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Thursday, July 25

Gapers Block

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Andrew / July 11, 2005 2:52 PM

Thanks (or blame) to John D. for submitting this question. Have a question for Fuel? Send it to inbox@gapersblock.

Ramsin / July 11, 2005 3:00 PM

Hmmm. Tough. I hate getting around Hyde Park. Then again, there isn't much to do in places like Garfield Ridge or Archer Heights or Edison Park. So do you mean least favorite over all, least favorite for a night out, or what?

I know the neighborhood I least enjoyed being in was Altgeld Gardens.

Craig / July 11, 2005 3:03 PM

Let the played-out sterotypes and ignorant negativity begin!

Ramsin / July 11, 2005 3:58 PM

I had no idea there were "played out stereotypes" about Garfield Ridge or Archer Heights. They're just nice residential neighborhoods, but not much to "do."

And if it is negative to say I hate getting around Hyde Park, too bad. It's a pain in the ass getting around that neighborhood.

J / July 11, 2005 3:58 PM

Any without ample parking. So, most.

Toronto / July 11, 2005 4:10 PM

Wrigleyville during a Cubs game.

NotSoHealthy / July 11, 2005 4:20 PM

44th ward a.k.a. "Wrigleyville". "Too much of a good thing" has choked this neighborhood. I won't be going back any time soon.

Andrew / July 11, 2005 4:24 PM

About the only neighborhood I actively avoid is the "North/Clybourn Corridor." Its ascent from industrial center to over-developed commercial center was too fast, and the infrastructure just can't support the number of shoppers (most of them seemingly from the suburbs) flocking to the area. Driving south on Clybourn from Webster to Halsted is purgatory.

pat / July 11, 2005 4:56 PM

Lincoln Park West, aka Wicker Park. every trip i've made there, i find less and less reason to go. though i suppose the banana republic hasn't opened, *yet*. at this point, the only thing bringing me back is the fluevog store, quimby's and the house of monsters.

ditto to north/clyborn. Chicago's own suburb within the city limits.

lisamay / July 11, 2005 5:10 PM

Wrigleyville AFTER a cubs game. And I don't think the Mag Mile counts as a neighborhood, but it makes me cranky. Basically, any place where hundreds or thousands of people who don't live in said neighborhood have congregated for the purposes of spending a lot of money on things they don't need. (Please note - this doesn't include Lincoln Square during the Folk & Roots festival or the like. It's the consumerism/drunkenism on a mass scale that turns me right off.)

waleeta / July 11, 2005 5:11 PM

lincoln park. lincoln park. oh, and lincoln park. The stereotypes are true.

Alex / July 11, 2005 5:54 PM

The one were real houses and buildings of character are being torn down to make room for more stupid cookie-cutter condos. Yep, that's my least favorite neighborhood...

Alex / July 11, 2005 5:55 PM

*ahem* WHERE, not WERE.

vit / July 11, 2005 5:57 PM

I suppose I shouldn't talk as I live in southwest lincoln park according to some (also know as westown or east-village or whatever the real estate sorts feel like calling it this week). But I find lincoln park really does get on my nerves, it sometimes feels like all the people who hated me in high school got together and started a neighborhood when I'm wandering around over there (because let's face it, it isn't like it is without ANY redeeming qualities) ;)

sarah / July 11, 2005 6:21 PM

Lincoln Park is great, if you like being heavily bumped into by drunk 23 year olds, who then shriek "EXCUSE YOU!"

rhea / July 11, 2005 6:22 PM

Not a fan of Edgewater or Rogers Park. Parking sucks, great in some parts, awful in others, far from everything.

Huckle Cat / July 11, 2005 8:02 PM

I'm with Andrew on North Clybourn. I feel tired just seeing the big box retailers from the train, let alone navigating through them.

unmake / July 11, 2005 8:42 PM

Lincoln Park.. followed closely by University Village, though the latter can hardly be called a neighborhood.

In general, anywhere that requires residential parking permits, even if I mostly bicycle nowadays.

daruma / July 11, 2005 9:55 PM

Rogers Park. It's just still so depressing. I know there are some great old beautiful houses, but for the most part it's still a bit scary.

Zach / July 11, 2005 10:06 PM

"J." said:

"Any without ample parking. So, most."

This is the most misguided thing I've read today.

What the hell is the appeal of a parking lot? The massive expanse of metal and asphalt? The fact that they take up valuable space that attractive buildings or parks could occupy? God, it sure is a shame walking on those sidewalks, having a sense of community rather than the glorious, temporary depositing of a fucking car. Do you really feel affectionate toward a soviet expanse of concrete? I've never walked by a parking lot and thought "if only that were BIGGER."

