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13 Stories To Remind You Why Chicago Is Amazing

By DNAinfo Staff | September 8, 2017 3:04pm | Updated on September 10, 2017 10:45am

CHICAGO — This week, Chance the Rapper helped CPS, a Mt. Greenwood girl worked toward her goal of reaching the Olympics and PAWS Chicago helped animals left homeless by Hurricane Harvey.

Check out stories from around the neighborhood:

[Courtesy Midnight Mac and Cheeserie]

Mac & Cheese Diner So Popular That Owner Shuts Down His Non-Cheese Business

ROGERS PARK — Less than four months after opening as a small take-out and delivery-only walk-up counter, the demand for cheesy goodness at Midnight Mac and Cheeserie has exploded so much that the store's owner said it's costing him his other business.

The 6981 N. Sheridan Road restaurant is owned by Antony van Zyl and was originally part of van Zyl's two-fold design for his business: during the morning and early afternoon his dining room would operate as Nibbles and Nosh, an international café.

Then, from the late afternoon and late into the night, he would transition into an adjacent smaller space, which would sling out custom orders of macaroni and cheese.

But since the mac and cheese joint's late-May debut, van Zyl said its popularity has grown to the point its overtaken the breakfast business.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/David Matthews]

Chance The Rapper Grills Chicken For CPS: 'Chicago, You Soften My Heart'

DOWNTOWN — Chance The Rapper didn't get lost in the sauce Tuesday night at Chicago's newest Nando's, where the star served up a room full of smiles and chicken dinners out of charity for Chicago Public Schools. 

Fans lined up across the street from the new Nando's at 117 E. Lake St., hoping to catch a glimpse of the Grammy-winning 24-year-old rapper from Chatham. Inside, Chance was manning the cash register, grill and delivering dinners to a packed house including many CPS teachers and students.

Chance's appearance boosted a three-day fundraiser at the Nando's, which will donate all proceeds (minus alcohol) through Thursday toward Chance's SocialWorks nonprofit. The appearance came just days after Chance announced that SocialWorks had raised $2.2 million for 20 more CPS schools. 

Read more.


Gunshots Near 'Peace House' Bring Neighbors Together, Mark Change On Block

ENGLEWOOD — When 10 gunshots went off in the middle of the day last week, children and adults at I Grow Chicago, a community nonprofit, hit the ground. 

Others outside in the 6400 block of South Honore Street also took cover.

But then, something remarkable happened, residents and workers say. 

The kids and adults on the block came back outside. Many came over to I Grow Chicago's Peace House, at 6402 S. Honore, to talk about what happened, share emotions and process the event. 

Read more.

[Courtesy Jack Lemuz]

Cozy Noodles & Rice Owner Takes 50 Friends To Cubs Game

WRIGLEYVILLE — It's not every day that you walk into a restaurant and walk out with two free Cubs tickets. But about two weeks ago, that's exactly what happened to Lakeview resident Jack Lemuz and his husband when they were having lunch at Cozy Noodles & Rice in Wrigleyville.

"A couple weeks ago, [Cozy Noodles owner Tee Meunpresittiveg] walked out to our table and said, 'Listen, I'm buying about 50 Cubs tickets, and I want you to come to the game with us,'" Lemuz recalled. "And I was like, 'What?'"

It was a surprising offer, but not at all out of character for Meunpresittiveg, Lemuz said.

Read more.

[Courtesy PAWS Chicago]

PAWS Chicago Rescues 43 Dogs And Cats From Hurricane Harvey

LITTLE VILLAGE — Some 43 cats, dogs, kittens and puppies have a new shot at finding an owner in Chicago after being rescued from Hurricane Harvey in Texas over the weekend by PAWS Chicago.

PAWS founder Paula Fasseas flew to Houston Thursday to make arrangements for rescuing any pets in need, even as a PAWS caravan of eight volunteers in three vans was preparing to leave town.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Sam Cholke]

Museum of Science and Industry Free For State Residents Weekdays All Month

HYDE PARK — The Museum of Science and Industry is in its biggest block of free days of the year.

The museum, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, is free on weekdays through the end of the September for Illinois residents.

Visitors who can show proof of residency can visit the museum any weekday from Tuesday through Sept. 29.

Read more.


