The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Hipster central!

Just as I start poking around Logan Square, the Reader reminds me it's prime hipster habitat—though it hasn't always been, and it might not be for much longer:

The way Jason Hammel tells it, his arrival in Logan Square in 1995 was like a fairy tale, everyone's dream of arriving in a new, yet-to-be-anointed hipster mecca: "I asked a friend for advice on moving to Chicago. He said, 'Go to Logan Square. There's a cool coffeeshop there called Logan Beach.' I got an apartment without looking at it. It was $325 a month, including utilities. It was big, and it was near the boulevard. On the first day, I walked to Logan Beach. I went with my girlfriend. Her name was Lea Wood. We sat down and looked up at the menu, which was written on a chalkboard, and saw 'Lea's Amazing Soup.' I said we had to order it because it was spelled the same way. And it turned out I was talking to my now ex-girlfriend about my future wife [Amalea Tshilds] while sitting at table 51 in the restaurant I would own. And it was my first day in Chicago. Logan Beach was everything that matters to me in Logan Square."

Logan Square is adjusting more gracefully to its hipsterdom than Wicker Park did. "Logan Square feels more open than Wicker Park of that era felt," Hammel says. "Maybe it was because I was young and felt shut out. I hope it's not like that. Someone once wrote on our window, 'Lula is the same as Wal-Mart.' They wrote it angrily, like graffiti. But isn't there negativity everywhere?"

But rents have definitely gone up. "There's been less of a lag in terms of transition," says Paul Durica. "The transition of Old Town took decades. Wicker Park took from the mid-80s to the late 90s. Logan Square seems like it transitioned from a young, hip neighborhood to yuppie within a couple of years. It's not even waiting for a transition period. It's going from ethnic to hip kids to yuppies all simultaneously. It's a fascinating development."

So, apparently, I'm going to be part of the problem that hipsters face. So where will they go? The author suggests Avondale or Pilsen.

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