Okay, aparently my job today is to give a more proper definition to the Chicago hoodies I know and love that have already been noded by people who I doubt have spent much time in them.

I guess its true that more 'yuppies' are moving to Wicker Park than there were before, probably because of the relatively cheap rent and fun things to do. Also, the blue-line el and prevalence of key streets make it really convenient to downtown. However when I read this vague write-up by bort13 I was quite taken aback - there is such an incredibly vast world of difference between Wicker Park and Lincoln Park.

Even with all the new kinds of residents constantly streaming in, Wicker Park is still a 'hotbed of artsy types' and is filled with galleries and studios of all kinds. While River North is the real gallery district of Chicago, Wicker Park is considered the center for 'outsider art.' It is also incredibly diverse in the categories of age, race, lifestyle and socioeconomic status.

The main Wicker Park intersection (Damen, Milwuakee, and North) is extremely bustling because of all the things to do there. It is the center of a huge array of clubs, bars, restaurants and cafes of all kinds, and any social person is bound to find their type of place to hang out around there.

On any given day on that corner, one can find a pretty equal distribution of artists, tourists, freaky deaky folks, crack-heads, working people (both yuppie and non), people asking for money, people sleeping on the sidewalk, decked-out clubgoers, hippies, gang-bangers, and salespeople. All races are covered but the majority of people are white, black or Mexican. There are so many great places around there that I think I am suddenly inspired to write a separate 'guide to Wicker Park bars and restaraunts' node.

btw: anyone in the area can take Milwuakee a few blocks northwest and visit me in Humboldt Park!
Eh, stylee, if the rents are so cheap, how come you gotta live over in Humboldt Park? <grin>

The point being, in 1987 Wicker park was a festering shit-hole of prostitution, gang crime and abandoned buildings...kinda like Humboldt Park is now. And the rent was next to nothing, which is why artists first came to live there.

Please forgive people if they'd like to be able to stay in an affordable apartment without having to move to Waukegan. Show tolerance for their yuppie-bashing...you'd grumble too if you had been there when, and seen all the cool outsider people and outsider places that have been priced out of the way to make room for expensive "outsider restaurants", etc. Plus you can't have a node about Wicker Park without these links at a minimum:

Around the Coyote, flatiron building, Milwaukee Avenue, Puerto Rican.

I lived in Wicker Park back in 2000-2001 and in nearby Humboldt Park. I agree 100% with the assertion that you will see every imaginable type of person on the street there, it certainly adds to the uniqueness of that area.

What makes that fact so interesting is that Chicago is a town of diverse neighborhoods where you usually will only see people that "belong" in a given neighborhood. It's also what I find most disturbing about Wicker Park. Here you have vanity in it's most disgusting form of just moved there from Schaumburg yuppies with their german cars and overpriced condos living right next to people who don't know how they are going to afford their next meal.

I left because it was so sad. I miss it because it IS close to the Loop, has a nice central location and some great nightlife. I don't miss all of the snoot, ignorance and dispair.

Here is a nieghborhood that serves as a prime example of Chicago gentrification. The place was a Puerto Rican ghetto for the last twenty years or so and BTW--people who lived there in those days called it Humboldt Park, Wicker Park is something created by the real estate development companies to lure yuppies so as not to scare them off with the stigma that Humboldt Park bares. Then comes the poor artsy white people, then the hipsters, then the yuppies, and the future looks real bright for Mayor Daley.

Most of the artsy types moved on the the Ukrainian Village neighborhood or Humboldt Park some time ago and the hipsters are starting to follow. If you have money to invest in real estate, do it here, you will cash in nicely in a few years or so. It's too late to do that in Wicker Park really, the rents are high and all of the good property is taken by those like you.

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