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Old 12-08-2007, 04:07 PM
 
348 posts, read 773,245 times
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Default white street youth

I am writing a story that takes place in mid-1990s Chicago and i was wondering what neighborhood at this time would you be most likely to find grungy white teenage dropouts that live on the streets or in youth shelters. Was/is there any white-dominated neighborhoods that are rough for teenagers? thanks
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Old 12-08-2007, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,249 posts, read 11,042,454 times
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Uptown. It was also home to one of the 2 major skinhead groups in Chicago. They were called CASH for Chicago Area Skin Heads. They were anti racist and largely ruffian drop out types that ran the streets. Their sworn enemies were a skinhead group called SHOC for Skin Heads Of Chicago which were racist skinheads based mostly in Marquette Park. The 2 groups often clashed in places like Lincoln Park or Rush Street.
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Old 12-08-2007, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Chicago
35,926 posts, read 55,158,806 times
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Logan Square used to be a Skinhead brawling area too... don't know that it still is.
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:30 PM
 
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I've lived in Uptown for years and have NEVER seen a skinhead. They are long gone from Uptown. There are still a few Appalachian kids here, but they are quickly disappearing as well. Apparently the gang here used to be called the "Gaylords" (I'm not making that up). Nowdays that sounds like a joke!

There are definitely a lot of shelters and street people in Uptown. I think Uptown still has about 10% of the entire city's shelter beds, which is really ridiculous. There's also a communal cult-like church here called Jesus People USA, or JPUSA for short. It's really the strangest neighborhood in the city, even with the recent yuppie invasion!
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,589 posts, read 12,398,368 times
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Lake View near Belmont and Clark hands down. I should know, I graduated in 1994, hung out around there all through the 90's and have had many friends that lived on on the streets and in shelters around there. I even wrote a play about the area and the kids that used to hang out there in 1993.
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:33 PM
 
10,329 posts, read 17,441,785 times
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I've always thought the kids at Belmont and Clark were a bunch of suburban high school wannabes. Any bohemian artsy kid with credibility knows that this is NOT a cool scene, and that most of the real action is in Wicker Park, Ukranian Village, Pilsen, Logan Square, and Humboldt Park. Lakeview is about the most yuppie-fied neighborhood in the city after Lincoln Park. I know that corner still attracts many runaways, though. And drugs are a real problem, even if the people doing them are a bunch of phony rebels.

I love how "The Alley" ads always say "Clark and Belmont--IF YOU DARE", as if that location holds any cachet. How annoying. It's just a matter of time before the "Punkin' Donuts" is bulldozed and redeveloped into condos with a Coldstone Creamery on the ground floor.
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:59 PM
 
125 posts, read 299,217 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avengerfire View Post
Lake View near Belmont and Clark hands down. I should know, I graduated in 1994, hung out around there all through the 90's and have had many friends that lived on on the streets and in shelters around there. I even wrote a play about the area and the kids that used to hang out there in 1993.
There was a great book written about the white skinhead/street kid scene there in the 80s. I remember it starting as early as the mid 70s. The name of the book is American Skin written by Don DeGrazia.

Another book written about a homeless youth in Uptown was Beggars Shore by Zack Mucha. This was the most realistic book I've ever read about homeless youth in Uptown. I worked for many years along the lakefront before it was "cool" and both books capture the scene honestly.

Oh, and the Gaylords were quite a gang---nothing to be laughed at.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:04 PM
 
10,329 posts, read 17,441,785 times
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Now we've got GDs and P-Stones duking it out in Uptown. The Gaylords are defunct, but they have a nifty website. They didn't start out as an overtly racist gang, but kind of morhped into one as their "territory" was threatened by a shrinking white population in the city.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:22 PM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 9,514,370 times
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I remember a bit of the punk scene in the 80's, and indeed at that time it was centered around the Clark and Belmont area (mainly because of Medusa's). Yes, I was one of the suburban kids who took the train up north to hang out there on the weekends, but I certainly remember that scene well (as well as the aforementioned skinheads). I do also remember knowing some of those gutter punk sorts who lived on the street (usually I could smell them coming . Some of them truly were runaways from abusive homes and some of them were spoiled suburban kids 'slumming it' pretending to be down on their luck (I, however, was just some goofy suburban kid who liked to dress funny and listen to loud music, and that was the best place in town to do it).

Of course there isn't anything left of it now, and the neighborhood, while always being a fairly decent one, has certainly changed in the past 20 years in such away that no self-respecting counter-culture teenage type would hang out there now anymore than they would hang out at The Gap.
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:24 PM
 
2,778 posts, read 5,304,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j33 View Post
I remember a bit of the punk scene in the 80's, and indeed at that time it was centered around the Clark and Belmont area (mainly because of Medusa's). Yes, I was one of the suburban kids who took the train up north to hang out there on the weekends, but I certainly remember that scene well (as well as the aforementioned skinheads). I do also remember knowing some of those gutter punk sorts who lived on the street (usually I could smell them coming . Some of them truly were runaways from abusive homes and some of them were spoiled suburban kids 'slumming it' pretending to be down on their luck (I, however, was just some goofy suburban kid who liked to dress funny and listen to loud music, and that was the best place in town to do it).

Of course there isn't anything left of it now, and the neighborhood, while always being a fairly decent one, has certainly changed in the past 20 years in such away that no self-respecting counter-culture teenage type would hang out there now anymore than they would hang out at The Gap.
Yeah, Medusa's was awesome. I wish they hadn't closed it

What a pity that our rebellious and tacky youth have no place to go now in the city.
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