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15 signs you know you're in Lakeview

By Time Out Chicago editors
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Encompassing Wrigleyville, Boystown and a large section of Clark Street, Lakeview is a neighborhood best known for baseball games, raucous bars and parking restrictions. It's a destination for tourists and a favored spot for revelers who want to celebrate the latest Chicago victory among likeminded individuals. If you find yourself in Lakeview, it should become abundantly clear to you—if, for some reason, you're not entirely sure, just pay attention to these tell-tale signs. 

1. Wrigleyville bros. Walking down Clark Street feels like a special feat one should only attempt after plenty of shitty beer and a high tolerance for backwards baseball caps and "hey mans." 

2. Everyone’s a comedian. Seriously. Meet a new group of people? One of them is in an improv troupe or on their way to a show at the Annoyance.

3. The roar of people at Wrigley. Whether they're a Cubs bandwagon fan (since it's definitely the year, right?) or a lifelong diehard, you'll always hear "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch.

4. Lines down the block at Metro. Regardless of who's playing, there's always a line at Metro (and Smart Bar), in which case, your obvious solace is the Gman Tavern next door.

Photograph: Joi Ito

5. Helicopters hovering overhead. If the Blackhawks, Cubs, Bears or any other important Chicago team wins an important game, be prepared for helicopters over Lakeview. The block of Addison between Racine and Sheffield is prime for fans to celebrate.

6. Fireworks by Wrigley for the 4th of July. What's more patriotic than watching a baseball game at Wrigley followed by postgame fireworks?

7. Dogs in Cubs shirts. Of course man's best friend wants to root, root, root for the Cubbies.

8. The Belmont Transfer. The Belmont El stop is that farthest north station in the city where one can transfer from the Red to the Brown Line, and, with Boystown nearby, the Belmont Transfer has become one of the best sexual innuendos in the Chicago lexicon. On any given night off the Belmont stop, you'll see a countless number of folks looking to switch from the "red" to the "brown" line in the neighborhood.

9. Stroller parking. Yep, that's right, places for the strollers to hang out while mom shops. And if not, rest assured, mom's already on it, making her very own parking spot.

10. Froyo and ice cream shops. If you're worried about what your post-brunch snack will be, don't. There's plenty of froyo, ice cream and gelato spots within a few blocks from each other. Just pick one.

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

11. Lines outside of sports bars on Clark Street. It doesn't matter if there's a Cubs game or not—you'll find crowds of thirsty people clutching slices from Dimo's.

12. …and outside of gay bars on Halsted Street. Roscoe's anyone?

13. Lululemon-wearing yoga moms. It’s not uncommon that you’ll be passed up on the sidewalk while these ladies power walk to Core Power Yoga.  

14. Lots of Chicago imports. People just beginning to learn the city have probably just moved into that empty apartment next door. Be nice to them, they want to love Chicago too.

15. Bar crawls. From TBOX to self-organized pub hops, the abundance of drinking establishments in Lakeview makes it a perfect place for a bar crawl. 

Photograph: Kristan Lieb


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