♪ jazz ♪
[Peter] Good morning guys,
here we are in Miami beach.
we’re in downtown Chicago
right outside the center of the city.
Beautiful Lake Michigan.
Well I knew on maps that existed
but I didn’t expect
this beach culture to be here.
Beaches all the way up the coast.
Yesterday it was sunny,
beautiful, clear lake.
[Peter] You find something there?
-[Peter] You found a dime?
-You getting rich out here, huh?
-Quarter right now.
-So you’re a professional?
You said it.
I’ve been doing this 18 years.
-Is this your job?
-No, no, I’m retired.
-I retired from the CPA.
-You worked public transport?
-Yeah, I used to work there.
I retired 10 years ago.
You got problems when
somebody don’t got the money,
You got problem with a car,
you got problem with the taxis.
Those taxi drivers, boom, boom, boom.
-How was your driving, Ray?
-If I tell you the truth
you won’t believe it.
I went to sleep.
I went to sleep the first time,
boom, I hit a car.
-When you were driving the bus?
Second time, boom.
-You fell asleep twice driving the bus?
-Driving the bus.
[Ray] Hey, it’s a quarter.
You know it’s a quarter over a dime? How?
So it tells you the size.
I hope it’s a quarter.
-You were right, quarter.
A quarter, see? 25 cents.
-All right Ray, all the best.
-Take it easy.
[Peter] So first impressions Downtown,
Gotta say these streets look quite nice
as far as tents of homelessness.
Haven’t seen any of it yet.
It’s a good mix, the lake,
the river, stunning architecture.
Feels quite safe down here I would say.
So I think that’s the story with Chicago,
it really depends where you’re at.
Has a terrible reputation,
at least these days.
You’re saying I should go to Englewood?
-Yeah, Englewood… Englewood…
I’m not a South Side, I’m a West Side.
Everybody’s outside out west.
everybody’s scared to be out down south.
Everybody don’t go outside like that.
-So not good to walk around the streets?
-I mean it’s good to walk around
but you just gotta
mind your business, you know?
That’s it, gotta mind your business.
-You love Chicago?
-I love Chicago.
-Chicago’s where it’s at.
-‘Cause this is my city, this is my hood.
-What should we know
about Chicago as outsiders?
come experience it for yourself.
Don’t hear everything
you heard on the news
and how people portray us to be
’cause we way better
than how people look at us
-Yeah, in my short time here I was
surprised how clean it is Downtown.
-It’s gets a little dirty out west.
-It changes out there?
-Yeah, it changes out there.
♪ jazz ♪
All right, I think
we’re officially in the South Side
We’re just gonna
get lost in here, keep driving.
Here we go,
this is straight out of Miami Beach.
Wow, look at this.
What is that, an old school?
[fire truck siren]
So of the 737 homicides
last year in Chicago
most took place in the South Side.
Interesting so far, it went from
Hyde Park which was very nice,
changed quite quickly.
Now we’re in an area
you can see some redevelopment,
and then you can see some old stuff.
Beautiful old buildings like that there.
It’s a real mix
and I’m just getting my bearings.
Whenever going to a place that’s, well…
You know, has a bad reputation
and has the numbers to back it up,
you gotta be, you know,
little bit on guard and not stupid
about where you stop and who you talk to.
It’s about feeling it out.
If you want to stay completely safe
you don’t leave
your hotel room when you travel
and if you wanna
get into interesting conversations
and be tested, and learn things,
then let’s just say
you go as far as South Side.
Most people aren’t
gonna go that far to be honest
but this stuff is fascinating to me.
I want to talk to some people today,
hear what they have to say,
understand the city
from their perspective,
and by doing so
we all learn something new.
That’s always the goal of these videos.
You can see at once it was
probably a booming area down here.
I mean the roads are terrible,
this is all of Chicago to be honest.
That’s so sweet.
He came up and asked her
if she wanted help crossing.
[fireman] We’re collecting
for muscular dystrophy
-We do it every year for three days.
