"That's Way Out West"

"That's Way Out West"

If you've ever heard the title of this post before when telling someone where you live in Chicago, chances are you from either the Northwest, Southwest, or Far West sides.

The person who made you feel like you live in Wyoming is either:

A. A resident of one of Chicago's lakefront neighborhoods

B. A relative transplant who had lived in the city for under four years

C. All of the above.

Most likely, it'll be "C." Unfortunately, among many new transplants, the city's neighborhoods west of California Avenue are way out there. You might as well be living in Siberia if you mention you're from "Old Irving Park" ("Where's that again? Is that by where Damen hits North Avenue?").

Yet, in reality, it's a matter of perspective.

To those who live "out west" and in the boarder 'burbs, those who condemn the area that don't have a view of Lake Michigan live deep in the city, as far east as a Chicagoan can go.

Old Irving Park and its immediate peripheries aren't exactly that east if you think about their location in a geographical sense, relative to the position of, let's say, Halstead Street.

Within the Chicago street grid, Halstead is 800 West (and for those who don't know, State Street is Line 0). The easternmost boarder of Old Irving is roughly Kedzie Avenue, which is 3200 west. Subtract, and there's 24 blocks between Wrigleyland and Old Irving Park - the Northwest Side.

Roughly eight Chicago city blocks equal a mile, so only four miles separate post-collegiate landing pads and a area that many easily dismiss to distance.

Although in a city setting, four miles might seem far, it actually isn't in the grand scheme of things (considering that the average bicyclist will cover about five miles on one leisurely trip).

Maye for some, the time is right to put aside fears of distance and explore beyond Roscoe Village.




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