To the editors:

As a longtime resident of East Rogers Park, I would like to respond to Adam Langer’s slam on my neighborhood (The City File, May 3). I have lived here for over eight years, and the place suits me just fine: the rents are cheap, the lake is right outside my front door, and my neighbors are friendly and down-to-earth. Hang out in a Rogers Park cafe sometime–we have several very good ones up here–and you will find that, first of all, people will actually talk to you, since they’re not preoccupied with proving how much cooler they are than you, and second of all, once you get to know them they are a hell of a lot more genuinely interesting, eccentric, and original than any of the feckless poseurs one finds decorating neighborhoods like Wicker Park. Even those burnt-out hippies have some pretty good stories to tell, if you’d take your head out of your ass long enough to listen, Mr. Langer.

You would also find a community which is the most ethnically and culturally diverse, not just in Chicago, but in the entire United States. Rogers Park is that rarity of rarities–a truly integrated neighborhood. Surely that counts for more than trendiness, especially in a town as notoriously segregated as Chicago.

You can have your hip neighborhoods, Mr. Langer–as far as I’m concerned they’re boring places full of boring dilettantes like you. Give me Rogers Park any day–it’s a real neighborhood.

Erik Richmond

W. Lunt