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Fuel

april / May 22, 2006 11:13 AM

Ukrainian Village. I love the architecture and the proximity to just about everything I enjoy. The worst thing about it is the gentrification. I know it's inevitable and people piss and moan about it all the time, but it still sucks.

Andrew / May 22, 2006 11:15 AM

We're in West Ridge, a little-known section of West Rogers Park, south of Devon.

Despite being far from the trains, it's very convenient and pleasantly quiet.

spence / May 22, 2006 11:15 AM

Lakeview/Wrigleyville - Southport Corridor

Best:
-relatively safe
-good transportation options
-great restaurants close by
-relatively quiet
-It's easy for my family and friends to get too
-parking is not too bad (although I no longer have a car)

Worst:
-drunk cub's fans
-Clark Street between Addison and Sheffield
-expensive rent
-stroller dodging
-the amount of stripped shirts seen on any given night out
-and the general frat-itude of the area

hench / May 22, 2006 11:19 AM

albany park. i'm equally far away from the brown line and the blue line - that's my only real complaint. walking down lawrence avenue is a crazy jumble of various languages and cuisines. 24 hour korean restaurant next to a taqueria down the street from a video store/bait shop across from a falafel place around the corner from a peruvian restaurant. totally amazing!

of course, i'm aware that as a white male musician who drives a vw and drinks microbrewed beer, i'm helping to rid this neighborhood of its awesomeness. apartments are being converted to condos, there's a starbucks at wilson & kedzie, rumors of trader joe's at lawrence & pulaski, etc...

any other albany park hipster-ish types want to start a band? we can call ourselves "the regretful gentrificators."

MikeH / May 22, 2006 11:23 AM

I live just north of Addison and just west of Ashland, so people consider it either Wrigleyville or North Center...

Things I like best:

3 grocery stores within walking distance (Jewel, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's)...

proximity to public transportation...

close enough to walk to Wrigley Field but far away enough to not have to deal with the drunken throngs...

proximity to Southport and all its restaurant and bar offerings...

abundance of trees, kids and dogs in the neighborhood...

when family or friends visit, parking can often be found on my street...

Thing I like least:

I can only afford to rent there...

kristy / May 22, 2006 11:30 AM

I live in Humboldt Park (east side of the park. The
BEST

MUSIC (great plays day and night)
FOOD
PROXIMITY to the huge park to ride our bikes
SPACE (have about 1300 square feet plus big back yard for really cheap rent)
Parking Is Plentiful
Tons of children playing (never got that in Lakeview!)
Puerto Rican Pride Fest!

WORST
shootings on my street
scared for the good kids that live there
MUSIC (all the time)
Late night booming radio's
Postman goes through the mail

Emily / May 22, 2006 11:36 AM

Hyde Park

Bests: very diverse, Medici Bakery, Jimmy's (great dive bar), quiet, the point & tons of parks.

Worsts: limited eating & shops, sketchy nighttime pub trans, no 24 hour (or even late night) food.

emdub / May 22, 2006 11:38 AM

Ukranian village/East village border

Like: proximity to stuff, Edmar grocery store, Bleeding heart bakery, not too close to Liquor Park to be annoyed by the "nightlife", Chicago Ave funkiness, Atomix.

Hate: If I tried to buy a condo here, it would be 1/2 the size of what I rent. So I can't really buy here. And there is a TIF (tax incentive thingie) nearby, so prices are just going to go up, so I guess I'm outta here soon. Damn real estate bubble better burst soon, yo...

Emily / May 22, 2006 11:39 AM

Oh! And Ribs & Bibs as a Best. They pulled pork sandwiches are out of this world.

lacey / May 22, 2006 11:46 AM

Ravenswood. I love it, it's quiet and safe, equidistant between the red and brown lines, 2 blocks from the Metra, within walking distance of Andersonville (food and gym) and Lincoln Square (food and general cuteness). I like the family, semi-permanent feel to the area, and the absense of people standing around at 2am. Also, there is parking!

Y A J / May 22, 2006 11:47 AM

I live in West Elsdon, a corner of West Lawn down by Midway airport.
Good News
+ space: big, affordable house, bigger lot, plenty of parking
+ many nearby parks
+ endless number of taquerias to explore
+ walk to midway for quick escape or L ride downtown

Bad News
- no local Thai or Vietnamese food
- no local bar or live music venue
- lots of boys with booming car stereos & screechy teen girls on our block

eep / May 22, 2006 11:48 AM

I live in Oak Park, because I'm apparantly a wuss who's afraid of the city. Or at least, that's what my city-dwelling friends like to make me think.

That said, I love my little neighborhood on the "poor" side of town. All the necessities of life are on the block I live on, and the rest of the town is pretty nice, too. And I'm less than five minutes from the L, which is incredibly handy. The only thing that sucks is the parking. Seriously, Oak Park is SHIT for parking.

Robin / May 22, 2006 11:49 AM

Lincoln Square/Ravenswood Manorish (Maplewood & Sunnyside).

pros:
-huge, light-filled corner apt with community garden across the street
-proximity to brown line (Rockwell/Western) and arterial bus routes (Western/Montrose)
-so, so quiet
-proximity to Welles Park, California Park, Old Town School, Sultzer Library, Lincoln Ave. shops/restaurants
-don't feel scared walking in the neighborhood at night
-Rockwell businesses that have become my friends (DeVrim Cleaners & Beans & Bagels)

Cons:
-kids on my street that take over the sidewalk in the summer with supersoakers, hoses, razor scooters, kiddie pools, sidewalk chalk & loud voices.
-their parents who think their kids own the neighborhood and that don't say anything when their kid hoses you down or runs into your shins with their big wheels
-the same family's dog that barks at me every time I walk by
-basically it is just this one family that drives me nuts all summer long.

mike / May 22, 2006 11:52 AM

In Lincoln Park on the cusp of Old Town. Beautiful neighborhood with some nice restaurants. Close to the lake. Most of the bars are either yuppied out or bursting with DePaul coeds and tourists, but not all of them. I love it here. I won't leave till I buy; the prices here are ridiculous.

Stephen / May 22, 2006 12:05 PM

East (Ukrainian) Village, near Augusta/Wood.

Best thing: easy access to everything I need on a regular basis (CTA, great food, downtown, the highway, the police)! Still a relatively mixed neighborhood (despite the growing complaints about hipsters/yuppies/gentrifiers - yes, I am one of them). And a killer 4th of July fireworks display hosted by my neighbor.

Worst thing: that goddamned 80s Chevy van with the loud-as-shit alarm that goes off if you even sneeze near it. It is not unusual to hear it going off 20 times each night. I swear I'm gonna firebomb that thing one of these days.

Pedro / May 22, 2006 12:06 PM

Lakeview (Southport & Diversey)

The good:
Affordable apartment
Grocery store is close
Decent eating options
Quiet street w/mostly families & late 20/early 30 somethings
Safe
Close, but not too close, to train

The bad:
Too $$$ to buy
Sharing street parking with novices
No edge to the neighborhood

fluffy / May 22, 2006 12:11 PM

east village/ukrainian village.

best: all the old trees, what's left of the old architecture, coffee shops, community gardens, inexpensive yet cute shops where they sell unique non-trendy stuff, good garage sales, close to train stop and busses, old bars and cheap beer, having fellow artists live in the area is cool so you can stop by and check out their work (Flat Iron bldg) some cool restaurants as well as cheap burritos, picante's (open til 3am!) there are still some old people, children, and foreigners in the neighborhood. Although, I'm sure they'lll be gone soon. Which brings me to the

worst- hideous new condos, owned by snobby people who don't say hi, those same condos don't have stoops- just cement, which looks ugly and then their dogs poop in our front yard and they don't scoop. grrr!
Obnoxious people from the suburbs or other 'hoods who come down to the area to 'parteeee' so they act like imbecils, get sloshed, scream and yell and peel off in their cars - causing unnecessary drama- Ugh- that sense of entitlement makes me puke.
Hipsters- all the little fuckers who bought their black plastic rimmed glasses, got their shaggy haircut, and whatever they do to desperately get that 'look' and hang out with people who only look like them. They hang out in packs - they depress me.

Sarah / May 22, 2006 12:12 PM

I live in Roger's Park, down around Loyola.

Best:
- Beautiful old apartments built in the 30s that are on the largish size and reasonably priced
- (quiet) beaches no more than a block or two away
- diverse neighborhood
- a lot of artists living in the neighborhood, studios on Glenwood and Mess Hall
- Convenient to red line, express buses downtown, and to Evanston

Worst:
- street harassment is really bad, I've even been followed home once.
- while I haven't noticed anything lately, there have been a lot of nights I've woken up to fighting and/or police sirens out on the street
- I wish there were more restaurants and bars; I like the bar at the Morseland and the bar at the Heartland, but wish there were more options

Jake / May 22, 2006 12:16 PM

Hench, are there really rumors of a Trader Joe's coming to Lawrence & Pulaski? That would be great. I know, I know: gentrification, blah, blah, etc.

But gunshots are scary. And gangs are creepy. And tags are ugly. And dollar stores are ridiculous. And linen stores are insane. Who buys a blanket emblazoned with Betty Boop wearing a confederate flag on a motorcycle?

The best of Albany Park: the little candy shop on Avers near Wilson that will add a scoop of hot nacho cheese to your bag of Fritos for a quarter.

Eamon / May 22, 2006 12:18 PM

Edgewater. I have the best neighbors on the face of the planet. If our house burned down, we'd buy a van and live in the street.

jen / May 22, 2006 12:29 PM

i'm surprised there's been no logan square yet, so i'll chime in first.

+small bar, helen's, whirlaway
+boulevards/architecture
+logan square auditorium
+character of the neighborhood: the little shops & restaurants
+proximity to neighborhoods that are cool to hang out in, but i would not want to live in (no offense, wicker park ;) )

-condos, condos, condos. please. make it stop.
-the people that come with the condos.
-shootings
-tagging
-drivers

jen / May 22, 2006 12:31 PM

oh, and
+logan theater. i always have $3.

slb / May 22, 2006 12:32 PM

albany park.

pros: very diverse.

inexpensive, relatively- i could actually afford to buy a condo (and did).

nice tree-lined streets. it's pretty quiet.

cons: it's a long bike ride to the south loop where i work (though that's a pro, too - i get a lot of exercise).

it's far from the bars & restaurants i usually end up at.

that "HELLO!" ice cream truck stops by like 5 times a day (or so it seems).

slb / May 22, 2006 12:40 PM

jake-

i love the linen stores! they are hilarious! i love the fact that *someone* must be buying those ghastly things... enormous rugs with enormous tigers on them... huge rugs with spongebob in vivid fluorescent colors... they are amazing.

i don't think the gang presence in albany park is as bad as logan square, at least from the number of gang tags.

i love the mexican grocery stores, too... cheap produce and awesomely fresh tortillas. fiesta market on lawrence rules.

Marilyn / May 22, 2006 12:50 PM

Downtown Skokie.

Pros:
--Walking distance to the best library north of Madison
--Walking distance to the best world produce market
--Walking distance to Village Creamery, with great homemade ice cream with a Filipino flair
--Lots of parks everywhere
--I can see 4th of July fireworks from about 15 communities from my 5th floor balcony
--Extremely diverse and multicultural
--Skokie Theatre not torn down, but rather converted into a jazz music venue
--Excellent restaurants
--Great water park within walking distance
--Small, excellent nature preserve within walking distance
--Holocaust memorial at the library
--Featured prominently in the fine movie "Skokie," with Danny Kaye
--Smokefree dining everywhere

Cons
--Overrun with rude Russians
--Condos threaten every corner (my condo building started the boom, sad to say, but I love my place)
--Cops are everywhere writing traffic tickets
--Relatively high property taxes (but we get a lot for the money)
--Traffic on Lincoln is bad

amyc / May 22, 2006 12:53 PM

The boy and I have been in Roscoe P. Village since 2000. The neighborhood was starting to get condo-y when we moved in, but has gone all kinds of crazy in the last three years -- lots of shitty new condos, plus five new $1m houses just on our block since 2003.

But still, the best: great food (Costello's, Victory's Banner, Piazza Bella, Robey Pizza, Brett's, El Tinajon); cool independently owned shops like Hard Boiled Records & DVDs, Sacred Art, and MoJoe's; close to several buses and trains; I can usually find parking on our block; lots of trees and friendly dogs; clean and quiet.

