Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Talking to Hyde Park Locals-Pat

This week's featured local is Pat, a career counselor and president of a local art cooperative. Here goes....

How long have you lived in Hyde Park? What brought you to the neighborhood and/or what keeps you here?
I lived in Hyde Park for 21 years from childhood through young adulthood and went to the U of C. Now I'm a member and president of Artisans 21 and work at the University as a career counselor.

How would you describe Hyde Park to someone who isn't familiar with it?
A somewhat collegiate small town that's extremely proud of its history and institutions.

You have friends visiting for the weekend-- What do you make sure to show them in the neighborhood?
The University, Obama's house and his hangouts-Valois, the barber shop, where Dixie Kitchen used to be, some of the wonderful tree-lined streets from the campus west, and of course Artisans 21.

What is your favorite restaurant and/or business in the area? What about it do you like? What do you recommend there?
I really like La Petite Folie; it's reasonable and white tablecloth. Medici never disappoints and I almost always have lunch at Shinju Sushi next door to Artisans on 53rd Street.

How do you feel about the Harper Court development project and community re-development in general? How do you feel it will impact the neighborhood? What type of development would you like to see, if any?
While Artisans was evicted, Dixie Kitchen's no more (except for a few menu items at Calypso), I think it will be good for the neighborhood. The University needs a hotel so [its] visitors would actually stay and shop and dine in the neighborhood. Hopefully there will be someplace to get "ordinary" clothes without going downtown: jeans, sweaters, socks, regular stuff.

Overall, how do you feel about the neighborhood?
Like most people who live or almost live in Hyde Park, I love it, am defensive about it and would be happy to move back.

Bonus Question: Feel free to talk about any neighborhood-related issues or topics that I haven't touched on, suggest a question to be included in future interviews, and/or plug your own website or a cause you're passionate about.


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