Who's afraid of Humboldt Park?

927 N Mozart.jpgCheck out this remodeled two-bedroom condo (you might have to log in at the Koenig & Strey site for the link to work): hardwood floors, full complement of appliances, private balcony, marble bath, parking — sounds good, especially at $225,000. Gently nestled on the 900 block of North Mozart Street, our Realtor friends describe the building’s location as “West Town.” Even generous neighborhood designations end West Town at California on the west, if not Western, and at Chicago on the north.

Still, “West Town” beats “West Ukrainian Village,” the highly spurious label frequently applied to this same area, often by rental landlords. Why can’t anybody just say “Humboldt Park?” What’s so wrong with that?

When I lived near this section of Mozart, the neighborhood was particularly lively. No end of visitors dropped by one house on the west side of the 800 block of North Mozart and another house near the corner of Augusta and Mozart. Perhaps the tenants were excellent cooks or advanced conversationalists; I have no idea. Contrary to my then newly transplanted, turnip-cart expectations, the street-level entrepreneurs were deferential and polite. With one gentleman, I killed a good five minutes debating the merits of spinner rims while looking over his new Lexus.

But even then — some 24 months ago — trepidacious urban pioneers were circling in Jettas and disappearing at dusk. Click on “Comments” below to give us your opinion. We’d love to hear your take on West Town today. Or Humboldt Park. Or, if you prefer, West Ukrainian Village.

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