The Chainlink

I splurged and got myself a brand new bike with my very limited funds last summer- I'm glad I did.  I am a victim of the recession.  I have nothing but a room to stay in in Uptown until I find proper employment.  Life is hell here- we had a SWAT team after some fugitives barricaded themselves in a building nearby earlier this week and we were all warned to stay indoors and away from windows.  There are shootings constantly- 3 more people were just shot a mere 1/2 hour ago.  I heard the hail of gunfire in my room.  I have a college education, I worked full time for many years before this slump- never had much but a good bike was always in my possession.  Thank goodness, I can get on that bike and be in Boystown, Anersonville or Ravenswood in 10 minutes.  Totally different worlds- and safety.  Just my little homage to my very loved two wheeled freedom.  I love my bike.

Views: 1313

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I'm  not generalizing at all, Howard, and I don't believe anyone else is and I'm surprised at you for saying such a thing.  I live next to and travel through Uptown, and mostly on a daily basis.  My opinions of Uptown are also formed after living in Chicago for 20+ years and traveling in and out of Uptown that entire time.  There are cool things about the neighborhood and me, being me, am a fan of the cool things associated with boozing, like the Green Mill.

When I was searching to purchase a condo in 1999, my realtor showed me some fantastic properties in Uptown.  I had a dog at the time and walked him at all hours of the night and day.  I looked around the neighborhood and asked myself if I wanted to have him out at 2AM.

No fucking way, no fucking way.  

Granted, there is crime everywhere.  Take Wrigleyville for instance.   My alley between Wilton and Fremont when I lived there was so clean one could have eaten off the street but I didn't trust that neighborhood as far as I could throw it.  Lots of varied crime in Wrigleyville and in Ravenswood so my head is always on a swivel.

Nowhere I've ever ridden have I had eggs thrown at me, nor some young dipshits miming shooting me, nor epithets thrown in my direction while riding through and minding my own business, like has happened to me in Uptown.



h' said:

Like any Chicago "community area," Uptown has some good spots and some not-so-good spots, and I think it does a neighborhood a disservice to make negative generalizations.

That said, not too long ago I tried playing with an Orchestra that met on Lawrence about 5 blocks east of Broadway.  Each time I made that walk between the red line station and the rehearsal location (carrying a rather expensive instrument) I felt a little dumber for putting myself in that situation.  Ultimately I quit, mostly due to the distance I needed to travel to get there, but in significant part due to fear.

Craig, see my subsequent post-- I'm not sure my specific point is coming across.



Craig S. said:

I'm  not generalizing at all, Howard, and I don't believe anyone else is and I'm surprised at you for saying such a thing.  I live next to and travel through Uptown, and mostly on a daily basis.  My opinions of Uptown are also formed after living in Chicago for 20+ years and traveling in and out of Uptown that entire time.  There are cool things about the neighborhood and me, being me, am a fan of the cool things associated with boozing, like the Green Mill.

When I was searching to purchase a condo in 1999, my realtor showed me some fantastic properties in Uptown.  I had a dog at the time and walked him at all hours of the night and day.  I looked around the neighborhood and asked myself if I wanted to have him out at 2AM.

No fucking way, no fucking way.  

Granted, there is crime everywhere.  Take Wrigleyville for instance.   My alley between Wilton and Fremont when I lived there was so clean one could have eaten off the street but I didn't trust that neighborhood as far as I could throw it.  Lots of varied crime in Wrigleyville and in Ravenswood so my head is always on a swivel.

Nowhere I've ever ridden have I had eggs thrown at me, nor some young dipshits miming shooting me, nor epithets thrown in my direction while riding through and minding my own business, like has happened to me in Uptown.



h' said:

Like any Chicago "community area," Uptown has some good spots and some not-so-good spots, and I think it does a neighborhood a disservice to make negative generalizations.

