Illinois Northwest Side- a largely working class area that is often grouped with either North Side or West Side (or both). For much of the 20th century, its population was largely Polish with significant Jewish, German and Italian components, but these days, it is mostly known for some fairly aggressive gentrification attempts. During the height of the most recent real estate speculation, virtually every neighborhood was seen as the next Wicker Park and everybody was looking to jump on the bandwagon. While some neighborhoods would up living up to the hype, most didn't - at least not yet. • Wicker Park - originally a middle-class neighborhood settled by Germans and later Poles, it became a Puerto Rican working class neighborhood by 1970s. When the fire swept through River North in 1991, many artists wound up moving to Wicker Park and, before you knew it, it became a magnet for emerging artists. These days, it is thoroughly gentrified, overwhelmingly hip and yet surprisingly diverse - it's just that most of the new
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