An energetic, excitable vibe has begun to take over
Bridgeport has long had a reputation for being a predominantly Irish, ethnically divided, family oriented, working class community. Things have changed though, and the lines that used to separate long time residents have become blurred to the point of being nearly invisible. Now known as a hidden gem on the city's near South Side as well as being one of the most diverse neighborhoods in all of Chicago, "the last original neighborhood in Chicago" as many locals refer to it, is still low key and gritty in its own unique way, but no longer manages to fly under the radar like it once did.
Bridgeport is considered part of the Near South Side and is located south of downtown. Its boundaries typically extend from Pershing Rd. to the south, the Chicago River to the north and west, the I-95 to the east. Its neighbors are Pilsen to the north and west, Chinatown to the north and east, McKinley Park to the west, Bronzeville to the east, and Fuller Park and Back of the Yards to the south. Close proximity to expressways I-55 and I-94 make traveling to the Loop and other parts of the city a breeze (as long as there's minimal traffic). The CTA has red, orange and green line stops throughout the area as well.
Landmarks & Scenes:
Full of diversity and all different cultures, there are temples and sights that locals love to share!
Food & Drink:
The Near South Side likely has the best "everybody knows your name"-type of establishments in all of Chicago. Add to that an emerging food scene thanks to new attention on the area, its close proximity to the infamous Chinatown, and a plethora of culinary treasures await you.
Bridgeport is rising in the ranks of attractive retail options. Also, the Roosevelt Road shopping structure is only a couple stops away on the L, should you be looking for something you can't find in the area...yet
Baseball! Art Galleries! Dining! There is plenty to do in Bridgeport these days. Head over to The Cell to witness one of the oldest baseball franchises in the league (the White Sox), or amble over to Schaller's Pump, a Bridgeport institution, for a beer with the locals.
Sports & Outdoors:
With Palmisano Park as a jumping off point for the many improvements being made to the area in terms of green space, this stunning park is a must see. The River Walk extends to the area, making for some beautiful scenery and excellent views from this part of the city.
Arts & Culture:
An artist mecca of the South Side, Bridgeport is quickly earning its place near the top for emerging and established artist "colonies" within the city. The Zhou brothers have set the tone by taking over an old factory and turning it into a public gallery, and others are quickly following suit.
Family has always dominated Bridgeport in one way or another: Political families, mob families, large Irish-American broods, generations of Polish families living next door to each other for fifty years. Family is quintessential Bridgeport.