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Marketplace revitalizing Polish Triangle

Sunday, September 09, 2012

The area known as the Polish Triangle at the intersection of Milwaukee, Division and Ashland was once a major community hub. But in recent years it has frustrated neighbors.

"It's an under-utilized space," said Jessica Wobbekind of the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce. "It's full of pigeons. It's filled with people kind of hanging around that make other people feel uncomfortable."

"Just an abundance of youth over here causing trouble," said area resident Erik Paul. "I've seen fights, altercations. It's a good neighborhood and i just think they need to work on keeping it clean."

Now the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce is adding new events to make the busy thoroughfare more family-friendly and attractive to neighbors.

They are hosting the Polish Triangle Marketplace every Thursday evening, bringing entertainment and fresh goods to commuters. Vendors call the location ideal.

"It's an entryway into our neighborhood," Wobbekind said. "There's an El station here, three bus stops, three busy streets and they want it to represent the community."

"They take the blue line or the bus or ride their bicycles," said Julia McDonald, owner of Peasants Plot. "We have a lot of people that ride their bicycles to come and pick up vegetables."

The marketplace is just one of several ideas in the works for reclaiming the area as community gathering place.

"It's not just a matter of them getting off public transportation and seeing you, they have to know there's something going on here," said Thomas Friarson, owner of Spark of the Heart.

The Polish Triangle Marketplace sets up each Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. and runs through September 27.

More information: www.wickerparkbucktown.com

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