-You’ll see us on different corners
usually at a busy intersection.
-Oh, he’s got you.
[fireman] Say hi, you’re on TV.
to come to South Side?
Yeah, South Side or West Side.
-You didn’t want to go
to the posh neighborhoods?
Downtown, I was bored out of my mind.
-So here you’re never bored?
We don’t sleep.
-Do they take to you guys pretty well?
-Yeah, it’s all about the attitude.
You walk in and you want
to push people around
or you talk down to them,
you’re not gonna gain any traction.
You walk into a house
and your grandma’s sick
and they know you’re there to help,
they could be the toughest bangers around
but they’re gonna respect you
and make sure nobody messes with you.
Because you’re there to take care
of their grandmother.
I can count on one hand
how many times in six years
that I was on an ambulance before
that I actually had problems.
Most of those people
are either high or psyche
and they don’t know what they’re doing.
-What’s the drug situation like now?
-Uh, there’s heroin
and Fentanyl everywhere.
I would say it’s worse on the West Side.
The heroin seems to be,
in my experience, worse on the West Side
but we have it here too.
We have our regulars that we go to
a couple times a month for overdoses.
When you go out west you’ll see people
just laying on the street overdosed
or nodded out.
-For a lot of us, we have to
live in the city, there’s a lot of us
that come from
and live in those communities.
Not only do they deal with it
at work but also on their days off.
Like I live on the southwest side
as close to suburbs as you can get
and you still have
a neighborhood firehouse that
guys are from that neighborhood,
they’re gonna take care of
that neighborhood better.
That goes for everywhere.
We spend a third of our life
in this house and in this rig.
There’s an adage, “Leave the job
better than when you got it.”
We definitely try to live up to that.
-You love Chicago?
-Absolutely, born and raised here.
Not going anywhere.
-What do people not understand
about Chicago from the outside?
-How good our pizza is
compared to everybody else.
-Pizza everywhere else sucks.
-It’s definitely someone once told me
you see a duck sitting on a pond,
it looks nice and it’s calm,
you don’t realize
how hard his feet
are paddling to stay in one place.
I think that’s what Chicago is right now.
From the outside looking in,
beautiful skyline, beautiful Downtown,
then you get here and start to
drive around like you’re finding out now
is we’re struggling.
I’m not speaking for the city at all
but drive around,
you’ll see some new buildings being built
for the most part, the infrastructure’s
struggling, people are struggling,
I don’t know if jobs are down
but people are definitely struggling
more than I’ve seen.
-You feel it more?
-Crime has definitely skyrocketed.
Just look at statistics,
our shootings, robberies,
and all these violent crimes
are through the roof now.
All together I’ve got
about 18 years in the fire service
and even if we keep track
of our run volumes across the city
the report comes out at the end of
the year and it’s definitely up.
People have nowhere else to turn to.
Even just as simple as getting out of
their home to go to dialysis or doctor’s,
something like that, they can’t walk,
we’ll show up and carry them out.
-We’re seeing more of that
and I think it’s just
nobody else is out there to do it.
-Ambulance services aren’t?
-As far as I know, privates don’t do it.
There’s been times we get called
to carry somebody out
to go on a private ambulance.
-Keep it up..
-Cool guys, and it’s awesome
that they’re getting money out here.
But wow, that looks like tough work.
Dealing with a lot of ODs
and people with medical issues.
I don’t know if they sign up for that
when they join the fire department.
If that’s what they’re thinking
they’re gonna be doing.
Here we have a police station.
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Now back to the video.
[Peter] So what’s going on in the park?
-They got the people that were
looking for freedom in this country,
you know, the immigrants.
-Ones that come here for status.
They’re staying in the police station.
-In the police station?
-They stay in there, yeah.
Okay, we’re in the police station,
so gonna have to be quick here
so you can see
the blow up air mattresses here.
Out on the floor
you can see they set up…
What’s up, buddy.
[Peter] Bulls fan.
