Travel Reference
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yuppies surfing the gentrification wave that's washing over this still-somewhat-
gritty neighborhood.
The go-go gentrification of the Wicker Park/Bucktown area has been fol-
lowed by not only a rash of restaurants and bars, but also retailers with an artsy
bent reflecting the neighborhood's bohemian spirit. Mixed in with old neigh-
borhood businesses, such as discount furniture stores and religious-icon purvey-
ors, is a proliferation of antique-furniture shops, too-cool-for-school clothing
boutiques, and eclectic galleries and gift emporiums. Teenagers will love this
walk—in 2001 the neighborhood was the location for MTV's The Real World:
Chicago, so if your kids have watched the show, either originally or in its plenti-
ful reruns, they might recognize many of the area's restaurants and bars.
To get a feel for the neighborhood's artsy vibe, stroll up and down Damen
Avenue, starting from the intersection with North Avenue. Head south for the
best concentration of restaurants and shops. One notable kids' store along your
path is the children's clothing store The Red Balloon Company, 2060 N.
Damen (p. 234). When you're ready for a break, stop at Silver Cloud Bar &
Grill, 1700 N. Damen, for grilled cheese and tomato soup (p. 140), or pop
across the street to Northside Café, 1635 N. Damen, for a burger or a beverage
on the huge outdoor patio (p. 140).
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