Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Destination of the Week: Chicago-Near West Side Communities, IL

Destination of the Week: Chicago-Near West Side Communities, IL

Just west of Greater Downtown Chicago are some of Chicago’s most dynamic communities-Near North Side, West Town, Near West Side, East Garfield Park, and the Lower West Side.  Each community has seen its fortunes change significantly over the last 100 years-from farmland, to immigrant enclaves, to slums, to hip neighborhoods filled with craft breweries, over-the-top restaurants, and boutique pet supply stores.

Near North Side-Also known at the North & Clybourn area and Goose Island, the community is the go-to area for chain store neighborhood shopping, including an Apple store, Whole Foods, and other chain retail stores.

West Town-Home of Bucktown, Wicker Park, and Humboldt Park neighborhoods, West Town has a mix of hipsters, immigrants (both old and new), and families looking for more affordable housing options.

Near West Side-The Near West Side may have seem the most changes of the five communities.  Home of the United Center, Little Italy, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Tri-Taylor, in some area new homes and condos are sprouting up between burned out or ruined older homes.  The section between the UIC campus sections has an unforgettable collection of homes.

East Garfield Park-The most challenged of the five communities, East Garfield Park continues to have issues that may concern outside visitors to the community.

Lower West Side-One must ask if there could not have been even a slightly better name than ‘Lower West Side’.   The eastern section of the community is a hotbed for artists looking for inexpensive housing and room to create, while the western section hosts a large recent Latin American immigrant community.  Just to add to the mix, the Heart of Chicago, a former Italian neighbor, is the home of some tasty restaurants worth the trip, and then some!

Go if you like:
-Big city neighborhood experiences
-Ethnic history and cultural museums
-Local shopping and dining

Distance (Driving):
-Detroit: 275 miles/4h 13m
-Milwaukee: 100 miles/1h 51m
-Quad Cities: 181 miles/2h 53m
-St. Louis: 298 miles/4h 31m
-Indianapolis: 175 miles/2h 54m

Also serviced by:
-Air (Chicago Midway International Airport, O'Hare International Airport)
-Amtrak (Chicago-Union Station)



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