Tag Archives: Uptown

5 of Chicago’s coolest neighborhoods

By Christina Zdanowicz, CNN
Peering 103 floors down from the Willis Tower, taking a selfie in the “Bean” and cruising down the Chicago River are all worth doing.
But there’s a lot to the Windy City beyond the iconic sights of the Loop, from ethnic enclaves serving some of the city’s best food to vibrant murals telling local histories.
Just an El ride away, there are 77 neighborhoods that say something more about Chicago.
Here are five cool, emerging neighborhoods to see:
Near West Side
A boom in trendy restaurants has put the Fulton Market District in Chicago’s Near West Side neighborhood on the foodie map — with long waits to prove it.
Au Cheval, a dimly lit bar and restaurant on Randolph Street, boasts what’s widely touted as the city’s best burger.
The double stack, covered in oozing cheese, has inspired some committed patrons to wait for the few coveted tables or bar seats for up to three hours.
“Top Chef” winner Stephanie Izard’s tapas restaurant Girl & the Goat also earns rave reviews.
Making a weekend reservation two months out can be a feat, so some people opt for its casual sister spot, Little Goat.
The elaborately prepared cocktails and imaginative molecular gastronomy of The Aviary cocktail lounge have turned it into a Fulton staple.
Chef-owner Grant Achatz, of renowned restaurant Alinea, has created ingredient-infused cocktails in space-age barware that require user participation — like cracking an ice egg — before enjoying.
Trios of innovative “Bites” complement the cocktail stars of this show.
The neighborhood’s laundry list of fine eats goes on from there, with delectable pork dishes at The Publican, steaks at Swift & Sons and other culinary adventures on the horizon.
Ukrainian Village
Old Ukrainian delis, modern restaurants and dive bars live happily together in the West Side neighborhood called Ukrainian Village.
People like it so much that they’re moving there en masse.
In January, real estate site Redfin ranked Ukrainian Village No. 1 on its nationwide “hottest neighborhoods” of 2016 list.
The area used to be the center of the Ukrainian community, which took root at the start of the 20th century.
Ukrainian and other Eastern European families still live here, frequenting Ukrainian grocery stores, churches and the Ukrainian National Museum.
Shokolad Pastry & Cafe offers an old-world taste of Ukraine, from varenyky, the Ukrainian take on pierogi, to traditional soups like borshct and the meatball-laden Frikadelky.
The traditional storefronts are interspersed with increasingly popular modern restaurants, like Italian eatery A Tavola and BYOB diner Bite Cafe.
Next to Bite Cafe is hole-in-the wall music venue The Empty Bottle.
With an Old Style beer sign out front, the Chicago staple has been entertaining audiences for more than 20 years. The beer is still cheap, two decades later.
Taquerias, vibrant murals and a growing artistic community make the largely Hispanic area of Pilsen worth a visit to the Lower West Side.
For huaraches, a classic Mexican street food on flatbread, or a horchata the size of your head, Los Corrales on Cermak Street is a tasty lunch spot.
The restaurant sits on the ground floor of Apollos 2000, an old art deco theater that’s been remodeled into an event hall.
Beyond the Hispanic influences in the area, an influx of working artists has brought a new twist to the neighborhood with galleries and multiuse spaces.
Once a month, the Chicago Arts District hosts 2nd Fridays Gallery Night, where people can explore more than 30 galleries and artists’ studios along South Halsted and 18th Streets.
And public art is everywhere in Pilsen, making it a ripe spot for a mural walk.
Artist Jeff Zimmerman depicts local people and their cultures in his murals, seen in Pilsen, Little Village and other neighborhoods across the city.
His three-paneled “Incred­bles Las Cosas Q’ Se Ven,” which translates to “the incredible things that are seen,” is on South Ashland Avenue.
The mural shows students graduating, the faces of working class people and a religious scene of the Virgin Mary.
Bars, bakeries and a diverse mix of people are bringing the old, working-class neighborhood of Bridgeport into the spotlight.
Two large windows lined with rows of bottles lure patrons into Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar on 31st Street.
Known for its selection of craft beer, this part-liquor store, part-neighborhood bar was featured on Esquire TV’s “Best Bars in America” in 2013 and 2015.
For dessert lovers, Bridgeport Bakery boasts modern (maple-bacon doughnuts) and old-world (paczki, Polish deep-fried doughnuts) confections.
On Fat Tuesday, lines stretch out the door for the decadent, jelly- or custard-filled pastries.
The historically Irish-American area, where immigrants flocked starting in the 1830s, was once known for racial intolerance.
Now it’s shedding that image. A 2008 DePaul University study named Bridgeport one of the top five most diverse areas in the city in terms of ethnicity and income diversity.
Another fun fact: It’s the birthplace of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, his father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, and three other Chicago mayors.
A taste of Asia, art deco and live music venues give Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood its distinctive flavor.
While Ethiopian, Mexican and Chinese food is bountiful, the area is known for the best Vietnamese food in the city.
Little Saigon — serving up everything from bahn mi to pho and steamed buns to boba milk tea — is right off the Argyle Street El stop.
A few blocks south, the glowing marquee, intricate arches and sparkling chandeliers of the Aragon Ballroom showcase 1920s glamor.
The historic venue is very much a modern part of the community, pulling in top-tier music acts regularly.
Nearby sits another music mecca: The Riviera Theater started off as a movie theater in 1917 and became a music venue in the ’80s.
Just across the street at the Green Mill, Al Capone’s old hangout still serves stiff cocktails with a side of smooth tunes.
Its website touts it as the oldest continuously running jazz club in the United States.
The many round, leather booths or seats at the giant, U-shaped bar, offer ideal perches for soaking up the scene.
The life of the bar is centered around the 16-piece band playing brassy tunes in front of a small, parquet dance floor.
Swing dancers flock to the floor on Thursday nights, while Fridays are for jazz lovers.
And there’s always another martini or Manhattan waiting when you run out of steam.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Person shot in Uptown

