Friday, April 2, 2010

Neighborhood Spotlight: ALBANY PARK

One of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country, Albany Park is an entry-neighborhood for many of Chicago’s newest immigrants from East Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America. A single strip mall can provide you with Latin American groceries, Jordanian breads, Korean BBQ, Lebanese music, DVDs of Japanese soap operas, and more. Lawrence Ave, nicknamed “Little Seoul Drive,” is the main street in Albany Park and hosts the Chicago Korean Festival every August. Nearby Bohemian National Cemetery, the burial place of several notable Czech-Americans, is notable for its elaborate limestone entrance and its two Albin Polasek sculptures, as well as an unusual way for Chicago Cubs fans to show their team loyalty.

 KNOWN FOR: Ethnic restaurants and groceries, especially Middle Eastern; thrift store and inexpensive shopping; vibrant community life such as the Albany Park Theater Project
 DON’T MISS: Al-Khaymeih (4748 N Kedzie Ave) for some of the best Lebanese food around; Lawrence Fish Market (3914 W Lawrence Ave) for unpretentious and excellent sushi; the many Middle Eastern bazaars for hookahs, jewelry, and more – Hookah Village Bazaar (4505 N Kedzie Ave) is a good one.
 GET THERE: Take the Brown Line to Kimball.

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