Chicago Relocation

Lakeview – Shop, walk, eat and watch the Cubs

July 29, 2013

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Chicago neighborhoods
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John D’Ambrogio

Lakeview, Wrigleyville, East Lakeview, West Lakeview, Boystown. New Town (OK, no one says that anymore) … it’s the neighborhood that’s just one community north of Lincoln Park. Lakeview is definitely cool and diverse looking at the patchwork of micro-neighborhoods that make up this community!

I love Lakeview. I lived there in my youth (that means my 20s). It has a lot of what’s good: Huge housing stock (affordable studios, lovely flats, gorgeous high rises, charming single family homes, modern, vintage… name it); bustling nightlife (gay bars, sports bars, karaoke bars, Irish bars, dive bars, upscale bars, bars with food, bars with just peanuts, bars that are open til 5AM and bars that open at 7 AM); and a diverse restaurant selection (pizza, Thai, Korean, Chinese, Greek, Italian, Irish, Mexican, American, Jewish deli, steak, fusion, confusion, sandwich shops, Mediterranean joints, eclectic, electric, breakfast only, lunch only, coffee joints… I’m really hungry).

A pretty big community Lakeview runs east from the lake (duh), west to Ashland, or further depending on who you ask, as south as Diversey all the way north to Irving.

I used to be the president of the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce and then a commissioner for the neighborhood in the ‘90s. I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen it grow and prosper. One thing that always strikes me about the Lakeview community is their commitment to independent merchants. They aren’t entirely anti-chain stores, but it’s a really great environment for independents and entrepreneurs. Many of you are fans of that fantastic Intelligentsia Coffee – I remember when Doug Zell and Emily Mange opened it up (I was a Chamber of Commerce welcomer at the time, LOL). There’s also Deleece, Dinkel’s, The Bagel, The Alley, and The Lucky Horseshoe. Yeah, yeah, I know you’re going to say all the neighborhoods are full of independents. I guess I’m biased to the old hood. Forgive me.

Probably the best known sub neighborhood is the infamous area around the Friendly Confines at Clark and Addison -Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. Most Chicagoans have some story or other that begins in the bleacher seats at Wrigley Field.

Going to a Cubs game is a wonderful way to kill an afternoon either a weekday or a weekend afternoon. You can be at Cubs game on a Tuesday pretending it’s the weekend or sit back and wonder “don’t any of these people work?” Actually I have had a lot of business meetings, successful ones at that, negotiating while waiting for the seventh inning stretch (I’ve never seen so many thousands of people impressed by their own ability to sing a little song).

When the Cubs are not playing at Wrigley Field it’s one of the most interesting and lively venues in Chicago. Just in the past two years it’s hosted the likes of Pearl Jam, McCartney, Springsteen, the Bears (before Solider Field this was their home field), and the 2013 Stanley Cup champions Blackhawks play outdoor hockey in the outfield (yup outdoor hockey like when you were young).

Wrigley Field is an awfully cool place – and it should be for $8 beers. Personally, I prefer the bleachers across the street – the rooftops. I still think it’s the best deal in town. No waiting for the restroom, no pressure to watch the game, you’re got space to move and usually a high fat/high oil cornucopia of delights. For a set price that’s not too outrageous when you think about those $8 beers again….

Yeah Lakeview is pretty cool.