Damen, Milwaukee & North
The “six corners” intersection in Wicker Park has long ceased being an oasis of retail independence in a desert of chain-store strips. These days, major brands like Levi’s and Lululemon share the strip with the local chain Akira and boutiques like Apartment Number 9 and RSVP Gallery. Though the balance may be tenuous, the intersection has managed to retain much of its charm, partly because the urban mix is just diverse enough, with plenty of salons, galleries, cafes and other services interspersed among the clothing purveyors. It also helps that, despite the nearly complete gentrification, markers of the nabe’s grittier past remain: a few vintage storefronts, a record shop and convenience stores are helping, as it were, to keep Wicker Park weird.
Audience Choice: Clark Street in Andersonville