Though I’ve lived in Chicago since 1994, this was the first time I’ve visited the Brighton Park neighborhood.
I was not expecting Parisian Novelty.
This is where we jumped off the bus, 17 miles south of our neighborhood, Rogers Park. The Parisian Novelty Company dates from 1898 and—back in the day—made trendy celluloid cases and buttons.
And then immediately next door, this classic Chicago greystone with that leafy ornament I love so much.
And—wonder of wonders—just across the street is a Schlitz Tied House! (The Schlitz medallion is behind the Western Avenue traffic light pole.)
So, yeah, basically we got to Brighton Park and then stayed on the same block practically forever while gaping at beautiful buildings before we even got around to the rest of the neighborhood.
Finally, we tore ourselves from that block of Western Avenue to discover this sensational beauty.
Even after the Parisian Novelty Company, it was certainly a surprise to stumble on an Italianate Mansion (and registered landmark).
Of course, we found some churches.
Though honestly, as much as I am normally fascinated with churches, the vernacular housing of Brighton Park stole my eye (and my heart).
The variety! The awnings! The rooflines!
This row of brick two flats = exceptionally satisfying. I adore the Flemish rooflines and the roofed entries with their two brick pillars. This is why it is so fun to visit Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Architecture nerds put your hands together!
And finally, a walk through the commercial strip in search of lunch.
A former co-worker of mine lives in Brighton Park and I asked him where he likes to eat. He said he’s a regular at Submarine Pier.
We ate my former colleagues go-to meal: garlic butter fries and Mexican sub. Tasty as they were, we were happy that we split the order. While we’re always ready to indulge in Chicago’s neighborhoods, we try to take it easy when indulging in artery-clogging food.