Imagine a robot. You’re probably envisioning a futuristic, humanoid figure in a high-tech lab or a home designed for 2050. But you’re actually most likely to see a robot somewhere in the forgotten manufacturing towns of the Midwest, being supervised and utilized by everyday, blue-collar workers in car factories or food processing plants.
In a dark room sit clusters of circular wooden tables and chairs while a handful of vintage lamps radiate warm light. A red upholstered banquette runs along a dark wall, reminiscent of a century ago. But the focus of the room is a gleaming, black piano on a stage enveloped with red curtains, a platform designed to transport audiences to Toledo, Ohio’s golden era — and envision its next one.
They’re everywhere – wrapped neatly in your childhood Halloween baskets, stuffed into little glass jars on bank counters and dropped into cellophane bags at your local convenience store. From butterscotch to sour apple, Dum Dum lollipops have become an American candy staple since their conception in 1924.
On a sweltering summer afternoon, I want nothing more than a hot bowl of laghman noodles to slurp and savor; to chew through endless noodles and wash it down with spicy broth; to chase the broth with a glass of ice-cold kompot; to inhale the deep fragrance of cumin sticking to my clothes and to smell like it for hours – I want it all.
Visit Chicago and you’ll likely find its Chinatown, Greektown and Little Italy on your list of must-see sites. But swing by the lower section of Division Street in Humboldt Park, and you’ll see two, larger-than-life Puerto Rican flags enveloping one of Chicago’s most vibrant Puerto Rican communities...
"The Avenue" was once a vibrant commercial district fit to rival the luxurious shopping centers downtown. Today, the street bears the familiar scars of crime, poverty and divestment that have become synonymous with Chicago's South Side. The Ave, however, has a rich history and cultural memory that has not yet decayed — photographs and testimonials memorialize its better days, and locals look toward a future where The Ave will once again be in full bloom.
Midstory is a 501(c)(3) non-profit thinkhub that progresses the narrative of the Midwest by incubating bright, diverse and interdisciplinary thinkers to exchange ideas and envision the future of our region through multimedia storytelling and solutions-oriented research since its founding in 2018.
As an educational media organization, we inform, interpret and inspire in and for the Midwest and believe that our region’s challenges can be our greatest asset to drive renewed interest and human capital into post-industrial cities.