Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A brief walking tour of Lincoln Avenue

I was inspired to take a walk over to the Citizens State Bank of Chicago condo conversion today because driving by it yesterday, I saw some progress on the development. The living room windows of the corner units overlooking Lincoln Ave. and Melrose seem to be cantelievered out over the sidewalk. Lincoln Avenue could be pretty noisy at this location, but these rooms look pretty dramatic nonetheless.

As long as I was out walking the neighborhood, and my doctor told me to lose 15 pounds, I turned this excursion into a mini tour. Join us as we walk along Lincoln Avenue from Melrose - about 3300 north - up to Addison.

Brush up on your photography and browse photos for sale by local photographers at the Chicago Photography Center. Located at the corner of School Street and Lincoln, the shop is located in one of the neighborhood's first loft condo conversions. Condos inside feature original wood floors - uneven and creaky - and funky floor plans owing to the sliver shape of the building.

It's hard to see from the photo, but the Chicago Music Center is wall-to-wall guitars and amplifiers.

Dinkels Bakery - halfway between School and Roscoe - had been a neighborhood staple since 1922. Dinkel’s history reads like a storybook; the bakery was founded in 1922 by Joseph Dinkel, one of a long line of master bakers in his native Dinkelsbuhl in Bavaria. The European bent beats on in this Lakeview shop, as do the original recipes, including one for Dinkel’s famous stollen. The Old World formula includes a mix of toasted cashews, almonds, pineapple and golden raisins, all dipped in rum and brandy before baking. For a slightly different taste, try the cinnamon stollen. Strudels are another no-fail choice; choose from varieties like poppyseed, cherry cheese and almond and apricot.

Frasca is a new pizza place in the spot of an old tavern. Upscale brick oven pizzas, a great wine list and delicious appetizers are the highlights of this new neighborhood attraction.

Fernando's is one small step above a hole-in-the-wall, but offers quite yummy Mexican fare. Nothing adventurous here, but the standbys are all good. This place is swamped on weekend evenings - especially in the summer as nearby residents are out walking the neighborhood in search of good casual food.

The Pleasure Chest caused quite a commotion in the neighborhood when it relocated from a spot closer to Broadway a year ago. Nearby residents seemed to decry the nature of the boutique as not fitting in with the "Family-Friendly" atmosphere. From the photo - this establishment looks considerably less exciting than a bank drive-through. Or Fernando's mexican restaurant.

Across the street at Cornelia and Lincoln you'll find the Paulina Meat Market. We hear that gourmands drive for hours to purchase the finest cuts of meat from the Paulina Meat Market, and we're fortunate to be within walking distance. From their website:

Sigmund Lekan began sausage making and smoking meats in 1949 at the Paulina Market. Lincoln Avenue was Germantown Chicago then. Using recipes and traditions brought from European old world butcher shops, Paulina Market gained loyal, satisfied customers from the Lincoln Avenue neighborhood and beyond. As time passed, most of the small shops on the avenue closed their doors, while Paulina Market grew and remained steadfast to the highest standards of quality and freshness to this day.

Check out these locations on our FLICKR map.