That said, not too long ago I tried playing with an Orchestra that met on Lawrence about 5 blocks east of Broadway.  Each time I made that walk between the red line station and the rehearsal location (carrying a rather expensive instrument) I felt a little dumber for putting myself in that situation.  Ultimately I quit, mostly due to the distance I needed to travel to get there, but in significant part due to fear.

It's not about "PC." I don't think I can articulate what I'm trying to say better than I already have in the response that starts with "I am not doubting," so I'm going to leave it at that.

Amber said:

It's not fair to have to fear for my life because of the rampant criminal activity here that Uptown is notorious for.  Yes, I am concerned with my well being and no I am not to PC when it comes to the very real possibility of dying simply because I leave my apartment.

Uptown has its problems (like any urban neighborhood), but it is by far not one of the worst neighborhoods in the city.  I've lived here for 4 years and bike throughout the neighborhood almost every day.  I haven't had any issues biking in Uptown that I haven't experienced elsewhere in the city.

Ah, I understand what you mean.  

Drilling down to where specific instances happened in my case, I'm not sure if that's valid or necessary.  I take Leland to get to the lake and Leland/Broadway is where some of the eggings occurred.  Now, it's a very low percentage of my total travels through Leland/Broadway that I was egged and would I suggest others avoid that intersection?  No, not at all because I still travel through there.  I just keep my head on a swivel and as Wesley noted, he's not experienced any of this and I'm sure many other Uptown Chainlink members have not as well.

I'm not here to cause a fight as there's been no mention of bacon, plus I did my part of including liquor in the discussion as that's the only way I'll get involved on this blasted Chainlink forum anymore; I'm just here to offer up my observations and maybe a little bit of support to Amber's plight.  

Now where'd I put my 2 o'clock cocktail...


h' said:

Craig, see my subsequent post-- I'm not sure my specific point is coming across.



Craig S. said:

I'm  not generalizing at all, Howard, and I don't believe anyone else is and I'm surprised at you for saying such a thing.  I live next to and travel through Uptown, and mostly on a daily basis.  My opinions of Uptown are also formed after living in Chicago for 20+ years and traveling in and out of Uptown that entire time.  There are cool things about the neighborhood and me, being me, am a fan of the cool things associated with boozing, like the Green Mill.

When I was searching to purchase a condo in 1999, my realtor showed me some fantastic properties in Uptown.  I had a dog at the time and walked him at all hours of the night and day.  I looked around the neighborhood and asked myself if I wanted to have him out at 2AM.

No fucking way, no fucking way.  

Granted, there is crime everywhere.  Take Wrigleyville for instance.   My alley between Wilton and Fremont when I lived there was so clean one could have eaten off the street but I didn't trust that neighborhood as far as I could throw it.  Lots of varied crime in Wrigleyville and in Ravenswood so my head is always on a swivel.

Nowhere I've ever ridden have I had eggs thrown at me, nor some young dipshits miming shooting me, nor epithets thrown in my direction while riding through and minding my own business, like has happened to me in Uptown.



h' said:

Like any Chicago "community area," Uptown has some good spots and some not-so-good spots, and I think it does a neighborhood a disservice to make negative generalizations.

That said, not too long ago I tried playing with an Orchestra that met on Lawrence about 5 blocks east of Broadway.  Each time I made that walk between the red line station and the rehearsal location (carrying a rather expensive instrument) I felt a little dumber for putting myself in that situation.  Ultimately I quit, mostly due to the distance I needed to travel to get there, but in significant part due to fear.

Amber,

Am I the only one that think this thread (or at least the initial post) has a positive lining? Despite you being out of work, and living in a unsafe neighborhood, you have a bike that can easily transport you out of that area and into better neighborhoods.

I'd say it is pretty awesome that all you need is a cheap bike to help you escape your surroundings, if only temporarily.

Understood, generalizations don't do well for a neighborhood, but Uptown is simply a setting for Amber's story. Just as the phrase World War 2 implies an entire world at war, Spain and Switzerland don't get upset with the term just because they were neutral. Or the perception that the Lincoln Park Zoo may be more a concentration camp than a sanctuary. And just as all stereotypes aren't "true", there is a commonality leading to there development.

