Sonic Walkabout: Wicker Park

Sonic Walkabout: Wicker Park is a unique audio walking tour combining narrative discoveries with original music inspired by cultural and historic spaces in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

At each site you’ll hear about its history, often firsthand, and then how the site inspired the composer plus a short piece of music.

To access the walking tour, download the Gesso App from the Google Play or Apple store.  Then choose Sonic Walkabout: Wicker Park from the menu and you’re all set.

This is a self-guided tour and can the sites can be visited in order at your leisure.  The tour takes about two hours if you do it all at once.

Explore Wicker Park as you’ve never seen or heard it before!

Featured Sites

Chopin Theater – for over a hundred years the Chopin Theater has been a stalwart purveyor of culture on the Polish Triangle hosting more than ten thousand shows of all kinds from movie screenings, to plays to lectures, musical performances, comedy and more.

Narration by Lela Headd Dyrkacz and Zygmunt Dyrkacz – Owners
Music by Angelo Hart

 

Polish Triangle – also known as the Polonia Triangle, this plaza is known as the Gateway to Wicker Park and was the center of the old Polish Downtown.

Narration by Dan Pogorzelski – Forgotten Chicago
Music by Amos Gillespie

 

 

 

Milwaukee Avenue (Between Division and North) – once known as Dinner Pail Avenue, Milwaukee Avenue is the former retail and working corridor of the Polish immigrants who made Wicker Park their home and a bustling street then and now.

Narration by Dan Pogozelski – Forgotten Chicago
Music by Trevor Patricia Watkin

 

 

Flatiron Arts Buildings – this Wicker Park landmark with its iconic flatiron shape and checkerboard facade has hosted artists, musicians and creative types of all kinds for decades and was the center of the old Around the Coyote Arts Festival.

Narration by Seth Boustead
Music by Jonathan Hannau

 

 

 

Quimby’s Bookstore – for thirty years Quimby’s has been where your coolest friends go to buy their unusual publications, aberrant periodicals, saucy comic booklets, assorted fancies and independent ‘zines.

Narration by Liz Mason – General Manager
Music by Seth Boustead

 

 

 

MTV’s Real World Chicago House – in 2001 MTV chose Wicker Park as the setting for their reality television series the Real World. Protestors gathered, at first half in jest but things quickly got out of hand.

Narration by Seth Boustead
Music by Seth Boustead

 

 

 

Wicker Park – since its founding in 1870 the park that gave its name to the neighborhood has also been its beating heart.  It’s where Wicker Park residents go to play, learn, see live performances and much more.

Narration by Seth Boustead
Music by Amy Wurtz

 

 

 

Nelson Algren House – it was in the second floor apartment of this nondescript building that Nelson Algren wrote some of his most powerful fiction, carried on a love affair with Simone de Bouvoir and immortalized the drunks, junkies and other hard luck cases who were his neighbors and drinking companions.

Narration by Dmitry Samarov, author
Music by Kyle Gregory Price

 

 

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