Melrose Park is a suburb of Chicago, IL, and has a mixture of middle-class and working-class citizens, many of whom have lived there their whole lives. Historically, Melrose Park had a huge Italian population, but from the late 1980s to now (2010), there has been an influx of Hispanic immigrants (largest groups being Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Colombian). Probably the biggest business in Melrose Park is restaurants--whether you're White, Hispanic, Black, Blue, Purple, people in Melrose Park love food! There are some really nice Mexican/Hispanic restaurants and fast food/take-out places, as well as several cafés and Italian restaurants in town, a *really* good one being Abruzzo's. One problem, though: if you're going to eat inside any time between noon and 5:00, don't count on it being peaceful, because lots of older Italian men (like the Police and Fire chiefs, for example) tend to hang out there, drink some vino
, and talk *really loudly*, often with swearing. Bringing little kids there during this time might not be the best idea, unless of course said men are behaving themselves. But the food is excellent! Melrose Park also has great pizza places. Some things Melrose Park is famous for: the former amusement park Kiddieland (which closed down in 2009); birthplace of theatre actress Carol Lawrence, who was the original Maria in the stage production West Side Story
; and birthplace of basketball player Michael Finley. We're also (in)famous for political scandals.
"So hey girl, I went to Melrose Park the other day, in La Selva
, and this fuckin pindeho called me a gordita. I'm finna beat his ass!"