A Convergence Project by Journalism Students at Roosevelt University

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From Our Reporting...

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Shoreline sights and sounds

Story and Video 
by Daria Sokolova


    Esteban Ortiz looks at the sinuous ripple the Shoreline Taxi leaves in the water of Lake Michigan. His eyes are fixated on the boat until it blends in with the jagged Chicago skyline. As the boat goes out of sight, Ortiz starts singing his rhymes, trying to boost the dwindling number of customers -- the first hint of the ending season at the "Shoreline Sightseeing". Established in 1939, now the largest touring fleet in the City of Chicago, "Shoreline Sightseeing" became a family for over 300 seasonal crew members who work for the company from March through November. "I know one thing, we all have the same shirts on. You can see us from miles away," says Greeter Tom Manuszak. Dressed in a radiant neon polo -- the "Shoreline" signature uniform, he sticks out from the crowd of suit – clad folks headed for lunch.

On this street corner, a unique sound

By Latricia Cherise Wilson

     Here on the corner, street hustlers yell, “Loose squares!” Others yell, “Good Reggie,” or “Loud,” advertising a potent brand of marijuana that while illegal is part of the commercial trade here. Call it the hustle. Single cigarettes at 50 cents a pop and two-for five-dollar marijuana bag sales. Middle-aged hustlers dominate the corner, occasionally feuding over their corner turfs for cigarette customers and marijuana buyers. From nearly sunup until way past sundown hustlers stand on the corner or always with an eye out for a potential customer and another one for the Chicago police.

For Chicago's Bucket Boys, the beat goes on

Story and Video
By Alesia Wright


             Just off the Dan Ryan expressway on the South Side, the commotion of car horns and police sirens fills the air. A husky dark-skinned man wearing a black fitted cap with the word “Chicago” stitched in white letters on the front and dark aviator sunglasses over his eyes strides gracefully through the traffic selling cold bottles of water, two for one dollar. “Ice cold,” he yells.
            Here at this intersection of 47th and LaSalle Streets, above the squeaking car breaks and the stew of sounds of the Bronzeville neighborhood, the rhythmic resonance of drums that can be heard from at least four blocks away rises above it all, becoming the dominant notes in the air.  And on the east side of the intersection, in the middle of 47th street, sit two young men with their dreads and Vic Firth drumsticks alike, whipping through the air with such zeal and ambition.

This "chaos" is "musical"

By Taylor Massa
Sid Yiddish, 51, playing outdoors
for a public performance.
Strange happenings hide in the most normal of places. A lonely violin whines in the background, as a man smokes a cigarette on the rusty fire escape stairs. A cracked floor and a maze of hallways is decorated with everything from mannequins begging to be graffitied, to an anarchist library gifted from the disheveled Occupy Chicago movement. The back room is a vast corner filled with windows displaying the city skyline. Here, at 1000 N. Milwaukee Ave., sits what appears to be an abandoned office building.  The weather is greyscale and the smell of fresh sawdust and drywall fill the first floor, as contractors have begun the long process of construction. Most who frequent the space MuliKulti are more colorful than the next. This is where Sid Yiddish, 51, practices music with his band The Candystore Henchmen.

Snap, crackle and pop; the sound of vinyl lives on in the city

By Brandon Ousley  
   On a warm Friday afternoon in Bridgeport, Chicago, the boisterous buzzing of electric drills and wails of car horns loom around the community. The clashing chimes of beer mugs and excruciating laughter from a nearby sports bar and restaurant, Schaller’s Pump, are fixated against the lively chatter and blaring guitars that creep into the streets from an open pathway. Enter Let’s Boogie Records & Tapes on 3321 S. Halsted St. Synthesizer plinks and booming rhythms fill the age-old atmosphere, while magazines and artifacts lie across every diameter of the room. Rows of vinyl sprawl around the life-size promotional cut-outs that are placed on top of display cases full of cassettes and 8-track tapes. A phone rings near a paper-filled desk inside.