The Neighborhood Files: Hyde Park

Chicago is, perhaps more than most cities, a city of neighborhoods. From the broad boulevards of Lincoln Park, to the arty avenues of Pilsen, each and every neighborhood in this city possesses its own distinct energy and unique charm.  Each neighborhood is worth learning a little more about. So, every other week, we’ll be featuring another neighborhood on this section of the blog, and we’ll interview someone living in that neighborhood—Someone capable of giving us the inside scoop on their ‘hood!

This week I sat down with Virginia James and talked to her about her experience living in Hyde Park.

Q: How long have you been living in Hyde Park?

A: Five years. I moved here in 2006, when I was admitted into a PhD program at the University of Chicago, and I’ve been living here ever since.

Q: Do you own or rent?

A: I rent, for now. I want to pay off the rest of my student loans before I commit to purchasing a home of my own. But I definitely hope to be able to do that sometime soon—well, relatively soon [laughs].

Q: Why did you decide to settle down in Hyde Park?

A: Initially I moved here to be close to the University of Chicago, but I fell in love with the neighborhood, and I decided to stay even after I got my degree.

Q: What do you like most about the neighborhood?

A: I like its academic character. I like being able to attend author signings in book stores and scholarly lectures at the university. I like stopping by the Smart Museum on a rainy day, and I like overhearing heated conversations about Freud or Foucault on my way to the grocery store. Hyde Park is definitely a “college town,” and I love that about it.

Q: Do you intend to continue living in Hyde Park for a while?

A: Absolutely! I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.

Q: Would you encourage others to purchase a house or condo of their own in the neighborhood?

A: Certainly. Hyde Park is a wonderful place to settle down and raise a family. It’s just a wonderful place to live, period.

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