Against the Grid: Conflicting Visions of the Chicago Pedway

Brody Ford and Michael Gyang

Centered at the intersection of Madison and State street, Chicago is laid out on a renowned grid system. Through a structured network of predictability, the grid gives order to the city. However, beneath this rigid layout is an environment which juxtaposes the surface.

Composed of over five miles of winding tunnels, the Pedestrian Walkway System – commonly known as the Pedway – connects some of the central city’s most important destinations. Though, due to inconsistent accessibility, navigation, and security, the Pedway remains a mystery to most Chicagoans.

Continue reading “Against the Grid: Conflicting Visions of the Chicago Pedway”

10 Chicago Members-Only Clubs You’re Not Invited To

We all want to feel like we’re part of something. From corner bars stuck in the Daley era to places of almost comedic affluence, Chicago has a members-only club for everyone. Membership requirements can range from owning a nice boat to being tight with the Bridgeport Italians.

Members-only clubs may feel like a relic of the past, but that might just be because we were never invited. The below map shows 10 members-only spots in Chicago across Chicago, seemingly concentrated around Downtown and on the South Side. This is by no means a conclusive list, as the most secret clubs may not be Google-able. 

St. Joseph’s Club – 2724 S Union Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

Bridgeport is littered with members-only bars, but this one may be the most iconic. Formed in 1926 to provide a social forum for Italian Immigrants who lived nearby, St. Josephs is mostly frequented by third and fourth generation descendants of those immigrants. They’ve since lifted being Italian as a prerequisite to membership, however there is a long waiting list. “At one time we only accepted Italians, but now we’re open to anybody a member can bring in of good character.” according to a spokesperson in a 2001 Tribune article.

Flags Club – 552 W 47th St, Chicago, IL 60609

The best description available of flags club is that its a “private social athletic club.” They seem to collaborate with the Canaryville veterans association on events.

Forest Glen Club – 3456 W Irving Park Rd Chicago, IL 60618

One of Chicago’s infamous “key clubs” where the alcohol doesn’t have to stop flowing at 4am. According to reviews on Yelp and Google, the club is members only, but they occasionally will let you pay $5 to get in as a non-member. Key clubs are invisible from the street level, but it seems fitting the nearest marked business is an alcoholics anonymous location.

Soho House Chicago – 125 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607

Soho House is intended for “creatives”, though what that exactly means seems intentionally vague. For the low price of $2000/yr, you can access the club, and finally feel assured in your creativity.

Hamburg Athletic Club – 3523 S Emerald Ave Chicago, IL 60609

Another Bridgeport classic, this one is notable for its connections to the Daleys. There are two reviews on Yelp, one exalting the Club’s ‘members only’ status because it “keeps the dirtbags out”. The other calling the entire establishment a “racist irish-American gang.”

University Club of Chicago – 76 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603

With a public image emphasizing academia rather than business, this club requires at least a Bachelor’s degree. Of course, in addition to $245 a month and a $1500 initiation fee.

The Pub – 1212 E 59th St, Chicago, IL 60637

It’s a pretty normal looking pub, but if you’re not affiliated with Uchicago, it’s a no-go. It seems unfair, the UIC bowling alley is open to the public.

Columbia Yacht Club – 111 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60601

Yachts just make sense as a symbol of affluence, especially when you’re in a city where you can’t use them for most of the year. Pricing is apparently based on age, with a couple estimates I read online starting at $1400.

The Chicago Club – 81 E Van Buren St, Chicago, IL 60605

In a 1975 study, “Social clubs, policy-planning groups, and corporations: A network study of ruling-class cohesiveness,” a Berkley sociologist ranked the social “centrality” of elite decision-maker social spaces. The Chicago Club ranked 8th total, and 3rd for social clubs. This was 45 years ago, but it seems like the energy in Chicago’s oldest members-only club hasn’t changed. There is a strict dress code, phone use policy, and apparently subpar valet.

Union League Club – 65 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604

Union league club seems like the members-only club for your everyday elites. Membership will only ding you $235 a month, with discounts available if you’re under 35.

