Five Questions With Christine Barrett

By Mike Fourcher | Monday, November 22, 2010

Northcenter Neighborhood Association board member Christine Barrett and Henry. Photo by Mike Fourcher.

Northcenter Neighbors Association co-founder and board member Christine Barrett has lived on both coasts but ended up in Chicago fifteen years ago. Christine moved to Northcenter seven years ago because she had her “eye on this neighborhood.”

Last week we went for a walk with Christine and her dog Henry to ask five questions.

1. What’s your favorite spot in the neighborhood?

The strip of Lincoln between Grace and Irving Park. For me that has become sort of my living room, my hang out. I know most of the store owners by name and when it’s nice out I’ll pull up a chair and sit outside with one of the shop owners with Henry. When it’s cold outside we’ll go inside and in some of the stores he curls up and lies down. For me it’s become a real community.

2. What’s the goofiest thing you’ve seen in the neighborhood?

This construction’s pretty goofy. I don’t know what they’re trying to get out of it. Construction for improving things that don’t need improving and not for things that do need improving. That’s goofy.

What needs improving?

Well, some of the sidewalks. And then a lot of the curbs, if you’ll notice they did a lot of improvements on Damen and Byron, there’s a condo building there. Scotland Yards did this really pretty hardscape, and there’s no curb.

3. If there’s something you would change about the neighborhood, what would it be?

I think I would just encourage people to view it as their village. The first place they would choose to go out to eat and to really support the local independent owners of stores and restaurants.

Like Delicious. That’s a great story. The girl lives just two blocks up from the store. You know Zulu. Again, it’s a business that’s owned by a resident in the community. She does great grooming. She helps out with a lot of nutritional questions for cats and dogs. It’s a neat place. You get things there you’d never get at Pet Smart.

4. What’s different since you first moved here?

I had my eye on this neighborhood since before I moved up here. And then there weren’t a ton of condos. And now I feel like that’s changed. Now a lot of the old rental buildings have been turned into condo buildings. So that’s changed.

And I’m okay with that. I feel like homeowners have more a vested interest in their neighborhood than renters, so that’s nice. There’s competition when it comes time to sell, but I don’t mind that. I think this is a pretty solid neighborhood. Great schools, you know. The whole thing.

5. Octoberfest or Ribfest?

Ugh. Really?

I’d have to say Octoberfest.

How come?

Because my clothes don’t smell like grease when I come home from it? Is that a fair answer?

Editor’s Note: We want to get to know our neighbors, so we picked five questions to ask each of them. Feel free to ask them your own questions in the comments. Or submit your own responses on our submissions page.

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  • http://twitter.com/tcostello tomcostello

    Your link goes to the wrong Delicious (assuming she’s talking about the one in North Center).

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for catching that! Fixed it now.

  • Boyd Johnson

    I agree that Northcenter’s sidewalks need more improvement. Instead of constructing stuff that don’t directly benefit the people, local government should instead pursue better hardscaping.

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