Once the rains ended in July we got some really pleasant weather but unfortunately none of the nice days coincided with our schedule. Which means it’s been over a month since we’ve been on a walk to discover more of Portage Park, our neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicago.
Looking north on Keating Avenue
Since our last two walks were in the same area, and very similar, the Lady I rescued decided we needed to change areas which means checking out the furthest eastern and southern corner. So, the Lady, myself and Taffy set off to see what we could find as this is an area the Lady isn’t familiar with at all.
We parked easily enough on Keating but the Lady made us walk south to Belmont Avenue to make sure she knew what street we were on. Then we headed back north to School Street which we walked on our first walk last year but on the west side of Cicero Avenue. So we’re able to connect with a previous walk.
This is a more modest area of Portage Park with a mixed bag of houses, many are a bit on the shabby side with unkept lawns. You can see front yards with iron fences for security but otherwise it seems to be a stable area with almost no for sale signs and even new construction homes.
We discovered two things for the first time that are common in our area, one is a statue of the Virgin Mary. Chicago is predominantly Catholic, from it’s Irish and Polish immigrants, to today’s Hispanics. Usually you see these statues in the back yard but this one is right in front with an elaborate garden, goldfish pond, and lighting. It must really be beautiful at night!
Knox Avenue looking north from School
We walked as far east as we could on School. The Lady couldn’t remember what street was the eastern border but at Knox Avenue (which is it) we couldn’t go any further due to what we thought were railroad tracks over head, and past that a road closed sign with construction equipment tearing up the street on the other side. On the map the Metra railroad tracks are further east but there are tracks on Google Maps if you close in enough. So it’s probably an old, abandoned track, like what became the Bloomingdale Trail.
This part of School had industrial businesses on the south side of the street because of their location on Belmont, mostly non-residential. At Knox looking north we could only see industrial buildings so we decided it wouldn’t be a good block to take and turned back west. There are still industrial jobs inside the city, these are probably here because they are located next to an old railroad track, but not that common as most are outside the city limits to avoid taxes.
Looking north on Kilpatrick from School
We only went west as far as the next block, Kilpartrick Avenue. We turned north here and this is where the Lady decided to take it as far north as Addison then come back south on Keating to our car. It wouldn’t be too far as we hadn’t really covered that much yet.
The homes on the second block north of Kilpatrick appeared tidier with better kept lawns. This is where we found our second big find of the trip — a roundabout! Roundabouts are very common in England but ours aren’t quite the same. For some reason we only have them south of Irving Park Road, there aren’t any in our area. Located in the intersection of two residential streets, they slow down cars without stop signs because the traffic is only one-way. So basically you just drive around it and hope no one is coming from the other direction. We saw another one on the next street but it had a stop sign which is unusual. This one had a very nice garden!
A very elaborate bronze or copper bird bath with a nice patina, something you don’t usually see in the front yard!
Walking south on Keating at Roscoe is a nice row of brick bungalows. This is where the Lady noticed the restricted parking sign and started to panic that she parked the car where she shouldn’t. Another restricted parking sign at School street, now the Lady started praying to that Virgin Mary that she wouldn’t have a ticket!
We didn’t really see a house that could qualify for our House of the Day. This is some sort of Craftsman cottage or bungalow, it’s style is the first she’s seen on our walks.
Near our car, luckily no restricted parking signs, was this frame house. On first look the Lady oh’d at the painting, but on closer inspection found it very fading and peeling. But it must have been very pretty when new!
On that we end our walk to the far east corner of Portage Park! Our statistics for this walk are 55 minutes and 1.4 miles. Not great, hopefully we’ll be back next week!