DC Googlers Show Interest in Venezuela – and Their Oil

Most of us have heard about Venezeula’s troubles, particularly their current leadership crisis. But who in America is the most concerned? I looked through recent Google Trends data to see what area in the country is searching about Venezeula the most.

With one fourth of America’s Venezuelans, it’s no surprise that Florida has the highest search volume. What may be surprising is that Washington DC comes in close second.

Search interest for “Venezuela” since in the last 90 days

Despite a lack of significant Venezuelan population, D.C. reaches 80% of Florida’s search volume. This interest far outpaces any other non-Florida state. New Jersey is the next most interested, and has searched less than half as often as those in D.C. This high search volume may indicate a special interest by those working in DC, potentially within the government infrastructure.

It gets more interesting when we look at how related search topics vary by state. Americans at large show related topics to include things like “Acting President” , “Bomber-Aircraft type”, and “Russia-Venezuela relations”. These topics parallel to the official stance Trump has been taking.

Related topics for Americans searching about Venezuela

Florida reflects more familiarity with the situation. “23 de Enero”, the date of Venezeula’s 1958 coup is the number one search for Floridians. Alongside this are topics related to Venezeula’s constitution and governance structure. This may have to do with opposition leader Guiado’s claim to power which are rooted in his interpretation of the Venezuelan constitution.

Related topics for Floridians searching about Venezuela

When we look at related queries and topics for only those searching within DC, things become politically pointed. The number one related topic to Venezuela for those searching in DC is “Petroleum”. Next are “Coup d’etat”, “Arrest”, “Russia”, and “PDVSA – Oil industry company” (the state oil company of Venezuela).

Related topics for those in DC searching about Venezuela

Amid controversy surrounding of US involvement in Venezuela, it may not look good that those in DC are especially concerned with oil.

Practice Story


Gov. Pat Quinn talks about MAP grants at DePaul University. (Photo by Josclynn Brandon)

By Bob Smith

Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.


“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said.
“We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”


MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.


“We do not want anyone denied that opportunity because of finances,” Quinn said. “We can’t afford to lose all the talent that exists, all the ability that exists for higher education to help our economy and to help all of us, because there are financial challenges that deny someone the opportunity to go to community college or a four-year university — public and private — in our state.”

Quinn was joined by several Illinois college students, including DePaul Student Government Association Vice President Casey Clemmons.

“Every year over 5,000 DePaul students receive MAP grants, and just like the students who have already spoken here today, all of these DePaul students rely on this funding in order to continue their college careers,” Clemmons said.

“Because the number of Illinois students eligible to receive MAP is currently increasing, existing funding does not allow the state to assist all the eligible students. As a result, without action by the Illinois state leadership, more DePaul students than ever will see their MAP funding disappear this year and more

DePaul students than ever will be forced to give up their education due to finances.”


More than 150,000 students nationally receive MAP grants each year.


Clemmons told the audience that on Tuesday, DePaul’s SGA unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Illinois general assembly and the governor to ensure the longevity of the MAP program.  He read the resolution aloud and presented a copy to Quinn. 


Ken Thomas, a University of Illinois Board of Trustees student member, MAP recipient and University of Illinois Chicago student, told how he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the MAP grant.

“My mom, when I was in high school, had to work two jobs just to keep food on the table,” Thomas said, “and if we didn’t have [the] MAP program like we do today, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today; graduating with a degree, hoping to be a productive member of society.” 

Having a productive and functioning society and economy is what Quinn says it’s all about.

“Jobs follow brainpower,” he said. “We want to make sure we have smart people in Illinois. Well skilled, well-educated students coming out of college with graduate degrees and diplomas so they can create jobs, create new businesses,” he said. “Our goal in Illinois is to have at least 60 percent of the adults in our state with a college degree or college associate degree or career certificate by the year 2025. In order to achieve we have to make sure we have a good scholarship program.”

Clemmons said that in order for that to happen, state legislatures need to reflect upon the question, “What must be done?” and do what’s required. 

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