- Best Real Castle: Givins Beverly Castle
- Best Vinyl Vendor: Beverly Phono Mart
- Best Cold Brew and Kids’ Corner Combination: Little Hoppers Café
- Best Neighborhood Festival to Learn to Footwork After a Picnic in the Park: Juneteenth Family Festival
- Best Spot for Groovy Green Juice, Centerpiece Bouquets, and Tonight’s Dinner: 95th Street Farmers’ Market
After living in Morgan Park or Beverly for a few years, you’ll start to see familiar faces everywhere. Each month, it seems more interesting events are happening in the area to keep people rooted—for the weekend, and for the rest of their lives. Residents of this southwest region of Chicago are committed to supporting small businesses, arts and culture, and families with kids.
Early in the pandemic, my family took walks together up and down the tree-lined Wood Street, sometimes twice a day, through Morgan Park and Beverly. I’d think, “Wow, I’m so grateful we have a walkable neighborhood.” With my now-toddler in tow, we’d often take a detour from the route between Prospect Avenue and 95th Street to visit one of five parks: Prospect, Barnard, Graver, Hurley, or Ridge.
Recently, someone popped her head out of her apartment to greet me while I was on a rare solo walk. I didn’t immediately recognize my former coworker, who had just moved to Beverly with her kids. “It’s me!” she said as she stepped out of the front door. Although I was delighted to see a familiar face, I wasn’t too surprised—we often see people we know during walks. And I was definitely not surprised that she chose to relocate to the neighborhood.
Newcomers with kids regularly cite safety and good schools as reasons for choosing Beverly or Morgan Park. And people who lived in the area as youngsters and returned as adults will tell you the neighborhood is way more fun than it used to be. They might be referring to the live music at the newly relocated Afro Joe’s Coffee & Tea, steps from Wood St. on 99th, or to the numerous arts events that take place throughout the year, owing mainly to the Beverly Area Arts Alliance.
Down Wood St., you’ll also find two neighbors who have transformed their front yards into butterfly sanctuaries, complete with big rose mallow hibiscus blooms, bright fuschia bee balm, and purple blazing stars. People in this neighborhood care—about other people, and about the planet—and it shows.
Our well-worn Wood St. path leads us near the Beverly Phono Mart, down the block from Givins Beverly Castle, and, on a longer Sunday morning jaunt, all the way to the 95th Street Farmer’s Market, each of which are highlighted in this issue.
Neighborhood captain Anna Carvlin is a public health advocate, yoga instructor, writer, and aspiring fiddler. She lives with her family in Morgan Park.