Lincoln Park Neighborhood

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Chicago’s Lincoln Park Neighborhood

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Lincoln Park is another neighborhood that was rebuilt bigger and better post Mrs. O’Leary’s ordeal and it did not disappoint.  With both families and young professionals flocking here for its 19th century brick homes and family friendly attractions, Lincoln Park boasts a reputation that is hard to refute: a true neighborhood, even amongst the cities excitement.  Lincoln Park is also home to the best Chicago’s public schools in the system and is a haven for new construction single family homes within the Lincoln school district.

Lincoln Park is Chicago’s biggest attraction in the summer, with the Lincoln Park Zoo, the nation’s oldest zoo, and North Ave beach coupled with the feeling of a true neighborhood with town homes and old world ethnic restaurants lining the streets; Lincoln Park is simply an escape from city life.  It’s a neighborhood that you can walk a little slower and sit on a park bench for a moment that may make you want (against city ordinance) to feed the pigeons.

Lincoln Park isn’t all strollers and mom and pop shops, as with the rest of the city, it has managed to maintain its integrity even as it manages to build up.  In the winter months you’ll find locals cozying up in one of its famous restaurants like, Alinea, L20, Charlie Trotters and Riccardo Trettoria or meeting up after work in Barrelhouse Flat or Aliveone.

 

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Old Town Neighborhood

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Chicago’s Old Town Neighborhood

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Old Town is Gold Coast’s modest younger sister, it has similar aesthetics with Victorian walkups lining the street and a true sense of Chicago’s past running through, but no Louboutins are required to walk these streets.  Old Town is most famous for its quaint neighborhood feel and unique dining and entertaining options that keep both Chicagoans and tourists coming back again and again.

It wasn’t until recently that Old Town started its revolution and began offering luxury high rise residences and hotels so there’s still opportunity to see what one might expect from Old Town, especially in the Old Town Triangle (much of it is on the National Historical Register) which rose from the ashes of the Chicago fire and rebuilt itself into grandeur Victorian Homes in the late 1800’s.

In Chicago, where is there is history, there is also modernity, just a few steps away puts you on Wells Street with galleries, unique boutiques and an annual art fair.  Wells Street has also become famous for its dining with famous restaurants like: Bistro Margot, Kamehachi (Chicago’s first sushi joint,) and Topo Gigio, along with Chicago nightlife and entertainment staples like Second City, Red Orchid Theater, Zanies and Nookies.  The retail landscape is fast changing for the area as well with a new Target and movie theater set to open in the Spring of 2013, along with the new Apple Store that is nestled on the Red Line Subway Station.

 

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West Loop Neighborhood

Chicago’s West Loop Neighborhood

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Containing the Chicago Fire Fighter Training academy, built atop the site of Mrs. O’Leary’s barn, West Loop is another one of Chicago’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods with its roots as all things industrial.  Now it is a thriving, unique neighborhood with a trendy lounge or restaurant opening up every week.

The area is well known for it’s loft style homes and the conversion of many of the old warehouses and factories into the modern contemporary living that the area is well known for.  Just steps from the loop, it is a high demand location for many professionals that work within the city, but looking for a more affordable option in living choices.

There are many changes going on for the neighborhood from the transformation of the retail shops of the Greek Town section along Halsted Street and the many new restaurants along Restaurant Row.  The West Loop is now home to professionals, artists and foodies that can’t get enough of what they are dishing out at the Publican, Girl & the Goat, Avec and Blackbird.  West Loop has also produced a rivaling art scene as well with many notable galleries on Fulton Market.

 

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South Loop Neighborhood

Chicago’s South Loop Neighborhood

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One quick drive up Roosevelt and it’s clear that the South Loop is becoming a rival to its Northern neighborhood counterparts and fast.  What used to be an industrial no-man’s land only taking name to McCormick Place has quickly become a mecca for reasonably priced housing, breathtaking city and lake views and a neighborhood where locals want to be seen.  South Loop has held on to its early history, containing the Jazz thrills new and old like Jazz Showcase, M Lounge and Velvet Lounge, bringing locals in by the dozens.

After having risen from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, the South Loop has transformed into one of Chicago’s most up and coming neighborhood.  South Loop is home to China Town, Little Italy, Museum Park and University Village making it the most diverse neighborhood in the city.  Walking up and down the streets you’ll encounter students, professionals and families walking beside you as well as see historical sites like John Glessner House on 18th and new high rise developments already thriving.  All this along with the world famous Soldier Field and football Sunday’s and this is the new neighborhood for the weekends.

 

 

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Chicago Loop Neighborhood

Chicago’s Downtown Loop neighborhood

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Chicago’s central hub of business, entertainment and art Chicago Loop was destined from the start to be Chicago’s center and heartbeat.  It’s named after the “loop” formation of the El tracks that surround the neighborhood.  Now it’s a high-rise, fast paced, “let’s get down to business” environment, housing the city’s Financial District and Board of Trade.

But then the lights go down and the Loop becomes a source of lively entertainment with Randolph Street’s Theater District with, just to name a few, The Goodman, The Joffrey Ballet, Cadillac Palace Theater, Oriental Theater and The Chicago Theater, a Chicago landmark, its sign resembling Paris’ Arc de Triomphe spans nearly 6 stories.   It also houses some of Chicago’s dining favorites like, classic Berghoff’s and Russian Tea Time.  As well as the new comers like: Atwood Café, Everest, and Wacker Drive’s hotspots: Bar Novo and, always delicious, McCormick and Schmitt’s.

