Apartments in Humboldt Park are typically found in subdivided single-family homes or vintage courtyard-style buildings. Renters on a sensitive budget can usually find good deals here, and the neighborhood has always been both vibrant and popular.
Owing to fifty or more years of emigration, Humboldt Park has risen to become the capital of Puerto Rican culture in the midwestern United States. It’s a densely-populated community of perhaps 850,000 residents, and you know you’ve found the neighborhood when you pass beneath either of the 59-foot, 45-ton metal Puerto Rican flags that heralds the recently-christened Paseo Boricua. Hip-hop, salsa, reggaeton, and bomba spill from open windows, and restaurants serve the best Puerto Rican food in the city, including mofongo (fried, mashed plantains often stuffed with meats and vegetables) and lechón (roast suckling pig).
The neighborhood is named for 207-acre Humboldt Park, one of the brightest gems on the “emerald necklace,” the interconnected ring of majestic parks and boulevards designed by Chicago urban planners during the 19th Century. Humboldt Park enjoys all the attributes of quality recreational space: bike paths, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and playgrounds, although it’s the extras -- winding roads, a lagoon, cloisters, fountains, and statues -- that make it exceptional. Throughout the neighborhood, politically and socially charged murals emblazon the sides of buildings, and the community recently prevailed in a battle to save many of these works from destruction, including “La Crucifixion de Don Pedro Albizu Campos” of 1971, the oldest exterior Puerto Rican mural in Chicago.
As for transportation, there is no convenient el train access, although buses run along the four major thoroughfares in Humboldt Park -- Chicago, Division, North, and Armitage.