Pregnant Victim Of Bus Attack Asks Stranger Who Aided Her To Be Godparent

LITTLE VILLAGE — After springing to the aid of a pregnant woman who was brutally attacked on a CTA bus Monday, Christina Robles-Favela stayed with the victim through her hospitalization, discharge and a visit to the police station.

The couple and the young woman — strangers as of Monday morning — have now formed a "little extended family," Robles-Favela said Wednesday.

She and her husband, David, will hold Brenda Torres' baby shower, and the couple have even agreed to be the child's godparents. 

Read more.

[Facebook/Territory Urban Design Team]

Help Build Albany Park's 'People Spot' As Part Of City's Year Of Public Art

ALBANY PARK — The city's Year of Public Artprogram is coming to Albany Park, with an emphasis on the public part.

Territory Urban Design Team, an After School Matters apprenticeship for teens, is recruiting people to help build a "people spot" for the neighborhood. The semi-permanent seating area will be the 33rd Ward's contribution to a city-wide effort to install public art in every nook and cranny of Chicago.

Territory has been fine tuning its design for the people spot since summer 2016, and teens have been creating prototypes and scale models over the past months. Volunteers are now being invited to take part in a community construction project — a "barn raising" of sorts — to build the final product.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]

This Massive Mural By Jerkface Might Be Just What Chicago Needs Right Now

NOBLE SQUARE — A giant and mischievous Cheshire cat watching over the street — courtesy of a New York City-based street artist Jerkface — has brought a burst of color and nostalgia to Milwaukee Avenue in Noble Square.

Work on the mural at Lewis Towers, a vintage apartment building at 1166 N. Milwaukee Ave., kicked off Aug. 31, continued through part of the Labor Day weekend and appeared to be wrapping up Wednesday.

Jasmine Petersen, a prolific Chicago muralist and artist, assisted Jerkface with the mural and helped him secure the wall along the side of the seven-story vintage apartment building, facing southbound traffic on Milwaukee Avenue.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Howard Ludwig]

Mother McAuley's Abbey Murphy Shooting For 2022 Winter Olympics

MOUNT GREENWOOD — Abbey Murphy trades her Mother McAuley school uniform for hockey gear most days after the final bell rings.

Murphy, 15, has been playing hockey since she was 7 years old and has excelled in the game like few others. In fact, Murphy was selected as the youngest member of Team USA's elite under-18 squad for a tournament last month in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Murphy scored a pair of goals in the three game series. Team USA defeated rival Canada, taking the first and last games of the three-game series. The 22 players chosen for the American team are often considered candidates for the Olympic Winter Games.

Read more.

[Courtesy Bezazian Library]

Oldest Mural On A Chicago Library Building Gets New Life In Uptown

UPTOWN — A nearly 50-year-old mural at an Uptown library is being brought back to life for a new generation.

Friends of Bezazian, Uptown United and the 46th Ward Office partnered to redo the 1974 mural "The Sea of Knowledge," which celebrates "the rich diversity that is Uptown," according to a press release.

"Artist Tony Passero lovingly matched paint, deciphered images and recreated lost parts of the mural which was originally created by artist Janis Pozzi-Johnson with a team of teens from a local community organization," the release said.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Patty Wetli]

Where The Sox And Cubs Have Built Up The Baseball Fields Of Chicago [MAP]

CHICAGO — City residents have a choice when it comes to their favorite professional baseball team. And thanks to those two teams, Chicagoans of all means and abilities also have their choice of parks and baseball facilities.

The White Sox and Cubs' charitable arms have given nearly $8 million over the years to build or spruce up baseball diamonds and facilities in and around Chicago. Despite the teams' rivalry on the field, their differing strategies on neighborhood park improvements have meant that a wide range of residents have had access to the game of baseball.

Both teams' charitable missions stem from Major League Baseball's quest to make the game available to everyone, but their efforts have manifested in different ways — even if it means stepping into each other's territory.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/David Matthews]

This 'Snowman' Has Kept Cool Atop The Art Institute All Summer

DOWNTOWN — The Art Institute has a cool new sculpture: a "snowman" that's been left out in the sun all summer.

The aptly titled "Snowman," made by a pair of Swiss artists, will be outside on the museum's third-floor Bluhm Family Terrace through Oct. 15. It's stoked a lot of curiosity and inspired a lot of selfies since making its debut in May at the Art Institute, 111 S. Michigan Ave., museum officials said. 

Read more.