The worst: the aforementioned building spree, in which anything standing still is knocked down and replaced with eight condos; the new Jimmy John's (we've been blessedly free of chain stores except, of course, Starbucks); five (!) new high-priced maternity/baby stuff boutiques opening since January means we'll soon be even more overrun with little Bratleighs and Snotleighs.

Jake / May 22, 2006 12:54 PM

Oh yeah, the supermercados rule. Ten limes for a dollar, you just can't beat that. While not strictly Mexican, Andy's Fruit Ranch is my favorite.

Another great thing: the sidewalk vendors who sell fruit: you can get, like, a whole pound of nicely cubed watermelon (served with toothpicks) for a dollar.

And okay, I'll admit the linen stores are funny. But why do we need so many on Lawrence? There must be 20 of them between Pulaski and Kedzie... They must be fronts for some kind of nefarious activity.

paulette / May 22, 2006 1:00 PM

Wow, Ukee Vee represent.

What I love:
good local bars (Happy V, Foot, etc)
lovely architecture
trees
location/transportation
the people are diverse
Street art
nearby empty bottle
living in a landmarked district (keeps my block nice and pretty)
I feel safe walking at night
Picante
independent cafes

What I don't love so much:
there's a Jimmy John's on Division now
ugly condos (if they were more considerate architecturally I wouldn't mind)
the newer restaurants on Division are kinda expensive

Jill / May 22, 2006 1:14 PM

I live in Rogers Park, right around Loyola , and I agree with everything Sarah @ 12:12 said.

Pros - on the way to the train in the morning, almost everyone I pass says Hello or Good Morning. Also - the great places to eat down Devon Ave.

Con - at night, you really do need a body guard.

Lody / May 22, 2006 1:28 PM

Jefferson Park

Good:

great park nearby
awesome Polish food nearby
tollway is very close

Bad:

people not stopping at stop signs
too many people with loud ass stereos at 2 a.m.
people hogging parking spots

Mike / May 22, 2006 1:34 PM

Roscoe Village.

Pros:
* Two of my favorite bars, the Hungry Brain and the Village Tap.
* It has one of everything I need: a good video/record store (Hard Boiled), a good coffee shop (MoJoe's), a nearby grocery store, a place to get my haircut, etc.
* Proximity to other neighborhoods.

Cons:
* My apartment is on Claremont, which is pretty far from the el stop.
* I work so damn much I don't get to play in my neighborhood enough.

kt / May 22, 2006 2:13 PM

ukrainian village.

best: being within staggering distance of the empty bottle and, to a lesser extent, sub-t.

worst: having to walk a goddamn mile to get to the grocery store.

Emily / May 22, 2006 2:23 PM

One more add to Hyde Park:

The bookstores on 57th & the Seminary Coop on University.

d. / May 22, 2006 2:30 PM

i live in wicker park, but in a quiet spot across the street from a church, at the best intersection ever: hoyne and...le moyne!

the neighborhood is nice enough if you ignore all the people with the hooded sweatshirts, ratty printed tees, lopsided haircuts, gigantic sunglasses, perpetual stubble on the face, etc. tee hee.

no, but in reality its nice enough for a very unassuming little person like me. places to eat, art to look at, graffiti on lots of walls, drinky drinks, coffee drinks, music to listen to, once-in-a-while crime, hipster crowds to fart in and pretend it was somebody else,you know. could use a little more diversity probably. but its fun.

Josh / May 22, 2006 2:34 PM

Portage Park.

Pros:
-An absence of skyscrapers. Because of it's proximity to O'Hare, there is a relatively naked skyline to enjoy.
- Kennedy expressway is pretty fast compared to the others.
- Quiet neighborhood. Mostly Polish immigrants. Abundance of houses over apartments makes it harder to gentrify the neighborhood.
- Huge parks. Real big ones!
- Screaming teenage girls and stereo-blasting cars are at a minimum.
- Cops always seem to be around. - Excellent taquerias and diverse butcher shops everywhere.

Cons:
- You gotta speak Polish in some places to get service.
- Building those plain brick condos wherever they can. Seems they ran out of the room on the north side.
- Very short of 'hip' places: sushi bars, record stores, coffee shops, indie theatres, etc.
- Lots of Missing Persons flyers plastered on street posts. Creepy. - No lake Michigan within walking distance. God, I was such a spoiled child.

Curious George / May 22, 2006 2:37 PM

What do you folks mean whenever you describe you neighborhood as 'diverse'? Do you mean restaurants? The architecture? The ethnic breakdown? What if your neighbors are gay or black or asian or transgendered or indian -- BUT, they're all socialists who only like thai food and techno music? What constitutes diverse? I smell P.C. guilt here.

paulette / May 22, 2006 2:46 PM

When I said the people in Ukee Vee are diverse I meant:
racially/ethnically
economically
age-wise
what they're into, i.e., not everybody dresses in business casual and commutes to offices in the loop. Just some. Where I lived before it felt like a yuppie training camp, and I had to drop out.

Pedro / May 22, 2006 3:00 PM

Re: Diversity.
I'd say age is a big one. There are some "neighborhoods" where every single person you come across is right out of college and you can't help but be aware of the lack of diversity, even if you are usually suspicious of people who speak lovingly about "diversity" like I suspect you are, George. (Me too.)

Marilyn / May 22, 2006 3:14 PM

Diversity where I live is ethnic, racial, age. More than 80 languages spoken. Affluent to food stamps, though not a lot of the latter.

printdude / May 22, 2006 3:19 PM

d. - I used to live at Hoyne & LeMoyne, at 21XX in the coach house. While the pad was small, I loved the nieghborhood, and the eats within walks. We moved out just after Penny's went in.

Now, I miss walking by the Section 8 homes at Leavitt & LeMoyne and talking to all the people there - they were always outside, so it was easy to make friends; i miss the dog park where my dog would make a ton of playpals.
Where we moved to, there's no dog park and no dog friendliness at all. People use their dogs for protection down this way.
I do get these things in the new hood:
bobak's - better sousage in this city? I think not
Great new restaurant s to explore - including the best Thai I have ever eaten! Bahn Thai!

I also get to walk to the airport when i fly out. How handy is that? I get a full yard, something I never would have even had offered in WickerPark unless I had a million to spare.

So i'm happy.

The wife, she misses the füd though.

Anthony / May 22, 2006 3:38 PM

SoLo.

Awesome:
* Walking to work.
* No south-to-go-north transferring.
* 4 trains at your fingertips.
* Walking to Mil Park, Movie in the Park, Summerdance, Maxwell St Market, Chinatown, and the Lakefront.
* Printer's Row.
* No need for a car.
* Biking everywhere.
* The HotHouse and other neighborhood goodies.

Bad:
* No people hanging out, really. Getting better, though.
* Parking.
* Aggressive pan handling.

slb / May 22, 2006 3:38 PM

diversity in Albany Park means: people of all ethnicities, ages, races, languages, religions, and etc. i don't think it's pc guilt. it's pretty cool to walk around and hear so many languages and styles of dress.

there are very old people and very young people, and people in between. and people from different classes and walks of life. it's striking compared with the WP (which i do love to visit), where most of the people seem to be within a narrow age and class range. diversity is not just about race.

slb / May 22, 2006 3:41 PM

though that's not to say diversity in race does not matter - of course it does. and it's important, and refreshing, especially in this still-segregated city.

Marc / May 22, 2006 3:43 PM

Lakeview - Oakdale and Burling.

++++++++++++
+ close to the lake
+ best commute in the world, biking down lakefront bike path to downtown
+ walk to everything (except grocery since Dominick's burnt down)
+ anything you can't walk to can be easily reached by red/purple/brown line or myriad buses
+ a couple of good bars (Jake's, L&L)
+ lots of good food
+ where we're at feels like a proper neighborhood, all of the neighbors are friendly and familiar
++++++++++++

---------------------
- frat/sorority people creeping up from Lincoln Park and down from Wrigley
- the fact that having a child and wanting a bit more room means leaving the neighborhood unless you're super rich
---------------------

Lody / May 22, 2006 3:47 PM

printdude - I actually think Halina's over on Lawrence has the best sausage... and the best pierogi's. But, if you head over there, be prepared to speak Polish or bring someone who can!

Y A J / May 22, 2006 3:51 PM

I admit to piles of liberal guilt, but when I say diverse I mean what my dictionary sez it means, “variety in form”.

When I walk to the L in my neighborhood I will encounter at least 3 languages and 3 generations of age. I'll walk by houses, apartments and condos. Thus, I think my neighborhood is diverse.

indefenseofcitydiversity / May 22, 2006 3:52 PM

Less than a month ago, I just moved three whole blocks from Wellington/Broadway to Diversey/Pine Grove. And even though I'm in the heart of one of the least diverse areas of the city, I'm still grateful for the range of people and their circumstances I see around me. Despite a "healthy" population of Trixies and Chads around me, there's not a day that goes by that I don't pass someone who I would never could have passed on the streets of the small suburban-like town where I grew up.

missmolly / May 22, 2006 3:58 PM

i live at Chicago and Huron. Not really sure what people are calling my little space these days. A friend of mine decided on "wicker park slums" but i don't like that...I am trying to get "Eckhart Park" to stick.

anywho, love the area and the neighbors. old, young, rich, poor all nationalities. ELOTES carts! popsicle carts! Kids on bikes! Nice small shops, resturants and bars.

Hate it when people from LP or Lakeview come over and think that they are "slumming." that hurts my feelings. I feel like I am slumming when I have to go over there!!

billy / May 22, 2006 3:59 PM

where i live doesn't really have a name.

river west?
north meat packing district?
east noble square?
north west loop?

anyway. i can walk to michigan ave., wicker park, the loop, uk. village and meat packing district all under 25 minutes. there are tons of trains and buses. i have a cheap big place with a porch w/ skyline view. bari is across the street.

but, i take more cabs at night now, my front view is of the highway, but that keeps the rent down.

leah / May 22, 2006 4:07 PM

I am in Humboldt Park.

Good
*Who knew the park had a leedle beach? whuht love it.

*gobs of baseball & softball in the park all summer long (GO ANGELS!)

*BBQs in the park!

*basically just that whole park.

*Kids on bikes.

Bad
*Neighbors' garages get tagged as quickly as I call 311 to have it removed.

*Ooonst ooonst oooonst cars all night long.

Leelah / May 22, 2006 4:20 PM

I suppose it's Morgan Park... I would move north if I could afford it, but i can't give up the cheap mortgage and space

pros
--4 bedroom house for $850/month
--i have a house with a yard and a garage
--there's a new fast food veggie place down the street

cons
--who wants to date a woman who lives on the south side? (really? anyone? anyone?)
--nobody comes to my house unless they live on the south side.
--the dan ryan nonsense
--not enough restaurant choices
--i'm always driving up north to go out

Stephen / May 22, 2006 4:20 PM

missmolly - Chicago & Huron run parallel... but I'm guessing you're near Noble as the cross-street? So that would put you in Noble Square I guess.

I used to live @ Huron & Ashland and you're right about near-northside people claiming they were "slumming" when over in our stomping grounds... so annoying.

SoLo? Assuming that's the New Hip Name for South Loop? Never heard that one before...

julie / May 22, 2006 4:25 PM

Portage Park
good:
*I could afford to buy a nice house with a yard
*neighbors who have lived there all their lives and look out for each other
*pretty quiet
*not a ton of traffic
bad:
I agree with josh, very short of hip places....a coffee shop, restaurant or good bar would do great business in the neighborhood.

NSH / May 22, 2006 4:32 PM

Leelah if your looking for a place to "hook up" in EMPE try the Dubliner (A.K.A. Club Dub) on a Friday Night. You may have better luck than on the internet :)

Tobermory / May 22, 2006 4:55 PM

According to the Chicago Neighborhoods map (1992 version) I'm in Ravenswood, but I think it's morphed into Lincoln Square now.
Pros:
* Nice neighbors.
* Galter Center only a three minute walk.
* Can walk to the El, The Davis movie theatre, & excellent restaurants.
Cons:
* Church across the street not very considerate (parking, late night parties)
* Scary gang-banger lives across the alley.
* The fugly condo-fication has started coming ever closer.

