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Transcript of Bridgeport
One also is aware of one’s ethnicity when one lives in Bridgeport. When I was growing up, there were clearly defined ethnic sections of the neighborhood. East of Halsted, south of 35th, around Nativity, was the Irish section. West of Halsted, north of 35th was the Lithuanian/German section. The neighborhood is not as clearly defined geographically any more with the influx of Hispanics and yuppies, but everyone, except for the yuppies, is aware of his or her ethnicity. And the parishes are still defined as ethnic parishes, though they no longer are in the strictest sense.
In many ways, the neighborhood is not the same neighborhood in which I grew up. The Orange Line has brought new, younger people (what we’d call the yuppies) to the neighborhood. Chinatown is growing south into Bridgeport. Many of my childhood friends have moved to the suburbs. Homes here have gotten expensive as the Orange Line has made access to downtown easier. Further, many people, both newcomers and sons and daughters of Bridgeport, have built new homes, expensive homes, in Bridgeport. There are either developments of new homes, like that along the river, north of 35th and west of Racine, or just new homes sprinkled among the old bungalows and two flats. This is good for the neighborhood, one supposes, but it does change its character.
Bridgeport has always been a great place to live, with its access to the Loop (and Comiskey Park; the Cel is name for suburbanites and north siders!), its safe and clean streets, its sense of political privilege, and its tight “working class mixed with big time politicians neighborhood” feel. These attributes, and the neighborhood’s desirability, continue. It’s a different place in many ways from the neighborhood in which I grew up, but it’s still the same old neighborhood to many of us. Some of our siblings may have left, but we would want to live nowhere else. Ask Johnny Daley!
Bridgeport resident, Nativity parishioner, 55 years old, 2012 With the acceptance of several ethnic groups, Bridgeport is one of Chicago's most diverse neighborhoods. The Daley family grew up in Bridgeport and called this neighborhood home. Works Cited The Breakdown Since its inception, Bridgeport has been a predominantly Irish neighborhood. These immigrants settled here following the construction of the I&M Canal. The state didn’t have enough money to pay them, so land scrips were issued, most of which were used in Bridgeport. The name Bridgeport comes from its location, being near a bridge over the river that was too low to cross under, so the cargo needed to be unloaded there. This neighborhood also used to be known as “Lithuanian Downtown” due to it being the center of the Lithuanian settlement in downtown. Today, it has continued to diversify, having a large population of Mexican-Americans and Chinese-Americans. It was ranked one of Chicago’s four most ethnically diverse neighborhoods by the Chicago Sun-Times. Change has occurred over the years. Taverns used to be located literally on every corner, sometimes as many as three per intersection, but today that number is far less. Also, housing prices have increased due to the opening of the Orange Line, which provides easier access to downtown. Bridgeport is also a political hotbed, being home to five of Chicago’s mayors, including the Daleys, who ran their political machine from there. "Bridgeport." Chicago Real Estate: Neighborhood and City Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www.chicagoneighborhoods.cc/neighborhoods/bridgeport.html>.
"Bridgeport." Encyclopedia of Chicago. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/165.html>.
"Bridgeport." Explore Chicago. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/neighborhoods/bridgeport__sox.html>.
"Bridgeport Facts and Statistics." Bridgeport Facts and Statistics. WildOnions.org - The World of Chicago. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www.wildonions.org/ChicagoResource/Bridgeport-Information.htm>.
"Orange Line ('L')." CTA Orange Line Route Guide. Chicago Transit Authority, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www.transitchicago.com/orangeline/>.
Quinn, Mark M., Sr. "History and Current Information on Bridgeport." Personal interview. 21 Oct. 2012. Social:
Total Population: 33,694
African or African-American: 1.10%
Indigenous (North America): 0.17%
White: 41.19% Economic:
The neighborhood has become more expensive to live in after the Orange Line connected into the neighborhood and made it easier to reach the city. The cost of living in Bridgeport is 8.2% less than Chicago average but 5% greater than the national average. Social classes include middle class and working class. Even though it is still primarily Irish, there are tons of ethnic groups that live in Bridgeport. Also, younger people have moved into the neighborhood. Bridgeport used to be a town consisting of construction workers and meat packers. Now there are several kinds of jobs, political careers being the most well known in the neighborhood.