Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Talking to Hyde Park Locals- TA

Talking to Hyde Park Locals is back! This week's featured local is TA, a 25 year old University of Chicago employee and soon-to-be-grad student. All of the pictures you see in this article were taken by TA himself. Here goes....

University of Chicago Campus in winter

How would you like to be referred to on the blog? (e.g. first name, initials, or a nickname-- whatever you feel comfortable with)

About how old are you? What's your occupation? Feel free to be as vague or specific as you want...
I'm 25 and work at the University. I will be starting an MA program here in the fall.
How long have you lived in Hyde Park? What brought you to the neighborhood and/or what keeps you here?I have lived in Hyde Park since the Fall of 2003 when I moved into the Shoreland as a first year undergrad at the University. After graduation, I got a job with the University and have resided in Hyde Park ever since. The University brought me to Hyde Park, but after graduation, the walkable community, great lake access, and easy access to downtown are what have kept me here. I'm particularly partial to East Hyde Park.
Behind the scenes at Doc Films

How would you describe Hyde Park to someone who isn't familiar with it?
Hyde Park is like a good-sized town/small city within the larger Chicago community. It is small enough to walk/bike wherever you want to go in the community, but it is big enough to have diverse eating, shopping, and entertainment options.

You have friends visiting for the weekend-- What do you make sure to show them in the neighborhood?

The Point! Also Doc Films (where I project), the Obama House, MSI, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago campus, and Osaka Garden in Jackson Park. Renting a bike is an excellent way to do all of this.

Lake Michigan

What is your favorite restaurant and/or business in the area? What about it do you like? What do you recommend there?
My favorite restaurant is Calypso Cafe in the soon-to-be-gone Harper Court. Definitely have the plaintain nachos with jerked chicken. With that and a tropical drink you can easily make a full meal. Another business would be Open Produce on 55th...great selection of produce, good prices, and amazing people.

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?
If it happens, I would be excited. I'll be sad to see Calypso/Dixie Kitchen go, but I would appreciate greater shopping, entertainment, and food options. 53rd Street and Lake Park are both good streets for high-density developments like this. While other places in Hyde Park would not work for something like this, the proposed location is good.

What do you think the neighborhood is missing (if anything)? What do you see as the barriers to Hyde Park having this?
Generally: more entertainment and a transit line downtown would be ideal. Specifically: A Trader Joe's and an all night diner/eatery would be great. Seems like a perfect market for these.

Overall, how do you feel about the neighborhood?
I really love Hyde Park. You have fantastic lake views, a homey neighborhood vibe, and a surprisingly diverse and intelligent population that is completely unique within Chicago. More recognition for the neighborhood would be fantastic, but I hope that it doesn't lose its quirky vibe.

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.
The Point! Something desperately needs to be done to renovate it. I'm terrified waiting for the summer when someone is impaled on a steel girder and the city shuts the Point down for good. The Compromise Plan that was proposed a few years ago was a great idea but never came of anything. I would love to see this blog ask the Save the Point movement why this plan was unacceptable and if their opinion has changed since. An exploration of this debate would be great.


Thanks to TA for taking the time to do the Q&A! If you're interested in sharing your thoughts, you can fill out the survey here.

No comments:

Post a Comment