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To the west of downtown Chicago lies one of the city’s hippest, most popular and creativity-fueled neighborhoods. Wicker Park is a favorite among young professionals and new families, with an abundance of cool, independent shops, trendy restaurants, elegant bars and not so elegant dive bars, with lots of green space and broad avenues.
Wicker Park’s unique history began in the late 1800s, when the Chicago Board of Public Works expressed their interest in building a four acre green space, west of Milwaukee Avenue and south of North Avenue, surrounded by a neighborhood of small, single-family homes The Great Chicago Fire in 1871 greatly helped the development of Wicker Park, since countless Chicagoans whose homes burned down in the fire were searching for new places to build. It became a draw to wealthy Norwegian and German immigrants who came across from Europe.
Today, Wicker Park is one of Chicago’s most popular residential communities, with a growing art scene, popular Michelin starred and James Beard award-winning restaurants, plenty of breweries and craft cocktail bars, and unique independent boutiques and vintage stores, too. Its homes and apartments tend to be located on safe, quiet, tree-lined streets, perfect for walking your dog, taking an evening jog or just walking around for some fresh air and admiring the neighborhood. The CTA Blue Line runs through Wicker Park, which makes it quick and convenient to get plenty of places in the city, not to mention Chicago’s O’Hare airport, and also tons of bus stops and routes throughout the neighborhood.
The neighborhood is well located near Bloomingdale Trail, or the “606” as locals call it—an elevated running/biking/walking path that was converted from an old railroad track. The annual Wicker Park Fest street festival is one of Chicago’s favorite recurring summer festivals, featuring live bands, food stalls, drinks, and a general good time. The Renegade Craft Fair happens every September in Wicker Park, featuring endless stalls of DIY maker-goods (think real-life Etsy), great people watching, plenty of music and good food.