And everyone is just sort of set up there
’cause they’re gonna sleep.
and I couldn’t get the woman
on camera, the police officer obviously
but she said they come in,
they get moved on,
but it’s a continuous cycle
of migrants coming here,
I think they’re in a bit of a
“don’t know what’s going on” mode.
The authorities here in Chicago
because it just seems like
a bad setup for migrants to be coming
to the hallways of the police department.
[Peter] How you doing, sir?
“What does he say?”
Oh, he said:
One month and a half?
[Peter] Where do you go after here?
“We don’t know, friend.”
“A lot of kidnapping,
and cartels, and it’s dangerous.”
“Would you do it again?
He said, “Can you give us something
for the four of us to buy food? Sorry.”
-Okay, no problem.
I said, “Do they feed you here?”
“Yes, but not all the time
and the food is bad, friend.”
Do they give you work permission?
I’m sorry for the situation, did you think
the USA would give work permission?
“…that they will give us
but we have to be eligible.”
Okay, you’re not eligible.
You just gave him the Jordans?
[man] He needed some shoes, right?
[Peter] That’s amazing.
Someone gave you four pair of shoes?
-Four pair of shoes
and I said I can only fit two pair.
My toe’s been amputated,
these are size 13.
I’ve been here a long time
[mumbles] how long I’ve been here, man.
Need a place to live.
-You’re looking for a place?
They’re not offering that?
I sleep outside every day,
they sleep inside.
-I think they sleep in there.
-They sleep in there.
-Okay, so they sleep in the police station
but you sleep outside?
-Yes, I have to.
-How do you feel about that?
-Man, I… it don’t make no sense.
I understand they traveled overseas,
and they come here, and they got children.
I understand that.
I understand they got children.
‘Cause women with children
don’t need to be outside.
-You know, but being a man, we can…
deal with the elements.
-And the a**holes on the streets,
but other than that, we’ll make it.
That’s why I be crying some time.
-It’s a messed up situation.
-I can’t get a dollar, fifty cent.
-So we gonna be all right.
Other than that, man…
-He really thanks you.
He’s thanking you a lot.
-I don’t know what he said,
but whatever he said, it sound good.
-He said “Thank you.”
-All right, gracias.
-That’s very cool of you.
Whatever I can do to help, bro.
[mumbles] help an old man like me.
-No, you’re not taking my hat, bro.
I have no hair. I have no hair, bro.
I need my hat, bro.
“Okay, so yes but we need an address
to be able to give a work permit
and it cost money.”
-I’m glad they here ’cause they
let people see that by them being here…
By them being here
it show that we can help also.
-And they ain’t helping us, man.
The mayor of this dog gone city
is looking at us like we’re a bunch of…
How should I put it?
Like dog sh*t.
-That’s how you feel?
-That’s how I feel, like we dog sh*t.
I’m a black man
and I got other black guys around here
who have got
nowhere to live, nothing to eat,
and the mayor of Chicago ain’t help us.
Lori Lightfoot, I miss you, baby.
-You like Lightfoot?
-I miss Lightfoot, I miss her.
She got buildings built over here.
-She got buildings
in the neighborhood in Chicago
for the black people and for them too.
-Helping the people
in the neighborhood but guess what,
I don’t know who this man is
we got in the city of Chicago, he’s a bum.
-He’s a straight up bum.
-[woman] Thank you.
-[Peter] Bye-bye. [Spanish]
Heavy situation, guys,
and it comes down to one thing.
Really bad policy right now in
this country on the border, it’s a joke.
And everyone loses in the process.
People like this, they come in,
and don’t have work papers,
and can’t integrate.
They’re sort of in this limbo status.
I mean what does that
lead to after a while?
The people that are doing it legally,
a lot of them can’t get in.
Some, nobody knows for sure,
one out of ten is the estimate these days,
are legitimate asylum claims.
So most of these are economic migrants.
Which means their case
won’t hold in court.
