Albany Park on the Northwest Side of Chicago is one of the nation’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods — about half of its residents were born in another country.
Take a walk down Lawrence Avenue in Albany Park, and you will find stores and restaurants from all corners of the world. A traditional Mexican band advertises for an upcoming show on an empty storefront (left), while a gift shop displays colorful children’s dresses (right).
Joanna Rose (left), 37, immigrated to the United States 12 years ago from Poland. She now works as a party designer at Tito’s Flowers & Gifts (right).
Meri Coraizaca (left), 42, came to Chicago 14 years ago from Ecuador to join her husband who was already living in the United States. Her family has owned Mi Casa Furniture (right) for about four years.
Joseph Toulabi (left), 55, came to Chicago from Iran as an 18-year-old exchange student. He now owns the Kabobi Grill (right) on Kedzie Avenue and calls himself the best Middle-Eastern chef in Albany Park.
Ed Khang (left), 54, just opened Cafe Orient 33 about five months ago. He moved to the United States from Korea about 25 years ago and owned another restaurant in the neighborhood prior to launching this one.