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More On Chicago Neighborhoods

Bucktown - By far, the most frequent question asked is the origin of the name “Bucktown.” Though not documented, it is believed the term was coined early in the area’s history, probably the 1830’s, since many of the Polish settlers raised goats (the male is called a buck). The term faded away and emerged again in the 1920’s. Lending credence to this version, a long-time resident of the area recalls, “when my mother was little, there were only open fields where people raised goats. That’s how it became known as Bucktown.

The Bucktown area is bounded roughly by Fullerton on the north, on the east by the Kennedy Expressway, the Milwaukee Road railroad tracks on the south, and on the west by Milwaukee Avenue to Western, and Western north to Fullerton.

An array of trendy new shops line the major Bucktown avenues, including Robin Richman, Pavilion Antiques, The Red Balloon Co, Niche, Pagoda Red, Tangerine, Stitch, Embelezar. Fine restaurants and cafes abound, as well, including Meritage, Le Bouchon, Club Lucky and Caffe De Luca. These and other fine destinations for savvy shoppers and foodies led Travel and Leisure Magazine to declare present-day Bucktown, along with its neighbor, Wicker Park, as home to Chicago's New Mag Mile.

East Village - East Village is representative of how borders and names have shifted in Chicago. East Village is located directly east of Ukrainian Village, this area was originally known as East Ukrainian Village, then later simple East Village.

East Village is one example among many in Chicago of the resurgence in vintage neighborhood living, where communities, built more than a century ago, are now being redeveloped. These old neighborhoods, where housing has always been in place, are now being redeveloped into modern living environments, complete with new retail and other local amenities. Areas like this are attracting not only singles and couples but now families even with small children.

This neighborhood primarily consists of charming 2 and 3 flats along tree-lined streets. Renovated apartments and single-family homes can also be found, as well as some new brick and limestone constructions. Property owners in East Village have carefully rehabbed the historic homes that abound in this area. But, you are still able to find apartments with great views of the city at very attractive prices, all within 10 minutes from downtown.

The great residential streets are all within walking distance of the nearby shops and restaurants with more coming in soon. There is easy non-permit street parking. Just three blocks from Blue Line Stop and close to Metro.

Gold Coast - Located north from Chicago Avenue to North Avenue and east from the Lakefront to LaSalle Street.

The Gold Coast is one of the oldest areas in Chicago dating back to 1882 when civic leader, Potter Palmer, bought land covered by frog ponds on what later became north Lake Shore Drive and built an imposing mansion there. Land values there increased by 400 percent within a decade and this "Gold Coast" became the home of the leaders of the Chicago Four Hundred. The Latin School, one of Chicago's most prestigious private schools, is located within walking distance of all Gold Coast residences. The Gold Coast also boasts the famed Rush Street and Division Street entertainment district, which houses some of the most popular and frequented bars and restaurants. The Newberry Library, located on Washington Square Park between Clark and Dearborn has one of the most diverse collections of research in the country. Today, the housing in the Gold Coast consists of lavish mansions, graystones, brownstones and high-rises

Lincoln Park - Located east from the lakefront to Halsted Street and north from North Avenue to Diversey Parkway.

Named for the city's largest park, Lincoln Park has a little bit of something for everyone. The park itself boasts an excellent zoo, botanical conservatory, and four of the city's beaches. It is a community of paradoxes, change, and constant movement where turn of the century ivy covered brownstones fall under the shadow of luxury high rise apartments. Settled in the 1850's by German immigrants coming to this country seeking a better way of life, Lincoln Park is one of Chicago's oldest communities.

Today, Lincoln Park is one of Chicago's most venerable and flashiest neighborhoods. It is the home of the prestigious Francis W. Parker School, the Chicago Historical Society, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, yet it teems with a multitude of trendy boutiques and restaurants.

Old Town - Located from Division Street north to Armitage Avenue and east from LaSalle Street to Sheffield Avenue.

