humboldt Park, everywhere.  Last night there were 19 people injured in shooting and that is just so sad and shouldn’t be happening.

A lot of the violence I don’t understand, whether it is gang violence which Chicago is renown for or other.  I don’t think I’ll ever understand it.  It makes me so sad, so sad that there is such little value of life.  I honestly can’t even imagine taking another persons life, or trying to, just because of where they live or something like that so insignificant like that.  I can’t even kill a bug that’s in my house, rescue them and put them outside!

With all of the beauty that the city holds, I think people forget that there are many problems, not just problems, unacceptable conditions where people, innocent people have to raise their children and keep them safe from those who cause violence.  Others are left with no hope or choice.  It breaks my heart to think of that and it breaks my heart that it seems like people forget about all of that or sometimes I feel like it’s just another news story or people don’t realize how bad the violence problems are.  I know I can’t relate because I’ve never lived in areas plagued with violence, I’ve never experienced that fear.  I talked to a women born and raised in Humboldt Park and she told me she couldn’t go out at night and they had their windows broken by various things quite often.  That’s not how a child should grow up.

Something has to be done and support has to be given.  I’ve focused my support in the form of an organization called Build, Inc. but there are so many ways to get involved through various organizations.  Always do your research though, find out about who runs an organizations and how they set up their plans to help.  The more information you have, the more power you have to help.  Don’t think that you can’t make a difference, that you don’t live there so you can’t help or just pass a story like this by in a newspaper and say “That’s horrible” and move on to the sports page.  It’s not just a story, these are people’s lives, children being killed in useless violence.  In March a 6 year old was shot on her fron porch, things like that shouldn’t happen and it’s not just a story, that is a live that has been extinguished so easily by another. There is never something that you can’t have help and it doesn’t matter where you live, Chicago, L.A., the suburbs even another state!   So don’t just read a story, feel for a person who need a difference to be made.  Instead, do something about it.

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