posted by chicago pop
[Source: Chris Sweda, photo in "Hyde away", Chicago Tribune, Friday October 9, 2009]
The Tribune, in its wisdom, decided to send a reporter other than Ron Grossman to bring Chicagoans up to speed not on where Hyde Park was, but where it's going. The old attitude cries in its beer at Jimmy's over all the old joints on 55th, and writes comments to the above article like these:
Hyde Park may ... be noted for what it has lost like the Harding Medieval museum, the studios on Stony Island where writers like Nelson Algren, Saul Bellows [sic], used to hang out, the retail shops and apartments along 55th street which gave way to university development. But it is still a nice place to live.The new attitude knows this old story, but doesn't repeat it as an eternal prelude. It can, symbolically, find the hipsters -- every neighborhood needs a few of them -- that reporter Lauren Viera caught at a Fixed Friday event over at Tati Cycles at 53rd and Ellis.
Here's the view from behind the fixie handlebars:
If Chicago is two years behind the coasts, then Hyde Park is two years behind Chicago -- and so it would make sense that we are beginning to see a nascent fashion + fixie trend in the hood. It seems to be taking on a unique, UofCesque flavor however: Have you seen the Rush Hour with Proust quotes on the top tube? Or the Rivendell Atlantis with Nitto bullhorns shellaced grey and a White Industries ENO? Or the young grad student with the Anais Nin tattoo and shock of neon pink accents to match her anodized Sugino 75s? I wouldn't have imagined this a couple of years ago.
If it pauses to get a single shot espresso at Istria norte on Cornell and 50th, it absorbs talk of Bruno Latour, Carl Schmitt, and art in Shanghai.
Hyde Park: it's not just the Museum of Science and Industry anymore.
Of course we've all known this, even before the Hyde Park Jazz Festival came on line, or the HPAC started ramping up the cool shows. There have been hidden treasures like the Oriental Institute and the Renaissance Society, the footpaths and ponds at the south end of Olmsted's Washington Park, and the morning mists on the great meadow to the north.
Soon we'll be able to add a restored and revived Shoreland and Del Prado to that list, combining the best of what was with what is yet to come.
There's no mistaking that the cultural momentum in Hyde Park has picked up over the last little while. Props to the Trib for noticing.