Traversing Devon's Desi Corridor in Rogers Park, Chicago
Strolling down the thoroughfare of Devon Avenue in Chicago’s Rogers Park, cultures don’t just overlap, they intersect with every alley and side street. Known as “Little India,” Devon also includes tiny Eastern European outposts. Synagogues and Russian booksellers nestle next to Indian importers and halal butchers. The bustling Ghareeb Narwaz might be the cheapest Indian-Pakistani food in Chicago, but as you walk west from Ridge to California Avenues you are sure to pass its many competitors. Though there’s the atmosphere of exotic Bombay under signs advertising saris, bangles, and Bollywood videos, Devon is still uniquely, unglamorously Chicagoan. It’s a strange stretch of dive bars, specialty grocers, and storefront mosques where any given local might be from any corner of the world.