The neighborhood has long been only a business district, but over the last 5 years,  we have seen a large number of condominium high-rise and apartment high-rise buildings sprout up.  Luxury condo’s overlooking Millenium park are demanding a premium that was once reserved for properties North of the River.  The demand for business housing in the area has created many new apartment high rise buildings in the area as well that double as corporate housing, but the level of luxury rivals many of the local condominium buildings.

The sites located within the Loop aren’t just for the tourists to oogle at.  The Loop is a neighborhood for art with sculptures by Picasso, Joan Miro and Alexander Calder and Millennium Park’s fan-favorite art installations are all located within its limits.  Willis Tower calls the Loop home as well (though we locals still call it Sears Tower, we don’t mind if you do too.)

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Lakeshore East Neighborhood

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Chicago’s Lakeshore East Neighborhood

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Lakeshore East is Chicago’s newest neighborhood, located right on Lake Michigan, just South of the Chicago River, and overlooking Millennium Park.  With its new residences and striking architecture it has quickly become one of Chicago’s most coveted neighborhoods.  The Lake Shore East neighborhood or the New East Side was resurrected upon a gold course, and the area was designed as to not loose that urban feel within the city.  The area has seen a new surge in development with multiple apartment and condo towers that are under construction.

The center of the neighborhood is Lake Shore East Park, which has 5 residential towers surrounding it, making Lakeshore East a real community, not just a neighborhood.   With Mariano’s, III Forks, Massion Brasserie and much more all within its compacted limits as well as the evermore convenient underground pedway, Lakeshore East you may feel as if you have left the city for a moment.

 

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Streeterville Neighborhood

Chicago's Streeterville Neighborhood

Chicago’s Streeterville Neighborhood

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Streeterville has it all: Lake Michigan and The Chicago River, the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier and incredible dining and nightlife.  When you’re combing the streets of Streeterville you get a real sense of its past amongst the trendy and new.  Everyone from professionals, Northwestern staff and young socialites call Streeterville home because of its breathtaking views and world-class offerings.  The area is home to the Northwestern Medical and Law School Campus, along with the multiple buildings that encompass the famous hospital.  The scene changed again this year with the addition of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Memorial Hospital.

Nestled East of State St and lining the North side of the Chicago River Streeterville is in the heart of the city, and the neighborhood very much takes pride in its location.  With famous spots like Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile and its indoor extravagance, Water Tower Place, and Navy Pier, Streeterville is a place to go explore, live comfortably and enjoy Chicago conveniently.  Rated the top neighborhood to live for 2012, you can find anything from restaurants, bars, shopping, theater and much more just steps away.

With incredible city views and eateries like: Mag Mile’s American favorite Pandera, Volare, Café Spiaggia, and Emilio Tapas Sol Y Neieve,  lining the streets of the neighborhood you’ll feel reluctant to stray from Streeterville to the other neighborhoods.

 

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Gold Coast Neighborhood

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Chicago’s Gold Coast Neighborhood

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Gold Coast is, as F. Scott Fitzgerald would put it, the “West Egg” of Chicago.  It has maintained its historical integrity and built on that value for high society appeal throughout the decades.  Built to cater to fine tastes with imported designer boutiques lining up and down Oak Street,  Yves St Laurent, Hermes and Prada, just to name drop a few.  It’s no wonder they chose the only neighborhood with “Gold” in the title to set up shop.

But Gold Coast isn’t all old money, there is a youthful side to every street also.  Oak Street may be home to designer duds but at the end lays Oak Street Beach, one of Chicago’s summer hot spots.  It also houses see-and-be-seen lounges like C-View and Rush Streets evermore famous eatery’s like Carmines, Tavern on Rush, Gibson’s and Hugo’s.

It’s built up since it’s late-1800’s beginnings integrating luxury high-rise hotels and residences like the Waldorf Astoria, Park Hyatt and the Four Seasons.  However, with two registered National Register of Historical blocks, Astor and Schiller Street, and a 1.5 mile guided Victorian home walking tour, residing within the neighborhood it’s easy to fulfill the need of community and history amongst the high rise evolution.

 

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River North Neighborhood

Chicago's River North Neighborhood

Chicago’s River North Neighborhood

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Appropriately named due to its location (nestled between the Chicago River and Michigan Avenue) River North has quickly become Chicago’s hottest neighborhood.  With its beginnings as Chicago’s Factory District, most buildings have since been converted into luxury residences, then establishing itself as home Chicago’s art scene, 75 Galleries are still located within the neighborhood limit’s, now the nightlife mecca for Chicagoans, it has come a long way in a little over a century.

River North has developed ingeniously into a neighborhood of complete walk-ability and convenience.  With every block containing a plethora of shops for any need, whether it’s dining, sipping or trinkets they are anywhere you turn in River North.  Plus, with Chicago’s top hot-spot Hubbard Street with top-rated spots like: Paris, Howl at the Moon, and rooftop lounge Epic Sky, all located within walking distance from anywhere within the neighborhood you’ll never stay in on a Friday night (or maybe even a Monday for that matter).

River North is not only a social hub, it’s what you make of it.  It has a balanced presence of families, professionals and artists making it a rich, diverse neighborhood that has withstood the test of time throughout Chicago’s history.

 

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