Maggie / May 22, 2006 4:57 PM

Albany Park: It's way better than when I was in High School.

Pros:
Watch kids play cricket in Roosevelt's parking lot on my way home from the train!
Affordable housing in "normal" neighborhood full of working people and families.
Drake Gardens!

Cons:
Parking can be tight on weeknights
The train/car is involved in any evening out - unless someone can direct me to the latest hipster dive bar in Albany Park? Just Butch looks like turf I don't want to invade.

a / May 22, 2006 5:33 PM

Roscoe Village! (School and Western)

Pros- Village Tap, MoJoe's, Western bus, two grocery stores, swift bike ride to Hot Doug's and Kuma's, all the other teachers in my hood that leave their houses at the same time I do every morning.

Cons- Lack of a closer produce market (yuck to the produce at Dominick's and Jewel), the crazy girl down the street that housesits like a thousand dogs in her house, and the two HUGE teens across the street that bark (really) and scream and run out onto the street between cars.

I guess those cons aren't bad. I love my neighborhood.

Moon / May 22, 2006 5:51 PM

Gold Coast.

There's nothing bad about living here, except for idiots from the suburbs and, of course, BICYCLES ON THE SIDEWALK! :D

Less than a block from the lake, half a dozen grocery stores, all the restaurants and bars in the world, clubs, wine stores, etc. etc.

If you can't get it in the Gold Coast, you can't get it.

dino / May 22, 2006 5:54 PM

The southern tip of East Rogers Park

Pros:
Best beaches in the city but still only 5 min drive to LSD and 10 minute jog to Lakefront path.

I can walk to all the good stuff in Edgewater (Moody's, Indie, Metropolis) in 10 minutes, or 20 to get to Andersonville.
Good cheap restaurants ranging from Mexican to Latin American to Caribbean.

South of Pratt, it's much-improved and pretty safe. And all the new businesses up on Jarvis are a revelation.

Cheap rent and well-maintained, big apartments compared to the rest of the north lakefront.

Cons:
More and more annoying Loyola students overpaying for rent and leaving beer cans on formerly pristine lawns with every passing year.

It's a long way to the Loop.

Not enough upscale restaurants/coffee shops/bars right around me.

Morse still sucks, save for the Morseland.

Attrill / May 22, 2006 6:05 PM

Logan Square (Palmer Square/Stave Triangle according to neighborhood maps, corner of Stave and Attrill).

Good -
Close to Blue line
Very few condos in our immediate neighborhood
Great neighbors - still feels like a neighborhood with people hanging out on stoops and offering you a beer.
Great central location - easy to get to Humboldt Park, Bucktown, Lincoln Square, Wicker Park, etc...

Bad -
Moderate gang activity
Congress theatre crowds
I live next to the El (which isn't that bad really)

STFU already / May 22, 2006 6:11 PM

moon,

maybe the bike riding on the sidewalk phenomenon is isolated to the gold coast due to all the rich, smug pieces of sh*t that live in your neighborhood that think they're too good to ride in the street. I noticed the same phenomenon with dog sh*t on the sidewalk there. No one picks it up because they think they're above it.

david / May 22, 2006 6:27 PM

man, the generalizations in the comment section of this site never cease to amaze me. most people who generalize probably consider themselves open minded, too.

i've been all types of people listed here. a student struggling to make rent in a studio apartment. someone with a crappy job and an cool old apartment with a roommate. you could have probably even considered me a hipster fifteen years ago, too - if you were gonna make a snap judgement.

now i'm just a regular work-a-day forty year old. i read books, i go to as many shows as possible. it ain't half bad.

and i'm also presently a condo person in bucktown, soon to be a townhouse person in ukranian village. but i've lived in the city more than half my life, and i'm the same person i've always been.

sure, condos are a blight - but it's what i could afford at the time. someone's gotta live here - we're not all bad.

Attrill / May 22, 2006 7:07 PM

The issue with condos for me isn't who lives in them - it's the way they're built. Developers want to maximize the lot so they don't include any yard space at all. Backyards become garages, frontyards are token greenspace. This creates a situation where everyone lives their lives inside and doesn't have a chance to get to know their neighbors, since they never see them.

Jason / May 22, 2006 8:11 PM

We lived in Rogers Park (after I started at Loyola), then Oak Park (after the better half started at UIC) and finally Lincoln Park for a few years after graduate school...only to return home to Missouri. From a distance, life in Chicago is second to none, no matter where you live.

Brian / May 22, 2006 8:53 PM

I'm in Archer Heights (Archer/Pulaski).

Pros:
• Reasonable rent for a fantastic apartment
• Jackie's
• Bacci's Pizza
• Nicky's
• Bobak's
• Gilmart
• Cocula (mmmmmm)
• Orange Line nearby
• Pete's Fresh Market
• three other grocery stores within walking distance
• very diverse (polish, mexican)
• lots of life in the neighborhood

Cons:
• Friends that think anything south/southwest of the loop is the boondocks
• People that wrinkle their nose when I say where I live
• Far from ‘nightlife’
• Screaming teenage girls and stereo-blasting cars at 1am (not as bad as it could be, though)
• Far from the lake

jm / May 22, 2006 9:08 PM

North Park/Albany Park, Foster & Kimball:

Pro's:
-Yep, it's been said. Diverse and down-to-earth. 40 different languages are spoken here according to Wikipedia.
-But not politically diverse...97% of us voted Democratic in the last pres election. After a day of feeling like the political underdog, it's nice to come home to the 'hood. I won't apologize for that.
-Tre Kronor for brunch
-Galter Center
-All the families and kids and older people all smushed in here together and hanging with each other over the backyard fences
-We could afford a WHOLE house here. That was nice. That was also in 2003.
-North Park Nature Center
-Awesome grocery stores
-Friends can afford to live nearby

Con's:
-Although our street is great, parking can be tight
-I wish the bus service down Kimball to the Brown Line was better
-I wish I had a nice pub within walking distance that wasn't The 'Wood. One like the Fifth Provence.

cory / May 22, 2006 9:31 PM

Ravenswood, near Amundsen H:
Pro: Safe, quiet, loads of restaurants esp Thai; Lincoln Square, with Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago Brauhaus and The Heuttenbar are close, as is Andersonville.

Cons: Probably gonna have to move out to afford to own; recent increase in gang-related graffitti.

Moon / May 22, 2006 9:35 PM

moon,

maybe the bike riding on the sidewalk phenomenon is isolated to the gold coast due to all the rich, smug pieces of sh*t that live in your neighborhood that think they're too good to ride in the street. I noticed the same phenomenon with dog sh*t on the sidewalk there. No one picks it up because they think they're above it.

Hey, Spence, you STFU already. Geez, what a jerk.

/Do you even KNOW what a smiley is, moron?

Andrew / May 22, 2006 10:27 PM

OK, enough with the bike issue and the name-calling. You two don't agree. Take the chips off the shoulders, deposit them at the cashier's booth and move on.

jen / May 22, 2006 11:05 PM

@david - i think another issue with condos is also that they're all so BLAND and BORING... far less attractive than the stately historic homes.
in other words, i've never seen a condo with a gargoyle. ;)

matt / May 22, 2006 11:54 PM

South Ravenswood, North-North Center, West Lincoln Square or East Uptown. Whatever you call it, it's the stretch of Montrose between Damen and Ashland, and it's great.

Reasonable rent (especially considering the skyrocketing popularity of close-by neighborhoods such as Andersonville & Lincoln Sq.)

GREAT RESTAURANTS!!! Everything from Diner food, to Ecuadorian, to Mediterranean, and 3+ Pizza joints.

Brown line's a quick 30-40 min jaunt to downtown.

5-10 min bike ride to the lake.

However, it is pretty pricey to buy. Nary a condo under 250K or a SFH under 700K.

A. / May 23, 2006 12:46 AM

Just for the record according to Alderman Margaret Laurino there is not going to be a Trader Joes at the corner of Lawrence and Pulaski but instead a Staples, a Walgreens and a bank most likely Chase. Though there was talk of a Trader Joes last year to the best of my knowledge it didn't work out.

paul / May 23, 2006 5:13 AM

Evanston.

(I know it's not a neighborhood)

Good:
Easy parking near my house
Trees
Good restaurants and bars
A big lake nearby
The El and Metra and (relatively) quick rides downtown
Less gunfire than some neighborhoods


Bad
Difficult parking downtown
Traffic increasing exponentially
Big-ass condo towers going up everywhere
No independent food markets in town
Taxes
Students
More gunfire than some neighborhoods

Southside Johnny / May 23, 2006 6:52 AM

Mt Greenwood.

The ratio of sout' siders (read: cops, firemen, teachers...blue collar types) to urban hipsters is comfortable for me.

Sarah / May 23, 2006 6:53 AM

For me, diversity means living in a community that is ethnicly, culturally, and economically diverse, and having the opporunity to meet people that are different than me. In Rogers Park there is a nice mix of people who have been living here for less than a year and people who have been living here, and running businesses in the area their whole lives. This neighborhood feels more stable to me than others I have lived in.

MuffDiver / May 23, 2006 7:34 AM

Andersonville
Let's hear it for the queer gentrifying like no one's business! I have lived here for years and love it. Because I can stumble home drunk. The straight boys and gay boys don't give me a second look and of course the other lesbians don't really know how to cruise on Clark Street. But at least it is better than Wicker Park where I look just like another hip straight girl. Here everyone knows better -- really hip girls go gay ;)

madachode / May 23, 2006 8:25 AM

used to live Springfield/Foster 3yrs ago. Has anyone been to Midori on Bryn Mawr and is it still there?

Oketo / May 23, 2006 8:26 AM

River West - Huron/Noble
What I love - that I can bike to work in the Loop in 15 mins or less, Chicago Ave on a Sat afternoon and proximity to everything else in the city.

What I hate: That I can't even consider buying a property.

Oketo / May 23, 2006 8:27 AM

River West - Huron/Noble
What I love - that I can bike to work in the Loop in 15 mins or less, Chicago Ave on a Sat afternoon and proximity to everything else in the city.

What I hate: That I can't even consider buying a property.

slb / May 23, 2006 8:47 AM

maggie-

i do not know of a hipster dive bar in Albany Park. but since it seems we may have a few hipsters (or whatever you're calling yourselves) from the AP on here, let's just pick a bar and make one!

hmmmm.... now i have to go think of likely candidates... any suggestions?

m / May 23, 2006 9:08 AM

Edgewater - - west of Broadway and north of Ridge.

Pros: lake is four blocks away, Andersonville a ten minute walk, the antique marts, lots of transit options, property north of Ridge is much cheaper than south of Ridge, virtually NO new construction on side streets, many older (70s-90s) condo associations, lotsa trees, easy parking, retail is slowly but surely catching up to the housing that arrived a while ago.

Cons: Senn H.S., booming bass on Glenwood, Thorndale el block is a blight, stop signs are ignored, need more bars and restaurants on Broadway and Clark, NIMBY neighbors fear anything resembling nightlife, LSD dumps into the hood.

ML / May 23, 2006 9:16 AM

BRIDGEPORT! BRIDGEPORT!

Quiet, clean, and safe.
A mile from the stadium (I go to 20+ games a season, walked there last night)
Great food, fun bars, interesting grocery stores, and kind people who have lived there all their lives. Oh, and did I mention it is wicked cheap?

Mike / May 23, 2006 9:48 AM

Re: Albany Park bars.

I don't know from hipsters, but I think that the Montrose Saloon on Montrose and Richmond is pretty winning.

spence / May 23, 2006 9:51 AM

FYI. There was an interesting discussion about Wicker Park, yuppies, artists, development, and diversity on wbez's 848 today. They archive it so you can listen to it here:

http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/programs/848/848.asp

Onid / May 23, 2006 10:02 AM

I second whatever m (May 23, 2006 09:08 AM) said about Edgewater. I have been here for about a year after living in Rogers Park and Skokie most of my life and the neighborhood has changed a lot in even the short time I've been here. I think I am here to stay.

Brandy / May 23, 2006 10:07 AM

Viva la Edgewater!

