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North Side vs. South Side

5000 Views 51 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  oshkeoto
Looking at this forum everyday as well as skyscraperpage I never seem to see much about the south side of chicago. All the photo tours are of the north side. I walked from the museum of science and industy to downtown last summer and it dident seem that bad. It was clean, there were nice parks along the lake front and many tree lined streets. It also seems that the south side gets alot of bad press as well, just turn on WGN for the nightly news. Its eaither a shooting or an apartment fire. Tell me these things don't happan on the north side as well. I am requesting an indepth tour of the south side, I hear there is much new construction in the area, will it ever be high rises along the souther lake front? How about the proposed grey line, is that going to happan in the near future, it seems like the best proposal out there. After high school I plan to move to Chicago and I want the views of people who live their. I don't want to live in a really expensive area eaither. Thier just has to be a couple of things in the area. Transit, a park and a basketball court. I have been to both areas and I would have to say that the north side is more viabrant but what do you think the south side will be like in 10 years? So chicago people tell me what you think. North Side or South Side??
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Aside from Hyde Park/Kenwood there are some interesting hidden-away neighborhoods on the S Side, like South Shore, Morgan Park, Beverly, Chicago Lawn (which was quite a suprise...big old victorian houses from an old railroad suburb that was swallowed up by the city...sort of a South Side version of Irving Park)...and more blue collar areas like South Chicago, Back of the Yards, Bridgeport, Hegewisch, and that Polish area off of Archer (Bubaks or Bobaks grocery..what a find that was!)......

...and those bouelevards extending north from Washington Park...some interesting romanesque revival townhouses and villas there.

My experience w. Chicago while living there was nearly all on the Northwest side with some on the pre-gentrification N Side...with very little to no connection w. the South Side. I return at least twice a year now on visits and have been exploring the South Side more, and it is like a whole new city for me.
How many of these new Northisider gentrifiers are actually from Chicagoland? I'd almost bet there is alot of in-migration there from out of town.

I can say one thing, the N Side is almost unrecognizable to me in parts. Particulary that Lincoln/Belmont/Ashland area...and its happening to North Lincoln too, the area around the Davis Theatre. The invasion of the pod people has moved that far north.
LOL..the "real Chicago!"...this could be another thread. For me the "real Chicago" was the Northwest Side..my old neighborhood of Cragin, and places like Six Corners and Belmont & Central, and Logan Square...
mypetrobot said:
yea most that i have met are from ohio, iowa, indiana, wisconsin.... south side is where the real chicago is. but i'll admit i go to the north side for comedy shows at such, but the real chicago is the south side.
...oh, and the Loop & Lake. Any Chicagoans real Chicago should include the Loop....and for me the Lake was the old Navy Pier & Montrose Beach and Horseshoe Pier
Its like the German concept of "heimat"...an urban heimat....the "real Chicago" is different for different folks at different times (hence perhaps nostalgia..sepia toned or noir?)...trying to get at some ineffable spirit of the place, the genus loci. There's an implied issue of "authenticity", but I thing its more about genus loci.

The short storys of Stuart Dybek sort of get at it via the literary style of Magic Realism. Check out his collection "The Coast of Chicago".
aion26 said:
BTW, when people bring up this "real chicago" argument, I just want to laugh. What does "real chicago" mean? Does it have any more meaning than "real american" or is it just thinly veiled xenophobia against the supposed 'outsiders'? Don't get me wrong, I don't like trixies as much as the next person, but what was makes a person a 'real' resident of a city? and how is that person you don't like because they happen live in an area you don't like less 'real' than someone like my father who once worked on the southside in a garage around 83rd and Halsted (who incidently moved here from the east coast, making him pretty far from a native, but based on the blue collar romanticism that pervades some ideas of chicago makes him somehow 'real')? Seriously, I'm curious as to what that criteria would be?
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