Travel to the South Side of Chicago – Episode 365

categories: Uncategorized, USA Travel

Travel to the South Side of Chicago (Podcast)

Hear about travel to the South Side of Chicago as the Amateur Traveler talks to Amy Bugbee, author of “Suffering and Celebration of Life in America”, about her hometown, the South Side of Chicago.

The South Side of Chicago is more than just the White Sox and the stockyards just as Chicago pizza is more than just deep dish.

Amy takes us on a tour of some of the interesting neighborhoods like Little Italy, Pullman, Beverly, and Bridgeport. She points out the wonderful public art along the way as well as great places to eat, great parks and museums.

Along the way, we tell the stories of the Chicago World’s Fair, the stockyards, and the birth of Nuclear power. I offer up some of my own family history since my family first moved to the United States to the South Side of Chicago.

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes

  • Chicago Cultural Center at Michigan & Randolph is THE place for all kinds of info on the city.
  • Joan Miro (Spain) Statue across from the Picasso statue on Washington and State
  • Marc Chagall’s ‘Four Seasons’ mosaic 10 S. Dearborn
  • ‘Agora’ 1207 S Michigan @ Roosevelt Rd by Magdalena Abakanowicz
  • Little Italy on Taylor is good – Fontano’s Subs (on Polk) Al’s Beef, Rosebud, but the Heart of Italy is where Chicagoans go: South Oakley (24th near Western and Blue Island Ave) it’s a little side street, but when you turn onto it, it is full of tiny little authentic Italian restaurants, they have a great festival in June too.
  • Chinatown Square Plaza (North of Cermak at Archer)
  • Lao Sze Chuan 2172 S Archer Ave – Great Hot Pot! in Chinatown Square Plaza
  • Won Kow 2237 S Wentworth Ave Chicago, IL 60616
  • Joy Yee’s Noodle 2139 S China Pl in Chinatown Square Plaza
  • Douglas Tomb/Camp Douglass 636 E 35th Street – Stephen Douglas’ tomb, he ran against Lincoln, it was also the location of Camp Douglas a POW camp during the Civil War for Confederate soldiers where 18,000 prisoners died in a single winter
  • Bridgeport (Halsted & 35 vicinity) Lots of Art Galleries, shops and taverns
  • Phils Pizza 1102 W. 35th Street – The BEST pizza!
  • Bridgeport Bakery 2907 S. Archer – Bacon Buns!
  • Lindy’s Chili / Gertie’s ice cream Chili and Ice cream 3685 S Archer Ave (McKinley Park is behind it for a nice after ice cream and chili walk)
  • Stock Yards – Made famous in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, The original Union Stock Yards Gate is at Halsted and Root (or about 41st Street south) in Canaryville. Also, now the setting of a TV show ‘Shameless’.
  • Stock Yards – Made famous in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, The original Union Stock Yards Gate is at Halsted and Root (or about 41st Street south) in Canaryville. Also, now the setting of a TV show ‘Shameless’.
  • Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
  • Walk over a bridge and around a bend to the Japanese Garden. It was burned down during WWII, but the city of Osaka, a sister city of Chicago donated money to rebuild it in the 80s or 90s, and donated the gate over the entrance. A beautiful place to spend an afternoon. The Bridge that you will cross is also original to the Worlds fair, and is the place famed attorney Clarence Darrow’s ashes were spread here, he is said to haunt the area and the museum.
  • Turn left on Stony Island and head up a few blocks to the University of Chicago, right on 59th street will take you along the campus to The most amazing fountain at Cottage Grove Ave., the ‘Fountain of Time’ by Lorado Taft (the official sculptor of the city). ‘Fountain of Time’ is 128 feet long and made of a type of concrete that he was experimenting with, it shows the mass of humanity over time, it is amazing, Taft came under fire for hiring all women to help him create it, this was unheard of in those days!
  • A block or so North on Cottage Grove is the site of the first nuclear test, and they have a Henry Moore sculpture called ‘Nuclear Energy’ on the site. There are still hot areas of the campus that are cordoned off.
  • Oriental Institute at University and 58th 1155 E 58th St, Chicago, IL (can be tricky to find, go back down 59th and turn north on University). Artifacts from Mespotamia, Egypt, Assyria, many collected by the REAL indiana Jones who really taught at the University of Chicago.
  • Beverly – The original Beverly Hills during the silent film era, when silent film studios were up on Argyle on the North Side, as stars emigrated to hollowed they recreated Beverly Hills (95th running south, East and west bordered by Longwood to Claremont).
  • Pullman – 111th Street exit on 94 East
  • Florence Hotel is at 11111 Forestville, surrounded by the row houses of George Pullman’s factory city.
  • George Pullman, also Potter and Bertha Palmer of the Palmer House hotel are all buried in Graceland Cemetery at Clark and Montrose on the North Side, a beautiful place to visit.
  • Jean Shepherd who wrote ‘A Christmas Story’ and narrated the movie, also wrote numerous books, 5 of which were made into movies, and is in the Radio Hall of Fame for the decade long program he hosted in NYC, he was from Hammond Indiana, his home still stands at 2907 Cleveland Street, the Harding school is up the street, and Flick’s Tap is on the corner (yep, Flick was a real person as many of his stories were true). The Jean Shepherd Community Center houses a collection of Jean Shepherd artifacts.
  • Palmer House Hotel 17 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL – My favorite hotel in Chicago
  • Oz Park
  • Lou Mitchell’s 565 W. Jackson 5:30 to 3 weekdays/7 – 3 weekends – Best Breakfast in Chicago
  • The Suffering and Celebration of Life in America, by Shane & Amy Bugbee


