Adam Selzer

December 8, 2005

Post #1897 – 20051208

Having seen you ask about the current occupants of the corner of North and Wells in Chicago, I’m depressed to say that the four corners are now occupied by McDonald’s, Starbucks, Boston Market, and Walgreens. Old Town still has an artsy vibe, but the whole area is rather gentrified now, being as close as it is to the Gold Coast/Streeterville (which is even more gentrified, though still gorgeous and even still a bit quirky). The art scene had moved to North and Halstead by the 70’s, and further west to North and Damen by the 80’s. Now the North/Damen area is still “funky,” but most of the artists seem to have moved a few blocks further West to Bucktown, where it’s still cheap.

The whole city doesn’t look like an airport yet (proud to say my neighborhood, just West of the Loop off Grand, doesn’t appear to have changed much in several decades), but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. Sigh.

Daniel replies:

The long marble counter at the Nor-Well Drug Company was to me what a favorite cafe used to be to a Parisian. I never had a corn muffin and coffee there without advancing my education.