Which means when
they have that court hearing
most likely it will be tossed out,
and they’ll be sent back.
The courts are so backed up,
nobody really knows,
but last time I heard
up to five years right now.
If they’re not legitimate asylum claims
they’re not gonna
show up to the court hearing.
So they’re in the country, illegal,
working under the table
It benefits nobody.
We need immigration.
We need the best and the brightest.
We need the people to fill the jobs
where we need workers right now,
but there has to be
an orderly way to do it.
This chaotic insanity helps nobody.
I guess some powerful people
that benefit from this chaos,
maybe they’re doing well
with this whole situation
but nobody else is.
Everyone’s getting screwed in the process.
Didn’t expect to be here this long
in this part of Chicago
but hey, the story goes
where the story goes.
So lets’ cruise,
let’s see some other parts.
Wow, what a different Chicago down here.
This is definitely different
than the center of the city.
Is this a family operation?
-We’re the Pit Bros.
-Okay, this is what we got, Pit Bros.
-The Pit Bros 22 on Facebook and Instagram
-And TikTok, y’all.
[Peter] Oh, nice… wow.
[man] Rib tips over there,
we got the chicken wings, chicken tips.
We got jerk chicken and steak rice.
-I’m so in on this.
-We got a jerk chicken pasta.
-I’ll do the chicken…
Oh, you’re giving me a sample?
-Thank you, sir.
You know my father’s Italian,
-We put Italian sauce and Italian pepper.
-I can tell.
[both men] Don’t tell him everything.
[Peter] You gotta keep the secrets.
-[boy] I didn’t tell everything.
-[Peter] Chef’s specialty.
[Peter] Oh, that’s a lot,
that’s for a family.
-We gonna hook you up, man.
-I like it.
-We grew up here all our life,
we love it to death.
Everybody saying it’s
a bad neighborhood, things of that nature.
Nah, it’s the people make it
the good neighborhood and the bad.
So I think us being here from
the West Side, we moved down South,
open a business
on the South Side of Chicago.
For a year and a half
we’ve been kicking butt.
-They’ve taken you in well in the South?
-Oh yes, open arms.
Everybody open arms.
They love our food, they always
asking us, “More, more, more.”
-Do you mind if I eat here?
-Is that cool?
-Get you a seat.
[Peter] Are you a cook too?
[man] What did you do today?
Tell what you did today.
-You seasoned, okay.
-I seasoned for ribs.
-Awesome, can you hold this?
I want to show your food.
Let’s go in with the pasta.
Here we go.
Very nice, very nice.
Nice tender chicken.
It’s really good, you guys.
[boy] I make the sauces, nobody got ’em.
-So I gave you a fresh one right here.
-You made this?
I made a fresh one.
-He made all the sauces, yes sir.
-That’s rare these days.
[Peter] What is this setup you got
going on here, you talking to NASA?
-No, this me driving a truck route.
-Oh okay, nice.
I hurt myself,
f*cked myself up pretty bad.
-Well thanks for what you guys do.
-Without you guys, everything stops.
-Everything, no weed, no cocaine.
We trying to put all that for y’all.
[Peter] That comes in cars mostly.
-Ready to mingle.
-Both you guys?
-Ready to mingle, fair to say?
-Yes, 100% sir.
-They know where to find you guys.
-They know where to find me.
What are you looking? Is there
any type of lady you’re looking for?
-I can’t be specific,
there’s a lot of fine women.
-Okay, so you like–
-I like ’em all.
-Different faces, different places?
-All different spaces?
[Peter] Why haven’t you
hooked him up with anyone?
-I don’t need no hooking up,
I hook myself up all the time.
-I don’t think you guys got problems.
-No, not at all. Not at all.
-I played ball in high school.
He did all the sports.
I played ball overseas.
After college I played
four and a half years
of international basketball.
-China, Shanghai, Beijing,
Seoul, Korea, Hong Kong,
and then Central America.
Panama City, Panama, and then Belize.
-How was that?
