Chicago and its Neighborhoods

Posted: May 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

Like many big cities, Chicago has its own distinctive
personality. It is the third most populous city in the US
with over 2.8 million residents; its metropolitan area, referred
to as “Chicagoland,” includes 77 separate community areas
including Jefferson Park, Bridgeport, and Uptown, all
featured in Superior Donuts.
Chicago is well known as the home to baseball’s Cubs
and White Sox, football’s Bears, and hockey’s Blackhawks.
Less known outside the city, it is also home to a large
immigrant population whether recent arrivals or established
communities. In 2008, 36% of residents in the American
Community Survey reported ancestry from ethnic groups,
including Irish (6.6%), German (6.5%), Polish (5.8%), Italian
(3.4%), and Russian (0.97%).
Many of these groups have historically settled in enclaves
throughout the city. For example, Jefferson Park is a middle
class neighborhood on the northwest side of the city. It is
home to many people of Polish ancestry, as well as the
annual “Taste of Polonia” held over Labor Day weekend.
Conversely, Bridgeport, on the city’s heavily Irish South Side,
not only has a large Irish population but many Lithuanian,
Chinese, and Mexican Americans as well. In fact in 2008
Chicago Sun-Times found Bridgeport the most ethnically
diverse neighborhood in the It is the
home to Harry S. Truman College as well as Chicago’s Little
Vietnam. Starting in the 1950s, families started leaving
Uptown for the suburbs and various cycles of revitalization
have occurred, most accompanied by efforts by some in the
community to stifle such change. In the last ten years the
neighborhood has undergone significant gentrification: mom
and pop stores now sit side by side with chain stores and
median condo prices increased 69% between 2000 and 2005.
Along with these changes, the ethnic makeup of Uptown
has become increasingly diverse as African Americans, Asian
Americans, and Caucasians have been augmented by recent
immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and elsewhere.
With distinctive areas like these, it is little wonder that so
many famous people have called Chicago home. From the
performers of its famed The Second City comedy troupe and
musical group Plain White T’s to Jesse Jackson, Ernie Banks,
Gillian Anderson, Andre Braugher, Harrison Ford, Red Foxx,
Ray Bradbury, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansberry, John
Dos Passos, Clarence Darrow, Ann Landers, John Dillinger,
and Elliot Ness, Chicagoans have made their impact on the
country and the world.  – Vickie Rozell


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