Boystown’s Violence


There has been an increase in violence within the Boystown area of Chicago. According to CWB Chicago, violence in Boystown and Wrigleyfield has increased 41%.

History of Boystown

Chicago is a city best known for being diverse and having many neighborhoods geared toward certain demographics. On the city’s West Side, one would find places like the Ukrainian Village or Greek Town. Downtown is Chicago’s popular tourist attraction as the location inhabits famous landmarks such as the Willis Tower and the bean.

While Chicago is the home of many of these attractions, there are definitely parts of the city that are geared towards the restoration and improvement of communities of minorities. Situated in the North Side of the city, is Boystown, Chicago’s LGBT community.

Boystown was the first officially recognized LGBT community in the United States. The community is home to one of the nation’s largest gay and lesbian populations. Boystown is famous for its very colorful and lively nightlife. Also, the community is known for the resources it provides members of the LGBT community. Essentially, it is supposed to be a safe place for them, even though it not always is.

In the 1970’s when Boystown was still an up and coming LGBT hot spot, there were many instances when heterosexual men would go to the area and target members of the LGBT.

Throughout time, majority of hate crimes have shifted to more economical crimes, but they still exist in the area. According to a Huffington Post article, there have been many anti-gay violence marches in the last couple of decades in order to help stop violence against LGBT people, but these attacks still happen. Like any other neighborhood with a popular nightlife scene, due to the large amounts of alcohol consumed, fights are always bound to occur.


Looking south on Halsted St. Many of the neighborhood’s bars are located on this street.

Bar Fights in Boystown

Fighting in Boystown is not uncommon. Since there are many bars and clubs, a lot of alcohol is involved, which results in fights breaking out.

Teodor Nikolaev, a frequent visitor of Boystown, said that many of his friends who are bartenders at the bars in the area always witness these fights.
“The fights usually happen because the people are drunk,” he said .

Many times, people are not able to control themselves when they are under the influence of alcohol, they become aggressive, and tend to get into arguments with others. He added that sometimes, someone’s ex-boyfriend shows up, and they start to argue with each other, which eventually can lead to a fight breaking out.

Sidetrack bar, located at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe, has been open for over 30 years. Colin Smith, who is a security guard that works in one of the many bars in Boystown, attests to this as well. While Smith is from not from the city, he has shared his positive experience both living in Boystown and working at Sidetrack. “It is very rare that we have issues with people,” Smith states, “… I will say since I’ve worked here, I’ve experienced one [fight].”

Many of these fights tend to go array if the situation is not controlled or contained. These fights do typically start through alcohol induction and escalates because of such. “After a long time of drinking,” Smith states, “especially when we’re crowded, people’s personal space is invaded or other people don’t respect other people’s space.”

In July of 2017, a street brawl happened in the same location where Sidetrack Bar was located. This brawl had 10 people involved and private security patrol officers intervened to break up the fight.

Map: Boystown neighborhood

At an earlier time in 2015, another brawl happened outside of Nookies Tree, a restaurant which is also located on the corner of Halsted and Roscoe. The emergence of these fights were so severe that Nookies Tree changed their business hours and closed at an earlier time.


The intersection of Halsted St. and Roscoe St. many fights occur here.

Efforts in Resolving the Violence

In order to resolve fighting occuring in bars, bar workers tend to kick out the people fighting outside, in order to not make a huge scene inside.

Nikolaev said that many times, bartenders result in calling the police, if the fight can not be settled down. While volunteering at the Center on Halsted, Nikolaev said that although there is no active campaign against reducing the bar fights to occur, people would go to different bars and engage in conversation with the bar goers, to make sure they get home safe and advocate to reduce drinking.

Since much of the fighting happens outside when people linger after the bars close, Nikolaev said that police officers patrol the area in order to reduce people from staying out after the bars close.

Smith also discusses the ways in which Sidetrack abides by protocol dealing with bar violence. When the bar is crowded, six to eight security guards are working throughout the night to ensure safety for the guests.

“Separate and deescalate,” Smith said. “Get the parties as far away from each other as you possibly can, deescalate it, move everyone.”

He also discussed how there is a collaborative effort from all employees within the establishment. This becomes a very assuring and safe effort as businesses and police are becoming heavy on the amount of fights that happen throughout the area.

“Going out, [the violence is] never really a thing that I’ve experienced,” Smith reveals, “They’re just there to have a good time with themselves… People aren’t really going to swing on each other in Boystown.”


10 Interesting Skyscrapers in Chicago

I compiled this list of 10 skyscrapers in downtown Chicago that I find interesting. Chicago is home to many skyscrapers, old and new, that make our skyline one of the most beautiful skylines in the country. Each of the buildings are extremely unique which is why I added them to the list.

Google Trends: the aviation world

United vs. American

In April of last year, there was a viral video regarding a passenger being dragged off of an United Airlines flight. It was a PR nightmare for the airline because during that week there was a glitch in their operating system as well. After the video went viral, there was a huge debate whether it was appropriate for a paying passenger to give up their seat to a non-revenue passenger.

In this Google trend graph we see that when this event happened, the google searches for United Airlines spiked extremely during that week. When compared to American Airlines, United usually receives less searches, but during that week they were dominating American on Google searches.

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In the beginning of 2018 there was a huge snowstorm in the east coast, predominantly the New York area, causing many cancelled flights and ultimately having the main international airport of the area (Kennedy International Airport) to shut down for an entire day. This was huge news not only for people who live in the area, but also the thousands of people who visit New York every day from all over the world. The closing of JFK airport went viral and was reported on for multiple days.

For this Google trend, I compared it to one of the nation’s busiest airports, Chicago O’hare airport. When looking at the trend in the last 30 days, the receive about the same amount of searches, but JFK airport receives a little bit more. During the time of the snowstorm, the searches for JFK airport were much more than O’hare, as it can be seen in the chart below.

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Practice Post

Pat. Quinn Photo

Gov. Pat Quinn talks about MAP grants at DePaul University. (Photo by Josclynn Brandon)

Editor’s note: This story was originally posted on Dec. 12, 2012 and is housed at It’s been repurposed with permission for this assignment:

By Bob Smith

Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.

“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said.
“We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”

MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.

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