Although Wicker Park is now a super cool place to call home it was not always that way. In the 1970s Wicker Park was a dirty crime ridden neighborhood and home to Latin Kings one of the largest street gangs at the time. Real Estate was cheap.
Fast forward to the 1990s. Artists are starting to move into the area. Galleries are opening. Wicker Park starts to become the place to be for artists and musicians. The Smashing Pumkins have their practice space here and Liz Phair pens her first album while living in the neighborhood.
Then, with real estate boom, Wicker Park really heats up and developers begin to convert old buildings into condos and lofts. They start tearing down cottages to make way for mini-mansions. The small independent stores that had gotten a foothold are now sitting next to Starbucks.
The gangs and the artists are now long gone. Wicker Park is primarily the home of excellent restaurants and hip bars. Young professionals are the dominate residents.
Some of the former character remains. You can still catch some of the best rock acts in the country at The Double Door and Empty Bottle. Independent book stores Myopic Books and Quimbys are still here while the Boarders of the world are going bankrupt. You can get an actual phonographic record at Reckless Records.
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