🌮 Happy Monday. It's National Taco Day so we'd love to know about your favorites in the Chicago area.

  • Today's weather: Kind of gloomy with clouds, a chance of more showers and a high of 69. Boo.

Today's newsletter is 853 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Readers split on Obama Center

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (L) and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (R) join former U.S. President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama in a ceremonial groundbreaking in Jackson Park. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

In Chicago, folks get hopped up over baseball rivalries, hot dog condiments and, of course, who's allowed to build in public parks.

  • So we weren't surprised by the avalanche of emails we got on the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.

Driving the news: The former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama broke ground last week on the center, despite ongoing protests from a group called Protect Our Parks.

Your responses were split right down the middle. Literally 50/50.

  • "All presidential libraries should be built on public land, I see no issue with Chicago Parks being used for this and am excited for this particular location.” — Brad Bauer
  • "Yes to the center in the park. It’ll be great for the neighborhood.” — Linda Stern
  • "The Obama library should not be on public land. Our public parks are not supposed to be given away like this. It’s so tone deaf of the Obamas to do this." — S.R.
  • "I am sad at the destruction of Jackson Park for the Obama Center. It's not that there aren't any blighted but accessible private properties on the South Side that could have hosted the presidential library, while doing the sort of neighborhood revitalization promised." — Gary Dare
  • "Can the people at Protect Our Parks just chill and let the Obamas build their library? It’s not like the city is at risk of running out of beautiful parks. Protect Our Parks = Poopers of Parties." — Joseph Kalmin

The bottom line: The Obama Center is likely to weather any opposition and become an integral part of the South Side upon its completion in 2025.

2. From Wayne's World to Asian world

Entrance to the huge Park to Shop grocery store in the Pacifica Square shopping center. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Could Aurora, Illinois, create one of the largest Asian lifestyle centers in North America? That's the aim of Pacifica Square developers, the Windfall Group, who've lured an impressive array of businesses to the suburb over the last two years.

Why it matters: Aurora has long been known for things like "Wayne's World" and good Mexican cuisine. But Asian food? Not so much. So Monica took a 1-hour trip west to check it out.

First look: From the parking lot, the "square" looks like a bunch of new Asian businesses landed in the old Yorkshire Plaza mall.

  • Outposts of Lao Sze Chuan, Strings Ramen, Levee Karaoke & BBQ and Hyderabad House surround the parking lot.
  • Anchoring the whole thing is a huge Asian grocery store next to a 10-stall food court.
The food court at Pacifica Square in Aurora.
The food court at Pacifica Square in Aurora offers a pan-Asian cornucopia of eats. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

The Asian food court is the biggest we've seen in Illinois, with offerings like Southeast Asian Cajun seafood, Chinese noodles, Hong Kong BBQ, Japanese bento, Korean chicken, East Asian baked goods, boba tea and Taiwanese night market food.

Food items from Pacifica Square in Aurora.
Monica and her daughter tried (clockwise) the fried taro bites, soup dumplings, oyster omelet, chicken cutlets and tofu sliders at Lisa's Bistro. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Best bites: Juicy soup dumplings ($8) and mashed taro fritters on a stick called taro bites ($4), both from Lisa's Bistro Night Market stall.

Biggest disappointment: Soggy chicken cutlets ($9) and a goopy oyster omelet ($15) also from Lisa's. Tofu sliders (also available with pork belly) tasted like, well, fried tofu on bread. Monica's daughter ordered them. Sorry.

Most intriguing bite: The meat floss square cakes from Sweet General bakery feature coconut and taro paste between sponge cakes, cloaked in salty pork floss. Like Twinkies rolled in pork-flavored poodle hair, they're Monica's new salty sweet addiction.

Keep reading: Aurora mall lures Asian foodies to Wayne's World 'burb

Meat floss cakes at Pacific Square in Aurora.
Meat floss cakes are a savory and sweet treat. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

3. Tips and hot links

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

💉 So do city workers have to be vaccinated by October 15? The city and the FOP seem to be saying different things. (Block Club Chicago)

Lyons Township High School canceled its homecoming dance after guns were found in a car in the school parking lot. (Sun-Times)

🎂 It's Jesse Jackson's birthday week! He turns 80. (Chicago Tribune)

⚾ The White Sox finished the season with 94 wins and will start the playoffs in Houston on Thursday. (MLB)

🏀 The Chicago Sky are one game away from the WNBA Finals. (Yahoo Sports)

4. Monday Morning QB: Bears win, lose Montgomery

David Montgomery (#32) winces in pain as team trainers look on during Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions. Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears got back to Bears football, running the ball and forcing turnovers in a 24-14 win at Soldier Field.

Why it matters: After a terrible game last week in Cleveland, the Bears rebounded and gave fans hope early in the 2021 season.

Bad news: The win was complete, but running back David Montgomery injured his knee in the 4th quarter. The injury looked so bad that the television broadcast refused to show the replay.

Quarterback Justin Fields was efficient with the football, but didn't throw a single touchdown. But there were enough big plays to whet the fans' appetite for what could be a bright future.

  • Fields threw a 64-yard strike to wide receiver Darnell Mooney. It was the longest completion since 2018.

Players of the game: The Bears linebackers. All four linebackers wreaked havoc on the Lions offense, forcing sacks and turnovers.

Back to the drawing board: The Bears' safeties both played poorly, blowing coverages and missing tackles.

  • The tight ends have also been non-existent through the first four games of the season.

What's next: The Bears go to Las Vegas to play the Raiders.

5. Where in the world is … Justin?

Justin buys stuff. Where is he? Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

If you guess right before Wednesday you could be eligible to win super classy Axios swag.

Our picks:

📰 Monica is reading Robert Loerzel's fabulous article about the Chicago Fire in this month's Chicago Magazine. Loerzel (who was Monica's first editor at the Daily Illini) tells the story through archival accounts of folks who lived through the blaze 150 years ago.

🎧 Justin is excited for you to hear the podcast he worked on about the Cubs 2016 postseason run.