Hipster Highway

Hipster Highway

White light, White light goin’ messin’ up my mind
White light, and don’t you know its gonna make me go blind
White heat, aww white heat it tickle me down to my toes
White light, Oh have mercy white light have it goodness knows
— Velvet Underground, White Light White Heat from White Light/White Heat (1968)

After heading west along Grand Avenue, I found myself at the stop for the Number 8 bus located at the intersection of North Milwaukee Avenue, Grand, and Halsted. After checking my phone for the next arrival time, I noticed bright light cutting through a small, triangular parking lot that lies between Halsted and Milwaukee Avenue. It was just too tempting—there is always another bus coming.

For about 20 minutes I watched a cavalcade of hipster bicyclists, skateboarders, and other travelers rush pass me, taking the popular bike lane that runs northwest on Milwaukee Avenue to Wicker Park and Logan Square. The downtown office workers reanimate into hipsters as they head home each evening. Once ensconced in their nightly abodes, they can stream music and Netflix, cook vegan, paint or sculpt, or head out to any one of the many drinking establishments and clubs that dot Milwaukee Street further west. Even though these folks reside in open offices during the day, which are filled with free snacks, ping pong and fuzzball tables, and other momentary distractions, they are still ultimately shackled to work deadlines and the often irrational demands of their shirt-collared and pressed-chino overseers who monetize hipster creativity, design, and code.

If the hipsters like, they can stop early in their journey home for carry out chicken and biscuits at the Roost, or a quick drink at Richard’s Bar or Emmit’s Irish Bar, all three located in the 400 block of North Milwaukee Avenue. I was curious about Richard’s, so I checked online. There were a number of reviews that said it is a locals’ bar, and that if you go, expect to smell like you smoked a pack of cigarettes when you leave. Emmit’s is the larger of the two establishments. It has television monitors mounted to wall continuously showing sports programming, and it serves hamburgers and other bar food—to hell with healthy vegan.

None of these establishments demands a visit before you can call yourself a Chicagoan, but they do fill a single block nicely, particularly when bathed in afternoon sunlight.

Click on an Image to Enlarge It

An Irish Bar with Sports TVs on the Wall and Burgers

Glowing in the Afternoon Sunlight

Stop In for Some Take Out

Another Route to North Milwaukee Avenue—Grand Avenue, Where the Maids are Manic

Pathetic

Pathetic

Aon

Aon