If you're among the hordes of young idealists attracted to Chicago by Josh Hartnett's magnetic performance in the blockbuster hit Wicker Park, you should probably pinch yourself now because there's a strong likelihood you don't exist. If, however, you're looking for a place to be hip, artsy and reasonably pretty, you've come to the right neighborhood.
A microcosm of Chicago's ever-evolving landscape, Wicker Park has transitioned from sketchy territory to hipster haven over the past couple of decades. It's currently in the process of another shift, as the upscale businesses move in and indie merchants head west to Logan Square. That gives the area a curious blend of recognizable convenience and artistic street cred that's hard to replicate.
Here you'll find endless options for galleries, theaters, boutiques and classy-but-casual bars and restaurants. The insanely busy intersection of North, Damen and Milwaukee is one of the city's prime people-watching spots, offering a steady stream of weird and wonderful pretty people right out of a Warhol wet dream.