What residents want changed

Uptowners weigh in on what the neighborhood really needs.

 (MARINA MAKROPOULOS)
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MARINA MAKROPOULOSMarina Makropoulos / Photographer Public Eye Portraits in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 14, 2010.
 (MARINA MAKROPOULOS)
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MARINA MAKROPOULOSMarina Makropoulos / Photographer Public Eye Portraits in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 14, 2010.
 (MARINA MAKROPOULOS)
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MARINA MAKROPOULOSMarina Makropoulos / Photographer Public Eye Portraits in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 14, 2010.
 (MARINA MAKROPOULOS)
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MARINA MAKROPOULOSMarina Makropoulos / Photographer Public Eye Portraits in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 14, 2010.
 (MARINA MAKROPOULOS)
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MARINA MAKROPOULOSMarina Makropoulos / Photographer Public Eye Portraits in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 14, 2010.
 (MARINA MAKROPOULOS)
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MARINA MAKROPOULOSMarina Makropoulos / Photographer Public Eye Portraits in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 14, 2010.
 (MARINA MAKROPOULOS)
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MARINA MAKROPOULOSMarina Makropoulos / Photographer Public Eye Portraits in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 14, 2010.
 (MARINA MAKROPOULOS)
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MARINA MAKROPOULOSMarina Makropoulos / Photographer Public Eye Portraits in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 14, 2010.
 (MARINA MAKROPOULOS)
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MARINA MAKROPOULOSMarina Makropoulos / Photographer Public Eye Portraits in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 14, 2010.
 (MARINA MAKROPOULOS)
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MARINA MAKROPOULOSMarina Makropoulos / Photographer Public Eye Portraits in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 14, 2010.
 (MARINA MAKROPOULOS)
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MARINA MAKROPOULOSMarina Makropoulos / Photographer Public Eye Portraits in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 14, 2010.
 (MARINA MAKROPOULOS)
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MARINA MAKROPOULOSMarina Makropoulos / Photographer Public Eye Portraits in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 14, 2010.

“I’d like to see the gangs get out of the neighborhood. There’s been a lot of shootings since the summer. I don’t think gentrification—raising the rent and kicking everybody out who can’t afford to live here—is the right idea. It’s kind of a tricky situation. And the Target, it seems like everyone who lives south of here [Broadway and Montrose] is taking advantage of it, but it’s not really doing anything for north of here, which is where a lot of the problems are.”—Jason Anthony, 26, student at Truman College

“Fix up the side streets a little more. They worry about the busy streets because that’s what people see most, but when you go down the side streets the buildings are kind of tore up.”—Jeremy Walker, 23, busboy

“More of a balance between convalescent homes and actual paying residents would be great. And more businesses that you can walk to that you would just love to hang out at. We’ve got one iconic restaurant in the Magnolia Café [1224 W Wilson Ave]. Other than that and the Starbucks, there’s nothing.”—Kelly Fitzsimmons, 36, decorator and business owner

“I’d like to see Jam Productions get the money to rehab the Uptown Theatre, which [Jam owner Jerry Mickelson] bought three years ago. That will turn this area into an entertainment capital again, like it was in the ’30s and ’40s. He needs $50 to $70 million…. It’s a historical landmark and whoever puts the money into it is going to get a huge tax break.”—Ric Addy, 59, owner, Shake Rattle & Read (4812 N Broadway)

“Parts of this neighborhood get pretty sketchy—it’s a little out of control. I’d like to see the empty shops fill up…. And more organized activities like street fests and art shows; stuff that keeps people out on the streets instead of just running inside.”—Nicholas Van Haagen, 26, hair stylist

“I would start with more police, because it seems there are always people hanging around the streets who shouldn’t be. …Now that Target is here, it is definitely going to make our rent go up. We need more [customers] to compensate for those costs or we’re not going to be able to sustain our business. The Target has created more traffic, but we’re not benefiting yet.”—Ike Ezeokafor, 30, owner, I Perfection Beauty Salon (4546 N Broadway)

“Reinvestment in the neighborhood—especially with citizens who are looking to start businesses—that’s going to help the neighborhood remain stable. If there was a nonprofit whose focal point was helping people know where the resources are [for business start-ups], and how you get them, that would help empower the community.”—Theresia Thurman, 38, accountant/accounting contractor seeking employment

“Landscaping is something we’re lacking. We’ve got such a great historic neighborhood, and it looks trashy on a lot of the corners. There’s no softness about it. It has some of the best architecture in the city. I wish we could play that up a little bit. I’m excited for them to redo the [Wilson] El stop, but I hope they don’t do it in that template steel design that’s going to look like shit in five years.”—Lisa Wolfe, 40, interior designer and business owner

“The first thing I’d like to see changed is the [Wilson] Red Line station. It’s really dirty, and sometimes it’s dangerous. This is a really good place to live: It’s by the lake and by the beach; there’s a Target, a Jewel. It’s really nice, we just need more security and the Red Line needs to be cleaned up.”—Jessica Azra, 21, nanny and student

“I like the idea of a market selling fresh local produce, that sort of thing. Mostly what you have around here are convenience stores or larger grocery stores.—Patrick Thompson, 52, architect, co-owner of Manske, Dieckmann, Thompson (4619 N Broadway)

“The new alderman needs to figure out the residential parking problem. I’d like to see it where the people who live here can park their cars here. The trucks from the Post Office (4850 N Broadway) take up all of the [residential] spots, and we’ve got nowhere to park. And if you park in the back of your house in the alley, [the police] still give you a ticket. That’s not fair.”—Joe Dinatle, 82, retired trucker

“More police for around Wilson and Broadway. A lot of neighborhood people are blaming [the crime on] taking down the CHA [Chicago Housing Authority] high-rises; the gangs have moved up here and now they’re battling over drug turf. I say bring back the foot patrols. …There’s a lot of potential here. Ninety-five percent of the people who live here are good people; you only read about the small percentage who are assholes.”—Ric Addy, 59, owner, Shake Rattle & Read (4812 N Broadway)

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