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Racked.com Seeks Votes On Best Shopping Intersections

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CHICAGO (CBS)The Web site Racked.com may be pitting trendy hipsters against young and snazzy professionals, as they ask Chicagoans to pick one of six intersections as the best for shopping.

Racked says rather than choosing a single street that is the best shopping street, judging major intersections was the more fair choice. All of the intersections lie north of Madison Street, and none of them are likely to come as great surprises.

The nominees include Clark Street and Foster Avenue in Andersonville – once the center of Swedish-American culture on the city’s North Side, now a quaint, but fashionable district with a large gay and lesbian contingent. The junction makes the list for the recent additions of the independent designer women’s clothier Milk Handmade, the new Akira, the assortment of home design stores, and the “wild parking lot parties” held by the knitting maters at Sifu Design Studio.

Also on the list is Damen Avenue and Division Street on the cusp of Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village, home of the iconic Renegade Craft Fair, the C. Dahlstedt Boutique, Penelope’s clothing and housewares shop, and new additions Mildblend and Lomography – although those stores are actually on Milwaukee Avenue north of Division and east of Damen.

The famous junction of Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues – actually also Wicker Park but identified by Racked as Bucktown – makes the finalist roster for jeweler Alexis Bittar, boutique Cynthia Rowley, more Akira stores, designer clothier Robin Richman, multiple Akira shops, the RSVP Gallery clothier, and boutique Vivid Braille.

Halsted Street and Armitage Avenue in Lincoln Park is on the list for luxury handbag shop Laudi Vidni, the original Vosges chocolate boutique; boutiques Green Goddess, Calvin Tran and Comfort Me; and denim merchant the Blues Jean Bar – actually more than two blocks away on Halsted Street near Webster Avenue.

The Magnificent Mile epicenter of Chicago and Michigan avenues makes the list without mention of any specific stores, merely mentioning the “national and international brands.”

And “just a schoch north” (west too, actually), Rush and Oak streets makes the list for a new “secret hideout” for Bonnie and Clyde’s Lifestyle Fashion Boutique, the Loubotin shoe store, the Emporio Armani and assorted other boutiques in shops in the “high energy intersection between Barneys land and Prada paradies.”

Rush and Oak streets also get a mention for a “craycray” Starbucks Coffee where alcoholic beverages are served.

A few popular shopping districts were nowhere to be found on the list. Among the absent intersections is Southport Avenue at Addison Street – the quiet and family-friendly site of a variety of popular boutiques just a few blocks from Wrigley Field.

Also missing was the largely male-oriented Broadway at Belmont Avenue – home to Duomo men’s designer retail, Goorin Bros. haberdasher, and Threadless designer T-shirt maker.

As of just before 2 p.m. Tuesday, Rush and Oak streets was well ahead of the pack among voters, with about 70 votes out of 204. Clark and Foster came next with 40, while Damen and Division lagged in last place with about 15.