Me and the fam at White Sox game.

Me and the Fam at White Sox Game.

The Bronze is a blog written by Joy Blake about both the good and the bad that is found in the Chicago neighborhood of Bronzeville. Every home eventually needs renovations and in turn so does every neighborhood. TheBronze  focuses on renovations, creative ventures and opportunities that are present and sometimes overlooked within Bronzeville, Chicago.   I am from Milwaukee, WI but have lived in Bronzeville since 2010. So I am writing about the south side of Chicago from the perspective of an outsider. Even though I am not a Chicago native (dare I say – Go Pack!!) I still want to see my neighborhood flourish.

I see a lot of things that could be done to make this area of the city so much better. It is right in the middle of numerous gold mines. It is smack dab in between McCormick Place and the University of Chicago. This neighborhood could easily become Chicago’s next urban oasis (watch out Pilsen). It is right by Cominsky-I mean - Guaranteed Rate Stadium (White Sox). This neighborhood has Dunbar Park, the Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech –whatever) and it has access to CTA and Metra stops. It is less than 15 minutes from downtown but yet it is lacking in infrastructure and development. I just do not understand this and it honestly frustrates me.

I am a homeowner in this neighborhood and there is so much that I lack that I really shouldn't. I mean the average household income in Bronzeville is $60,000. That ain’t bad. Why don't I have a Target? Why did I just now get a Mariano's in 2016? Why is the closet place I can get deodorant Walgreens? Everyone knows that there are injustices between northside neighborhoods and southside neighborhoods. My goal would be to bring some of these inequalities to the forefront.

This blog focuses on restaurants and small businesses that are adding to my neighborhood and businesses that are potentially hindering it. It doesn't make sense to me that the Chicago Police Headquarters is literally in my neighborhood and yet there are mad fiends like right across the street from it. Huh? My husband is a northsider and he grew up in Uptown but choose to buy his first house in Bronzeville. TheBronze will feature interviews from  people like him and people within this neighborhood to find out their thoughts about how it could become better and be restored to the neighborhood it once was. Once was…

I mean Bronzeville used to be known as the "Black Metropolis". When you walk down King Drive there are literally Walk of Fame stars like the ones in Hollywood, CA.  Names like Sam Cooke, Louis Armstrong, Ida B Wells, and Gwendolyn Brooks are all associated with Bronzeville. TheBronze will have articles focused on the history of Bronzeville and how it translates to the neighborhood today. Also since Bronzeville has such a huge history why aren't there street festivals, farmer’s markets, and flea markets here on the regular? Every neighborhood on the northside has a summer festival – where’s mine? There should be a Bronzeville Beat Summer Festival every year – I’m just sayin. What's the problem?

Read this blog. Learn. Explore. Enjoy. Please come along on this journey with me as I investigate “the bronze” in Bronzeville, one post at a time.

Contact me via email at bronzetrill@gmail.com.