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Mary writes:

Dear Chris,

I have thoroughly enjoyed your podcasts! I began listening to your podcasts as a panacea for my three hour round trip commute. I became hooked and found myself looking forward to hopping in my car for another experiential travel journey. However, I realized that I wasn’t receiving all the benefits because I wasn’t able to enjoy the visual elements. Yes, I confess to looking down at the pictures on my iPod while stopped in traffic, but it just wasn’t enough. So, I now watch your podcasts while I’m running on my treadmill, while once again turning an arduous experience into one I look forward to. I most recently went into the archives to listen and watch episode 70 about bicycling through Tuscany. I was captivated by your guest as well as the alluring pictures and consider it one of my favorites.

I am a military spouse and love to travel. We will be leaving with our two children for Japan in June. I look forward not only to my own travels but also the ones I hear on your show. It is truly the best travel podcast I have heard (and seen)!

Thank you!

Leandro writes:

Hey Chris!

Nice podcast show!
I’d enjoy it even more if you could slow down the speech! You talk way too fast man!


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

5 Responses to “Travel to the South Side of Chicago – Episode 365”



Regarding the comment that they “blew something up” during the Nuclear testing…

Not that something didn’t happen, but I’ve also never heard that story before. Granted, I took physics years ago and only touched on the nuclear discipline, what I heard in college was more along the lines of:

Is there a citation the guest can provide?

It would not surprise me if there are areas that are still hot, as there probably wasn’t much knowledge yet for the safe handling/storage of waste materials.



Peter sent me this as email:


With the mention of Stephen Douglas’ tomb in Douglas Park and Pullman’s grave in Graceland, I thought I should tell you about a website about cemeteries in Chicago,, Graveyards of Illinois.

Louis Sullivan
George Pullman

Douglas Memorial Park

About the stockyards and slaughterhouses, Armour is buried in Graceland too ( Oscar Mayer is further north in Rosehill ( I had to go to to find where Gustavus Swift is buried.

Amy mentioned anarchist politics, and I thought about the Haymarket memorial (

Oh yes, Bohemians or Czechs as they are know , on the northwest side there is the Bohemian National Cemetery ( You mentioned your Danish grandfather, I searched the site and there is a Danish Cemetery in Lemont, but the site doesn’t have much information about it.

I’m don’t have time to get into where Queen Elizabeth II stayed, but I will follow up on that.


Pat Bunyard


Hi Chris,

Wonderful podcast of Chicago’s south side. As a native of the area, it brought back fond memories. And many things have changed so have to get back for a look. For a great read about this area and its famous and infamous, pick up a copy of Erik Larson’s “Devil in the White City” about the 1893 World’s Fair. A bit fictionalized but a great read about the men who built the fair.




WBEZ, a NPR station in Chicago, looked into the question of whether or not the University of Chicago is radioactive.

Did a WWII nuclear experiment make the U of C radioactive?

Todd Daniels


Nice tour of the South Side, but you hardly mention any landmarks in Bronzeville and other Black neighborhoods?

The South Side of Chicago is replete with some of the country’s great Black cultural touchstones, both past and present. To not even give a tour of King Drive between 35th and 47th is a major oversight. And besides, the South Side’s best food is in the Black neighborhoods.

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