Interview with Megan Williamson

The local nickname is The Crotch, which apparently the alderman doesn’t like. At one point I heard he wanted to have a contest to rename it, but that’s not how things get named. It gets jammed up. It’s kind of a joke because you can say, ‘Oh, The Crotch is empty today or…you can imagine what variations there are. [The Crotch was hot, wet, etc.] I live about six blocks from here.

I came here twenty plus years ago as an artist. I’m still an artist so it was full of artists, and it’s become…it’s a little bit of everything. It’s definitely gentrifying, but there’s a lot of reasons to come here. There’s music, there’s books, there are restaurants, there’s shopping. A lot of people come here from other countries, it’s crazy. When I moved here there were really almost very few stores; all the store fronts were just not open to the public so it was kind of desolate and now it’s happening.

I’ve lived here a long time. This is just where a lot of things happen because the train is here, some of my favorite restaurants, Myopic books is my favorite used bookstore. You know it’s just fun to come anytime, day or night something’s happening. But I will say on the weekends I avoid this corner like the plague because it’s just so crowded.

My husband said I wish we’d been taking pictures all these years to watch how things changed. I’m glad I got to stay, but a little sorry there aren’t as many artists that got to stay in the neighborhood. You know, I’m old, but everybody here is all different ages so it’s lively, makes me happy.

Favorite street corner: I would say this is one of them. I live right off of Division and Damen so it’s really noisy and my block is one block away and it’s very quiet. Our joke is we don’t want to have to cross to the south side of Division to go to a restaurant because I don’t want to have to cross the street. So there are all these things and then our block is really quiet, so generally speaking you wouldn’t know you were in Wicker Park.

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