Meetup brings New Eastsiders together

As leader of the Windy City Explorers Meetup group, Tom Besore loves roaming the city — yet also sees the value in connecting locally.

“It’s good to know people in our immediate surroundings,” said Besore, who attended the group kickoff of the Lakeshore East/New Eastside Neighbors Meetup at Filini Oct. 20. The Lakeshore East resident laughed as he added, “We’re using the Internet to get off the Internet.”

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The inaugural meetup

Group organizer Tricia Parker also saw a “social paradox” in Lakeshore East. “I’d go out running at night, about 8 p.m., and I’d look back at our neighborhood and see all the buildings lit up,” said Parker, who lives in The Tides. “I’m sure everyone was enjoying their views, but I wondered — would we be happier if we were out connecting with each other? And if so, how could we do that?”

Before moving to the New Eastside seven months ago, Parker lived in the heart of the financial district, which she says was “very noisy” and “a completely different world.”

“It felt isolating because few people actually lived and worked in the Loop,” she said. “Here, we truly have a ‘village in the city’ that’s invested in a high quality of life. Part of that life is enjoying all the neighborhood has to offer with our community members.”

Seeing what she thought was a lack of a “core” neighborhood group regularly bringing neighbors together, Parker started the meetup as a way for residents to connect.

“There’s no way to talk to each other unless there’s a reason,” said Amanda Lederer, who moved to New Eastside a year and a half ago.

“I wanted to know new people in the neighborhood,” said Alvin Chin, who lives in the Regatta. “[The event] was nice and casual.”

Currently, the New Eastside Meetup boasted nearly 160 members.

November’s meetup is a “Modern Matchmakers” lecture about businesses like Uber, Airbnb, and OpenTable by economist David Evans at Tavern at the Park on November 16. $20. 6:30 – 7:45 p.m. www.meetup.com/lakeshore-East-New-Eastside-neighbors.

December events include a gathering at Mezcalina and a “pre-holiday” lunch.

www.meetup.com/lakeshore-East-New-Eastside-neighbors

Pictured above right: the inaugural meetup. Front Row, Left – Jillian Cavanaugh, Amanda Lederer, Tricia Parker, Thet Soe. Back Row, Left  – Kevin Chao, Chantal Tardif, Marisa Pilipshen, Gina Chang, Tom Besore, Jason Aubrey, Christina Moretti.

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