When I was a young girl growing up in Bridgeport the streets ran rampant with “gang bangers” and “hillbillies” which, at the time, was just the way of life until my (then) best friend’s brother was killed just blocks from my home. (That’s when my parents decided that we would move it on up…)
Now that I’ve grown up, I realize that Bridgeport wasn’t normal; it was a breeding ground for hatred and racism. I guess that’s why it’s a little hard for me to grasp how, not more than 12 years later, my sketchy little Irish/Italian neighborhood has become “The community of the future”.
The title is a tongue-in-cheek reference coined by the people over at indie arts and culture rag, Lumpen Magazine, who also house their headquarters/art space, “The Co-Prosperity Sphere”, in said up-and-coming hood.
Last week, the space hosted Snowball, a fundraiser for Version, their annual spring arts fest. The event had everything you could ever want: live music, 80s karaoke and a wild spaceship ride in the basement (…the ride alone was worth the 7 dollar entry fee).
While I’m sure the lifelong residents aren’t really happy about the influx of coffee shops, condos and art kids, I think this is a really positive change for the neighborhood. I hope that other Chicagoans feel the same way or at least make an effort to see what a real “artsy” neighborhood should look like.
I will say that Bridgeport is probably the poor man’s Wicker Park (now), but like the kids said, albeit jokingly, it is truly going to be THE community of the future.
Here’s what you missed/have to look forward to…
Slideshow: Snowball Fundraiser