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The Neighborhoods

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While calling it a neighborhood is a stretch, the tiny triangular island of homes and businesses caught between two highways and two sets of railroad tracks near 25th and Wentworth does have its own culture and experience. In a piece for Chicago Journal, Igor Studenkov writes of the challenges and advantages to living and working in this very odd location. The challenges are obvious, and believable: noise, pollution, nonexistent foot traffic, isolation. The advantages are less obvious, and somewhat dubious: proximity to Chinatown's services and McCormick Place, good highway/transit access, and solitude. These blocks used to be part of a larger Italian neighborhood, but the whole area was chopped to bits by the Dan Ryan. As for the businesses, unless you're right beside an off-ramp "the expressway doesn't help at all," explained a bartender at Ethyl's Party bar. "We used to get business from a haunted ghost tour, but the guy who ran it died last year." What a scary thing to have to rely on. Pun intended. [Chicago Journal, photo: flickr user Comtesse DeSpair]