The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

20 January 2005

Elliptical thinking

Well, Chicago has a loop; why can't we?

A while back, I heard the area bounded by I-44 on the North and West, I-40 on the South and I-235 on the East referred to as "The Loop." And, of course, everybody wants to be in the loop, right? You've got downtown, Bricktown, the Asian District, OCU, St. Anthony's, the Paseo, historic neighborhoods like Edgemere Park, Mesta Park, and the grandiose dwellings of Heritage Hills.

Which, I guess, is reasonably appropriate. I, of course, am out of the loop, albeit not by much; I-44's northern span is a bit on the irregular side, dropping from just north of 50th to down the middle of 39th, and as it drops, it passes me by.

Will this catch on as a local meme? It just might. One plausible rival is the Mid-City Advocate's circulation area, which is a square — Reno to 63rd, Kelley to Portland — but seldom (outside the pages of the Advocate, anyway) do you hear anyone talking about the Mid-City. And nobody ever describes an address as being inside or outside the Grand Boulevard circle.

And frankly, I'd prefer "The Loop" to "Near-Northwest," which is bandied about by some.

Posted at 9:27 AM to City Scene


Houston presently has two loops, making one inside the loop, inside the Beltway, or in the middle of nowhere. They're working on a third, which would would add yet another layer of being "in" or "out" of the loop.

The Idaho town I live in (pop 50k) has no loop nor does the town I work in (50 miles away, also 50k), though the latter is getting a loop and is quite excited about the prospect.

Posted by: R. Alex at 9:27 PM on 20 January 2005

Charles, I always thought of the area around 50 Penn/Mayfair as "uptown." Am I wrong?

Posted by: Dan at 10:28 PM on 20 January 2005

Most recent attempts to define an "uptown" have focused on Classen south of 23rd.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:38 AM on 21 January 2005

In Chicago, the real estate developers avoid mentioning Uptown (See "Next of Kin" to find out why) so they have called the part which was being gentrified "Sheridan Park" instead.

Posted by: triticale at 8:59 PM on 21 January 2005