Enclaves of ethnicities have driven Chicago throughout its history, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of Devon Avenue, one of Chicago’s most strikingly unusual streets that runs a gamut of exotic culture. Heading west from Western, Devon acts as a sort of little India (or little Pakistan), with retail outlets like House of Sari and Sari Palace sitting among an impressive run of Indian and Pakistani restaurants, not to mention the local population of traditionally garbed natives of the subcontinent. Move a little further west, and the writing suddenly becomes Cyrillic in nature, denoting an extensive Russian population. Farther west still, you might notice the black suits, hats and beards that are telltale signs of a Hassidic Jew population. All this within the space of three miles. In a city of neighborhoods, Devon Avenue represents one of the greatest multicultural swaths Chicago has to offer.
Best of Chicago 2002