In a five block radius I've got: the lake, the el, 5 good bus lines, family owned coffeeshop, fam owned hardware store, Thai food, Ethiopian food, Mexican food, health food store/co-op, non-chain gym, white collars folks, blue collar folks, no collar folks, every color folks, students, professionals, hos, whinos, groceries, drugstores, antique markets, pubs, pitchers of root beer, a local library branch, a hostel, fabric store, streets lined with condos, streets lines with apartments, streets lined with businesses, streets lined with homes (yeah, they are all distinct and run parallel to each other).

The only thing I pine for is a good bakery.

I suppose the nightlife isn't terribly exciting or safe - but I don't roll at night. I hunker down with the root beer and library books.

Brandy / May 23, 2006 10:10 AM

Onid - I've been here in Edgewater the 10 years since college (out of state, not Loyola) and I love it. It is my hood.

hench / May 23, 2006 10:10 AM

re: hipster bars in albany park

gamblers at argyle & pulaski looks promising.

as does marie's pizzeria/package liquors a couple blocks west of pulaski on lawrence.

bummer about the no trader joe's...

jen / May 23, 2006 10:37 AM

I am a lifelong Chicagoan, and I agree with Andersonville/Edgewater - I've never been happier in a neighborhood and I don't ever want to leave if I can help it.

Pros - great food, best bookstore (Women and Children First) and other cute little independent shops, homeowners are welcoming families that have been there for years, most everyone is friendly, rents are still very affordable, easy street parking, near Hollywood and Foster beaches and the bike path, near enough to take advantage of Rogers Park without having to live there (sorry, I did for four years and hated it), politically progressive and active even in their churches, welcoming to families and single people of various shades and stripes, very safe at nearly all hours of the day. Oh and the people here, they love their dogs - I don't have one myself but I enjoy seeing the girl with the disabled weiner dog rolling around the block in the morning.

Cons -East of Broadway it gets a little sketchy at night. Oh, and my crazy ex moved here.

When I moved to this neighborhood, my dad was on UHaul supervising duty and everyone who passed him by smiled and said "hi, welcome". Dad said 'there's something about this neighborhood... people are very... happy here" I asked him if he thought they were so happy they might even be described as "gay". :)

Mihow / May 23, 2006 10:42 AM

Logan Square is great for the cheap food that's still edible, the relaxed pace (no raging cell phone screaming power walking suits), frat boys don't want to come out here 'cause "there's nothing to do," and I know my neighbors.

flobear / May 23, 2006 10:44 AM

Lincoln Square

I love Lincoln Square. There is so much that goes on here, and the people are so friendly.

Pros:
Great running area
Safe
Restaurants
Bars
HUGE Library
Nice people
Parks & Indoor facility
Little independent shops
Fun Chamber activities (Pub Crawl, May Fest, Ocktober Fest, etc.)
Close to the el
Easy bike route to the Metra
Old Towne School
Dance & Yoga studios

Cons:
Some chains are moving in
Sometimes feels a bit crowded when you're out and about.

jp / May 23, 2006 11:11 AM

Roscoe Village!

Pros: I live within a trifecta of walking-distance grocery stores: Jewel, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods -- no where else in the city can you say you have that (I think)!

I also live within walking distance of my favorite bar in the whole world: The Hungry Brain.

Cons: I could never afford to buy a home here and if I see another baby shop open on Roscoe Ave, I'll gag.

karczek / May 23, 2006 11:27 AM

Uptown, near Sheridan and IP.

Good:
-- Rick's!
-- close enough to walk to the lakefront, Lakeview (Reckless Recs, Chicago Comix), Southport (Music Box), Lincoln Square, Metro, restaurants, Borders, Green Mill
-- excellent public transportation (red line, 151, 36, IP & XIP)
-- groceries close by
-- Graceland cemetary (aging goth here...)

Bad:
-- Unending waves of walking brainstems thanks to Wrigley on the south and Schillerville to the north. All of the treatment facilities, shelters and halfway houses clustered between Montrose and Lawrence near Sheridan create an extremely tense atmosphere.
-- while it's in a great location to walk to businesses in several other communities, if you want something right around the corner, the pickings are slim. Specifically, no place to get good coffee (Sorry Emerald) or breakfast, and other than the Green Mill, few music venues or good bars/lounges.
-- the local Jewel is probably the worst I've visited in the city.
-- very few latenight (after 11pm) options. Most restaurants close pretty early, no 24 hour grocery, convenience or drug stores.
-- few activities that are aimed at the whole community.

Cameron / May 23, 2006 11:41 AM

Humboldt Park

The park is lovely, the elotes are plentiful, and the rents are cheap.

Two things to remember:

1. We all live in Chicago, which makes us cool by default. Who cares about what imaginary boundries you live in? Don't let the realtors screw with your mind. Your neighborhood is what you make of it.

2. Gentrification does NOT have to be a perjorative word. Do some research people: not only is it inevitable, but it can be benificial if done correctly.

Erica / May 23, 2006 11:45 AM

Avondale is a little trianglular neighborhood near the Kennedy off of Belmont and Kimball.

Pros (my street, anyway):
Clean
Quiet
Cheap
Lots of space for the $$
More homeowners vs. renters
Lots of trees
I have a real back yard and garage
Nice neighbors
Down the street from grocery stores, the el & the bus
Good late-night diner
Nice duplexes being built in the area, which could raise property value = more $$ when I sell.

Cons:
Not very close to clothes, music, specialty shopping, music venues, rocknroll bars, etc.
Lot of older ethic people and families, which I have little in common with -- but they are nice folks, so I can't complain too much.
No good ethnic food and not very cultural. I miss having good Mexican and Thai w/in walking distance.


maggie / May 23, 2006 11:45 AM

Marie's is already a legend - that's too easy.

We will have to check out more of the local flavor, tavern-wise.

miss ellen / May 23, 2006 12:01 PM

absolutely LOVE logan square! it's been two years & counting and my love grows & grows.

diversity is important, love the restaurants:
all levels, from my diner on the corner breakfast, hipster-goodness at lula's, and good bar food at dunlay's; not to mention the new stuff popping up away from the square itself -- buona terra, hachi's, provenance, etc.

TONS of mexican food, again, too many to choose from.

cafe con leche for my cappuchinos! lots of bars to choose from, including the winds, small bar, dunlay's to name a few.

i can look from my 1920's converted condo building & see a number of other properties that are NOT being torn down, but instead rehabbed. while some of you may spit on us condo-dwellers, there are options besides those red-brick cutouts & we are congnizant of this.

good alderman. great bike riding along the boulevards...proximity to humboldt park!

bad: graffitti

nat / May 23, 2006 12:33 PM

"belmont terrace" aka dunning

+:
-quiet & safe, lots of families
-affordable, well-kept brick homes circa wwII, with yards and trees
-teardowns are rare and generally, when done, are on a building that really should be torn down
-you know your neighbors and look out for each other and everyone cares about the neighborhood
-walk to metra and only a 20 min ride to downtown, 5 min drive from the kennedy or blue line


-:
-all my friends think we live in the suburbs (which are literally across the street, so we pretty much do)
-short, but still a drive, to just about everything

ABF / May 23, 2006 12:43 PM

Hello, Jefferson Park!

Good:
- Quiet, tree-lined streets
- Ribs at Gale Street Inn
- Polish delis, bars and restaurants as far as the eye can see
- Limited-to-nonexistent gang presence (I loved my 8 years in Logan Sq - but good god, I don't miss the gunfire)
- Tons of street parking for visiting friends/family
- 99.9% likelihood you'll get a seat on the Blue Line morning commute into the Loop

Bad:
- No Thai, Sushi or Mexican for miles
- Unless you want liquor or pierogies there's not much for shopping
- Crazy expensive cab rides home

Flynn / May 23, 2006 2:10 PM

South Evanston/Rogers Park (Howard)

Pros:
- Great access to Red/Purple Line
- Affordable condos (try buying 2 bedroom in the city with amenities that's not a closet for ~$180k)
- Active gonvermnent/community in area (Ann Rainey is the best alderman ever)
- 2.5 miles to the lakefront trail, and easy cycling access to Damen.
- Food delivery means you get Evanston AND Chicago restaurants, you don't have to pull a Costanza and stand on the corner.

Cons:
- Roving bands of unsupervised teens can get out of hand
- Howard development is coming along, but it's not moving as quickly as I'd like
- Slumlords can still be a problem
- Blue Light cams give the idea that the area is far more dangerous than it is
- Red Line at night is an adventure

Barrington Bob IV / May 23, 2006 3:09 PM

Any Northshore community

Good:
No negros except that one good family, who isn't really "black"
docile hispanics seen ( only during the day working for pennies) and not heard
kept in check by a very none color blind police force
-trained by the University Chicago Police!
Well mancured English lawns, hell on the enviorment, but worth every penny
Great resurants like Beniganns, Chi Chi, Red Lobster,etc, etc,
Patriotic neighbors who "get it" and share our same good Christian values, support our President
and our Freedom being bravely defended by young men and women who can't afford to shop here
Great schools that send the sons and daughters of this community safely straight to the U of I( or any midwest fraternity friendly school)
to be trained for Corporate America


Bad:
Da Bears and Da Cubs not located here where they belong!
Jealous people hate on us like Moon, who lucky enough to live by our children,( now sowing their wild oats in Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast) but
angry because they won't be able escape the city and start a family our here back to never land, like our children will do to start the next generation

Barrington Bob

A / May 23, 2006 3:13 PM

To Hench and all the other Albany Parkers:
If you have not been to Marie's Pizza on Lawrence it is definitely worth a visit I live right around the corner and it appears the decor has not changed since 1955 and though I cannot recommend anything on the menu except the Marie's Special double dough thin crust pizza. It seems like a place a "Hipster" would love to claim as there own.

So if you have not guessed Mayfair/Albany Park is my current neighborhood and has been for about a decade but I don't think I count as any kind of gentrification since I was born and raised in the city, I am minority and happen to be what many consider to be a graffiti artist ( I just consider myself an artist) living and working in a blue collar neighborhood.

What I love:
It is quite. There are a lot of parks and greenery around. There are a handful of really interesting and inexpensive restaurants within walking distance. As well as grocery stores and produce markets also within walking distance. It is close to both the Brown and Blue lines and people seem to genuinely care about the neighborhood.

What I less than love:
Not a lot going on for a visual artist, but I am working on that part and will be doing my second open studio with Chicago Artists month this year and am really going to try to get more people from the neighborhood to come out. No Slurpees within walking distance. Occasional parking problems. Kinda far from everything else I like in the city.

Shobs / May 23, 2006 3:52 PM

Taylor Street/Little Italy

pros: good food
parking and traffic not too bad
old school vibe
close to loop
hot UIC coeds

cons:
not many grocery options
cookie cutter condos
people who say "youse guys"
the destroying of maxwell st

hyp / May 23, 2006 4:03 PM

A lot of people seem opposed to gentrification, but also want to be near bars/nightlife, shopping, etc. Not to start a fight, but does that strike anyone else as hypocritical? Just curious.

jt / May 23, 2006 4:13 PM

hyp--

no, because what they mean by "gentrification" is "when people driving lexuses (sp; "lexii"?) and pushing expensive strollers move in and buy property" in their neighborhood. they do not consider when they and people like them (the landless, non-luxury vehicle driving class) moved in and rented and made the place cool to be "gentrification".

i'm really not trying to be snide, i honestly do think that explains the disconnect when someone complains about gentrification AND the lack of "cool" restaurants and bars in the same breath.

Shobs / May 23, 2006 4:19 PM

Cool restaurants and bars, owned by locals are great. Lame-ass chains like Applebees, Jimmy Johns, Jamba Juice and Chipotle are not. So I don't think gentrification is a dirty word but suburbification definitely sucks. I'd rather live around stroller crazed mommies and their investment broker husbands than a bunch of gangbangers.

MikeH / May 23, 2006 4:23 PM

While not one to complain about gentrification in general, I think what many people are really lamenting is the loss of local flavor...

I don't think anyone is going to argue that restaurants, bars or even new housing is necessarily bad for a neighborhood, but honestly, how many bank McBranches, fast-food chains and cookie-cutter condos does any one neighborhood need?

Especially when they come at the expense of the mom-and-pop businesses and the original and unique architecture that gave the neighborhood its distinct character in the first place...

Peter / May 23, 2006 4:49 PM

Think back 100 years when all of the Chicago 3-Flats went up. I'm sure there were people back then that lamented the cookie cutter architecture.

