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Lakeview: Chicago’s North Side Playground

View of Halsted Street and Aldine Avenue in Lakeview, Chicago

Andrew Garcia says he loves his Lakeview neighborhood, which he calls “a straight party city,” adding there’s always something going on that interests him.

“It’s never quiet,” said Garcia, who moved to Boystown in September.

Lakeview, which is Chicago’s largest neighborhood is located on the North Side and is bordered by the Lakeshore area to the east, Uptown to the north, Lincoln Park to the south and  Roscoe Village and Avondale to the west.

A recent graduate of Harrington College of Design in the Loop, Garcia said the Lakeview’s proximity to the El’s Red Line train gives him easy access to many areas of Chicago.

Garcia also said he has not seen much violence or crime in the neighborhood.

“My safety only feels at risk at night and [when] it’s quiet out.”

Crime in Lakeview largely consists of property crimes, with 184 reported cases between March 10 to April 10. Of those incidents, 155 were thefts, 15 were burglaries and 14 were motor vehicle thefts.

The area had 18 violent crimes reported, including some sexual assaults and batteries but many Lakeview residents said they did not fear being the victims of crime.

Tony Peraza works as a front server at Sixteen, a restaurant in Trump Tower downtown and has lived in a studio apartment in Lakeview for two years. He said he hasn’t experienced any crime in the area and said the neighborhood and its residents are safe.

“I like that’s it’s a great, safe and quiet neighborhood in which almost everything is easily accessible,” Peraza said.

Lakeview was once a camp and trail area for Native American tribes such as the Miami, Ottawa and Winnebago.

In the 1850s early settlers built the first permanent structure on the corner of present-day West Byron Street and North Lake Shore Drive. It was called the Hotel Lakeview because of its unobstructed view of Lake Michigan.

Lakeview has always been a popular spot for the city’s residents and notable Chicagoans who have called the neighborhood home include silent film star Charlie Chaplin, former Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld, and the first women in Chicago to ever be named public defender, Pearl M. Hart.

Today Lakeview attracts residents with its many live music and cultural events, including street festivals, theater performances, dance shows and comedy routines among the many activities.

The summer months also allow Lakeview to show off its extraordinary landscape, which includes a lakefront trail, a golf course, boat harbor, bird sanctuary and much more.

In June, Lakeview will be home to the 46th Annual Chicago Pride Parade, which attracts tourists from across the country. With over one million in attendance at last year’s parade, various area restaurants and other local businesses are already preparing to open their doors and welcome the expected throngs.

Even Chicago residents who don’t live in the neighborhood can’t restrain their affection for Lakeview.

Alex Yonkoff, who lives in Rogers Park, said having Wrigleyville and Boystown within the same neighborhood means the area never lacks for a good time.

“It’s got a mix of everything with Boystown and Wrigleyville, so it’s the perfect party town,” he said.

Bryce Brewer, who moved from Lakeview to the West Loop, echoed Yonkoff’s sentiments and said while he lived in the area there was always a happy atmosphere about the neighborhood.

“If I had to choose anywhere to come back to, Lakeview would definitely be it!”

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