A male was injured in a shooting early Tuesday in the 4600 block of North Sheridan. | Network Video Productions

(CHICAGO) A person was shot early Tuesday in the Uptown neighborhood on the North Side.

The male, whose age was not immediately known, was shot in the head at 2:43 a.m. in the 4600 block of North Sheridan, according to Chicago Police.

He was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, although his condition was not immediately known, police said.

Police investigating school burglaries in Uptown, North Center

(CHICAGO) Police are investigating two burglaries that happened after-hours at North Side schools in the past two months.

Both schools had electronics stolen and property damaged, Area North detectives said in a community alert issued Wednesday.

The first burglary happened March 16, at a school in the 2500 block of West Addison in the North Center neighborhood. Authorities believe the burglary happened between 1:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., police said.

In that incident, the burglars are described as four people who were riding BMX-style bicycles, police said.

Another burglary happened in the 4400 block of North Magnolia in the Uptown neighborhood, police said.

That incident happened between Friday and Monday over the Memorial Day weekend, sometime between 3:30 p.m. and 7:15 a.m., police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at (312) 744-8263.

North Side neighborhood coalition asks mayor to halt charter school move

(CHICAGO) North Side politicians, principals and parents delivered letters to Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday in a last-ditch effort to stave off the move of a charter school into the Uptown neighborhood, saying CPS can’t afford a school it doesn’t need and reminding him that he supported neighborhood high schools on election night, the Sun-Times is reporting.

Letters from 13 politicians and 13 Local School Councils of surrounding elementary and high schools reject the proposed move of The Noble Academy from its temporary downtown location to an empty private school building at 640 W. Irving Park.

The coalition calls the move “fiscally irresponsible” of CPS, saying Amundsen, Lake View, Sullivan, Uplift and Senn high schools have plenty of room for more students, and locating the charter nearby will siphon away dollars CPS can’t afford.

Jeff Jenkins, a Coonley Elementary School parent, called the addition of 900 seats to Uptown “fiscally unsound and a major breach of fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers” as the district faces a $1.1 billion deficit.

“Given the data and the clear community support, saying ‘no’ to Noble in this instance is clearly the best choice and supports the neighborhood high schools. We hope that the mayor and the CPS Board hear and support the efforts of his constituents and this coalition, which is made up of those with the most at stake,” Jenkins said.

The Noble Academy argued at a public hearing last week that it’s out of space at 17 N. State Street and needs a permanent home.

Principal Pablo Sierra said the school — 5 miles from the nearest Noble branch — is “about a quality open enrollment choice for all families of Chicago. Certainly Noble Academy students here today . . . are no less deserving of a permanent home than those at Lake View, Amundsen or Senn.”

The Board of Education is slated to vote on the relocation amid other charter school proposals at its Wednesday meeting. CPS interim CEO Jesse Ruiz has recommended the Noble move despite outrage at the hearing and a planned Chicago Teacher’s Union protest before the vote.

The mayor’s office did not return messages seeking comment on Tuesday. In an emailed statement, CPS spokesman Bill McCaffrey said: “CPS officials consider [community] perspectives when making recommendations to the Board of Education.”

Ruiz has warned schools could face classroom cuts if Springfield doesn’t fix the district’s pension crisis. More than ever schools are competing for money, including the fixed amount allotted for each enrolled student.

Supporters of the neighborhood schools say the proposed relocation contradicts Emanuel’s promise on election night, “I hear you, Chicago. . . . I hear you on the importance of neighborhood high schools.”

They also fear Noble’s move could undermine the GrowCommunity effort, a partnership of Aldermen Pat O’Connor (40th), Tom Tunney (44th) and Ameya Pawar (47th) with help from the mayor.

O’Connor said he’s not “knee-jerk opposed to charters” but supports his neighborhood high schools.

“If you’re trying to be a better school and you’re scrambling for good students and you want access to them,” the last thing you want is more charters, he said.

“However, if people in my community say they’d like another option,” O’Connor continued, “you have to listen to the residents.”

Man dies in Uptown apartment after apparent carbon monoxide exposure

The scene of the incident in Uptown. / Photo from NVP.

(CHICAGO) A man died from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning Thursday night at an apartment complex in the Uptown neighborhood on the North Side, officials said.

The man was discovered about 10 p.m. inside an apartment unit in the 1000 block of West Winona, authorities said.

The unit had a carbon monoxide reading of more than 1,000 PPM, Fire Media Affairs said. Sustained levels above 200 PPM cause disorientation and unconsciousness, according to the U.S. Product and Safety Commission’s website.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed the death, but could not provide further details.

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