The first feature of North by Northwest Side is on a neighborhood that is literally at the geographical center of Chicago's northern regions (and it's not the Realtor-coined NorthCenter): Old Irving Park.
You've driven though it countless times if you're a frequent Kennedy Parking Lot, err, Expressway commuter. Heading to or from O'Hare airport on the Blue line, your train stops there, although all that you really see outside your train car is the Kennedy Expressway. If you're a Metra traveler on the Milwaukee District North and Union Pacific Northwest lines, your train will arrive at stations there too.
Through all this hustle and running around Chicago's northwest parts, it's actually rewarding to exit the expressway, disembark your train, and take a closer look at one of Chicago's most unique, historical and beautiful neighborhoods: Old Irving Park. To the uninitiated urban dweller, Old Irving Park is "far out there;" nestled somewhere between nouveau chic North Center and and rows of bungalows containing old foreign women that hang laundry in their backyards.
Some might even view the journey to Old Irving Park with trepidation; it's not within a 10-minute walk or 15-minute bike ride from their lakeside home. Fear not; if you're like many others and delight in the gastronomical and beverage offerings of the Logan Square and Avondale areas, you're already a (very) short train or bus ride away from a nearly-intact, 19th-century residential neighborhood and a host to some of Chicago newest concepts in American dining.
Expansive parks, such as Independce with its "Movies in the Park" showings during warmer months, or the vast and recreation amenity-filled Horner or Portage Parks delight young and old alike. These parks truly help Chicago to live up to its motto: "Urbs in Horto" - a city within a garden.
These, coupled with abundant retail and transit amenities, make Old Irving Park and its peripheries a vertible treasure trove for those who've never spent more time here than sitting at a traffic light on Irving Park Road. A diverse and vibrant tapestry of many different cultures and faiths, woven together by long-time residents and recent newcomers to United States, complete this neighborhood.
Filed under: Neighborhoods