‘52 Things to Do in Chicago’ highlights neighborhoods that tourists overlook

By Bianca Kreusel, Deputy Director of Photography

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a Chicago expert and adjunct faculty member in the Communication Department. Having grown up on the South Side, she highlights often overlooked places in her new book. Bianca Kreusel

From ofrendas in Pilsen during Día de los Muertos to Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinatown, Chicago is filled with diverse cultures, attractions, activities and people throughout its neighborhoods.

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates’ new book, “52 Things to Do in Chicago,” is a guidebook for locals looking to visit more than the typical tourist attractions the city has to offer, including places on Chicago’s South Side.

Cummings-Yeates, an adjunct faculty member in the Communication Department, was recruited by Moon Publications, a popular guidebook publisher, during the pandemic in 2020. Cummings-Yeates said she took the opportunity to highlight overlooked and under-appreciated neighborhoods and businesses around the city, despite the tourism industry hitting a standstill due to COVID-19. Near the end of the book, Cummings-Yeates also discusses some tourist attractions in Wisconsin and Michigan that readers can visit for a day trip.

Cummings-Yeates sheds light on neighborhoods such as Pilsen, Hyde Park, Bronzeville and South Shore, along with shops in Rogers Park and Evanston. Each section of the book goes into detail about what to do in different areas in the city and explores the Windy City’s history in music, food and culture.

“The South Side just gets overlooked so much because of the stereotypes [and] the racism,” Cummings-Yeates said. “I tried to prioritize businesses and neighborhoods that generally get overlooked, like most guidebooks will not have much [about] the South Side.”

Many Chicago neighborhoods hold deep history within them, and there are several multicultural experiences just a few miles away from one another. According to WalletHub, Chicago is the 10th most diverse city in the United States with 77 neighborhoods and a history dating back to the 18th century, when the first non-Indigenous settler Jean Baptiste Point DuSable began residing in the area.

“52 Things to Do in Chicago” not only highlights some of Chicago’s rich history and overlooked areas, but it also provides advice from Cummings-Yeates, including how to get to the places she mentions through public transportation, how long readers should plan to spend there and why they should go. She teaches readers why each place is important to Chicago’s culture.

“We have such deep history. There was nothing that I wrote on that didn’t go deeper than I realized it would. This is just such an amazing city,” Cummings-Yeates said.

“52 Things to Do in Chicago” can be found on Amazon, www.moon.com and Target.