The Belmont stop is one of those great neighborhood stations that is truly in the middle of the activity. Many places in Chicago, you have to choose whether you want to live closer to the train, or closer to the commercial activity -- but at Belmont it's in the same place, which is the way it should be. Everything you need is within walking distance of the train station, and there's plenty of great housing nearby. The station itself is also really nice and boasts some of the best transit art in the city.
The Belmont strip still has remnants of its roots in alternative culture. It's one of those rare places where queers, punks, suburban tweens, yuppie families, jocks and trixies all come together. Walk east from the station and you'll pass three vibrant streets, each the heart of a unique neighborhood identity: Clark (Wrigleyville), Halsted (Boystown) and Broadway (East Lakeview). The street kind of dies down for a block between Halsted and Broadway, so be sure to keep walking -- Broadway is a great street worth the walk. Walk further east, one mile from the station, and you'll be at the lake, where you can enjoy relaxing in the grass by Belmont Harbor. Or walk west from the station and the neighborhood gets a little less dense and calmer -- you'll hit some great storefront theaters, my favorite music venue Schubas, and you'll hit Southport, the heart of yuppie Lakeview.
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