Chicago Neighborhoods The Patch **MISSING**  LbNA # 22496 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateMay 24 2006
LocationChicago, IL
Planted ByMini Mom    
Found By Atom 118
Last Found May 31 2006
Hike Distance?

Chicago Neighborhoods & Park #1
“The Patch” & Smith (Joseph Higgins) Park, 2500 W. Grand, Chicago

*** MISSING ***
Will update clues when re-hid ... in a new location!

Chicago is rich with a diversity of cultures and ethnicities. Its neighborhoods are the Soul of the City. One of the best things about living in Chicago are the different discoveries one can make while exploring the neighborhoods and parks of our city. We’ve selected this particular neighborhood and park as the location for our first attempt at letterbox planting since we call “The Patch” our home. We plan to add more Chicago Neighborhoods & Parks to the series as the summer progresses.

A quiet little enclave nestled in West Town, it’s technically Humboldt Park, but realtors prefer to call it West Ukrainian Village. However, to the long time residents of the neighborhood bordered by Western, Grand, and Chicago avenues it will forever be known as “The Patch.” In this once predominately Italian neighborhood you can find many families who have lived in the same block and even the same house for three or four generations!

Back in the day, The Patch was a tough city neighborhood with plenty of “family” ties. Joey “The Clown” Lombardo lived nearby. Bill Hanhardt – consultant for TV’s Crime Story – grew up here and used his experiences in the neighborhood and time on the Chicago Police force as material for the show. Hanhardt is best known as the Good Cop Gone Bad … he was convicted in 2002 of masterminding a multi-million dollar jewelry theft ring. It is rumored that Dennis Farina (most recently of Law & Order) grew up in the neighborhood too – but I couldn’t find confirmation of that.

In the late 1920s, the city dump was filled in and transferred to the Bureau of Parks and Recreation. They named the park after the current alderman, Joseph Higgins Smith, and built an athletic field on the site. The field used to be flooded in the winter so the neighborhood kids could ice skate. In the late 1950s a WWII tank was added as a memorial to American Veterans. The 60s saw the addition of a pool, tennis courts, playgrounds and new field house.

Today many sports teams enjoy use of the park; soccer and baseball games (both organized and pick up) can be found at virtually all hours during the summer months. The walking path is a favorite of dog walkers and joggers alike. Any given summer evening or weekend, visitors to Smith Park will find a delicious selection of street vendors offering treats such as snow cones, elotes (corn on a stick), chicharones, and La Michoacana ice cream bars. Be sure to bring a few bucks to enjoy Smith Park’s specialties! There are two much-anticipated events every year in The Patch: Ukrainian Fest in late August and (my favorite) the spectacular 4th of July Fireworks.

Park your car (or take the Grand Bus #65) just a few blocks west of Western on Grand Avenue.

Find No. 42 Amvets Memorial Square – a monument dedicated to “our deceased comrades”. (This memorial is on wheels.)

From here, head west through a grove of a dozen or so trees until you reach home, then turn right.

Continue until you reach one of the Great Lakes – but do not cross it. Turn right and follow the walking path.

At the fork curve left until you encounter something that is “Mmmm, mmmm, good!” Here take a sharp right and walk until you see an “eerie island”.

What you’re searching for will be found within a bush on the southeast side of this island.

This is an urban area that is frequented by others. Please be discreet while searching for the box and please do not put the box back while others are around. It should be mentioned that the area is off limits past 11:00 p.m. and is not well lit.

Have Fun and Be Safe!