Who says New Eastside’s not a real neighborhood?

“We are New Eastside, proud and strong. From Randolph Street to Wacker Drive, Michigan Avenue to the Lakefront— and we are getting bigger and better all the time.” – Jon Cohn

By Tom Conroy | Staff Writer

A recent article in Chicago Magazine highlighted several neighborhoods they deemed “straight-up fake,” claiming that “real estate [executives] toss around fictionalized neighborhood names with abandon.”

New Eastside, which joined Tally’s Corner, NoCa and Noble Square on the list, was described as being part of Streeterville. The magazine claimed New Eastside has little legitimacy because it is interchangeably referred to as Lakeshore East and River East.

While the magazine could not be reached for comment, several members of the community had something to say about the story:

“Streeterville and the New Eastside are separated by the Chicago River. Rivers are
dividing geographical markers like the Rio Grande and the Mississippi, so it really is a bold claim to make that Streeterville is New Eastside.

New Eastside is often considered part of the Loop, but the ‘L’ train that makes the Loop is not that close to us, because we are located east of Michigan Ave., another big dividing road. It’s the unique concentration of residential towers around a six-acre Lake Shore East Park, that makes the area feel like a real neighborhood within the city. I have never heard the place called River East.” — Elaine Hyde, editor of New Eastside News

“We got [Google] to add the New Eastside label to our very defined neighborhood by sharing the heading of the neighborhood website—neweastside.org, created in 1999—including a picture and reference to the dozen official city signs that have survived the elements and still identify our 1981 Illinois incorporated, non-profit New Eastside identity.”
— Richard Ward, president of the New Eastside Association of Residents

“Apparently, local real estate executives are getting a bit confused with the vast
growing array of Chicago neighborhoods, each with their own catchy name. Now, we can understand the confusion, but c’mon folks. The area Chicago Magazine listed as the New Eastside or Lakeshore East was described as ‘a plot of high rises at the mouth of the Chicago River, north of Millenium Park and south of Illinois Street. That is not us. That’s Streeterville!”

“Streeterville is close by and has a grand tradition of its own here in Chicago.
But let’s get it right, boys and girls. Our beloved New Eastside is just developing its
identity. We have our set boundaries, too. We don’t need to be caught in the shadows of our older brother just to the north. “We are New Eastside, proud and strong. From Randolph Street to Wacker Drive, Michigan Avenue to the Lakefront — and we are getting bigger and better all the time.” — Jon Cohn, community contributor to New Eastside News

The New Eastside community has spoken, and they are proud to identify with this neighborhood. It might behoove Chicago Magazine to have a conversation with neighborhood residents before they deliver their damning proclamations from up on high.

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