Thursday, January 7, 2010

Who/What is Ms. Hyde Park? (new and improved version)

Who am I?

I'm a young professional, born and raised in Chicago. I grew up mostly on the north side, but have been a Hyde Parker for about 8 years. I've lived, worked, and gone to school all over the city from Rogers Park to Uptown to Lincoln Square to Humbolt Park to Austin, and have spent time pretty much everywhere else in Chicago. I deeply love this city and many of its neighborhoods, but Hyde Park is my favorite. Why? Well that's largely what this blog will be about but, in a nutshell, I love that Hyde Park is diverse and multicultural, that it is jam-packed with art, culture, and affordable food, that it is very walkable (i.e. you can easily get to great parks, the lake, dining, nightlife, and shopping by foot) and that it somehow manages to feel like a small-town and the big city at the same time.

OK, but why the Ms. Hyde Park blog?

I think a lot of people misunderstand and/or under-appreciate Hyde Park because they just don't know enough about it or haven't had the right person show them around. I'd like for this blog to serve as a sort of guide or reference for people who are visiting Hyde Park either from within Chicago or across the country, as well as a place for locals to discuss community issues and to find and share recommendations about what to eat, see, and do in the neighborhood and nearby. My hope is that this will be a blog about what makes Hyde Park such a wonderful, unique community, and what can make it even better.

I have to confess-- my motives for wanting to help others love Hyde Park are just a little bit selfish. You see, I've noticed that good businesses and restaurants in the area often struggle more than they should because locals are cynical and outsiders simply don't bother coming into the neighborhood to give these spots a chance. This lack of engagement with the community has been a barrier to great existing businesses being as successful as they could be, and to new businesses coming to the area. I'm in favor of organic, grassroots-driven growth and development in Hyde Park and I think that this happens when people get excited about what a neighborhood has to offer. My basic philosophy is that the more energy, enthusiasm, and interest in Hyde Park we can generate, the more we can help the neighborhood, its businesses, and its locals to thrive.

So, with all of this said, welcome to my blog! Please feel free to comment or email me at to let me know what you think so far, to ask questions about the blog or the community, or just to say hi.

1 comment: