Ariel Parrella-Aureli

I'm a freelance journalist in Chicago and the editor-in-chief of the hyperlocal news site LoganSquarist, dedicated to Logan Square. I'm also a digital content producer at WBBM Newsradio. I write for Chicago Magazine, Block Club Chicago, Sojourners and have been published in the Chicago Reader, Psymposia, Univision Chicago, Streetsblog Chicago, Curbed, Newcity and more.

Portfolio


#BlackArtMatters in new coloring book

With the Black Lives Matter movement taking center focus in Chicago and outside our city walls, the community is teeming with active engagement and empowerment. We see this with protests, public art, music, and even Columbus statues coming down: racial justice activism is uniquely alive after months of pandemic hibernation. A new multigenerational coloring book called #BlackArtMatters seeks to contribute to the cause by highlighting Black artists, representing the breadth of Blackness and the im

Avondale’s Prop Thtr Closing Storefront Theater After 15 Years Due To Pandemic

AVONDALE — Experimental theater company Prop Thtr is closing its storefront due to the coronavirus pandemic after 15 years in Avondale. Prop, which announced the news July 18, will move out of 3502 N. Elston Ave. at the end of September but will continue to produce new work, host festivals and workshops and collaborate with other theaters and community spaces to keep its mission of creating radically political, diverse and inclusive devised work and reimagined play adaptations. Artistic Direct

Laid-Off Hair Stylists Band Together To Open Logan Square Hair Salon Doll Heads

LOGAN SQUARE — After national chain Hair Cuttery closed 800 salons, hairstylist Shelly Carbone sprung into action to open her own salon. Carbone, the general manager of the Hair Cuttery at Elston and Logan avenues for 10 years, was laid off in May. She is now the co-owner of Logan Square’s newest hair salon, Doll Heads, which opened this month at 3319 W. Armitage Ave. Along with co-owner Kemberly Vega, Carbone enlisted two stylists from Hair Cuttery to bring Doll Heads to life. Since its openi

As Judge Orders Trump to Reinstate DACA, DREAMers Worry Immigration Program Will Remain in Danger

CHICAGO, IL — On June 18 at around 10 a.m. on the east coast, Irvin and Topiltzin Gomez let out a sigh of relief. The Supreme Court released its decision to block President Trump’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA. Following the decision, the Trump administration said it would move again to try to end the program. Now, on Friday July 17, a Maryland Federal Judge ordered the President to fully reinstate DACA to its 2017 status.

Department Of Curiosities, Lingerie Fashion Brand And Designer Studio, Closing Logan Square Store

LOGAN SQUARE — Fashion studio and lingerie brand Department of Curiosities is closing its Logan Square shop at the end of the month. Owners Gerry Quinton and Jamie Hayes, who met while studying at Columbia College Chicago, launched the studio space at 3013 W. Armitage Ave. in 2014. They created its namesake luxury silk lingerie and sleepwear brand in 2016 with a focus on equitable production, fair wages and lower carbon footprints as part of the slow fashion movement. But the designers said it

Meet The Han Burger: Husband And Wife Duo Bring Chinese Burgers To Humboldt Park With New Takeout Spot

HUMBOLDT PARK — A new takeout restaurant in Humboldt Park is serving a classic Chinese street food burger with a modern twist. The Han Burger, which rents a space in the Cloud Kitchens shared commercial kitchen at 3220 W. Grand Ave., has been busy with takeout and delivery orders since it opened in June, said co-owners John and Arami Hackett. The restaurant features Chinese burgers with pork belly or beef brisket, slow-cooked for 10 hours in a variety of spices with fresh cilantro, with hot pe

Advice From Our Elders On Living Through Uncertainty

Throughout the recent uncertain, unknown and sometimes painful life moments brought on by the pandemic and the racial reckoning happening all across the globe, Cheryl Strayed is there to give me some comfort and peace of mind when it all feels like it’s boiling over. I first discovered Strayed when I read her inspirational memoir Wild two years ago, which I admit sat on my bookshelf for way too long.

