7 in Your Neighborhood: Rogers Park

May 6, 2013 (CHICAGO)

"My neighbors probably wouldn't appreciate me telling you this but Rogers Park is the Far Northeast Side of the city up against the lakefront; 14 public access beaches right at the end of a street," said Ann Hinterman, who moved to the area four years ago.

Sandi Price has lived there 25 years. "We call Rogers Park a small town in a big city where everybody knows your name. It's a wonderful place to live," Price said.

Something else you may not know, of which residents are immensely proud: Rogers Park is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country -- with 82 languages spoken. In fact, Clark Street's motto is "Unique in every way."

"Any ethnic restaurant you'll find it here: Peruvian, Persian, Ethiopian," Price said.

A culinary trip around the world right on clark! At Den Den's, the owner and his wife graciously welcomed ABC7 Chicago with a feast of Eritrean food from the northern part of Africa.

The entire meal is eaten with a special bread that looks sort of like a giant crepe.

It is a delicious way to sample the neighborhood, which, by the way, is a walk down memory lane for Judy Hsu.

"I'm gonna let you in on Judy Hsu family trivia. When I was 12, [I] remember walking down this same street," she said. "We used to live across the street in an apartment building, which is no longer there. It's now an elementary school."

Much has changed in the old neighborhood, which has undergone an extensive beautification project, adding cobblestone streets, bike-friendly pathways, and a brand new el train stop.

" This area has come back gang busters. We have the arts district, [and] theaters won jeff awards," said Price.

A few institutions remain, including the Heartland café where Pres. Barack Obama launched his presidential campaign.

But on that same block, new stores now dot the neighborhood. Young families mixed with the older -- all making Rogers Park 'unique in every way.'

Convenience is huge attraction of Rogers Park. It has four Red Line stops, two Metra stations and a transit hub at Howard.

Also, the Glenwood Sunday Market is a huge attraction for people from all over the greater Chicago area. It starts in just a few weeks in June.

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