end the sea of white people
January 14, 2015 6:15 AM   Subscribe

What public places can I go to that will be multi-ethnic?

A majority of the music venues, comedy clubs, shows, bars, and restaurants I go to are a sea of white people. What sort of places should I go where there's more diversity? Generic ideas welcome, but Chicago places would be preferred. I also don't mind being the white guy bringing diversity to a thing, but am looking for things with at least a 10% mix (from only 10% white to only 90% white).
posted by garlic to Society & Culture (19 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Punk festivals held at Pilsen venues like the Co-Prosperity Sphere or Chi-Town Futbol.

I wrote about attending Fed Up Fest here, if you'd like to get an idea of what they're like. Black & Brown Punk Show Collective has pledged another Chicago fest this year (date TBA) and Two Piece Fest Midwest is coming up in late February.
posted by Juliet Banana at 6:24 AM on January 14, 2015


MacArthur's Restaurant at 5412 W. Madison Street in the Austin neighborhood is by far and away my favorite soul food in the city. It's a huge part of the African-American community: the walls are plastered with photos of everyone from Kanye to Obama eating there, and the lines after church on Sunday are bananas (but well worth waiting in).

Totally friendly place but you will probably be the only white dude.
posted by Juliet Banana at 6:27 AM on January 14, 2015


I do a lot of shopping at Joong Boo Market and I am never the only non-Korean there. Everyone loves Joong Boo.
posted by Juliet Banana at 6:29 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, got this in Chicago all the time.
Ethnic restaurants in ethnic neighborhoods.. think Chinatown, Devon street.

If you're looking for a young professional diverse vibe nightlife wise, any River North club is 50% white at most. Jazz clubs on Halsted in LP can get diverse depending on the evening.
posted by sandmanwv at 6:39 AM on January 14, 2015


In my experience, Summer Dance is pretty ethnically diverse and people are generally interested in talking to strangers. Harold Washington library has a good mix of the city's ethnicities inside at any given time, and I have found that the programs there are interesting.

I was going to make a crack about the courthouses, but that's not helpful. HOWEVER, this means that the coffee shops around them tend to have a better mix of ethnicities, but not always. Like, Petros is usually a sea of white lawyers and judges, but sometimes you get a better mix of non-white lawyers, judges, staff, litigants and jurors. Same is true of Cavanaugh's near Dirksen (but at the end of the day, Cav's is all white guys). Cardoso's has a good mix of the city's populations, but they're all lawyers and maybe not somewhere you want to be!
posted by crush-onastick at 6:41 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Events with non-white academic speakers or artistic performances with people of color, or expressing POC experiences, and businesses owned by POC (examples in Philly, where I live, include a Gospel Christmas show at the theater, seeing the movie Top 5 in the movies theater, Chinatown, black-owned businesses, or just spending time in a neighborhood that is not majority white and patronizing businesses there)
posted by bearette at 6:56 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Soul food restaurants.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:21 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Events and shows at Harold Washington College; I used to work next door and often noticed that there was an almost mind-blowing (given the city's overall segregation) level of diversity in the crowds around the building and in line for their events.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:34 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yes, any events or classes at the Chicago Community colleges. My classes were good (and cheap!) and the most diversity I've experienced in my life.
posted by sandmanwv at 7:36 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Any liberal-progressive churches in the area? They often have a mix, especially in cities. Or perhaps an African-American church as Juliet Banana mentioned. (Sorry to stereotype, but the music is so much better at such places...)
posted by Melismata at 8:15 AM on January 14, 2015


I was really concerned about the attendees of neighborhood festival A Day in Avondale being all Logan Square white people wandering around my neighborhood being like "wow, we should totally gentrify this next!" but it was actually a nice mix of residents, who are mostly Latino and Polish.

Sooooo. Neighborhood festivals in neighborhoods that are not overwhelmingly white.
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:41 AM on January 14, 2015


Dat Donut at 82nd and Cottage Grove. They serve delicious old-fashioned donuts.

Check out some blues music at Rosa's Lounge on Armitage just west of Kimball.
posted by smich at 9:29 AM on January 14, 2015


Maxwell Street Market is very well attended by Latinos.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 9:51 AM on January 14, 2015


Oh yeah Maxwell Street Market is AWESOME!
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:10 AM on January 14, 2015


There are many great Indian and Pakistani restaurants/shops/groceries in the Little India area of Devon St.
posted by phoenix_rising at 10:27 AM on January 14, 2015


Jumping Bean Cafe in Pilsen tends to be a nice mix of anglos and latinos. Simone's on a weekend night is like 90% latino, and it's always a wild party. Del Toro Tacos on Halstead as well.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 11:39 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Punk festivals held at Pilsen venues like the Co-Prosperity Sphere or Chi-Town Futbol.

I wrote about attending Fed Up Fest here, if you'd like to get an idea of what they're like. Black & Brown Punk Show Collective has pledged another Chicago fest this year (date TBA) and Two Piece Fest Midwest is coming up in late February.


I just saw on Facebook that Fed Up Fest is happening again this year as well.
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:52 AM on January 14, 2015


Go hang out at UIC. Tons of diversity there.
posted by jabes at 1:42 PM on January 14, 2015


There is Takin it to the Streets, an outdoor music festival held not-exactly-every summer in Chicago, organized by the Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN). Mos Def, Brother Ali, Talib Kweli, Yuna from Malaysia - lots of great music and a hyper diverse atmosphere. It looks like they skipped 2014 so look for it this summer.
posted by BinGregory at 3:57 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


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