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7 Stories To Remind You How Great Chicago Is

By DNAinfo Staff | July 7, 2017 5:49am | Updated on July 8, 2017 9:56am

CHICAGO — A group of Englewood artists is trying to change how people see their neighborhood, Eli's is serving up a 1,500-pound cheesecake and Miko's is making ice from berries picked off the 606.

Plus, it'll be a warm, sunny weekend (perfect for anyone heading to Taste of Chicago).

Check out these stories from around the neighborhoods:

[Courtesy Tonika Johnson]

'Severely Passionate' New Arts Collective Wants To Alter Image Of Englewood

ENGLEWOOD — Seven Englewood artists have come together to form a group aiming to change the public perception of Englewood.

The newly formed Englewood Arts Collective consists of a writer, mosaic artist, muralist, musician/rapper, a graphic designer and two photographers.

“I started the Collective as a personal act of resistance against the horrendous and continued belief that there is no value or assets in Englewood,” said Tonika Lewis Johnson, a photographer. “We are essentially a group of Englewood artists that's severely passionate about community work and the power of contemporary art serving as a conduit for social awareness.”

Read more.

[Miko's Italian Ice]

Berries Picked From 606 Turn Into 1-Day-Only Miko's Ice Treat

BUCKTOWN — Ice treats using serviceberries picked from trees along The 606's Bloomingdale Trail will be making a return for only one day Wednesday at Miko's Ice.

All profits from sales of Miko's limited-edition Serviceberry Ice will benefit the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, a nonprofit group that helps to organize and advocate for communities along the 2.7-mile elevated path and serves as the park system's advisory council.

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[Provided/Peterson Garden Project]

Edgewater's Refugee Girls Share Stories Of Struggle Through Cooking Class

EDGEWATER — On Jan. 1, 1804, slaves living in the French territory of Saint-Domingue, now Haiti, finally tasted freedom. They also tasted soup joumou, a pumpkin-based dish considered a delicacy among French slaveholders, who prohibited blacks from eating it.

After that day, the dish would be known as Haitian Freedom Soup.

"Feasts Of Resistance," a new series of cooking classes open to the public, seeks to explore the history of similar foods as symbols of strife and struggle. The classes, organized by Edgewater community groups Peterson Garden Project and Girl Forward, will replicate dishes that were "created or affected by social or political unrest."

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[DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]

Group To Camp Overnight On City's Most Dangerous Blocks To Stop Violence

CHICAGO — In an effort to curb violence, neighbors will camp out overnight on "hot blocks" plagued with gun violence across the South Side this summer. 

With help from Pilsen nonprofit The Resurrection Project, 40 Chicago youths will lead the #IncreaseThePeace violence prevention program, which aims to stop shootings through mass campouts on blocks routinely affected by gun violence. The Friday night overnight campouts, planned in Englewood, Little Village, Back of the Yards and Pilsen, will include nonviolence training, employment workshops, free food, music and a peace march through each neighborhood. 

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VIDEO: Jet Passenger Captures Illegal Fireworks Exploding Across City

CHICAGO — Yup, it got pretty loud in the city over the holiday weekend.

Fireworks (they are illegal in Illinois, you know, despite Krazy Kaplans' incredible deals) exploded in neighborhoods across Chicago.

Just how widespread was the boom-boom?

One passenger (Timelapse Kid) shot video of the city from a jet over O'Hare Airport over the long weekend, capturing flashes from fireworks from across the city.

Read more.

[Eli's Cheesecake Company]

Don't Miss The 1,500-Pound Eli's Cheesecake At Taste Of Chicago Saturday

CHICAGO — It can be hard for any single vendor to stand out at Taste of Chicago, where at least 40 restaurants and food trucks will crowd Grant Park each day until Sunday.

But the sight of a forklift hauling a 1,500-pound cheesecake in front of Buckingham Fountain usually does the trick — especially if it's free.

Read more.

[Courtesy Grant Sterberg]

Recognize This Family? Photographer Who Took This Pic Wants To Find Them

DOWNTOWN — A photographer is hoping his fellow Chicagoans can help him find a family he snapped a picture of Tuesday at "the Bean" but hasn't heard from since.

Grant Sternberg, who lives in the Loop, took the photo after a small concert at Pritzker Pavilion. He was out with his new camera when he came across a group of nearly 40 people posing at  Millennium Park's "Bean," the sculpture formally known as "Cloud Gate."

Sternberg took a photo for the family — and a few girls who photobombed the picture — and then gave one of the men his email address so they could contact him for the picture.

Read more.