It’s almost like staying in a museum with your own docent. Each room at the Welcome Inn Manor on the Southside is named after a famous Chicago resident and themed with artwork, newspaper clippings, books and other related paraphernalia. The B&B’s innkeeper, Mell, generously offers his services to drive you around and/or tell you a juicy tale or two about the town (welcomeinnmanor.com).
Yes, the deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs (don’t you dare ask for ketchup) are staples worth trying. But wander into Southside’s 5 Loaves Eatery. The family-owed restaurant, helmed by Constance Simms-Kincaid, serves a bit of everything, but the locals keep the place packed for a breakfast of lemon-zest pancakes with homemade buttermilk sauce and fried chicken that rivals its famous neighbor Harold’s Chicken (5loaveschicago. com).
The city doesn’t try to ignore the troubling murder rates among the African American youth. Several initiatives around the metro area are working to either curb, dissuade or control crime. The publically and privately funded Hyde Park Art Center, which is dedicated to advancing art in the community, provides a free-access outlet for youth to learn, study, discuss and share the arts. The center even offers everything from ceramics classes to use of a photography darkroom (hydeparkart.org).
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