One of the more interesting and exciting aspects to city living is noticing a place where people from disparate backgrounds can gather in close geographic proximity. This happens often downtown, of course. However, there are two corners that I have visited recently where this dichotomy has been quite noticeable.
The first is 38th and Illinois. I was there last weekend for a friend’s baby shower and concert at the Melody Inn (one of the best concert venues in town). Across the street is a store-front church. The church was hosting a party attended by many young men and women, which I believes speaks to the lack of actual entertainment venues available to minorities in the inner city. The Urbanophile speaks on race relations much more eloquently than I can, so I will leave my commentary on the issue there.
The second is 49th and College. The corner has been targeted as the next College Avenue node to become revitalized. I visited the new Upland Tasting Room, which is a unique concept that discourages over-consumption and lingering, because the space is minuscule. After the sampling, I crossed the street to eat at Just Wing-N It, located in an old KFC. The restaurant, along with the Bottle Shop and barber across the street, are the last hangouts for minorities on the corner. I certainly hope that if the corner is “the next College Avenue node” that the current residents and patrons will continue to feel welcome.