Being a West Loop/Little Italy Mom

Written by: Carolyn Sabzali

After living in the western suburbs my entire life, my husband finally convinced me to make the move to Chicago -- I am so thankful. I love living and raising my family in Chicago. After five years in the West Loop, we moved a few blocks away to Little Italy in 2009 and started our family. Although these neighborhoods are right next door to each other, the community feel is vastly different - each offers so much uniqueness.

What do I love about my neighborhoods?!? Let's start with the West Loop...so many growing families, with new businesses and developments constantly popping up. My kids love the playgrounds, Mary Bartelme Park and Skinner Park.

We're always signing up for classes at Merit School of Music and nearby Hubbard Street Dance Chicago has great programs too.  West Loop Athletic Club (down the street from Kids & Company) has an amazing Kids Club.

Hungry? Where to begin?!? Some family favs include WishboneLittle Goat and anywhere in Greektown. And don't forget about all the good eats on Randolph Street (great for nights out) -- you just can't go wrong. Talk a stroll down Madison Street and you'll run into the cute shop Fig Tree and I always find great pieces at Tribeca.  Target is just down the street and Mariano's has Miss Jamie from the Farm for the kids. 

Just on the other side of 290 is Little Italy...tree lined, quaint little community full of rich history - an area that blends into the University Village and Tri-Taylor neighborhoods. Parks are plentiful, surrounded by schools such as STEM Magnet Academy and Andrew Jackson Language Academy.  My kids are always at my local Sheridan Park playground. And what better way to find babysitters than nearby UIC and Rush Hospital? I've found that the best sitters are graduate students!

Taylor Street is home to amazing Italian eats and my family loves Tufano's Restaurant. Breakfast? Head to Stax Cafe  or Jut's at Pompei...and you have to stop by for a treat at Flirty Cupcakes or Scafuri Bakery. Other favs? My son loves Tatsu (he can eat ten gyozas) and want a taste of France in the heart of Little Italy...check out Chez Joel.  
I'm centrally located to all the expressways with tons of public transportation and close to downtown --- plus my family can easily hop on a bus and be at Millennium Park in 15 minutes!  And save the date for Festa Italiana which kicks off on August 14th...a huge 4-day fest that's full of great entertainment, kid's rides and activities and so much more!

I could go on for days. I love my blended neighborhoods!  So hop over to the West Loop/Little Italy communities - hope to see you soon!

Want to tell us about why you love your neighborhood?! Comment below or email christa@npnparents.org to be considered for a guest blog!

Posted on May 09, 2014 at 4:28 PM