A neighborhood named for a German scientist who never even visited Chicago would do better to embrace its Puerto Rican heritage before it’s too late. The battering rams of gentrification are at the gate and cannot be turned back, but like other ethnic neighborhoods—Greektown, Chinatown, Little Italy—that retain their heritage and identity to varying degrees in the face of rapidly changing demographics, so too should Humboldt Park. And so, boricua, a commonly used word to identify Puerto Ricans, might just help the city acknowledge its growing Latino heritage.
Humboldt Park; West Wicker Park (tie)
Best audience comments: “Cosmos: A neighborhood with a club name derived from the major work of the old neighborhood’s namesake. It should attract more dumpy white people and, hey, it’s cute!”; “Ho-Hum-then Bolt Park”; “Humble Pork”; “Scumboldt Park.”
Best of Chicago 2007