Lake View, like neighboring Lincoln Park, is another one of Chicago's community areas that is hard to describe without eliciting an argument over one thing or another. Whether it's the area's night life, dining options, entertainment venues, the Cubs, Boystown, access to the lake, or its history, Lake View means something different to almost everyone when asked their thoughts on the neighborhood.
My personal view of Lake View has changed as I have gotten older. Growing up on the the South Side, a trek to the "North Side," which usually only meant the area around Belmont and Clark (or a show at the Metro), was something you looked upon as being some great road trip. Well, at least for me. The Alley, Ragstock, the record shops, some of the more off-beat stores, these businesses around Belmont and Clark were things we didn't have near my neighborhood. The trip north was always something special, something you could tell your friends about, and something you could look forward to doing in another month or two down the road.
Nowadays, 10 to 15 years since those previous treks up north, Lake View has a totally different meaning to me. An appreciation for the architecture, its amazing history, the lake shore path, and the available dining and entertainment options have replaced the novelty of visiting the shops around Belmont and Clark.