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Scottsdale

Scottsdale was once a part of the Ashburn neighborhood, which was once called Clarkdale, which was once a subdivision of the town of Lake before being annexed to Chicago. quite a mouthful, huh! Yes, it's a little confusing, but a piece of Scottsdale's history that stands out is its brief stint as the site of Chicago's first airport. Ashburn Flying Field opened in 1916 and during its fleeting moments of existence it was used as a training camp for the U.S. Army's Signal Corp during World War I. Needless to say the area's marshy prairie land was not conducive to safe landings and so Municipal Airport (now known as Midway) took over the reigns (and the sky) when it opened less than a decade later in 1927.

Sparsely populated for much of its early history, the number of people in this southwestern section of town boomed after WWII. With the need for residential development at an all-time high in the city, Chicagoans began migrating to the lesser populated neighborhoods. And so, in the 1950s, the western portion of Ashburn got a makeover and was transformed into a bedroom community that was named after the developer's son Scott. Nowadays, the housing market in Scottsdale reflects that period of redevelopment and consists predominantly of mid-century ranch-style houses with a smattering of two-story and split-level homes here and there. Home buyers will also find condo constructions and multi-unit housing on the neighborhood's busier border streets.

Scottsdale has several great parks scattered throughout the neighborhood. With four baseball diamonds, Durkin Park sits at the edge of Durkin Elementary school, whose gymnasium doubles as a field house in the off-school hours. The biggest park in Scottsdale is Rainey Park. Once a temporary housing site for veterans returning from World War II, Rainey is now home to John Hancock High School and features four baseball diamonds, plus some tennis courts. It may be small, but Scottsdale Playground Park still has plenty of activities to offer the neighborhood's young people with a softball and soccer field, as well as basketball and volleyball courts.

In operation for over half a century and claiming the distinction of being the first shopping plaza in Chicago, the Scottsdale Shopping Center caters to the needs of the neighborhood for fashion, home décor and more. Apparel retailers include Catherine's and Avenue (for plus size women's clothing) and Dress To Impress, which has an array of clothing, shoes and accessories for men of all ages. Get your footwear at Payless Shoe Source and Chernin's Shoe Outlet or find furniture deals at Harlem Furniture, Jennifer Convertibles and Value City Furniture. Scottsdale residents are right next door to Ford City Mall, too, which is just across the street from the neighborhood's northern border of Ford City Drive.

Scottsdale has its share of places to grab a quick bite when you're in a rush: Dunkin' Donuts, Brown's Chicken & Pasta, Subway and the Original Maxwell Street. A step up on the culinary ladder is Mattson's Steak House, which features a good selection of meat and seafood as well as a sundae bar for patrons to construct their own decadent dessert creations. For good old-fashioned Polish cooking, Scottsdale residents love to visit Mabenka. Although it has a few distinctly American items on its menu, like pork chops and ribs, Mabenka also makes a mean pierogi. When a taste for Chinese or Japanese food hits, Scottsdale locals like to hit the Asia Buffet & Grill for a wide selection of buffet items, including a sushi bar that sells by the pound, and the Panda Hut where takeout is the most popular order. For inexpensive, eat-in or take-away Mexican food, some folks pop into Pepe's while others prefer Taqueria El Taco To Go. In Scottsdale, the drinking spots are pretty much limited to hanging out with the regulars at Dickie's Saloon or Maggie McGuire's Tavern, but these long-time neighborhood bars are all you need for an evening out on the town.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has several bus routes operating through the Scottsdale neighborhood. The 79th Street and 87th Street bus lines run east and west, while the Cicero Avenue and South Pulaski buses run north and south along the community's western and eastern borders, respectively. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) system also has bus service running north and south along Cicero Avenue and the RTA accepts CTA fare cards. Yay!