Regardless, the implied context of her story has been received. Don't forget, the OP was more about the respite her bicycle offers, not the merits of the community, and reads more like an essay out of the book Bicycle Love.  I'm sure any of us can substitute our own neighborhoods for the setting in her story and sympathize with the situation, maybe less gunshots, but the safety concerns when riding, or the encounters Craig has had are relatable. And Craig, your 2o'clock drink is surely drunk by now.

Just as a negative generalization can do disservice to a neighborhood, a positive generalization does a disservice to riders in giving them a false sense of safety. As always, rider beware, anywhere.

+1

I found value in each of your paragraphs. Thanks.

nik was here said:

Understood, generalizations don't do well for a neighborhood, but Uptown is simply a setting for Amber's story. Just as the phrase World War 2 implies an entire world at war, Spain and Switzerland don't get upset with the term just because they were neutral. Or the perception that the Lincoln Park Zoo may be more a concentration camp than a sanctuary. And just as all stereotypes aren't "true", there is a commonality leading to there development.

Regardless, the implied context of her story has been received. Don't forget, the OP was more about the respite her bicycle offers, not the merits of the community, and reads more like an essay out of the book Bicycle Love.  I'm sure any of us can substitute our own neighborhoods for the setting in her story and sympathize with the situation, maybe less gunshots, but the safety concerns when riding, or the encounters Craig has had are relatable. And Craig, your 2o'clock drink is surely drunk by now.

Just as a negative generalization can do disservice to a neighborhood, a positive generalization does a disservice to riders in giving them a false sense of safety. As always, rider beware, anywhere.

I live in Humboldt, barely, and it's a short distance 1/4 mile to Logan Square a mile or so to Wicker park/West town the thing is getting in and out during times to socialize,work or getting something to eat not just at 2 am after going to the bar.

I walked to the pizza place this past summer evening and just as I was coming home there was a drive by 5-6 houses down.

I feel safe along the lake front and have been out alone sometimes past midnight, I fell asleep on the beach in Rogers Park so...not really a good idea, now there also weren't repeat shootings but yeah be aware and move quickly. Hopefully it will be ok.



Duppie said:

Amber,

Am I the only one that think this thread (or at least the initial post) has a positive lining? Despite you being out of work, and living in a unsafe neighborhood, you have a bike that can easily transport you out of that area and into better neighborhoods.

I'd say it is pretty awesome that all you need is a cheap bike to help you escape your surroundings, if only temporarily.



nik was here said:

As always, rider beware, anywhere.

Amber I feel your pain. I am in Buena Park only a few short blocks from Uptown and I see it as well. We moved to this neighborhood about 8 months ago after living in Lakeview, Wriglyvill, and the northwest side. I usually get home from work around 3 A.M. and I see what’s going on at night and it is very uncomfortable at times. I do have a saving grace that when I am walking my dog at those times most people leave the guy with the pitbull alone. I still feel that winter is better than the summer. There is a growing police presence in the area and it is better than it has been in the past, at least that is what some of my neighborhoods tell me. The farthest I will usually go is Uptown bikes, Target and the Spot. Also as an FYI stay out of Clarden Park after dark, there are a bunch of the LK's that frequent the park and they will remind you of that.

what's interesting is that if you actually sit down and look at violent crime figures, uptown has less violent crime than communities such as humboldt park and logan square, let alone garfield park, lawndale or austin.

CPD crime map

i've always felt that uptown has more of a reputation because it is a north side neighborhood and surrounded by affluent communities, much in the way that cabrini-green (far less dangerous than stateway or rockwell gardens) somehow gained international notoriety. it's not so much the actual crime as the juxtaposition of a low-income or working class neighborhood with the posh neighborhoods surrounding it.

regardless, i'm glad to hear your bicycle is helping you to feel safe.

RSS

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service