Saturday, August 12, 2017

Adventures in Bizarre Bucktown

Being a recent transplant to Chicago, I still can't believe the amount of neighborhoods, each with their own style and flavor, all belong to one glorious city. I moved to Chicago about a year ago from sunny California with nothing but a deep love for pizza and a curiosity for snowflakes. I eventually found myself an Assistant Manager at Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast (drawn in, of course, by the breakfast) and learned that the Manager, Sam, was also from California! Turns out we lived about 6 blocks away from each other before we moved to Chicago. Bizarre, huh?

Any transplant will tell you that moving to Chicago requires extensive research on each neighborhood. Bucktown is always at the top of any list we'd seen, notable for it's walkability, nightlife and overall "cool" factor. Sam and I both live in different neighborhoods now and decided it was time for us to learn more about Bucktown.

After some research, we found Bizarre Bucktown Walking Tours. Perfect! Something we can do together after work, get some exercise (ya know, because of the breakfasts) and learn more about the lovely neighborhood that houses our lovely B&B! The tour was created entirely by Gordon Meyer, a Bucktown resident of over twelve years. He's exactly what you'd want a walking tour guide to be - charismatic, funny and defiantly tall (no need to worry about losing the group!). We met Gordon and other walking tourists at Walsh Park. Gordon didn't skip a beat and launched into the history of Walsh park, it's namesake and the mysterious fire that left the area barren for so long. 

Chicago as a whole has a rich history of immigrants, mobsters and artists - Bucktown is no different! We definitely recommend taking the time to look at St. Mary of Angels Church. The church is rooted deeply in the hearts of Chicago's Polish community and it's architecture is absolutely beautiful!

If you're thirsty, walk over to Lottie's Pub. Lottie's has been a Bucktown treasure since 1934 is said to be the favored watering hole to some of Chicago's toughest crime bosses and is haunted to this day. Gordon's got a great story about Lottie herself! 

If the ghost's of mobsters isn't your thing, head over to Bucktown Pub for a cold one (and yes, a new  ghost). 

If you want to meet the different ghosts of Bucktown or simply learn why the neighborhood is called "Bucktown" - we definitely recommend Bizarre Bucktown Walking Tours with Gordon. He also offers private tours and Bizarre Wicker Park walking tour as well.  Gordon generously offers a 10% discount to any of our Guest's here at Ray's. 

Bucktown Neighbors: Gordon and Kelly
Feel free to ask us about other things to do during your stay at Ray's!