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Afternoon Edition: Nov. 9, 2021

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

People walk across Cermak Road, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, in Chinatown. Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be partly sunny with a high near 58 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 42. Tomorrow will also be partly sunny with a high near 59.

Top story

Chicago’s Asian population, fastest growing in city, is booming south of Chinatown — especially in former Daley stronghold

Asians are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in Chicago, according to the 2020 census. And that population growth is happening in neighborhoods throughout the city — including Bridgeport, the onetime home of the Daley family dynasty, where they now outnumber whites for the first time in history.

The total Asian population in Chicago grew from 144,903 in 2010 to 189,857 in 2020 — a 31% increase. Asian Americans now make up 7 percent of the city’s 2.7 million residents.

On the South Side, the Asian population has grown exponentially along and near Archer Avenue, beginning at Armour Square and stretching as far west as Archer Heights. The street has become the main artery for immigrants and descendants of East Asian countries for the past decade.

The 2020 census documented that growth beginning in the Armour Square community, home to Chinatown. Armour Square, which has been majority-Asian for at least 30 years, saw modest growth in its total population, from 13,391 in 2010 to 13,890 last year; Asian Americans make up the bulk of that slight increase.

Another sought-out destination for Asian Americans has been Bridgeport, where Asians have become the largest ethnic or racial group in the past 10 years.

Chicago’s ward map is redrawn every 10 years based on new census numbers. This time, Chinatown leaders want to include a majority-Asian ward for the first time.

Paul Luu, CEO of the Chinese American Service League, said more must be done to meet the needs of Asian Americans living in Chicago, such as improving access to mental health support, creating economic mobility and building more affordable housing, as well as “more quality child care that is bilingual and culturally appropriate.”

“Not everyone who is Asian speaks Cantonese or Mandarin, and not everyone in Chinatown is Chinese. We have Vietnamese, Korean and other ethnic groups that need help,” he added. An Asian American leader “would recognize that and advocate for us all.”

Manny Ramos has more on the 2020 census analysis here.

More news you need

  1. At a press conference today, state and local leaders called for money from the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that passed Congress to be used to rebuild a 13-mile segment of the Eisenhower Expressway. As if for effect, Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch showed up late to the conference, blaming his tardiness on the congested Eisenhower.
  2. The call to upgrade I-290 came on the same day that the Illinois Economic Policy Institute released a report that says proposed improvements could create 22,000 jobs and reduce congestion by 56%. Madeline Kenney has more on the IEPI report here.
  3. A body found last week at 31st Street Beach has been identified as a DePaul University graduate who went missing there in late October. Oribi Zachary Kontein, 26, went missing Oct. 26 after he parked his car and walked across DuSable Lake Shore Drive to the beach, friends and police have said.
  4. Did your internet go out earlier today? An Xfinity outage knocked out service to thousands of Comcast customers in the Chicago area and across several states this morning. The company said it was working to resolve a “network issue” that caused the outages.

A bright one

New exhibit sheds light on the career and legacy of Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar is perhaps best-known as the “Godfather of World Music” — what good friend and “disciple” George Harrison of the Beatles once termed the sitar master and cultivator of Indian classical music.

In a new exhibition at Chicago’s recently opened South Asia Institute, observers will learn so much more about the instrumentalist and humanitarian whose passion for sharing music lives on nearly 10 years after his death in 2012.

“It really is a love letter to Ravi,” says co-curator Brian Keigher, a Chicago native and longtime producer/promoter for events like Chicago’s World Music Festival.

Ravi Shankar
Alan Kozlowski

In addition to one of Shankar’s prized sitars on display, the 100-plus pieces of ephemera that make up “Ravi Shankar: Ragamala To Rockstar,” running through March 5, are solely from Keigher’s extensive collection. It’s the largest collection outside of the Ravi Shankar Foundation and the first Shankar retrospective in the United States.

Among the items on display are hundreds of LPs as well as artfully designed concert posters and promo materials for Shankar’s appearances at Woodstock, the Monterey International Pop Festival and the Concert for Bangladesh.

Shankar is noted as the only musician to have performed at all three of the late 1960s/early 1970s events, after enchanting figureheads like George Harrison, David Crosby, Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane.

Selena Fragassi has more on Shankar and the exhibit centered on his legacy here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What do you think the Bears should do to turn this season around?

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: How do you feel about the seasonal pumpkin-flavored treats that arrive every fall?

Here’s what some of you said…

“As a retail worker, I don’t care for it because only certain people have a taste for pumpkin.” — Eric Jacobs

“I’m all in. I love the taste and buy many products in season. Just because some snots on the internet reflexively mock anything that becomes popular and try to tell you that you should shun it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. And I have told them that to their faces on several occasions.” — Randy Volz

“I was a Starbucks barista for 15 years! I hate pumpkin, but it made my customers happy until February.” — Sylvia Billups

“Gross. The only thing pumpkin flavored should be pumpkin pie in my opinion.” — Seth Dominick

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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