I guess my least favorite neighborhood is the one that we'll all inevitably end up with because of people like J.

jgs / July 11, 2005 11:12 PM

where people can be "real chicagoans" and institute racial convenents, treat outsiders like outcastes and steal the parking spot from right behind you as you're about to parallel park.
lincoln park has people who'll treat you poorly because they think they're richer than you, and are therefore easily dismissed. but bridgeport will shit down your throat because you're not bridgeport.

waleeta / July 11, 2005 11:19 PM

Zach - did you say "soviet expanse" of concrete? .....

Gold Coast also kind of annoys me, but that's just because I am classist and hate rich people.

Zach / July 12, 2005 12:21 AM

Yeah, I did. It was supposed to be evocative of those Soviet plazas like Red Square, but I guess it was poorly phrased. I think you still get my point, though.

Steve / July 12, 2005 12:48 AM

A plethora of parking lots create a spiritual emptiness that only the desire to be born again can placate. Or something.

No me likey Wicker Park, but that's because I'm old and cranky. Then again, I didn't care for it much when I was young and slightly less cranky.

And Bowmanville? You can bite me.

mike / July 12, 2005 12:57 AM

The only thing that scares me more than rich white people are their kids, so yep, lincoln park.
--though as a hypocrite, i like zee zooo.

Ron / July 12, 2005 2:26 AM

Archer Heights?
Best damned neighborhood in the city.

- Pink Palace Motel (wink wink)
- Weber's Bakery
- Baby Doll Polka Club
- Bobacks Sausage Company and Buffet
- Old Warsaw Deli
- Danny's Pizza (best in the city)
- John's Kart Shop .... yes, a real go-cart shop, build your own
- Thirty taverns with inexpensive and wonderful beer
- A five minute drive to Midway
- Affordable housing
- A complete an utter lack of yuppies.

Thurston / July 12, 2005 9:07 AM

I don't care for Hyde Park. Though it is a beautiful neighborhood, it is boring and remote. There is no El stop and Metra service is pretty spotty outside of rush hours. If you don't have a car, you're doomed to long bus rides or $20 cab fares to go elsewhere in the city. With about 13,000 students you'd think there would be more going on, too. I'm starting grad school there soon and have been advising out-of-town class mates to live elsewhere.

Y A J / July 12, 2005 9:23 AM

Archer Heights does have all those things and I love walking to Midway airport to travel, but it doesn't have much for a mostly veggie eating, bicycle riding type.

In fact, last time I rode my bike down south Archer a car full of angry young things yelled jeers and called me a yuppie. They're probably thinking - oh no, a yuppie, there goes the neighborhood while I'm thinking what this neighborhood needs is a bike lane and Thai food.

Michael / July 12, 2005 9:25 AM


No mention of Englewood, Austin, Little Village or Garfield Park. Yep, sure is awful to have to spend so much time along the lakefront.

Although, parking seems to be ample in said neighborhoods.

ThurstonsDad / July 12, 2005 9:39 AM

"I don't care for Hyde Park. Though it is a beautiful neighborhood, it is boring and remote" Thurston this is what going to University should be all about! You will have time to party it up after grad school.

Ramsin / July 12, 2005 9:41 AM

I spent a lot of time in Austin. I like Austin, it's not one of my least favorite neighborhoods. It has the best soul food diner in Chicago, at Chicago and Parkside; there's a nice little park by the Lake Street train near Central, a few cheap record stores, and the houses are nice to look at.

And Garfield Park, though bad, is not nearly as bad as Altgeld Gardens.

e_five / July 12, 2005 9:52 AM

River North has become insane. The density is absurd, the commercialism is sickening, and the prices only within the reach of conventioneers. Oh, and could we shove a few more cars in?

Wonka / July 12, 2005 10:13 AM

Its neck and neck between Rogers Park and Lincoln Park.

Though Rogers Park has plenty of potential to be a great neighborhood due to its proximatey to the lake and abundance of public transportation it still cannot shake the infestation of crack dealers/users and people that have little to no respect for their neighborhood. Don't even get me started on the lack of parking.

Lincoln Park, perhaps the polar opposite of RP, still manages to be home to the most empty, uncultured brats right out of big 10 universities with good football teams. Not only can you not park but you have to deal with most homogenous concentration of people this side of Norway. If I threw 100 superballs in a crowded bar, I would probably hit 80 people that think Dave Matthews is the greatest musician alive.

Emerson Dameron / July 12, 2005 10:35 AM

I've got problems with the overrated Logan Square, the smug Bucktown, the obvious scapegoat Parks Wicker and Lincoln, and anywhere where one gets routinely hassled for not being black, not being white, or not being hispanic. But I also find every Chicago neighborhood interesting on its own terms. Maybe I haven't lived here long enough.

