Harry Maisel Blog

Welcome Home to Wicker Park/ Bucktown.
Over my time in Chicago real estate, especially over the last 20 years, Wicker Park/Bucktown has changed quite a bit. What was once an urban shabby-chic enclave for artists and musicians has gradually transformed into an upscale artsy neighborhood buzzing with galleries, nightlife, and upscale living communities.

I love this neighborhood because gentrification has not destroyed the spirit and vibe Wicker Park/Bucktown has always been celebrated for. The streets are full of art and murals, and live music is at the beating heart of this vibrant neighborhood.

When you live in Wicker Park/Bucktown, you’re never at a loss for something to do. Whether you love sampling Chicago’s diverse cuisine, keeping up with the local music scene, or shopping with the family, this neighborhood has it all at your fingertips.

Fun Facts

1. Wicker Park was the site for filming John Cusak’s love letter to Chicago, High Fidelity. His character’s record store was located on the corner of Milwaukee and Honore.
2. Every summer, Green Music Fest brings environmental consciousness and amazing music to a weekend-long melange of vendors, food, and great local live bands.
3. The Wicker Park neighborhood was developed in the 1870s after the Chicago Fire decimated that part of the city. Developers Joel and Charles Wicker chose to construct the buildings of the area out of brick and stone after witnessing the devastation caused by the fire.

 

Fitness & Outdoor Recreation

1. If you want to work out with the likes of Serena Williams and Roger Federer, the Midtown Athletic Club is absolutely your speed. Sixteen tennis courts are among this sprawling athletic club’s offerings.
2. Take a jog along Chicago’s answer to the High Line at The 606, an old elevated railroad converted into an urban oasis with beautiful landscaping, art installations, and plenty of green space.
3. Find your center at the Shiva Shack, a traditional yoga studio in Bucktown offering all levels and varieties of classes to get fit, inside and out.

 

Best Spots to Take Your Instagram Selfie

1. 1659 W North Ave — Take a photo with a famous photographer — or an incredible mural of her likeness. Vivian Maier documented Chicago from the street level all her life, but her art was not recognized until after her death in 2009.
2. 1811 W North Ave — You’ll need to have a pretty long selfie-stick to get the whole Cloud Mural in your shot. It spans the entire side of a four story building, and is sure to make your followers smile.
3. Get an amazing shot of the Windy City skyline from the rooftop bar at The Up Room at the Robey Hotel. Not only are the views great, the drinks are top notch.

 

Dining

1. New on the scene is the Asian-fusion hotspot Mott Street, which also unexpectedly serves one of Chicago’s best cheeseburgers.
2. An old Wicker Park bistro favorite, Antico serves handmade seasonal Italian food from chef Brad Schlieder.
3. Bucktown happens to be home to Chicago’s very best tacos at Taqueria Chingon, some of the city’s most authentic Mexican cuisine.
4. Le Bouchon has been a Bucktown staple for going on 30 years, and is considered one of the country’s best French restaurants.
5. Wicker Park/Bucktown is a brunch Mecca, with no shortage of options, but Dove’s Luncheonette is among locals’ top favorites.

 

Fun with the Kids

1. When you want to offer you kids some fun, but want to avoid the box store plastic, take the family to Building Blocks Toy Store, a curated selection of well-crafted toys, books, and games.
2. Spark your child’s creativity at One Strange Bird, where you can enroll them in all-ages art classes and full-day art camps.
3. For some high-octane fun, take the kids to WhirlyBall in Bucktown where they can get their ya-yas out playing laser tag, driving bumper cars, and playing the classic namesake game, WhirlyBall.

 

Nightlife & Culture

1. Keep it on the down-low, but speakeasy cocktail pioneer The Violet Hour serves Chicago’s best craft cocktails. Shhhhh.
2. Pay what you can to get a ticket to the Broken Nose Theatre, featuring contemporary plays and musicals for everyone in the community.
3. Subterranean is a sprawling live music and comedy venue built in a converted century-old warehouse built over Prohibition-era bootlegger tunnels.

 

Shopping

1. In a city of wonderful farmer’s markets, Wicker Park Farmer’s Market is among the most vibrant. Running most of the year, with indoor markets in the winter, you can even come for yoga and meditation classes, and storytime for the kids.
2. Robin Richman is one of Bucktown’s most celebrated boutiques, with beautifully curated clothing, accessories, and art object.
3. Got the vinyl bug? Reckless Records has the cure with endless bins of new and vintage records to keep your turntables spinning.
4. Housewares, clothing, and personal care products inspired by Japanese and Nordic design, Moth has something for the contemporary minimalist in all of us.

 


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