You are going to have to face the fact that neighborhoods change without asking your opinion.

Avril / May 23, 2006 4:57 PM

Flynn, you've described my neighborhood in south Evanston!

Pros: $35 per month for parking behind my building.
A short walk to Howard and South Blvd. El Stations.
The Purpe Line Express Train!
Easy access to downtown Evanston and the Northern burbs.
A pretty nice (clean) laundromat my apartment.

Cons:
Lack of convenient recycling.
Large groups of unsupervised teens.
Loud car stereos/ loud neighbors.
Paying Evanston's overpriced rental fees for my dilapidated apartment.
An unattractive neighborhood (few flowers, no art and lots of litter.)
A lack of diversity. I can't blame the residents for this.

Jake / May 23, 2006 5:07 PM

Maggie and other Albany Parkers, Murray's Pub on Pulaski and Wilson is pretty cool. Cool might be a little strong, but it's alright. Too many off-duty cops to attract many real weirdos, but they've got good burgers and fries, friendly staff, and a halfway-decent jukebox (if you like classic rock).

I nominate Just Butch as the "hipster takeover" spot. It's right at the Kimball stop, they've got $2 beers, and it's very, very dark. What more do you need? I have yet to venture in, but it's definitely on my To Do list for this summer. And after I've got a few Just Butch beers in me, I'm going to the boarded-up Korean place next door.

Also, I'm very excited to check out Marie's Pizza. Is it right by the Admiral? Do strippers eat there? Because that would be cool (in a Tom Waits/Small Change kind of way).

jonk / May 23, 2006 5:26 PM

Pilsen! Chicago's true bohemian neighborhood.

plusses:
- Dvorak park
- Streetlife and pedestrian culture
- TONY [the "N" is backwards]
- Mexican Fine Arts Center
- The 'lark
- Tons o' cool murals and graffiti
- Location, location, location

minuses:
- Leering, hootin' and hollerin' men
- The cloud factory
- Increasing presence of hummers and other crass autos and the mindset that seems to accompany

Parting shot. Shobs (May 23, 2006 04:19 PM) said: I'd rather live around stroller crazed mommies and their investment broker husbands than a bunch of gangbangers.

Not me. In fact, I'd reframe the "investment broker husbands" as the real socially problematic "gangbangers" (nice reification of gender roles there, too, Shobs.)

karczek / May 23, 2006 5:35 PM

Christ, if I hear one more equivocation for the current crop of hideous, Xeroxed condos, I'm going to spew.

Let's compare common multiunit buildings from before 1950 with those constructed from '50 to '80. I'd dare say that most people would say that the buildings that predate 1950, as generic as many of them were, are immensely preferable to those that came after. (All things being equal, in terms of maintenance and size.)

Most people will point to the sublime sense of scale, the solidity and obvious craftsmanship, the attention to detail, the superior communal spaces, and the elegant lines. These are characteristics that I see in buldings on street after street after street. Meanwhile, the vast majority of buildings produced only a generation later are generally seen as outdated eyesores.

This being the case, it's hard to argue that the dominant architectural forms from any given era will be equally beloved by the generations which follow.

Of course I'm talking in general here. Obviously there are plenty of examples of hideous cookie cutter architecture from the 1920's, just as there are some perfectly attractive templates being produced today.

ON AVERAGE though, I'm willing to bet that in terms of the relative aesthetic legacy they leave, future generations will not have close to the same high regard for today's assembly line structures as they they have for those from the first half of the twentieth century.

spence / May 23, 2006 5:52 PM

Gentrification means different things to 2 distinctly different groups of people. The life-long Chicago resident or implant that's been here for many years sees it as a bad because of higher taxes, loss of character, higher living costs etc. The yuppies who grew up and went to college in small town/suburban America and got a job in the city in the private service sector, it's good. It's good because said people don't have the same context that a the life-long resident has and they see the restaurants, bars, shops, etc going in and think "great, now I have a place to spend my disposable income!" And then prices go up, etc. The hipster yuppie is caught somewhere in the middle, where they see gentrification as bad because they sympathize with the life-long residents, but at the same time are contributing to the same thing they see as a problem. Oh the Irony.

Moon / May 23, 2006 8:03 PM

Somebody asked me in River North "Where should I eat?"

I looked around and said "Geez, what do you like?" and laughed.

There's EVERYTHING.

Carson's for ribs.
Ed Debevic's for home cooking.
Gino's East for pizza.
Al's Beef for fast food.
Tizi Melloul for some kind of Arab food.
A couple of Chinese joints.
French.
Hooter's for whatever the hell they serve - never been in there!;D (That's a smiley winking, Spence)
Two Japanese restaurants.
A fucking LEBANESE restaurant! LEBANESE!! WTF!

All that and more in only 2 blocks.

Chicago is unbelievable.

And this isn't even the best food neighborhood.

Spook / May 23, 2006 8:06 PM

Eenjoyed this tread immensely and enjoyed Junks “Parting shot” even more.

Logan Square

Very Very Cool!:
large population of cool community, gender, human rights and environmental activist who actually understand that committed and informed people can make real change

Not, Cool, at All!:
Total disparity of resources dedicated to children of color in Logan Square
as opposed to children of stroller crazed mommies and their investment broker husbands who are busy ruining other communities

p.s. needless to say I as well prefer living around a bunch of “gangbangers” as opposed to stroller crazed mommies and their investment broker husbands. Call me strange but I actually think that presented with the proper options, these gangbangers could go on to be positive community leaders like former Latin King now Pilsen Alderman Rick Munoz. Course some gang bangers refused to change as in William J. Daley, who as a member of the Humburgs was one of the leaders of the Chicago race riots of 1918, continued the gangsterism until his death and passed on the very same traits to his boys

opps I mean "jonk" / May 23, 2006 8:09 PM

my bad!

Moon / May 23, 2006 8:17 PM

Jealous people hate on us like Moon,

Awww, no!

You just turn into idiots when you come into the Gold Coast, that's all. :D

Walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk, taking up the whole sidewalk, getting drunk and stupid, throwing up, peeing all over, the usual.

I did it, everybody does it. It's foolish, that's all. :D

deliwoman / May 23, 2006 8:37 PM

Albany Park.
Just moved from North Park (btw madachode Midori is still there and had some recent renovations) so I am just discovering what is on this side of Foster. Can't wait for the new development on Pulaski and Lawrence (very sad there will not be a Trader Joe's). Hope the neighborhood retains some of it's ethnic diversity but there is room for improvement. Thanks for the bar recommendations!

h. / May 23, 2006 8:49 PM

west pilsen/little village

pros:
-super affordable living
- inexpensive mexican food markets (we happily eat tacos & plantains regularly)
- old-school Chicago apartments & back yards
-proximity to china town, bridgeport and (old) little italy
- close to expressways and even closer to cta blue line
- people out on front porches socializing
- residential, lots of families
- real neighborhood, not just the "feel" of one

cons:
- can get a little too real at times, esp. in summer
-people out on their porches getting drunk and yelling at each other until 4 am
-baby gangstas causing annoyances with nothing better to do
-"hello" ice cream truck has a permanent station on our street during
- music playing on the weekends constantly on evenings and weekends
- densely populated
- difficult street parking (thank god I have a garage space in back)
- garbage in alleys is out of control
- rats
- people drive like lunatics down the tiny side streets

definitely a lively mixture. i've grown to like most of it, but I don't see myself raising kids here.

p / May 23, 2006 9:46 PM

Carson's for ribs.
Ed Debevic's for home cooking.
Gino's East for pizza.
Al's Beef for fast food.
Tizi Melloul for some kind of Arab food.
A couple of Chinese joints.
French.
Hooter's for whatever the hell they serve - never been in there!;D (That's a smiley winking, Spence)
Two Japanese restaurants.
A fucking LEBANESE restaurant! LEBANESE!! WTF!

This is a joke, correct? And I'm thirsty on some elote loco. And pitchers of root beer.

Spook / May 23, 2006 11:29 PM

no p, Moon sounds like a "gold coaster" to me

Some how I bet Moon goes to
the "Some kind of Arab food aka Tizi Melloul( very good Mediterranean food and great drinks by the way) and asks for Gyros which is the same thing Moon orders from the "A fucking LEBANESE restaurant! LEBANESE!! WTF" News fash Moon we have a thriving Lebanese community in Chicago serving BELIEVE IT OR NOT LEBANESE food at numerous resturants and stores. I bet its all about the fried Rice at the Japaness, or thai resturant as well as the Chinese Joints and French fries at the French joints, of course maybe Patriotism precludes Patronizing the french joints
Honestly, I went to Ed Debevic's once( long story) and as soon as I found out they didnt serve Alcohol to numb the “experience” I got the *&^%$ outta there
And whats up people with choosing places like Carsons and even worse Ribs and Bibs for B.B.Q. In the B.B.Q capital of the world!
Yea I know alot of Gold Coasters and Hyde Parks are afraid to venture to the "dark uncharted jungles" of the southside- past Hyde Park for world class B.B. Q at Lims, Thomas's, Barbra Anns, Juniors or Miss Piggy
but at least consider Smoke Daddy's in Wicker Park, Calvin's in W.Bucktown, Fat Willies in Logan Square/ Avondale

Robz / May 23, 2006 11:31 PM

Logan Square

PROS:
--Very involved community groups

--More local businesses coming into the area (Provenance, B-girls, etc.)

--Just enough nightlife and retail and all that but it doesn't overwhelm the street traffic and is actually quite enjoyable, esp in the summer

--Logan Blvd rules the school and always will

--That Temple Kriya yoga place has it going on, even if it's kind of nutty

--Close to CTA and the parking rules for drivers

CONS:
--Affordable housing is quickly becoming a thing of the past

--The alderman routinely tries to get in bed with developers over shoddy deals (but is heavily monitored by community groups; his last referendum was shot down like JFK because of strong efforts to inform voters). Has turned out to be a disappointment, esp given his predecessor was not great, either

--It's hard to get around in a pinch if you don't have a car (like me). For groceries and laundry, I have one of those gauche old lady grocery carts, but social stuff is a challenge, as many of my friends don't live in LS.

dave / May 24, 2006 12:17 AM

hyde park!

those above, plus some other swell characteristics of the neighborhood:

community activism
diverse, relatively old architecture
hyde park art center
robie house
u of c
florian
promontory point/the lake
south side

ok, that's enough, but there are others too!

Andrew / May 24, 2006 12:28 AM

Hey, let's not turn this into another Moon bashing session.

Moon / May 24, 2006 8:43 AM

spook

PLUS, there is a GIANT McDonalds!!!!

WHOA!!!!

(People from YOUR neighborhood must be known for "stupid".)

kiki / May 24, 2006 9:40 AM

wow, lots of ukie villagers. i lived there for a year, but moved to uptown a few months ago. i liked the ukie village, but i hated waiting for the chicago ave bus - it was never reliable and usually crowded. gotta love edmar, though, and the crazy people who hang out in front of it. now that's entertainment.

vit / May 24, 2006 10:00 AM

I'm a ukie villager too.

pro's
close to downtown
nice feel to the neighborhood
cheap rent (well, for me anyway)
good resturants from upscale to taquieras
close to wicker park without being wicker park

cons
a bit far from public transportation (I don't have a car)
the condo boom (not that I mind condos, but I don't like it when they are poorly built like many of these are)
some of the people who move into said condos can be really rude and have no interest in the neighborhood
The drunk guy who passes out on my stoop
I will never be able to even think about buying anything there (and being in my 30's it is something I do occasionally think about)
hipsters (do you guys realize how annoying you are? Granted I prefer you to gangbangers as you won't pull a gun on and threaten to shoot my little brother like they did in the previous neighborhood I lived in, but still, you are really annoying, especially when you sneer on my because I have the audacity to wear 'professional' looking clothes to work, sorry, we can't all work in coffee shops)

Moon / May 24, 2006 10:03 AM

Oh, wait, spook lives in Logan Square!!!

I'm sorry. You're waaaay too "cool" for the room.

