A HIP hangout spot for freshmen


TFA students hang out at the HIP often, buying food at the food court and spending time with their friends.

Melody Resto, Reporter

Ever since the New Taft Freshman Academy (TFA)opened up to students, the word around the halls has been all about the new hangout spot that everyone has been going to  frequently according to students at the academy.

The Harlem Irving Plaza Mall (HIP) Shopping Center, located on the Northwest side of Chicago is known by many students. The HIP offers 149 stores like Forever 21, Pacsun, Journeys, Adidas, and more. There are also multiple arcade games all throughout the mall and a variety of activities for you and your friends. The food court, containing a few crowd favorites like McDonald’s, Popeyes, Panda Express and more, is a popular spot for students to hang out and if you feel like spending unnecessary money for fun, Target is just around the corner.

Bus fare for Chicago Public School (CPS) students during the school year is only 75 cents, which makes this easy and affordable. According to Freshman Jeremy Resto (Div.106), bus fair isn’t an issue for him and his friends.

“Me and my friends go to the HIP mall almost everyday. It’s really not that hard to get from school to the mall. A few shortcuts and a bus will get you there in 10-15  minutes,” said Resto.

Going to the mall on a weekly basis, bus fare adds up as well as activities done at the mall, food and beverages. A typical meal at the food court would probably average around $8. If a caffeine stop is a must, a regular sized coffee at Starbucks would total around $5. Around the mall there are multiple Arcade games that only cost around $1 to $5 accompanied by massage chairs only at the cost of $5 to decompress after a long day.

How do students find themselves making their way to the mall three to four times out of the week?

Freshman Brooke Campero  (Div.306) finds herself constantly shopping at the HIP and spending an average of $20 every time she’s over there.

“Twenty dollars a week, I would say is the usual amount I spend; it’s not always meals we spend our money on. There’s a lot around here, which is probably why we come so often,” said Campero.

The HIP’s main attraction for students is the food court mostly because there’s an open place to talk, sit, and order food. It sounds almost like a high school lunchroom.

“… A lot of us just come sometimes just to sit and talk since we are all really close and know each other since middle school,” said Freshman Emily Guzman.

Considering a lot of freshmen knew each other prior to starting at the Academy: the Eagle pride it’s just as strong as the relationships these students have with each other. This new hangout spot has definitely given The HIP Mall some street credit in the halls of TFA. If you find yourself at the HIP during the week, then you’re bound to run into some Eagles.