Arts & Culture

Local blogger on healthy food in Chicago and beyond

Loumay Alesali
Medill Reports

From Havana to Athens to Lima and many more destinations around the world, Sapna the Chicago vegetarian traveler, blogger and Instagrammer delivers international journeys to people’s fingertips with one click, or swipe.

She started her blog, vegetariantourist.com, six years ago to share her traveling experiences with people and help them find the best of food out there in the U.S. and anywhere abroad. Her 15,000 followers on Instagram turn to her when they want to find restaurants that accommodate their vegetarian and gluten free dietary needs. Sapna’s goal is to make it easier for people to experiment with food while traveling and escape the daunting fear of food restriction.
“It makes places less scary, so that you yourself can feel comfortable, like okay I’ve seen all these pictures on Instagram or I’ve read a couple of blogs and people said it’s okay not to worry,” Sapna said.
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Former Athlete Helping Others Find Their Identity

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

High school athletes who don’t play sports in college all go through a transitional period of what life is like without a practice schedule.

Chloe Barnes went through that same transition and her experience, like that of thousands other athletes, wasn’t a smooth one.

So she created Elle Grace Consulting in order to help her fellow athletes find who they truly are underneath their jerseys.

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International Rugby Coming to Chicago

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

At a news conference inside Soldier Field it was announced The Rugby Weekend will be held in Chicago once again.
The last time Chicago hosted the event in 2016  sell-out crowds packed the Chicago Bears stadium to see their beloved country-men and women play rugby.

Team members from Italy, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United States all attended Tuesday’s announcement and answered questions on their anticipation of the event.


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Coach Jared Voss Gets Win Number 500

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

Illinois high school baseball has a new member in the 500 club. Joliet Catholic Academy’s Head Baseball Coach Jared Voss just got win number 500 in a unique way.

Coach Voss, an alumnus of JCA, is looking to make another run at the state title and at this point their chances are pretty solid to do so.

Before the latest game against Marist High School, Voss was honored with a pregame ceremony and announcement that a commemorative plaque will be made to honor his achievement.

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Meg Wolitzer discusses “The Female Persuasion” at Women and Children First bookstore

By Gwen Aviles
Medill Reports

Seating was difficult to come by at the Meg Wolitzer author talk held by Women and Children First bookstore in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago on April 24.

The event was crammed with aspiring authors, feminists and aspiring feminist authors alike clamoring to get a look at literary greatness. Those who failed in the game of musical chairs were sprawled on the wooden floor with their Moleskine notebooks, craning their heads to get a peak at Wolitzer in conversation with Greta Johnson, a Chicago-based journalist and WBEZ host. When even floorspace ran low, some attendees plopped themselves on the stepping stools meant for reaching the highest bookshelves, while others leaned against bookcases.

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Chicago CTA performers bring happiness to your commute

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

When commuting on the L, we often find ourselves being serenaded by the musical artistry of some of Chicago’s musicians. Whether they’re seasoned musicians or still working on their craft, they always entertain in one way or another.

The life of a performer isn’t always a pleasant one, especially in the life of a CTA performer where the audience never asked you to be there. A ten-dollar license grants your permission to perform as much as you’d like at the designated performing stations that have wider platforms: Jackson Red Line station, Washington Blue Line station and Jackson Blue Line station.

This story looks at this experience from the musician’s perspective and what they get out of the experience to perform for you before your ride home.

Photo at top: CTA Performers at Jackson Station play for hundreds of commuters a day. (Nicholas Mantas/MEDILL)

Local candy store takes customers on a sweet adventure

By Loumay Alesali
Medill Reports

Customers at Windy City Sweets come for the variety of handmade fine chocolates and candies, but they also get a unique experience.

Store owner John Manchester builds strong relationship with shoppers through a welcoming customer service, making small conversations and having holiday or special-occasion-themed candy.

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Survivors of Sexual Violence Find an Outlet in Performance

By Juliette Rocheleau
Medill Reports

Rory Beckett is 4 feet 11 inches tall, but as she thrashes her whole body to headbang, the shadows from her whipping hair tower over the stage.

When Beckett arrived for her performance at the Playground Theater, she had no plan for what she would do; only that she would dance to The Cranberries’ “Zombie.”

“What feels really good right now is that I cannot think of most of the thoughts that went through my mind as I was performing,” said Beckett a few days later. “I just let my body do what it wanted.”

Beckett’s performance closed Monday night’s show “Resilient,” a monthly exhibition for survivors of sexual violence.

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ParkWhiz finds Cubs fans better parking on opening day

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

When heading to a Chicago Cubs home game, you might want to check to see if you’ll have a place to park before you leave. Too often fans make the mistake of waiting until they arrive in Wrigleyville to shop around the available parking.

With limited parking spots and prices starting around $50 a space, fans are in need of a different option.

ParkWhiz is an on-demand parking app co-founded by Aashish Dalal, a Northwestern graduate. It finds your affordable parking near an event or by simply entering your destination.

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Punching Back at the Crime in Chicago’s Southside

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

Children on the south side of Chicago are subjected to an alarming rate of violence from a very young age. Without after school activities to keep these kids from joining gangs, many find themselves in a gang before high school.

Sally Hazelgrove took it upon herself to create Crushers Club in Englewood in order to get the kids off the streets.

Her goal is to open multiple clubs like this one in order to turn off the stream of the next generation of gang members.

Photo at top: The walls are decorated with photos of Crusher’s Club members. (Nicholas Mantas/MEDILL)