/Next thing, somebody will bragging about living in Plainfield.

rc23 / May 24, 2006 10:18 AM

South East Evanston:
Pros:
Beautiful victorian houses and a mix of types of dwellings

Huge old trees

Nice neighbors

Kid and family-oriented
balanced with singles and older folks

McGaw YMCA

Tons of great locally-owned restaurants

Lakefront: five beaches and a sailing beach

The Library

Most residents are very invested in the community and have a sense of ownership and civic pride; generations of families have lived there

The Evanston Roundtable paper and in particular, the Traffic Guy column

Access to CTA

Crown Ice Rink

Evanston Township High School

Proximity to great north side chicago neighborhoods

Cons
Developers are destroying downtown

Traffic

Parking

Super aggressive parking nazi police who troll all day writing tickets

Sometimes the people with a sense of ownership in the community can stop things from changing or force their perspectives on you

Northwestern University is a horrible neighbor and contributes very little of value to Evanston at all

District 65 elementary schools could be managed a lot better

Too many Section 8 housing vouchers resulting in a few little segregated ghettos

Condo canyon on Chicago avenue

Almost half of the land in Evanston is NU or churches or hospitals, so property tazes are very high and still dont raise enough money

That crazy lady with the dogs


Dagna / May 24, 2006 10:39 AM

West Rogers Park - Devon & Western

pros:
Indo/Pak neighborhood with amazing restaurants and shops

away from the craziness but a short drive to it if that's what you crave

Warren Park is really great

lots of down to earth families; probably the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in town

beautiful flats, very affordable; I live in a 3-bedroom right next to Warren Park, central air, etc., for $800

cons:
the drivers/traffic on Devon Ave. A frightening mix of people who can barely drive and an overabundance of taxis

a little too far north, bad access to the el

jgs / May 24, 2006 10:51 AM

Gotta love the Hyde Park. When friends come down and visit, they always comment on how "smart" everyone looks. must be the points on their heads. wicked sharp.

but I think hyde park is such a solid neighborhood, without threat of gentrification and radical change in its demographics due to its consistency. thanks to the university, HP never took the dive that the rest of the city did after white flight. The housing stock is pretty good and reasonably affordable and there is a solid middle class occupied by people with or without association with the university. So the people feel is quite good and more mature than other neighborhoods under transition.
But what I really really love about hyde park is that as one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, the trees and parks are all very mature and well developed and the birds and animals know it. They are more diverse and visible here than anywhere else in the city... fer cry eye, we have FERAL PARAKEETS in every park!
it's not just about human diversity, it's about biodiversity.

veronica von fantastique / May 24, 2006 11:13 AM

i live in wicker parkish, near north and western

best thing:
insanely hot boys on bikes with impeccable sneaker taste

worst thing:
despite living in this so called youth centre or whatnot, out of the 8 billion people of all types my age, i still cant seem to talk to strangers or make any neighborhood friends :(

also: every thai place sucks. i miss you lakeview!

m / May 24, 2006 12:07 PM

"You just turn into idiots when you come into the Gold Coast, that's all."

Ha, I wonder how many people hang out in the Gold Coast. I can't even name a bar there and I've lived in Chicago eight years. I've walked through it of course and I've eaten at Pizano's a few times, but that's honestly it. I understand why people who want to be close to the Loop and the lake, etc. live there, and there are some beautiful streets in there, but I'd never go "out" socially in the Gold Coast. I liken the Gold Coast as a going-out destination to Navy Pier as a recreational destination: I don't do it myself but I'm glad it exisits. My friend owns a condo down by State and Oak and he hoofs it up to Edgewater to get away from it all whenever we hang out.

jen / May 24, 2006 12:16 PM

@veronica - it's no joy's, but thai eatery at western just south of fullerton is good!

Bligga / May 24, 2006 12:27 PM

I moved to Ukranian Village/East Village (Ashland/Chicago) last summer from out of state.

Good:
-Quiet block, nice people mostly
-Lots of good bars/venues within walking distance
-Wide variety of cheap and good food, also within walking distance
-Close to both the Blue Line and the Ashland bus
-Reasonable rent
-Parking generally isn’t a hassle and my block doesn’t seem to subscribe to “dibs” in the winter
-Seems pretty safe walking around at night
-Cops three blocks away, fire station six blocks away
-Close proximity to 90/94, seems pretty centrally-located Chicago-wise

Not as good:
-“Rampant” break-ins/burglaries, according to the cop who investigated my downstairs neighbor’s break-in.
-Hearing about the occasional mugging/assault in the area
-Garbage laying around… I know it’s a big city, etc, but it doesn’t seem as bad in some other areas I’ve visited.
-The vacant/burned out house a few doors down from my building (and three doors down from a remodeled building on the corner, currently going for $850,000)
-No nearby ice cream shops

Also: The way some people talk of “hipsters,” you’d think they were responsible for the Holocaust. What is this, high school?

bryan / May 24, 2006 12:35 PM

I live in Galewood

Best things: No one's ever heard of it, our house is worth twice what we paid for it, it's almost comically diverse (race/age/socially) , and the people are mostly laid-back (though there's an uppity stretch of Nordica). And as a bonus, we're the only zip code in the city that doesn't start with "606" (we're 60707). Oh, and it smells like Snickers bars (the M&M Mars factory.)

Worst things: there's still some drug/gang activity, a dude got shot in the park across the street a couple weeks ago, snooty Oak Parkers are creeping into Galewood, and people have sex in their car in front of our house just about every day.

Carrie / May 24, 2006 12:39 PM

Veronica- I live by North and Western and always order from Barberry Thai. It's over on Southport, I think, BUT they deliver by us and I think they're pretty great. Not sure if they're menu is online, but you can probably call and order one of the usual thai dishes and then you'll get a menu. I recommend the Yahoo Pad Thai (big, fat, crispy fried noodles instead of the usual pad thai noodles)

Carrie / May 24, 2006 12:40 PM

that is supposed to be "their menu" not "they're menu"

k / May 24, 2006 12:46 PM

Bryan, nice to hear from another west sider! I live in the Island. It's a neighborhood within Austin. A quiet, safe, bungalow ridden neighborhood. Great place to buy an affordable house. Right on the Forest Park blue line. Very diverse racially, both young families and older folks who have been in the neighborhood for 30 years. Great neighborhood association. Lots of great food in nearby Cicero, Berwyn, Oak Park. Fitzgerald's is a five minute bike ride away.
No cons yet. Well, OK, there was a mean looking possum in my back yard two days ago.

Kelly / May 24, 2006 12:47 PM

Lakeview/North Lincoln Park (Oh no, someone finally said it!)

Regardless of what neighborhood it is, I'm near Diversey/Halsted and it's great. Sure the bars can be irritatingly crowded and most of the clientele aren't people you'd want to be buddies with...but seriously people, get over it. As long as you don't spend your time there judging people, and instead enjoy some good drinks with good friends, you'll come to find that not everyone at those places are Chads & Trixies. And if that's impossible to believe, then spend your bar time elsewhere. It's a big city, there's no need to seclude yourself to one area.

Real quick....pros:
Close to red/brown/purple line, multiple majoar bus lines, close to lake, multiple parks and gradeschools nearby, tons of restaurants, enjoyable shops, very dog-friendly, only a few blocks from wrigley for relaxing weeknight games, one block from landmark century theatre, convenient zoned-parking, and most importantly, I feel SAFE.

cons: pricey to live, not a quick trip to ukrain village or wicker park.

leah / May 24, 2006 12:56 PM

@Veronica--YES! I second the Thai Eatery. Right at Lyndale & Western. West side of Western, across from Think.

Kelly / May 24, 2006 12:56 PM

I lived in east Rogers Park for years, then moved on to West RP because it seems, oddly, that it's cheaper to *rent* in ERP but cheaper to *buy* in WRP. My section of ERP was definitely gentrifying, with lots of condo conversions, but to be honest I didn't really mind this. The day all the thugs vacated the building next door, taking their booming stereos and pit bulls with them, was a great day indeed.

Pros of ERP:

*Close to lake and transit
*Not as dangerous as some seem to think
*Big, affordable apartments
*Good Mexican food

Cons:

*Plenty of police actions
*Gangbangers (stroller mommies are annoying, but they don't shoot to kill)

West RP is cool so far. I love being in Little India, and close to Warren Park, although I do miss the proximity to the El and Lake. Otherwise, it's great and I love it.

Linder / May 24, 2006 1:08 PM

I also live in a neighborhood without a name, near Irving/Kedzie,--East Irving Park, if you will, or West Horner Park, perhaps, how about South Ravenswood Manor?

Best: Not too far from anywhere else you'd actually want to go; good ethnic restaurants and thrift shops nearby; fairly quiet; neighborhood mobilized early to downzone, so not as many ugly concrete block condo developments blighting the landscape.

Worst: Can't really complain, but since you asked, I'd love to be closer to the el and have a decent grocery store nearby.

Pedro / May 24, 2006 1:21 PM

Bligga: I think it's well known that Heinrich Himmler was a hipster.

Marilyn / May 24, 2006 1:39 PM

You folks sure do spend a lot of time in bars...

maureen / May 24, 2006 1:47 PM

Linder -

What do you mean? You're close to one of the best (and probably the cheapest) grocery stores in the city. Cermak Produce!! For real.

IrishPirate / May 24, 2006 1:57 PM

Buena Park section of Uptown. Between Irving and Montrose and da lake and da Graceland Cemetery.

Pro's: Great access to da lakefront and LSD. Interesting architecture. Less expensive and congested than Lakeview/Wrigleyville.
Close to the Sheridan El stop.

Cons: Absolutely Horrible Alderman(Shiller)
Limited Shopping opportunities. Jewel and Aldi are the only groceries of any size here. Limited but improving nightlife and restaurant scene.
The area just north along Broadway and Sheridan is loaded with social service agencies some of which are well run and some of which should be run out. This means a large population of people with serious mental and substance abuse issues and the problems they create on the streets. Fighting, drinking, ranting, prostitution, etc

But all in all the pros of the relative quiet of Buena Park and the transportation and lake outweight the negatives

van moxie / May 24, 2006 2:13 PM

Right now I'm living in "Old Irving Park." Fabulously close to the el, Metra, and the Kennedy, for any mode of transportation you'd want. It's a great place for evening walks, beautiful and overpriced houses to look at, gorgeous gardens and the YMCA a block away. On the other hand, there are not many places to eat within walking distance and the construction of huge million and a half plus houses is irritating and dusty. I lived in Albany Park before that (nice, but shitty landlord), before that was Logan Square way west near Central Park (huge apartment, decent parking, horrible neighbors and no trees) and first was Wicker Park for several yearrs in the mid nineties until 2002. Shitty apartment, noisy neighbors (we called them the "happy khakis", but close to everything I wanted to be close to when I was in my twenties. Then the apartment got flipped twice in three months and the newest owner kicked us out to renovate and double the rent.

Dutch101 / May 24, 2006 2:17 PM

I live in Roscoe Village right now.

It is pretty nice because it is quiet and still has or is close to restaurants, bars, groceries, and all the ammenities that I can think of that I need.

Can't think of too many drawbacks about actually living here, but I could bitch and moan about the cost of purchasing a home here or the teardowns, just like everyone else.

