Devon Avenue is like little India in Chicago. The community really prides itself on authenticity, or as I would say, "keeping it one-hundred. The Indian food is FULL of FLAVOR, and I do mean flavorful. In one tortilla wrap, I tasted everything from coconut chips to Spearmint gum. Also worth noting, I saw at least four streets named Gandhi something or another. Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for Civil Rights and freedom across the world.
I crossed California Avenue in search of a neighborhood in West Ridge called the "Golden Ghetto." This nickname stems from the area having a thriving Jewish population. The heyday of the area is the topic of Adam Langer's "Crossing California" book.
I was fortunate enough to have visited the "Golden Ghetto" on a Sabbath Day. This was a unique experience because as I arrived, I saw about twenty Orthodox Jews walking down the street in tall top hats. I had to engage in conversation. (Please reference the video above for the exchange). Because of the Sabbath Day, nobody would take pictures, shake my hand, or take a M3 business card from me. I was persistent though and talked with a few Jewish Chicagoans. I learned something new and expanded my worldview today. It was awesome!
The main reason I came to West Ridge was to visit the historic Rosehill Cemetery. Not because I have a fetish with graveyards, but because Rosehill Cemetery contains the graves of fourteen Union generals, six drummer boys, and hundreds of Civil War soldiers. Members of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, the unit that fired the first shots at Gettysburg, are buried at Rosehill.
But Rosehill Cemetery is much more than a graveyard to the people that live nearby. 50th Ward Alderman O'Conner said that all of his kids learned to drive here. It's also a place he used to go and fish. This cemetery is an integral part of the West Ridge Community.
West Ridge was the truth! 77 Communities in 77 Weeks. Please support by grabbing a M3 Hoodie.