PS: According to reliable sources, Garfield Park is slated to become Wicker Park II, if it can clear out the riff-raff before the US real estate bubble explodes. (Apparently, the optimum low-buying window has already closed.)

peanut / July 13, 2005 12:22 AM

damn, there sure are a lot of CAR PARKERS posting to this question. don't you people live in a city? what, do you work in elgin or something? i know, i know, it's "impossible" to exist without a car.

i have to side with the previous north & clybourn haters. i get tired and cranky just thinking about it.

Peterman / July 13, 2005 11:28 AM

Agree with Peanut, yes we do live in a city, a city with a horrible public transit system that has not grown to meet demands. If we had a NETWORK of trains, there would be less of a need for cars, currently the only way to visit all of these places is via bus or car...let's deal with that problem first.

Least favorite hood? Wicker Park...because inhabitants are way too cool to be living in conformist Lincoln Park...but everyone in WP is the same too...they just hypocritically hate the conformity.

But let's be honest, worst: Naperville.

curtsy / July 13, 2005 4:07 PM

How could this question help but highlight respondents' paths of habit, their preconceptions & prejudices?? Ramsin and Thurston, Hyde Park is hardly unique in its level of service by CTA. Ever try to get from/to the southeast side?? Still, what's this "network of trains" you speak of, Peterman, that is beyond the current Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, and Brown Lines? Granted, it would be great if Metra and CTA could cooperate on a transfer system and if the southeast side could acquire a CTA line. But you totally dismiss bus service, as though it is an inadequate means of transpo. And jgs, your depiction of Bridgeport is over-simplistic and ignores the diversity to be found there today.

Vince / July 14, 2005 11:09 AM

hmmm...i like to eat poop on toast! and i have 5 toes and 3 pools!

Gina / July 14, 2005 11:19 PM

I have to agree with Ramsin on Altgeld Gardens. It has everything that makes for a bad neighborhood-secluded from the city, one bus route, proximity to industry and pollution and dilapidated public housing. Oh yes, lets not forget gangs, drugs and loud music. There are also some neighborhoods that have been decent and are now going down the drain like Woodlawn. You used to be able to walk down Stony Island without being constantly harassed by horny fake-gangster teenage boys and even get a bite to eat, but now its just one more street that you drive even faster on to get out of the city.

tj / July 20, 2005 6:27 PM


JFN / July 21, 2005 12:52 PM

There are few neighborhoods in Chicago that aren't becoming insular pockets or microcosms of a certain culture, ethnic or income bracket. But with all this real estate insanity most of the neighborhoods are rapidly changing over and as a result we have more and more divisiveness and ignorance. The Latinos hate non-Latinos moving into Humboldt Park and "destroying" Little Puerto Rico. The Poles hate everyone moving into their neighborhoods and "robbing" them of their own Western corner of Poland. I pretty much have very little respect for any so-called neighborhood that pretends to be a neighborhood but is populated with incredibly selfish residents who have no respect for their neighbors or property. I live in a neighborhood plagued wtih stinking trash heaps, litter that lines the sidewalks, people's yards and clogs the sewers. During the day when kids are in school and everyone is at work the place is quiet. From 9:30 PM - 2:30 AM it's a raucous explosion or ice cream trucks that circle the same streets five times supposedly selling ice cream. Motorcyclists racing down one way streets the wrong way. Platoons of cars speeding through the stop signs while blasting Tejano music at deafening levels and setting off car alarms in the process. Drunken 20 somethings shouting slurs and insults in Spanish, Polish and Russian at everyone. Oh, and let's not forget the gunshots and screaming on the weekends. But hell, it's a city. And where else could I live in a vintage 2 bedroom apartment and pay only $750/month for the past three years? I shouldn't complain and neither should anyone else. This is all part of urban life.

Kelly / July 24, 2005 1:59 AM

Ron, half of those things you mentioned about Archer Heights are actually in Garfield Ridge: Polka Club, walk to Midway, Pink palace... and are these really reasons to LOVE a neighborhood? No one has mentioned Mount Greenwood? We're still in Chgo. here. Bourbon Street? BTW, those assumptions made about Bridgeport were pretty general and do not take into account its real diversity.

Kelly / July 24, 2005 2:21 AM

BTW, check out this website to proclaim your favorite part of the city!

JL / May 16, 2006 2:03 AM

Lincoln Park sucks ass. Rogers Park and Hegewisch rawk.

Brian Musgrave / September 21, 2009 9:25 PM

I hate Wicker Park, ukrainian village, bucktown etc.

Trendies and Spendies galore, It's full of pseudo culturally diverse suburban white people who want to experience urban life but only if they are far away from anything else but themselves. Division st in particular just gets under my skin. It's easier to get a vegan sandwich than it is to get an italian beef. How Chicago is that.

I wish gangbangers would just start hanging out in random bars and fucking with all of the too cool for school yupsters that occupy these neighborhoods which actually had some character once upon a time.

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