My two cents on the teardowns (not even really the gentrification) is that much of the new construction is really cheesy, and obviously cheaply and shoddily constructed. I have no problem with new construction, but I always like to see people gut rehab or renovate than teardown.

nathaniel / May 24, 2006 2:27 PM

buena park/uptown.

i have to agree with the irish pirate above - the location is fantastic, the architecture is mostly aesthetically pleasing, transportation is easy, and the neighborhood is pretty quiet and friendly.

there are more nail salons and wig stores than bars, unfortunately (if you need 100& human hair, uptown's the place to go), but a few new places may be changing that.

the streets do feel scary in some places (that doesn't mean that they are, but if you're not comfortable with people talking to themselves, drinking in the afternoons by the u-haul or simply sitting on the curb outside aldi staring off into nothingness, you won't be comfortable in uptown), but most side streets have a very calm residential feel to them, and most residents are very neighborly.

the best thing, though, is that i can see the "w" or "l" flag flying over wrigley field from out my window every day. well, maybe that's not the best thing these days.

maybe it's that i can walk my dog by the lake at montrose harbor.

spook / May 24, 2006 2:29 PM

gjs:

With no disrespect meant
Like most privileged Hyde Parkers, you manage to ignore, that directly in your face. Either because of your race or economic class, you can opt for the perfect Hyde Park utopia illusion . Yes thanks to the University Deity, "HP never took the dive that the rest of the city did after white flight” because U of C had the power to engage in "ethnic" cleansing- destroying countless homes of poor black people to create your protective enclave. This protection comes thanks to one of the most violent( second largest in Illinois) police forces in the country, the U of C Police, knowing for pulling over a Black professor and in front of his daughter, searching her lunch box for drugs. Of course the Black professors( so happy to be there) are almost equally at fault for remaining as silent- as their parties are boring- like the grad students and faculty of the social work school remained silent when a Black grad student was beaten by the same police force. I guess "certain" students have to face being offered onto the alter of the Billy clubs so that all might be “safe”

Yes Hyde Park has residents with out some connection to the U of C and the great majority of them are Black, standing outside it's ivy walls looking in. U of C has if not the worst, one of the lowest Black enrollment rates compared to similar Ivy league/ types yet its exits smack dab in a sea of poor black faces, including Englewood. Its funny that progressive students of all races at Harvard, Stanford, Yale,etc,( all with higher African-American enrollments) make issues about the lack of diversity at their school. But more silence from the U of C, unless they mention their Asian students.
I know Affirmative Action sucks and the “best” want to go else ware, heard it before, "don’t blame the school", look at all our Asians, etc, etc.
etc, etc. But the fact that while the U of C makes sure its ecosystem remains in tack. It turns its back on the larger community and if you don't think its not outside its boarders, look at Woodlawn, What's going on past Ellis Street. Is that student housing I see?
o trotting out Sen. O’Bama’s wife to head some community feel good program, isn't enough and relocating the Checkerboard into the “promised land” is hollow as well. Basically the U of C is a colonial power and those Thai restaurants on 53 suck! Course I’d be lying if I said that Jimmy’s for Sunday night Jazz would not always have a soft spot in my heart.

P.s Veronica,Thai Lagoon on North Ave right before Western Ave is almost as authentic as actually Thai
food in Thailand. Check out the Seafood Tum Yum soap

Devyn / May 24, 2006 3:02 PM

Resident of Block 58 in the Loop

The good:
Red Line outside front door.

Blue, Green, Brown, Purple, and Orange, only a block away.

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping.

Two blocks from Millennium Park.

Don't need a car for anything.

Art Insitute just three blocks away.

World class architecture in my nabe.

The not so good:
People always asking me how to get to Navy Pier.

Tourists, tourists, and did I say tourists...

No video store nearby (yeah I know about Netflix).

Sometimes a bit loud with construction noise and sirens.

Resturants cater to tourist, are too pricey, or close early.

No Grocery store, although they are only a couple of train stops away.

Oh, and did I mention the tourists?

jgs / May 24, 2006 3:14 PM

spook, I can't possibly take any disrespect because your rant had nothing to do with what I said. or for that matter who I am. don't assume priviledge don't assume anything about me. I didn't say anything about where I am with regard to demographic, associated with the university or otherwise. But if you like to get your rocks off smearing strangers on the internet and race baiting, which is always fun. go right ahead.
As for my delusion, I know exactly how the university used "urban renewal" to make the neighborhood the way it wanted. also, i'm so glad that you pointed out that ghettos surround hyde park. I must have missed them somehow, just never registered guess i'm pretty dumb.
I just hope that you and your self-rightous antagonistic ass live somewhere else.

Alison / May 24, 2006 3:31 PM

Noble square (Ashland/Division).
Pros:
Quiet street
Friendly neighbors
Pretty easy parking
Easy walk to Bucktown/Wicker Park
Great restaurants
Quick Blue Line ride to the loop
Division Street bus
Stanley's is nearby

Cons:
North Street bus NEVER seems to come
HUE moved away :(

Not good or bad, but what's with all the weird furniture stores that go on forver on Ashland and Milwaukee?

R / May 24, 2006 3:55 PM

South Loop:
Been here five years and still waiting for it to become something more than developers making a bunch of money. Anyone want to buy a condo?

+:
Great views;
A few good restaurants;
Pacific Garden Mission;
Museum Campus;
Some nice green spaces;
Printer's Row

-:
Too many thoroughfares with speeding Loop-bound suburbanites;
Overdevelopment;
River City


Note: The moniker, "SoLo", is not hip. It is an unimaginative New York wannabe's idea of hip. There is a place called SoHo. That's in New York. If you want that, move there.

spook / May 24, 2006 4:07 PM

Wow, jgs guess I can take the gloves off now!

So say my rant had nothing to do with what you said?

I believe you did say “Hyde park is such a solid neighborhood, without threat of gentrification and radical change in its demographics due to its consistency. thanks to the university”? All I did was point out your B.S. by directing your attention to Ellis Ave and on down to Bronzville and Woodlawn.

I also believe you said “thanks to the university, HP never took the dive that the rest of the city did after white flight.
But you get your shorts all in a bunch, you get all uncomfortable, when I talk about why white Flight didn’t happen and the The University’s peculiar roll in stopping white Flight
And my reply is called a "rant" as oppose to just reporting the other side or sharing knowledge . You mention white flight first, and I explain it and you say I'm "race baiting"! DEEP!

And since you described my ass, I’m going described some who said
“The unexampled life not worth living
The examined life painful
and uncomfortable”
He had a flat nose, thick lips, a huge neck and fat belly and walked barefoot
His name was Socrates.

p.s I once lived in Hyde Park but got tired of the hypocrisy. But I appreciate the many people that do, now to debate a point, don’t feel the need to justify when they get called out on b.s and the unjustifiable, so I'm glade my ass lives elseware as well :-)

kt / May 24, 2006 4:14 PM

what's the old saw about fighting on the internet like being in the special olympics?

relis / May 24, 2006 4:19 PM

just moved to logan square - thanks to you logan folks i have been making a great list of new places to check out in the area.

in fact, i've posted them here:
http://platial.com/relis/map/6135?title=Life_in_Logan_Square

i've also lived in bucktown, albany park, and lincoln park, and i have to say the friendliest neighbors so far have been in logan square!

Baldeesh / May 24, 2006 4:27 PM

I also just moved to Logan Square, and I love it! Though that might have something to do with the insanely negative experience I had at my last apartment.

But yeah, I'm taking notes on where to go!

Pedro / May 24, 2006 4:33 PM

Wow, R, a dig at suburbanites, judging others as "unimaginative wannabes" because of a single abreviation, and telling people to leave town all in the same post. You sound like a delight. Why am I absolutely certain that you're not originally from Chicago? I've noticed that the only people with the energy to do that or to decry "Trixies," "Chads," "suburbanites," "hipsters," etc, are the ones who are insecure about themselves, their roots, their place in Chicago.

vit / May 24, 2006 4:41 PM

Oh hell, every internet talk board seems to have one of these sorts. I recall a few months ago someone swearing a blue streak at me calling me 'tough guy', loser and all sort of other fun stuff I'd rather not repeat because I had the audicity to suggest that the division stop on the blue line could use a good strubbing.

With apologies to what the Simpsons said about making teenagers depressed, fighting on the internet is like shooting fish in a barrel (so easy and brainless that only the pathetic take joy in it).

Marilyn / May 24, 2006 4:50 PM

SoLo IS unimaginative.

Suburbanites do take the expressway.

Leave town? I wish more people would so it would be so congested!

And I am a native Chicagoan.

Marilyn / May 24, 2006 4:51 PM

SoLo IS unimaginative.

Suburbanites do take the expressway.

Leave town? I wish more people would so it would not be so congested!

And I am a native Chicagoan.

bensch / May 24, 2006 5:03 PM

Avondale.

Look it up on the map.

Pros: No hipsters.
Convenient central location (close to Blue Line, 90/94 and Metra.

Cons: Not many restaurants or decent grocery stores.

Vanessa / May 24, 2006 5:19 PM

I just thought of an interesting project if I had the time:

A lot of the people who've answered this question seem like decent human beings. A lot sound like angry, arrogant, judgemental pricks who I'd rather pay large sums of money than hang out with for four minutes. If we sorted all the responses, would we find that there are neighborhoods in which pricks congregate? Is there one with nothing but the nice folks?

Joe / May 24, 2006 5:24 PM

Bridgeport.

Pros:
-You can buy a 2500+ sq. ft. house in a safe, residential neighborhood 5 miles from the Loop for what a mediocre 2/2 condo would cost in most northside neighborhoods.
-Good, cheap restaurants if you like pizza-and-beef places.
-Short walk to Sox Park.
-People are very friendly if you fit a certain demographic profile.
-Good/easy parking.

Cons:
-Not much by way of nightlife.
-Only a few good restaurants (Franco's, Pancho's, Polo, Ed's) if you don't like pizza-and-beef places.
-People can and will be hostile if you don't fall into the certain demographic profile noted above.
-Parking and getting decent Sox tickets are getting harder to come by.
-The house you can buy for a reasonable price (say $500k or less) is getting older and smaller. Under $400k and you're going to be in a place that is at least 100 years old.

jgs / May 24, 2006 6:16 PM

I prefer the generalism of:
Arguing on the internet is like racing in the special olympics. even if you win, you're still retarded.

Spook / May 24, 2006 7:36 PM

My motto is

I’d rather debate a teen age neocon, a log cabin Republican or Dick Cheny’s daughter rather than argue with “people” that make fun of a brave human endeavors like the Special Olympics, which I find of much more value
than cubs games, etc


Carlotta / May 24, 2006 7:47 PM

Lakeview (Broadway & Belmont)

The Good:
--have gotten to know a lot of people in my neighborhood over the years
-- quiet side streets
-- lots of friendly dogs to pet
--a good variety of reasonably priced, non-chain restaurants
--friendly neighborhood bars, eg Jacqueline's, Reflections (now Brendan's), Dram Shop, and if you swing that way, The Closet

The Bad:
--condomania goes unabated
--city wastes money on street paving, beautification, etc. that gets ripped up the following year when yet another infrastructure project gets underway
-- a dearth of available straight men in my age group (~50)

I'm sure I'm forgetting something....

jgs / May 24, 2006 8:03 PM

my point is, retard, you're not getting a fight out of me.

Spook / May 24, 2006 8:13 PM

Did I hear the word "retard"? My my my...sounds like an angry little birdie with no empathy for for "disabled" community is flying around clueless. Since he isn't going to "fight" with me any more. Let me just open the window so it can fly away. Bye Bye birdie!

IrishPirate / May 24, 2006 8:14 PM

To the poster of the anti Hyde Park rant. The University of Chicago Police are not the second largest police force in the state. The largest is Chicago, 2nd State Police, would you like me to continue.

The University of Chicago Police Department is less than 150 sworn members.

They don't even make the top ten. Evanston, Naperville, Peoria, Rockford, Cicero and many more cities and villages have more cops.

Cook County has over 500 sworn officers in the Sheriff's police Department.

Perhaps you regret that Hyde Park is not the ghetto that many of the surrounding neighborhoods are/were. I think that is a good thing. You may also have noticed that the areas immedately North and south of Hyde Park are improving and seeing more investment and less crime.

That (to me at least) is a good thing. But I suppose that makes me a racist or a classist or some other "ist" to you.

Now you are entitled to your opinion(no matter how stupid) But you are not entitled to spew wrong facts. Do a search on police departments in Illinois and then come back here and apologize to the class.

So endeth the lesson.

ARRRRRRRGH

Andrew / May 24, 2006 9:02 PM

Please don't feed the trolls.

matty / May 24, 2006 9:07 PM

Englewood. i can get crack day or night. It's terrific.

josh / May 24, 2006 9:13 PM

As a person who is seriously looking to move to Chicago in the (hopefully) near future this thread has been really interesting and valuable. However the ridiculous bickering is really getting tiresome.

