Go Boho in Chicago

At eclectic Wicker Park and Bucktown, you’ll find a booming arts scene and a lot of good shopping. 

Not so long ago, Wicker Park and Bucktown were gritty. Today, the neighborhood is established with big fashion retail names and a hipster population. But there are still a few originals hanging on to their boho roots.

The central hub of the area is the Flatiron Arts Building, a collection of artist studios that are open to the public. The building also hosts a first Friday open-studio night

There’s always something new to find at Stitch. Look for original wares like the Facemaker, a hand-printed, rubber-wood block set that forms different faces; or a geometric, brass bottle opener that’s nicer than a piece of jewelry.

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While cult movie High Fidelity, starring John Cusack as a lovelorn record collector, was filmed in Wicker Park, the record-shop scenes took place in a vacant building. But the vinyl crowd will not be disappointed with Reckless Records’ selection of new and used vinyl, as well as DVDs.

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After dark, hit up Rainbo Club, a hole-in-the-wall hangout for cognoscenti since the ’30s, including author Nelson Algren and bands like Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair. A bartender spins vinyl on a turntable. Remember those?

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