Name: Kevin Klimek
What neighborhood he lives in: Northcenter
Where we saw him: At West Damen and Warner, sitting on his stoop.
What do you like about the neighborhood?
Accessibility, public transportation, and amenities. I?ve lived in the city my whole life, and most of my friends live on the North Side. It?s a good central location as far my network of friends go and also close to downtown. I work downtown. You can either take the Lincoln bus or the train down. I don?t have a car, so that?s really important. It’s not too far away from the lake. Those are all the amenities. I could walk to Wrigleyville and watch a baseball game. I have a park over here, Welles Park, and I like the Old Town School of Folk Music Festival and Ribfest. I can afford the property, and it all fits in my budget. There are other neighborhoods that are more active, like Damen or Division or something, but the prices are out of my [range of] affordability. Even Andersonville is. I bought this [house] when St. Bens and Lincoln Square were encroaching on either side but this was still ungentrified.
Do you have any issues that concern you right now?
A few noisy neighbors. [If] you live with hundreds of people, there are one or two that are obnoxious, but that?s what you get when you live in the city. And actually it isn?t too bad?nothing major to bitch about, and when I do, I call 311. Unfortunately, in this neighborhood I do find that that small park between us and CVS is underutilized and could use some upgrading. There was a bunch of drunks that hung out [there], so the alderman took out the benches, but now the old ladies and kids can?t sit there. It really kind of killed it. They do have activities there once in awhile, but compared to the small square in Lincoln Square, this one is really underutilized.
How old is your house?
I think it was built in 1887 or 1889. It’s over a hundred years old.
Were you looking for something historic when you found it or were you just looking for something affordable?
I?m an architect and my client that bought it wanted to chop it up into multi-room apartments. I kind of thought he was going to screw it up, so I bought it from him. I was in need of a house or at least I was in need of housing. I always wanted a two-flat. This is affordable for me because it’s only a partial lot. There?s no garage, so it?s a smaller piece of property, but I still got my two-flat. I kind of saved it from my client making a mess out of it. Even though I wouldn?t have the funds to make it perfect, he was really going to blow it.
That?s a good cause.
Yeah, it’s got character, and being an architect I probably appreciate that.