There are many hidden gems in this city. Jefferson Park is unique in the fact that within this neighborhood in Chicago, there are many more neighborhoods. Because of this, Jefferson Park is definitely a neighborhood to check out, as its many layers can keep most entertained for a few days. Here are five places you must check out within the neighborhood.
Ed Paschke Art Center
54145 W. Higgins Ave.
This art center commemorates the work of famous artist Ed Paschke. This space provides a place for the public to access all of his work, which is pretty amazing. They also give educational opportunities to the youth. It also is available for other artists to showcase their work at his studio. The goal of the center is to showcase Paschke’s work, while also inspiring others to create and reach a broader audience. Right now, the center has an exhibit created by hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco, so it is definitely an exhibition to check out.
The Gift Theatre
4802 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The idea of the theatre came from two students at the University of Iowa in 1997. The students wanted to “grow and nurture an ensemble” and “lay roots in an artistically undeserved Chicago neighborhood.” The ensemble is composed of a variety of people from actors to directors to improvisers. The goal of the theater is to tell stories on stage that are simple and are honest. The theatre believes plays are a gift to the audience, and that is how they conduct their shows. Their most recent show is “A Life Extra Ordinary,” which is both a mystery and a memory play.
Copernicus Foundation Center
5216 W. Lawrence Ave.
This is a Polish cultural-civic center, which displays much of the culture of residents who live in Jefferson Park. The building houses the old Gateway cinema building. The center worked around the theater when restoring the building. The center offers dance groups, classes and many other activities. The space is also available for the public to rent out. On top of all of that, there are annual activities that are sponsored, such as art fairs, special exhibits, farmer’s markets, health seminars, citizenship classes and an annual law fair. This building houses it all and always has something going on. Check out their schedule and pick out something you would like to attend before you head on over to the building.
5442 N. Milwaukee Ave.
This deli is a great place to get traditional Polish sausages and other European meats. The deli was established in 1918, so there is a lot of history behind it. They offer a virtual tour of their site online, which is a great way to plan out your trip before heading into the store.
Sweet Connection Bakery
5569 N. Northwest Highway
Open for over 30 years, this expansive bakery is one not to miss. With flavors ranging from fruit, chocolates, creams and more, the desserts are in demand throughout the Midwest, but we are lucky enough to call it close to home. With world-wide experience, the culture that is represented in the baking, alongside creativity, make it a place to definitely check out.
By Jessica Lynk