Old Town was settled in the mid 1800's when Chicago absorbed a wave of German farmers and semi-skilled laborers who were fleeing Germany in search of a better life. During the 1960's, Old Town became the center of the Bohemian renaissance movement. In recent years, the development of several highrises and the award winning conversion of the Dr. Scholl shoe factory into luxury residential lofts (Cobbler Square) coupled with the emergence of new town homes, has brought upscale retail and dining establishments with a vengeance.

The annual Old Town art fair has grown into the largest juried art fair in the country, and Wells Street, offers upscale shops to satisfy all tastes. Nearby on Halsted Street is the impressive new home of the Steppenwolf Theater, the epitome of storefront or, specifically, church basement theater, all grown up. Today, Old Town remains one of the most lively and picturesque neighborhoods in Chicago and of course, it is the home of the world famous Second City.

The Chicago Riverwalk - The Chicago Riverwalk, a unique waterfront attraction that enhances the vitality of downtown Chicago and the Chicago River, is located in the heart of the downtown area. The Riverwalk provides a unique opportunity to absorb the sights and sounds of the city.

An interesting characteristic of the river is the world-renowned Chicago bridge system with 37 moveable bridges. Each summer, the eleven bridges over the main branch of the Chicago River are dramatically lighted with changing patterns and effects designed to enhance the magnificent architecture at river's edge.

Experience the Riverwalk cafes, featuring fine outdoor dining. And enjoy the myriad of summer events and cultural programming planned along the river. Outstanding hotels are located along the river. Come for dinner and stay for the weekend.

Located along the Chicago River between Wabash Avenue and Wells Street, the Riverwalk is easy to reach from the Loop and River North.

And, finally, on the shores of Lake Michigan, you'll find the world renowned Navy Pier, which houses Chicago's famous Shakespeare Theater, a Children's Museum and a multitude of shops, restaurants and other attractions including a "viewing wheel" from which to survey Chicago's magnificent skyline.

Streeterville - Located east from the Lakefront to Michigan Avenue and south from Illinois Street to eastbound lake Shore Drive.

In 1886, the land east of Michigan Avenue and north of the Chicago River was created when Captain George Wellington Streeter, an adventurer who had outfitted a boat for gunrunning in the south, ran aground in Lake Michigan on a sand bar near what is now Superior Street. He stayed on the boat where it was grounded and convinced city contractors to dump hard fill in the section surrounding his boat. Later he laid claim to the 186 acre tract created in this way and called it the "Free District of Lake Michigan", an independent territory. He sold lots and survived skirmishes with the police until 1918, when he was finally evicted.

Today, the housing in Streeterville is comprized primarily of high-rise condominiums. Streeterville also features many of the city's finest hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments. The Water Tower Place shopping mall, located on the Magnificent Mile section of North Michigan Avenue, is world renowned for its assortment of fine stores.

Wicker Park - Despite its gentrifying residential area and the encroachment of high-ticket venues, there is an attempt to maintain the eclectic, artistic environment. The result is a mix of cool, wannabe cool and couldn't care less about cool (hence, really cool) stops.

The intersection of Damen, Milwaukee and North Avenue ("ground zero") is where much of the commercial boom has resonated.

Most of the gallery action (like Ten In One Gallery on Damen and Beret International on Milwaukee) is here, anchored by the Around the Coyote art show each September. But there's more to Wicker Park these days. Other eclectic business strips run along the border or cut a swath through residential sections.

Wrigleyville - Housed within Lake View is Wrigleyville, home of the Chicago Cubs. Fans from all over come to enjoy Wrigley Field, hot-dogs, and sport bars. But it is much more then just a sporting neighborhood. Wrigleyville provides plenty of activities from clubs to shopping. When it comes to nightlife there is never a dull moment, especially along Clark, Sheffield, and Belmont. Whether you want to dance the night away at the Smart Bar or enjoy a local band playing at The Cubby Bear you’ll always have a good time in Wrigleyville. Beyond the clubs you’ll find a sampling of ethnic foods, and unique shops. If your looking for vintage items this is a great place to begin your search. The energy this neighborhood emits is contagious, so delve in and you’ll be sure to hit a home run.

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