Ken / May 24, 2006 10:10 PM

Budlong Woods!
(near Foster & Francisco — realtors and the City of Chicago consider it Lincoln Square, though we know it's really a little north of the actual square and has a little different feel)

+ Mostly quiet and residential--pretty much all little two-flats and older, larger houses (though I admittedly live in a recent courtyard-apartment-turned-condo rehab). Moreover, I haven't noticed any garish teardowns yet.
+ Easy walking distance to the large River and Legion Parks, which are right on the North Branch.
+ Relatively affordable compared to neighborhoods to the south
+ Tasty Swedish and Korean food within a mile, great authentic Middle Eastern and Thai within two
+ In the middle of an imaginary circle that touches the expressway, "popular" northside parts of the city, the lake, and Skokie (where I work and also refuel my car)

- Could be a little closer to the brown line (though convenient buses on Foster take me directly to the brown, blue, and red lines)
- While pretty near everything, can't just step downstairs or even down the block to get food, beer, etc. (tradeoff of living in a mostly quiet, residential neighborhood)
- No one knows where you live when you say "Budlong Woods" — and even when you say Lincoln Square, people think you mean Lincoln Park

Unclear whether + or - Impending barrage of boring new condos going up to the east... but in place of the sleazy motels on Lincoln. I don't think anyone will be too sad to see those go.

aj / May 24, 2006 10:27 PM

I will miss the sleazy motels on Lincoln. So much character... and color TV!

Spook / May 24, 2006 11:15 PM

Hey Irish Pirate

first of all I never said "or even hinted that its bad that Hyde Park is not the ghetto that many of the surrounding neighborhoods are, but I don't expect you to read what I said. And I have noticed that the areas immedately North and south of Hyde Park are "improving" and seeing more investment and less crime. I noted that as in gentrifiation, when jgs denied it, but again I don't expect you to read what I wrote.

Now, to the heart of your rant, which I'm sure is more of your concern, saddly.
So maybe U of C police is now or forth or fifth, but its not too far down the line,
So sue me! The rest of my facts are concrete, that of course you didn't read
Gawd, this is what you pick on? And sorry, I don’t consider all of Cook County’s sworn “officers”, real police as in State or CPD
Many get their badges as rewards( with no training) for being Michael Sheahan's thugs of political hacks from the 19th ward. Sorry people good people from Beverly and Mt. Greenwood. And then you have Cook County Jail Guards, “sworn” officers that have badges and carry guns when they shouldn’t carry guns(have no formal police powers) but do it any way. If any one is interested just goggle this stuff, is scary. Like those “County Sheriff’s “Police” that got drunk( at a Sheahan fundraiser) and chased/ shot at at a innocent black couple, until the “officers” got arrested by the real Police as in CPD
I also don’t consider the Cook County Forest Preserve Police, “Police”
Because their training isn’t as professional as CPD or State
This was the same with CMS until the merged with the State Police, as our Governor is trying to do with all state police agencies including the Sec of State Police, which is a good thing. Hopefully the County will follow.
Finally, I don't consider alderman police although they are sworn Officers authorised to carry guns and badges,( Alderman Tillman actually pulled hers out in city council!" serious people, its too many guns out there!
So, Pirate, you might be able to split hairs with me, but that’s about it.
But I will leave you with the final word because you sound like some one
who has a badge and a gun that shouldn’t have one either
so have at it

p.s and speaking of too many guns out there, Matty
nice way to make fun a community that is hemmoridging
Children left and right because of too many guns and not enough government resources that so many of the communities we have discussed get (even mine) over Englewood

Lori / May 24, 2006 11:25 PM

I am on a one woman campaign to call my neighborhood Riis Park. Technically Belmont Cragin, far NW side, go a little farther west an you will fall off the edge into Elmwood Park.

Pro's:

lots of trees,
lots of families,
cheap great house
the Guanajuato Store
close enough to Oak Park for movies/farmers market/whole foods
good proximity to Johnnies Beef

Con's:
the usual: drunks and litterbugs


MikeH / May 25, 2006 8:26 AM

aj -

I'm going to miss those sleazy motels also. So much that about a month ago, a friend and I drove up and down Lincoln Ave. taking pics of the signs.

By the way, the proprietors and guests of those sleazy motels get very nervous, if not openly hostile, when they see two guys poking around with cameras...


fluffy / May 25, 2006 9:45 AM

Spook ,

I know where you can get some chill pills - cheap!

Appleby / May 25, 2006 10:19 AM

Thanks, MikeH, for the wonderful pictures. To heck with my 'hood. I'm moving to a nice motel -- one with waterbeds and a whirlpool!
(the O-MI Hotel sounds particularly enticing).

Steve / May 25, 2006 10:54 AM

My 'hood of four days is the east side of Downers Grove.

Pros:
-- We can afford our mortgage here
-- We have a dozen or so small businesses within two blocks, including the neighbor's guitar shop, a White Hen, a White Fence Farm, a decent chop suey place, several dry cleaners, etc.
-- Less than a mile to the cuteness of downtown Downers, including a great library
-- The smell of the Pepperidge Farm plant
-- Two blocks to Metra rail
-- Several huge, awesome parks within walking distance

Cons:
-- All of our neighbors are old. And white.
-- The next-door neighbor to the west has an all-dirt back yard that is home to two loud German shepherds
-- Our votes will mean precious little in Republican DuPage County
-- There's a really bad teen-angst novel named after my new hometown

R / May 25, 2006 2:48 PM

You're right. I've only lived in Chicago 24 years, but was not born here.

The people speeding up State Street and Clark Street are all city dwellers commuting between McCormick Place and Grant Park.

If you can give me one argument to the originality of "SoLo" other than it sounding like "SoHo", and having the correct letters in it, I'm all ears.

Emily / May 25, 2006 5:39 PM

Woah, Spook. I'm sorry for whatever happened to you in Hyde Park and that this neighborhood generally offends you. Also, thank you for bringing up points to remind us to keep fighting for fairness.

As for U of Chicago not being as diverse as many of their competing universities, you may be correct, but making a claim that assumes a pointed finger without having the knowledge of all persons having applied to the university, well, that just doesn't make anyone look good. I am not defending the University if it has taken unfair actions, just saying that unfully-researched accusations are just as damaging.

Regardless, I would imagine that everyone who posted their neighborhood did so in order to share the hidden gems (and the day to day bullshit) that makes their home unique. Even though I grew up around Chicago, I'm sure glad that this question got posted up, since I've learned about what sounds like some neat places to venture. Thanks!

Penny / May 26, 2006 12:35 PM

I live in the South Loop and what I like best about it is that I can jump on any El line, each one is real close. I also like Grant Park and Millenium Park and being so close to many of the major cultural events.
The part I cant stand is all the panhandlers. Whats the matter with these people. Is it like there are no soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters in the City???

VinceJose / May 26, 2006 4:46 PM

Third Avondale Post

I want to agree with Erica on these pros:
Clean
Quiet
Lots of space for the $$
More homeowners vs. renters
Lots of trees

I'd add lots of schools/kids playing and a big park (north of addison, west of the JFK) with tennis courts. Where is this good late night diner? I also should admit I don't know many of my neighbors.

I can't argue that it would be nice to have more rock bars and good shops nearby but no ethnic food is just slander.

There is:
La Oaxaquena for Mexican
Manee Thai for Thai and Chinese and Thai Aree for more Thai
La Humita for great Ecuadorian
Mr Pollo for pollo a la brasa

And prolly a bunch I haven't discoverd. I wish there were more people outside being social but all in all Avondale is pretty cool.

MAry / May 27, 2006 11:18 AM

I stay in Logan Square.

Pros:
Quiet most of the time.
Not too far from downtown. Easy to get to O'Hare
Mexican food (if you like it)
Cheap housing (though that seems like it's on its way out)

Cons:
Gangs (not too many problems though)
Hipsters are invading it
My particular apartment is a 10-15 min walk to the el which isn't great.

Overall I like it though.

VK / May 29, 2006 1:13 PM

Boystown! How on earth did this thread get to 188 posts without anyone mentioning Boystown! This is my second stint here, after living in Kenwood and the Loop for four years. The biggest pro here: everything I could need is within two blocks:

Unabridged Bookstore
Intelligensia
Soupbox/Icebox
Treasure Island
Equinox
Addendum
He Who Eats Mud
ID Chicago
yummy restaurants (love X/O, Firefly, HB, Yoshi's, Nohana, Joy's...)
Kafka's and Binny's -- wine galore
Excellent transportation: express buses and Brown, Purple, Red lines
Farmer's market on Saturdays at Melrose and Broadway
Oodles of local theater/improv

Also, the architecture here can be breath-taking: Hawthorne along is one of the prettiest streets in this city.

And after 8 years, I still love the Gay Pride Parade.

The CONS:

Expensive to buy here. We got a deal, but it's still hard to swallow sometimes.

The improving public schools are bringing in children. Lots of children. I don't mind kids in small doses, but I don't want to find myself stuck in a nursery either.

The gay population is getting outpriced and moving north, leading to some great shops closing (I miss Salt & Pepper!) and a deterioation of what makes Boystown so great.

Although there are some gorgeous buildings here, cookie-cutter condo buildings continue to spring up all over. I hate what they're doing to the old Hull House on Broadway.

Parking is a nightmare here for my friends.

jaye / May 30, 2006 1:16 PM

U Village

PROS -
convenient to all my clients and numerous public trans options

easy access to a wide variety of eats and entertainment

my kids school is a block away

the black beetle - i love anthony!

CONS

my loud ass inconsiderate tar smoking neighbors

have to go too many blocks to find a park

erik / May 30, 2006 1:47 PM

Rogers Park--Juneway at Paulina

You know, the worst part about it is the repuation of the neighborhood, not the actual place itself. I've heard it referred to as "the juneway jungle," "the wild end," etc. everyone either says hello or minds their own business. people are even nice to the new yuppies. the community garden is blooming. there are a lot of poor people here, but that doesn't mean they aren't neighborly.

chicagoastronomer / May 31, 2006 1:30 AM

Heart of Chicago - (Just West of Pilsen)

Pros: Everything/services within walking distance, Quick & easy access to expressways and public transportation all around,
Diverse merchants (large chains and Mom & Pop), city skyline in the near distance, quick jaunt to downtown via bus/train, Property taxes and rents still reasonable (for the time being), majority one/two family homes, bars serverely reduced from years past (Good thing), garages, backyards.

Cons: Ignorant drivers - double parkers - alley parkers, would be hoodlums/bangers asserting territory (yawn), encroaching condos & multimillion developements, Not enough trees, greenery and open spaces, could use a family style restaurant.

Overall: Been here since early childhood and have observed the low (1970's), and the better (Present). Just a matter of time before a "Starbucks" and a "HomeDepot" takes root.

The "Bad" element is getting priced out and I have been, and am quite content.

Lisa / June 19, 2006 6:23 PM

Humboldt Park (California & North Ave)
I grew up in East and West Rogers Park and lived in Wrigleyville/Southport Corridor for last 5 years. So far, Humboldt is my favorite!

Best:
- Friendly neighbors (when was the last time your neighbor/landlord called you to remind you about streetcleaning so you don't get a ticket?)
- Family 'hood w/lots of kids and dogs
- Close to the (awesome!)park
- Good street parking
- Inexpensive rent for large 3 bdrm apt with yard for dog
- Close to expressway & CTA
- Close to nightlife in Wicker Park, Logan Square, and Bucktown
-Good, cheap produce at Cermak Market on North Ave.

Worst:
-I feel safe on my block, but lots of "activity" just a few blocks away (only late at night though)
- no nearby major grocery store

t_allen / August 29, 2006 10:49 AM

Rogers Park

Best:
-I live in a wonderful and affordable waterfront building. How many places are there where you can come home from work and immediately drop a kayak or windsurfter into the water?
-Lots of artsy, bohemian types but not yet discovered by the "hipsters".
-Some great cafes and restaurants scattered around the neighborhood.
-A great new bar, a restaurant, a deli and a cafe near Jarvis 'el. They drove off the crack slingers that used to work the corner!
-Rogers Park Fruit Market.
-Easy access to Evanston, Edgewater and Andersonville with even more great bars, cafes, restaurants and shops.

Cons:
-Alderman Moore is more concerned with keeping me away from the tasty livers of French geese than taking care of his ward.
-Howard Street and Morse Avenue between Wayne and Clark are pits.
-Neighborhood has slowly and steadily been improving for years but there are still some poorly managed buildings infested with gangbangers scattered about.
-The neighborhood needs more quality businesses of all types.

Markweee / June 14, 2010 10:51 AM

My family have put down deep roots in the past 2 decades. One of our sons was born here in town and both graduated from Blacksburg High School. Both played for the local travel soccer club and they were varsity athletes in soccer, or basketball and cross country. My wife of 27 years Elizabeth has run her own business and received multiple degrees from Virginia Tech. She has been employed at the University for the past 7 years. social work school | Social Science degree

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