To be 36 and you’re passport four.
-What country did you really like?
-I loved China the most
because the interaction
between them people and us.
They never… It was a little small town.
Guanpen, they never seen
an African American before.
Like in person.
-You blew their mind?
In the middle of the game
they’d come up and touch your skin
and do all that sh*t.
You’re pissed, you’re losing by like 20
and they want to come behind you
and take a picture like this.
It was bada**.
-What years were you there in China?
-I was in China 2012 to 2014.
-So how’d it feel traveling
the world then coming back?
Thoughts about the US?
-I love US, we got it good.
We got it so f*cking good.
Like I seen poverty at the lowest.
We was in nice suites
and you can look down your suite
and you would see the poor, poor.
Like kids drinking out of water,
scooping water out,
and here I got
great f*cking water up here.
So it was a bad deal.
So we got it real good.
Yeah, I wouldn’t…
I’m glad I’m from the States.
-As you see, we’s doing
positive things through the community
and showing the kids that you can
do other things instead of selling drugs
or doing negative things in the community.
We selling food and make it known,
making us a business.
You can start from scratch
just like we doing.
-So South Side has a bad reputation.
-What’s true, what’s not,
what are your thoughts?
-It’s a false narrative.
You know, it’s a lot of great people
in these communities out here.
-A lot of great people, they help us out.
A lot of people, we help each other
but they put the narrative
of the negative people.
They make more negative people
more famous than the positive people
that’s in the communities.
Do you guys get along
with the po-pos?
-We love the police.
-These guys right here?
-They come buy food.
They do everything.
We was just in a meeting with the police.
-So do the police…
Most people want them here
or most want more or most want less?
What are you thoughts?
-It’s a toss up, like 50/50 toss up.
-I think they want it to be more diverse.
I think they want it
to be more justice, more equal.
In certain neighborhoods
it shouldn’t be two Caucasian cops
in an all black neighborhood.
-It should be mixed, Caucasian and Black.
-They don’t mix ’em up here?
-You rarely see it but you’re starting
to see it’s coming a long way.
Mayor Johnson got in,
it’s coming a long way.
You starting to see a lot more…
-A lot of US cities, like LA for example,
the neighborhood you’re in,
that’s what the cops usually are.
Like the majority of that neighborhood.
-But not Chicago?
-Chicago is diverse.
It’s one of the most
segregated cities in the world.
-Tell me about that
’cause that’s new for me.
-You got every race of people is
sectioned off into different communities.
-Because of the history?
-Like you got the white people
around the inner city.
You got the black people
inside with the Hispanics
So we all inside around the white people.
So that’s the dynamic of the city.
So ain’t nobody together
like any other state.
Any other state, people living together.
-But you guys, I’ve been
the only white guy for a while here
and I haven’t had any problems.
-I’m sure there could be.
-Every neighborhood could be different.
You go to Chinatown,
you’ll be the only white guy
’cause it’s gonna be all Chinese people
So it’s becoming diverse day by day
but if you look at it as you drive
you can tell what neighborhood
you’re in as you’re driving.
When you drive through
Little Village it’s all Spanish
Every store is Spanish so you know it’s
a Mexican or Puerto Rican-type village.
-But you’ll see Hispanics
a little bit in Englewood.
-They starting to move
through the black neighborhoods.
-Tupac said, “Inglewood up to no good.”
-That’s not for Chicago Englewood.
-That’s not for Chicago.
[boy] I got a question.
-Talk to me.
-What made you come to Englewood?
-I wanted to go to the South Side.
And I thought the heart of it
was Englewood, but I didn’t know.
-[man] It is.
-[boy] Is is.
-You know they sell
the negativity in Englewood.
It’s a lot of poverty.
-Does that frustrate you?
Nah, it don’t stop me from bringing
more positive to the community.
-We make people come together.
Just ’cause– What up, brother?
-How you doing, big dog?
-Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
-Food is a universal thing.
It brings people together.
-You got gangs, everybody come to us.
