Confessions of a Reluctant Gentrifier

During my first weeks in Rogers Park, I was surprised by how often I heard the word “pioneer”. I heard it first from the white owner of an antiques shop with signs in the windows that read: “Warning, you are being watched and recorded.” When I stopped off in his shop, he welcomed me to the neighbourhood warmly and delivered an introductory speech dense with code. This neighbourhood, he told me, needs “more people like you”. He and other “people like us” were gradually “lifting it up”.

Excerpted from Notes From No Man’s Land

How Chance the Rapper's Life Became Perfect

"Los Angeles is a weird, complicated town for him. It's where all the record labels are, for one thing. And Chancelor Bennett, as he was born, is unsigned. Won't sign. It's maybe the most interesting, improbable music-industry story going right now—a young, obviously gifted rapper, universally hailed as the heir to Kanye and leader of a new generation of Internet-savvy kids who think of Jay Z as a failed tech entrepreneur, now on his fourth year of refusing to sign with a label."

The Short Life of Deonte Hoard

Shot and killed just shy of his 18th birthday, Deonte Hoard was one of 489 homicide victims in Chicago last year. How this happened—and how it keeps happening—is both one person’s story and the story of how a community has been forced to adjust to murder as an everyday fact of life.

Still Life

A Japanese photographer examines the scene of the St. Valentine's Day massacre; a story from the author of The Black Hour.

"Was it the worst I’d seen? I turned to the camera, viewing the scene anew. Four men lay in a row, as though they had been tucked into a large bed. One slept at their feet, face down. The last hunched on his knees at a round-backed wooden chair. Blood ran toward the center of the room. Later that day when I returned to the newsroom, I would release the image from the machine in my hands, like a dragon from a cage. The city would see the blood, black, and no one would remember that someone—call him Togo or call him Fujita, the name will not be printed—had stood in the dust of men’s bones to face the dragon so that they did not have to."