The funky heart of Rogers Park

How does Rogers Park, a neighborhood on the northern edge of Chicago, stay funky? The secret is geography. The area lies beyond the end of Lake Shore Drive; most east-west streets dead-end into beaches, and there’s no quick way to get downtown.

Rogers Park’s relative seclusion has helped it maintain an extraordinary ethnic mix.

Over the last few years, new restaurants, as well as galleries, shops and museums, have filled in niches amid Rogers Park’s Mexican bakeries, hippie book stalls and Chinese takeouts. On a single block you’ll pass a kosher butcher shop, a Mexican pizzeria, and a Belizean barber shop with a pool table in the back. Africans also have a prominent presence in the area.

– From a Feb. 7 article in the New York Times hyping Rogers Park businesses and destinations like Charmers Cafe, Gruppo di Amici, Uncommon Ground, and the Leather Archives & Museum.

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