Category Archives: Reports from Chicago

‘Asia on Argyle’s history and today

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Look from Ba Le to ‘asia on argyle’ sign during construction on Argyle St. on Aug. 5, 2016.

It’s around 11 o’clock on a Tuesday morning. On the corner of Argyle and Broadway, looking over a Chinese-style pagoda and a streetscape that reads “asia on argyle,” Ba Le, a Vietnamese sandwich shop, welcomes a constant flow of customers of all ethnicities.

“We see all kinds of people. On weekdays like today, you see Vietnamese, some Chinese and Americans,” said Foye, cashier at Ba Le. “On weekends, it’s all Vietnamese people.”

Since Le Vo, the original owner of Ba Le, came to the U.S. from Saigon and opened the Chicago branch in 1988, the identity of Argyle has changed from “New Chinatown” to “Little Saigon” to now “Asia on Argyle,” a commercial area that attracts new investments.

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Chinese lessons at Chicago Public Library draw diverse crowd

Through the floor-to-ceiling windows in a contemporary building near the Cermak-Chinatown L train station on Monday afternoons, one can see more than a dozen people from different walks of life, trying to have conversations together.

Chicago’s new public library branch in Chinatown was remodeled and opened last August. Standing amid Chinese restaurants and residential apartments, this glass-and-steel structure has become a community center for Chinese-Americans and a language learning hot spot for Chicagoans of all ethnicities.

Si Chen, library manager at the Chinatown branch, started to teach Chinese beginner lessons four months after the library opened, thinking it would be good for children.

“There are a lot of kids go to Chinese schools to learn and practice Chinese, and I thought the lessons here would be a supplement to that,” Chen said.

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What Brexit means to British scientists working abroad

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union brings uncertainty for British researchers in need of science funding.

The result of Brexit left the world stunned and the Britain has since had to cope with an economic downturn. Although the U.K.’s newly-elected prime minister, Theresa May, said she wouldn’t initiate the parting until 2017, uneasiness has arisen among British nationals who are working in the U.S.

Dominic Pye, 29, a British research scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago on a two-year contract, said he is concerned about the impact of Brexit in the scientific sector.

“We get a lot of our funding from the E.U.,” Pye said. “And we took out more than our fair share, I think.”

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Oak Park mayor recalls childhood experience in talk about Chicago gun violence

The mayor of the Village of Oak Park spoke against gun violence, citing his own childhood growing up in a conflict-ridden part of the world, at a summit on July 9 at the By the Hand Club for Kids on Chicago’s West Side.

Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin, whose 1st District includes Chicago’s West Side and Oak Park, brought government officials and the public together to work on policies that protect all citizens.

It’s one of the most violence communities, with more than 900 crimes happened in the West Side neighborhood of Austin in June. Almost a quarter of them were violent crimes, making Austin the 11th– most violent community in Chicago last month, according to the Crime in Chicagoland report .

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