neighborhoods : downtown [part one]

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Downtown Chicago is the iconic Chicago. It's the area most people immediately envision when thinking of Chicago. Hell, it's really all I knew of Chicago before moving here eight years ago. I just assumed the skyscrapers stretched on forever... or at the very least, to Naperville. Visiting, it's what's people want to see. It contains all of the imagery of classic Chicago--the Sears Tower, the Hancock Building, the river, Watertower place, as well as a number of the larger theatres and more prominent museums.

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Patrick and I have decided to shoot downtown in pieces; we're kind of blending and dividing a few recognized districts of downtown rather than actual neighborhoods.  Our first portion hovered around the financial district but we stretched those boundaries a bit to the north and west.

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Visit this link to view Patrick's downtown shots.

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neighborhoods : chinatown

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Some interesting things I discovered about Chicago's Chinatown recently: Chicago is the second oldest Chinese settlement in America after they began to flee California, the Nine Dragon Wall (Patrick has some super photos of on his Flickr) is one of only three replicas outside of China of the original in Beijing, and the original Chinatown was located about two miles north, but was relocated to it's southside spot in 1911. I've visited "Chinatown" neighborhoods in four other United States cities and they're all a little different. One of Chicago's standout features is certainly the two story "Chinatown Square" which boosts a number of different commercial businesses and restaurants and homes a small sculptural park of the twelve Chinese Zodiacs.

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View Patrick's Chinatown photos here and scroll down on the blog to view the past neighborhood's featured in our on-going project.

 

neighborhoods: avondale

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Patrick and I followed Albany Park with a visit to Avondale, also on Chicago's northwest side. The neighborhood has traditionally had a high Polish population though the 80's brought an influx of Hispanics to the area. In recent years, Avondale has begun to feel the effects of gentrification though still maintains a hold on a distinct "Eastern Europe meets Latin America" culture.

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Patrick's contributions can be found here.

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This is an ongoing project; Albany Park, Pilsen, & Humboldt Park can be found below. Chinatown will be the next stop on our agenda.

neighborhoods: albany park

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Albany Park was the next neighborhood on the list in the project Patrick Burke and I have been working on. It is located on the northwest side of the city and is among the most diverse in the city, with more foreign born residents than any other neighborhood in the city. It is also home to some super (and inexpensive) falafel and hummus at one of the shops pictured in Patrick's captures. Those can be seen here.

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This is an ongoing project, scroll down for previous posts on Pilsen and Humboldt Park. Avondale will be next.

 

neighborhoods: humboldt park

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Part two of the on-going neighborhoods project was a stop in Humboldt Park on the west side of the city. Having spent many mornings walking through this neighborhood, I was eager to include it in the project with Patrick. The neighborhood itself historically has had a strong Puerto Rican presence and very visually so (as demonstrated in the car window reflection of one of the two giant metal Puerto Rico flags).

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Patrick Burke's project photos can be seen here and if you're unfamiliar with this new project, check out the first post on Pilsen.