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Summer in the Park

Parks & the Great Outdoors Add comments

I have always felt that the best parks in Chicago can only be reached by bus and don’t have neighborhoods named after them. Indian Boundary Park, located at 2500 West Lunt, is no exception. I have a special connection to the park. Sometime in the late 1980s, I remember watching my parents and neighbors build the maze of wooden castles, bridges, spires and tunnels that comprise its playground, and when my pet rabbit started chewing the wires behind my dad’s stereo, it got a new home in the park’s petting zoo. They nixed the petting zoo a couple years back, but the park still has the only outdoor zoo you’re likely to find on the Far North Side, containing deer, sheep and some very mangy alpaca. On the weekend you can take yoga classes and see no-frills local theater in the old fieldhouse. After hours, the playground is a haven for dog walkers, Latin Kings and high-school kids with no place else to go hang out.

There’s not much else to say about Indian Boundary. It was named after the West Ridge borders established for Potawatomi villages in the early 1800s that were breached just before the turn of the century. It has tennis courts, a lagoon, a geyser-style fountain to play in, and copious elote and paleta vendors. I’ve fallen in love there at three different points in my life.

There are about a hundred days of summer between the solstice and the equinox. Add another thirty for the rise in global temperatures, then subtract twenty for Chicago weather weirdness. That leaves a lot of time to take the Western Avenue bus north for a visit, and if you don’t, it’s practically criminal. (Eric Strom)

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