Ariel Parrella-Aureli

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

Published Work

Victoria’s Brides Was A Quinceñera Paradise In Logan Square For 16 Years, But Seamstress Says Goodbye As Area Transforms

LOGAN SQUARE — Gloria Pinduisaca never meant to settle in Chicago. When the Ecuador native arrived in the United States 35 years ago, she wanted a change of pace, maybe a new job. Pinduisaca, who was a teacher in Ecuador but learned to be a seamstress from her mother, decided to open her own alteration and bridal store in 2000 to make money doing what she loved, not expecting it to last long.

New Restorative Justice Video Series Strives to Spark Forgiveness, Healing for Incarcerated Men

Lisa D. Daniels wants people who are incarcerated to remember that forgiveness and healing from a traumatic past is possible. Daniels, executive director of the Darren B. Easterling Center for Restorative Practices and a strong activist for restorative justice, was part of an inaugural event series that highlights empathy, humanity and forgiveness to men behind bars in order for them to heal from their past and move on from their mistakes.

Lessons From A Tragic Summer: Authors Eve L. Ewing and Simon Balto take on the Chicago Race Riot of 1919

One-hundred years ago, violent race riots rocked Chicago. What began as an innocent swim in then-segregated Lake Michigan to escape the unbearable summer heat of July 27, 1919 resulted in the death of thirty-eight Chicagoans—twenty-three black and fifteen white. More than 500 were injured, over a 1000 were rendered homeless and more than 5,000 troops from the Illinois National Guard were deployed to stem the terror. A century later, our city still reels from the impact and aftereffects of the ri

Remembering Musician, Friend, Neighbor Eric Ebbert

Eric Ebbert was my first friend when I moved to Logan Square about three years ago. I remember seeing him and his housemate on their porch, drinking beer and enjoying summer. Right away we started talking and quickly became friends, not just neighbors. Last week, I found out he passed away mid-May from a potential overdose. Because I was not official “friends” with him on Facebook and I have since moved away from being his neighbor, I was slow to hear the news. But I had just seen him less than a month before that.

Quincy Jones Honored In New Enormous Logan Square Mural By Artist Cobre

LOGAN SQUARE — In between his visits to two art festivals in Indiana, Argentinian street artist Cobre wanted to find the closest city with a vibrating mural scene. After Chicago poet and friend Kevin Coval told him about Logan Square, he knew where to go and add to the scene. Cobre’s new mural now sits on the west-facing wall of Shilvock Co. Inc, a plumbing business at 2226 N. Milwaukee Ave. right next to the famous “Greetings from Chicago” mural.

New South Side Mental Health Private Practice Aims to Create Access, Affordability for Young Adults

In 2013, Camesha Jones was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after being hospitalized more than once. When she got out of the hospital, she searched for support but had trouble finding it in the community. She was the only black woman in her outpatient therapy session and said she felt like an outsider. “I couldn’t find any black therapists at the time — I didn’t know where to start,” Jones said. “So, I decided to do something about it.”

Inside The Black Ecosystem: How an Entrepreneur is Expanding Opportunities for South Side Teens

When entrepreneur Candice Cunningham was 20 years old, she created a nonprofit organization with the intention of giving back to her South Side community. It was not an easy start, but that did not deter her. She also tried to start two separate businesses that flopped in a matter of years because she did not have the proper business skills. But her mindset was unwavering to failure.

A Scooter Race Really Happened Last Night In A Logan Square Parking Lot

LOGAN SQUARE — When scooters hit the streets in Chicago earlier this month, Logan Square artist Derek Erdman wasted no time hopping on one, racing his girlfriend Ashley Armitage around Palmer Square Park. That mini-race inspired Erdman to create an e-scooter race in Logan Square. And so, after posting a flier to social media, the first-ever Big Purse Liberty Bank 500 e-scooter race was born.

Top Harlan High School Graduates Ready for Next Chapter: College!

Graduation season is right around the corner and high school seniors are getting ready to begin a new chapter of their lives. For Janise Duckworth, a senior at Harlan High School, 9652 S. Michigan Ave. in Roseland, mixed emotions swell up when thinking about college. “I feel anxious but I think I am ready to be on my own a little bit,” Duckworth said, who will be attending Harris Stowe State University, a Historically Black College in St. Louis.

Uncharted Books Leaving Logan Square After 7 Years, Heading To Andersonville

LOGAN SQUARE — Uncharted Books, a Milwaukee Avenue staple for 7 years, will close its doors and move north at the end of this week for a fresh start in a new neighborhood. The bookstore, which opened at 2620 N. Milwaukee Ave. in 2012, will move to 5140 N. Clark St. to a bigger, newer Andersonville building that will have a wider selection of books, an additional community and event space and more consistent foot traffic. Owner Tanner McSwain said he is thinking of the move as an upgrade for th

Award-Winning Songwriter, LGBTQ Activist Justin Tranter Gives Back To Alma Mater

When Justin Tranter was a student at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, they started an AIDS benefit, a student-run variety show that helped raise awareness and advocacy for HIV/AIDS. Twenty-one years later, the annual event is still going strong and has raised tens of thousands of dollars for AIDS research, support, care and organizations. "Being able to do that at such a young age and have that beautiful teenage fearlessness and see that that fearlessness wasn't just one time it left a legacy—makes me prouder than anything," said Tranter, an award-winning songwriter, activist and role model originally from Hawthorn Woods, a Chicago suburb.

Stroke Awareness Seminar Aims To Help African Americans Stay Heart Healthy

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- African Americans in the United States have the highest prevalence of high blood pressure in the world, and in this country alone, more than 40 percent of them have hypertension. This puts them at greater risk of having stroke or developing heart disease. In Chicago, the picture is particularly grim. According to the American Heart Association, the number of African Americans here are more likely to die from strokes than any other group. One Chicago-area health car

Black Girls Break Bread Brings Students In Mostly-White Schools Together To Share A Meal — And Empower Each Other

SOUTH LOOP — High school can be tough, but it’s especially difficult for students who make up the minority population in a predominantly white school. For Sullivan Anderson, a junior at Jones College Prep High School, 700 S. State St,. being black in a mostly white space can be uncomfortable. “A lot of black students struggle to find friend groups that are like them and understand their experiences,” Anderson said, adding that she faces derogatory comments about her hair and other “microaggressions."

Accessible Housing Project Honored at Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards For Building Preservation

The Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards honored over 1500 influential architects, designers, business leaders, neighborhood advocates and elected officials for their achievements in community development and architectural design. Ten organizations were recognized and three projects were winners of the awards, which were announced May 9 at McCormick Place for the 25th annual award ceremony, organized by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago.
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