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

Heavenly Gelato Closes After 11 Years In Logan Square, Will Soon Become Event Space For The Old Plank

LOGAN SQUARE — The neighborhood’s only gelato shop has permanently closed after more than a decade in the area. Heavenly Gelato and Ice Cream Cafe, 2662 N. Sawyer Ave., closed up shop just before Halloween and neighborhood restaurant/bar owner Esam Hani will take over the space, he confirmed. Hani said he plans to make the former gelato shop an event space connected to The Old Plank, his most recent restaurant next door that opened in May. Since the restaurant’s opening, Hani said he has host

Richard Costes Wants a Place for Deaf Actors in Chicago

When Richard Costes moved to Chicago in 2007, he hoped to start his own theater company with college friends. But as a deaf actor and playwright, he had a difficult time finding employment. Costes bounced around other cities seeking work, then moved back to Chicago in 2014 after securing a finance job. Now, he performs with companies like Victory Gardens, Chicago Shakespeare, Porchlight Music Theatre, and Red Tape Theatre.

WBEZ Teams Up With Comedy Central to Bring Real Talk, Humor to Chicago’s South Side in New Podcast

James “The Oil Man.” Arthur, the 72-year-old self-taught hip-hop producer. Midge, owner of a popular black hair salon. Chicago police officer Stephen Boyd, who works in the Englewood gang unit as a side hustle — but is also an actor and comedian. These are the people who make up Chicago’s South Side. Their stories come alive in a new podcast by WBEZ and Comedy Central called South Side Stories, created and hosted by Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, the duo behind Comedy Central’s hit TV show “South Side.”

A New Radio Play Dramatizes the 1919 Race Riot

As the 100th anniversary of Chicago’s 1919 race riot approached, WBEZ reporter Natalie Y. Moore wanted to commemorate the occasion through the medium she knows best: radio. But instead of the sober reporting you’d see from traditional media outlets, Moore wrote an audio play recreating the events as they would have been heard and experienced. To do that, she teamed up with the Make-Believe Association, a local storytelling organization that creates socially-driven audio dramas.

Tired Of Pink And Blue Kids Clothing, Chicago Women Launch Earth-Friendly (And Non-Gendered) Children’s Clothing Line

CHICAGO — Parents know the drill: get grilled about the sex of your child during pregnancy, and expect an onslaught of pink or blue everything at the shower depending on the answer. Though gender stereotypes are decidedly less relevant in 2019, the kids clothing world remains hyper-gendered — and local fashion designer and mom Melissa Serpico Kamhout is out to change that.

New Criminal Justice Film Series from The Marshall Project Highlights Chicago Witnesses to System’s Injustices

Harold Washington Library’s Cindy Pritzker Auditorium was a full house at the opening screening of a new local series focusing on injustices in the criminal justice system. On Sept. 12, The Marshall Project released 15 video testimonies of Chicago voices affected by the justice system, “We Are Witnesses: Chicago,” is the latest installment of the nonprofit news organization’s award-winning short film series “We Are Witnesses” which explores the nature of crime, punishment and forgiveness.

More Than 2,000 High School Students Spread Scrutiny On Chicago Gun Violence Murders Since 2016

Thousands of hats perched on wooden sticks line a soccer field, stopping passersby, athletes, community members and coaches in Joliet to take in the scene. The 2,400 hats were donated from 2,400 student high school students from 72 Chicago-area schools who delivered one winter hat and $1 each to bring attention to the same amount of murders during a high school career in four years, from 2016 to 2019.

Welcome Back Lounge Bringing ’70s Vibes And Comfort Food To Logan Square

LOGAN SQUARE — The group behind The Whale is gearing up to open a new tavern in Logan Square. The new bar, called Welcome Back Lounge, is planned for 2423 N. Milwaukee Ave., right next to The Whale, according to a building permit on its front door. Construction was underway Thursday as two people on scaffolding traced out the bar’s name and then painted it red against a turquoise background.
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