Every day something happens that’s newsworthy. This is true across the scope of a city, but still true when you zoom in to any specific neighborhood. It’s true when you zoom in again to street corners and storefronts and individual lives.
But the daily news cycle is frenetic and chaotic and overwhelming for many of us. Underlying stories and patterns often get lost in the noise. Important issues get dropped and forgotten, only to resurface again months or years or decades later. In reality history unfurls slowly over time and often rhymes with itself over generations.
The Humboldt Park Moon aims to tell only one story every 30 days- as often as the moon offers its fullest reflection of the sun.
“Stories are the connective tissue of a community,” writes Elaine Godfrey in the Atlantic. “They introduce people to their neighbors, and they encourage readers to listen to and empathize with one another.”
Everyone has a story. But some voices tend to be amplified louder than others. The loudest and most-widely disseminated stories are not necessarily the most important ones. Stories of the most vulnerable people are often those with the least reach.
Sometimes the stories most worth hearing are stories few of us have heard. Sometimes it’s only because nobody asked.
The Humboldt Park Moon aspires to find, and then share stories from every corner of the neighborhood, the park, and the community known as Humboldt Park.
The Humboldt Park Moon explores how stories in Humboldt Park might be connected. How local events reflect and possibly influence national and world events. How one side of Humboldt Park experiences a different reality from the other side, and how their fates are related. How the past helped shape the present. How policy impacts the people who live here. How nature affects civilization, and how civilization affects nature.
About the Author
I am a sociologist, researcher, and database developer by trade; but the distance of all of those trades often misses what happens on the ground. I have lived on the northwest side of Chicago for over two decades; but I was not born in Humboldt Park and couldn’t individually embody the neighborhood’s diverse multitudes.
And so, my purpose here is to listen and learn as widely as possible. And then share back what I hear and learn.
My commitment is to the people who live here today. Those who built this place slowly and steadily, weaving together the social fabric one connection at a time. If this puts me in conflict with outside forces that threaten to unravel or undermine or extract from this great place- I’d consider that a good thing.