Hyde Park Mural Honors Queer Activist And ‘Underground Hero’ Sky Cubacub

HYDE PARK — When Sky Cubacub stepped out of the elevator and saw the completed wall-sized mural of themselves staring back, they could not believe how perfect the depiction was. Cubacub, a non-binary, queer, disabled Filipinx activist, organizer and founder of Rebirth Garments, is the subject of a new 22-by-10-foot mural that honors Cubacub’s leadership and visibility within the LGBTQ community.

Arturo’s Tacos Regular Launches Fundraiser To Help Servers Rebound From Shutdown

LOGAN SQUARE — A longtime regular at Arturo’s Tacos is raising money to help the restaurant’s servers get back on their feet after the shutdown. The Logan Square staple, at 2001 N. Western Ave., has been Angelo Dolojan’s go-to spot for years — he even had his wedding dinner there last year. When the pandemic hit, he wanted to give back to the restaurant that treated him like family, so he created a fundraiser selling tote bags to raise money for the restaurant’s servers, many of whom have lost their jobs.

People flock to the reopened Bloomingdale while maintaining social distance

Chicagoans returned to the Bloomingdale Trail, aka The 606, Monday, happy to see it open again after a nearly three-month closure. (The Lakefront Trail also reopened today.) Runners, walkers, cyclists, and families with children and dogs took to the trail. Some were wearing masks and some weren’t, but the majority of people respected the new path rules, which include staying six feet away from others if possible, not congregating or hanging out, and wearing masks.

As city gets ready to reopen The 606, neighbors say Slow Streets need more signs

Update 6/18/20: This morning Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that, along with the Lakefront Trail, the Bloomingdale Trail, aka The 606, will reopen on Monday. Like the LFT, the Bloomingdale will only be open between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., there will be a limited number of open entrances and a “Keep It Moving” rule prohibiting stationary activities, and Social Distancing Ambassadors will be stationed along the corridor t

Thousands In North Side March Told: If Serious About Helping, Come To South And West Side Cleanup Events This Week

OLD TOWN — Thousands of Chicagoans marched from Lakeview to Old Town Tuesday in a peaceful protest that included a call to action: Get out and help rebuild. Organizers of the North Side Black Lives Matter peaceful protest called on the thousands of supporters to help clean up the South and West Side neighborhoods hit hard from looting and vandalism this past weekend.

Poetry at a distance

Open mikes have gone dark amid the pandemic, but creativity has taken to a virtual stage. For local poet Caroline Watson, who runs the monthly poetry open mike Grandma's House at the Martin, sharing work from the poetry community feels essential to this moment. Since late March, Watson has visited various Chicago neighborhoods to record poets reading new material from their porch for her new Grandma's House video series that debuted in April. With help from her boyfriend, Watson has recorded, e

Chicago Hip-Hop/R&B Collective ‘Rosebud Allday’ Debuts ‘Buds Vol. 1’

Chicago hip hop and R&B art collective had big plans for summer until the coronavirus pandemic hit, shutting Rosebud’s recording studio, canceling all of its music tours and shows, and blanketing the collective with a big question mark. Rosebud co-founder Jayson “Jsun” Rose wanted to create a positive response to the pandemic through music to instill hope during a trying historical time.

Chicago Ride of Silence honored fallen riders with an online memorial ceremony

Due to the pandemic, the annual Chicago Ride of Silence bike ride honoring fallen cyclists took a different route this year, meeting online instead of in person. But that didn’t stop the memorial event from drawing a large crowd on Zoom to remember cyclists killed within the last year and advocate for safer streets, better cycling infrastructure, and increased cyclist visibility — especially as Chicago prepares to reopen in phases and city leaders are beginning to seriously discuss opening streets for safe, socially-distanced transportation and recreation.
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