Old Polonia and Wicker Park Walking Tour with Food (from 6/17)
We will explore the past and present of the people, architecture, and foods of these vibrant and changing neighborhoods of Noble Square and Wicker Park. On our walking tour of the Noble Square and Wicker Park neighborhoods, we will explore the past and present of the people, architecture, and foods of these vibrant and very much changing communities. Studied by sociologists around the world for its rapid transformation in the '80s and '90s, the Wicker Park neighborhood had previously been home to gang bangers, drug addicts and prostitutes. Today it is often ranked in lists of "Coolest Neighborhoods" in America, and now neighboring Ukrainian Village and Noble Square are going the same direction, too. The Chicago Detours kind of food tour means that beyond just eating, we are going to really learn. To have a more meaningful connection with the places we visit, stories on this walking tour range from the voyage of Polish immigrants to the "bard of the down-and-outer" of Nelson Algren, to the "Die Yuppie Scum" graffiti of gentrification. Our walking tour starts at the former "Polish Broadway" with a visit inside a stunning Polish Catholic Church, filled with paintings, gold leaf details, and sweeping arches. Our walk around the neighborhood reveals clues to incredible contrasts of old and new, like a taqueria in a building from a 1930s hamburger joint or one of Chicago's last newspaper stands. Over a huitlacoche quesadilla with home-made tortillas, we consider Mexican immigration to Chicago and Ashland Avenue's "taco row." Then we sample home-style Polish food in a restaurant that feels just like going to visit your Polish grandmother. We take the CTA up to the Damen stop to stroll through the blooming park of Wicker Park (guests bring their own train cards). In this vibrant park we begin to see the neighborhood mix of people, before wandering down "Beer Baron Row" to see massive 19th century mansions. For this Wicker Park walking tour, you'll hear the history of the Turkish Baths, which often peeks interest from Blue Line riders. We'll consume the new school vibe of the hip neighborhood with a gourmet doughnut from Stan's Donuts. And our tour concludes by the massive gears of a bank vault, now a Walgreen's Pharmacy. The tour will run weekly on Fridays at 11:00am from June 17-Sep 16. It is led by Amanda Scotese, the Founder and Executive Director of Chicago Detours. Polonia and Wicker Park Walking Tour Highlights * Step inside a dazzling Catholic Church * Walk by Gilded Age Mansions on "Beer Baron Row" * Eat Polish Food Like Grandma Used to Make * See Writer Nelson Algren's home * Step Inside a Bank Vault, Now a Pharmacy Polonia and Wicker Park Walking Tour Stories and Ideas * Old Polonia, aka "Polish Downtown" * What Old Wicker Park Was Like * Mexican Immigration to Chicago * The '90s Gentrification of Wicker Park * Inevitability of Change in Neighborhoods Wicker Park Walking Tour with Food Includes * Expert guide commentary * Special Gifts * Tastings at top-rated establishments: Lovely Bakery, Authentaco, Podhalanka, Stan's Donuts Wicker Park Walking Tour Does Not Include * CTA train fare - you must bring your own Ventra card for one train ride
Our walking tours and bus tours of Chicago history and culture bring people to explore stories and places locals don't even know. We give tours of interior architecture, historic bars, jazz and blues, and Chicago neighborhoods. Chicago architecture, history and culture intrinsically connect on our walking tours and bus tours of Chicago. We are proud to be one of few Chicago tour companies with a solid five stars on both Yelp and TripAdvisor. Our passionate, knowledgeable tour guides go beyond trivia to get you thinking about our relation to cities, space, and buildings. We share ideas on how architecture affects us psychologically. We also take moments to simply indulge in the visual experience of architecture. Because of the cultural angle of our walking tours and bus tours, they are great for anyone from architecture experts to those new to Chicago architecture. All our tours use architecture to tell stories that reflect the human side of Chicago history. You will explore, learn and interact with multimedia, each other, and the city around us. We work with private groups, student groups and we also offer walking tours to the public six days a week. We hope you will join us on a Chicago architecture tour for an unforgettable cultural experience.
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