Gang members come to us, everybody come.
They come here
’cause they know we got great food.
-So nobody messes with
the guys making the food?
Nah, unless you did something wrong.
If you show respect to these guys,
everybody show respect back.
Everybody got the sense of making money.
However they gonna do it,
everybody trying to make money,
trying to make something
better of they family.
We got good food,
like he say, food brings people together.
-‘Cause mostly all barbecue restaurants
always have a huge price
but they give you less food.
And the food is sometimes good
but sometimes not good,
and we try to make our food
as good as possible
for the people in our community,
and we make our prices not that huge
because we want them to have some food.
Because it’s hard, you know?
Sometimes hard to make money in Chicago.
So the guys at the barbecue said,
“Get out by dark.”
“You’re fine now but get out by dark.”
Even though they said everything isn’t
cracked up what it is on the news.
a lot of cool stuff going on,
a lot of great people.
They did say off-camera,
there is these days,
which I’ve heard in every big city,
there’s less order.
There’s more chaos.
So with the youth
there used to be structure.
There used to be hierarchy.
So in the ’90s
there was more order, say, in gangs.
That’s what they said,
that’s what I’ve heard from other guys.
And even if you go back to the mob days,
the mob had an order
and now that’s
gone away to some degree.
So they said
it’s a lot more sporadic and chaotic.
[fire truck siren]
[street preacher shouting]
But Israel don’t not know.
My people doth not consider.
But Israel don’t know and his people,
meaning the Israelites,
the 12 tribes of Israel don’t know.
Why they don’t know?
Because they walk around
thinking they Creole.
They try to educate you that
you’re Creole, but you are an Isrealite.
-So it changes in South Side
quite quickly from what we were just in
to the University of Chicago.
Hyde Park is a famous part of town
from my understanding
and it’s night and day.
It really changes quickly.
It’s one of those cities
you need weeks to really grasp it I think.
Go to all the hot spots and whatnot.
Today got on a bit of a detour
in front of that police station.
Which that’s what makes it cool, right?
When things just happen.
And you just flow with it.
♪ jazz ♪
Peaceful neighborhood here.
A lot of Pols in Chicago.
A lot of Ukrainians here.
A lot of everyone here really.
So we saw about 1.5% of the city today.
This place is a beast.
[woman] My mom is like,
“Let’s go and show you our churches.”
-Oh your mom’s gonna show us the churches?
-Are you Ukrainian?
-From Lviv, west part of Ukraine.
-I’ve been there, it’s nice.
-Have you really?
[woman] This flower shop was on Twitter
when President Bush and President Lincoln
came to Ukrainian village
and put some flowers by that church.
-So they put on Twitter, this flower shop
’cause they got the flowers
from this flower shop.
-So you’re both official tour guides?
-Ukraine, Greek Catholic church.
-And there is the cathedral
that was the first church.
-It was built in 1912.
-Oh the church behind here?
[Peter] That’s beautiful.
It feels a little bit
like Ukraine here for a second.
-If you’re right here.
[Peter] That was very nice
of those ladies bringing me here.
And for those
that don’t know my back story
my wife, who edits
these videos is Ukrainian.
I lived in Ukraine for four years.
I have a very close connection
with the country.
So it’s very nice to end up here today.
So what did we learn?
These first impressions,
my biggest takeaways
were the architecture.
It’s really stunning here I gotta say.
It’s very unique.
The beach situation.
Of course I knew the lake was here
but wasn’t really thinking
of a beach culture.
I hear it really takes off
on the weekends,
warm summer days.
The street food was good.
The little street food I had today.
The very distinct neighborhoods,
they’re all very different,
And then we even saw border policy
affecting the local police department,
and people stuck
in sort of limbo, no man’s land.
Very interesting stuff.
Very interesting city.
This was just the start guys
of a much larger Chicago series.
We’re gonna see
all different perspectives,
different part of the city,
Thanks for coming along.
Until the next one.
♪ jazz ♪