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Advice for Yuppifiers


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To the editors:

Re: "Neighborhood News"--July 29,1988

If you want to know why so many "locals" are objecting to the "gentrification" of Wicker Park and other neighborhoods, look no further than Louis Prus' statement: "My kids didn't go to the local schools. But who sends their kids to the local schools?"

Well . . . lots of people. Like Mr. Prus' neighbors, maybe. And there, in a nutshell, is the reason for so much bad feeling among the "ordinary" residents. Rightly or wrongly, they perceive the yuppifiers as willing to take but not give; willing to savor the "convenience" and "elegance" of old-neighborhood mansions but keeping their social connections at the Francis Parker School and Loop/Lakefront institutions.

I can't tell Mr. Prus and his clients how to raise their kids; however, I will offer some friendly advice for folks who want to enter an up-and-coming area and not want to be pariahs among the "locals":

Send your kids to the local schools. Join the PTA and school-reform committees. (The Lincoln Park "upscalers" did just that, and helped transform low-class Waller High into high-class Lincoln Park High!) Check out the local crime-watch, neighborhood-improvement, political and religious organizations of your choice. And don't be afraid to patronize the charming ethnic businesses of your charming ethnic neighborhood!

In other words . . . to have a friend, be a friend!


Sheridan Park

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