The Curbed Cup, Curbed Chicago's annual Neighborhood of the Year tournament, is kicking off with 16 'hoods, which will square off in a series of one-on-one matchups. Voting for each matchup will close in the wee hours of the following day. We'll showcase two first round contests per day through the week with results reviewed on Friday. Let the eliminations begin!
Both Ravenswood and Lincoln Square garnered separate nominations, so to keep things clean we're treating Ravenswood as the East Ravenswood Historic District— bounded by Irving Park, Foster, Clark, and Ravenswood. This smallish wedge straddles bits of Lakeview and Uptown, including the ever-lovely Graceland West. The area boasts a diverse housing stock, from multimillion dollar homes to condos, converted loft spaces, and three-flats. The avenues that bisect the district each bring their own commercial flavor: Irving Park is the main thoroughfare and brings restaurants, small retail, and art spaces, mixed with services; Montrose offers a more pedestrian-oriented commercial strip, just to the west of the Brown Line; Lawrence is more service-oriented, like Irving Park, and will soon be welcoming the Mariano's-anchored Ravenswood Station development; and Foster is, of course, the gateway to Andersonville. The neighborhood has a very active representative in the East Ravenswood Neighbors, and treats like the Ravenswood Art Walk are all the rage. It hasn't been a defining year for East Ravenswood, but a good one nonetheless.
Rogers Park catches flak for its crime, but the neighborhood has had a banner year in more positive respects. For one, Loyola keeps expanding its presence (mostly south into Edgewater, but also north and westward). Housing is a big part of this thrust, but not only for students. At the same time, the CTA is rebuilding the Loyola Station with added amenities. The diverse neighborhood offers the widest spread of ethnic eats in town and a pretty wide range of housing types almost certain to be affordable. The indie theater scene, tucked beside the Red Line tracks, is another claim to fame.
·Curbed Cup 2012