Chicago's Gold Coast
Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood
When one thinks of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, upscale living and fancy homes usually come to mind. The Gold Coast’s reputation as the city’s wealthiest neighborhood is well-known. Its charming, historic streets are lined with grand mansions and vintage buildings that, by virtue of their high cost, bring to the neighborhood a certain exclusivity. Despite its placement in the heart of one of America’s urban hubs, and not withstanding its grand reputation, the Gold Coast, uniquely, offers many of the perks of small-town living.
Residents of the Gold Coast enjoy a variety of America’s favorite pastimes without ever leaving their historic neighborhood. Indeed, there is a certain small-town wholesomeness attached to the Gold Coast, a quality that is rare in urban centers where, sadly, it is more common to know how many sex-offenders live on your block than it is to know your neighbor’s name. Rather, the 60610 zip code encompasses an area that offers a real community feel.
Every Halloween, for instance, Gold Coast residents deck their houses out in some of the most elaborate Halloween decorations around. Trick-or-treaters fill the streets, sometimes receiving entire Taffy Apples and full-sized candy bars for the fruits of their costumed labors. The Gold Coast also has an annual “Blessing of the Pets” at a local church, St. Chrysostom’s. St. Chryosotom’s also houses a non-denominational pre-school, so it is a common sight to see toddlers walking to school in the mornings. The Latin School of Chicago is another neighborhood school running from junior kindergarten through 12th grade. After school, many area children come to play at Gowdy Park, a neighborhood park that quickly becomes a favorite destination. Other small town activities that take place in the Gold Coast include an annual block party, a weekly farmer’s market which runs for 6 months every year, and neighborhood caroling during the holiday season.
It really is remarkable to find such a communal neighborhood in the epicenter of such a massive urban center. Wholesome activities that are more often associated with rural America are enjoyed by Gold Coast residents throughout the year. Neighborhood residents have the benefit of experiencing the best of both worlds; they can live and work downtown and take advantage of the many cultural and social opportunities associated with a world-class city like Chicago without having to sacrifice the simple pleasures that make rural living appealing for its wholesomeness and old-fashioned sort of fun.