No, They Haven't | Letters | Chicago Reader

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No, They Haven't




I'm not sure why so many people are laboring under the delusion that Lakeview and Lincoln Park are "safe" neighborhoods, but I didn't think the Reader would be so naive as to publish a "city lost forever" article on the front page (December 21).

Now I'm not afraid to go walking down the street in Lincoln Park or Lakeview or for that matter Uptown, but those on the north lakefront should take the hint that high rent does not equal safety. Anyhow, a moonlit stroll down Marine Drive sounds about as romantic to me as a happy holidays trip to Beirut.

The madcap nightlife in Lakeview and the wealthy reputation of Lincoln Park make those neighborhoods attractive to criminals, i.e. they're coming there to rip you off. The neighborhoods are busy, people are there from all over the area, if not the world, and there's so much commotion that crime goes unnoticed. That's not safety. The overly paid of Chicago may line up to pay $1,100 a month for an apartment with the size and approximate fire-code integrity of the average dorm room, but who led them to believe they wouldn't get their asses kicked on the street if they did?

Shocked north-siders often appear on the nightly news after some vicious crime or other and they always say the same thing: "I can't believe it. It's such a safe neighborhood." A simple glance at the sharp economic lines drawn all over the north side tells you how the above statement is even dumber than it sounds. Residents of Old Town can take comfort in the safety of their location, as neighbors to Cabrini-Green, and Lakeview residents can look north to that shining beacon of nonviolence, Uptown.

It may sound strange, and it may sound hard to believe, but there actually is a city outside of the five or six neighborhoods that appear in the Reader's real estate section. No, they may not have block after block of endless restaurants and flashy shops, but they aren't overpriced former slums that lull residents into a false sense of security either.

Those of us in "bad" neighborhoods often find it amusing to read about the tragedy of crime in "good" neighborhoods. But a story about being afraid to feed the ducks in Lincoln Park? Tell him to come down to Jackson Park; we often roller-blade and bike-ride in the middle of the night, and nobody's bothered us yet. I'd imagine the criminals are all in Wrigleyville, burglarizing your apartments.

Matt Rauscher


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