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Old 11-24-2011, 12:27 PM
 
1,796 posts, read 6,069,685 times
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Happy Thanksgiving Originally from Chicago. Flossmoor was the last location. My family and I now live in Georgia. I LOVED living in Flossmoor, the sense of community, the easy scale and layout of the town, the walkability, easy xpwy access. Now thinking about the western suburbs, but don't know anything at all about them.

Of course, have always heard great things about Naperville; good schools, family oriented, etc. But wondering if Naperville is like the Orland area being a heavily car based location, very spread out - all things I don't really like. Or if it is more pedestrian friendly like the HF area where neighbors were out and about walking throughout the neighborhood, walking/biking to the park, the cute little shops downtown, walking to the train station. You just SAW people outside on a regular basis (people not in their cars). I really miss that. Thanks!!!

Last edited by oldhousegirl; 11-24-2011 at 12:44 PM..
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:42 PM
 
Location: South Chicagoland
4,111 posts, read 7,353,897 times
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Neither Flossmoor nor Orland are much like Naperville. For this, I am thankful. Happy Turkey Day to you too!

EDIT: In all seriousness, I think Naperville is more comparable to Flossmoor than Orland... at least as far as the aspects you're comparing are concerned.

Last edited by urza216; 11-24-2011 at 06:27 PM..
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
4,034 posts, read 3,267,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhousegirl View Post
I LOVED living in Flossmoor, the sense of community, the easy scale and layout of the town, the walkability, easy xpwy access. Now thinking about the western suburbs, but don't know anything at all about them. ... But wondering if Naperville is like the Orland area being a heavily car based location, very spread out - all things I don't really like. Or if it is more pedestrian friendly like the HF area where neighbors were out and about walking throughout the neighborhood, walking/biking to the park, the cute little shops downtown, walking to the train station.
I don't know what HF is, but this description doesn't match Naperville as it exists today. The central downtown area dates back to the 1830s, and there are a lot of older homes in the historic district, near North Central College. Yes, you can walk downtown but a lot of the quaint older shops have been replaced over the years by chains like Eddie Bauer as the town has grown from 50,000 when I moved here in the late 80s to 142,000 today. It's done so basically by hemorrhaging to the south, gobbling up smaller towns and farmland all the way to Plainfield.

I now avoid the formerly quaint downtown because parking is difficult. The houses on Jefferson Street have been bought up by rich folks who tear down the old homes and build ginormous McMansions so they can own a piece of "historic" Naperville. Naperville is indeed huge, and all the folks in the southern part live a long way from the center of town. They've built huge shopping garages downtown to park all the yuppies who want to go downtown and imagine they're living in a small town. So unless you snag a home near downtown, don't expect to walk downtown ... and if you do, I suspect you might be disappointed in the level of interaction with neighbors. There are a lot of transients in Naperville ... at least there were before the economy went down the toilet.

I loved Naperville when I moved here 23 years ago, but it ain't what it used to be. But I'm still here, and for a number of reasons I'll probably stay here as long as I'm in Illinois. Some towns out here that might fill the bill include: Lisle, Downers Grove, Batavia, Geneva. I've lived in Lisle and enjoyed it (definitely had a small-town feel); I also like Batavia and Geneva, but they're a bit far west for me. You might also look at Wheaton, Glen Ellyn or Elmhurst but they're a little too tree-lined sleepy for my taste.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:37 PM
 
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I think the biggest difference is scale and distance between locations in Naperville. Naperville is much more spread out between intersections and streets. But, most of naperville is accessible by foot because there are plenty of sidewalks that were built. But is naperville really walkable in terms of proximity of different locations in naperville? Traffic is another big difference. The traffic pace in HF can really only be compared as similar to some of the north suburbs of Chicago. That's really a primary reason of what makes the area disirable. Sure you lose the shopping and other stuff nearby. But you don't have the 8 lane roads all over the place or the congested stop signs. I personally am not a fan of all of the toll roads in the western suburbs. My personal opinion is the toll roads push an undue amount of traffic onto the nearby roads causing local traffic issues from those trying to avoid paying the tolls.

Last edited by allen2323; 11-24-2011 at 07:56 PM..
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:13 PM
 
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Hmm, forgot about all of the transplants. But that's okay. I just want a strong sense of community/vibrancy, walkability and to actually see my neighbors. When we moved to Flossmoor, I can't even count the neighbors that came by to welcome us and some even brought food. Very cool, sort of retro.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
4,034 posts, read 3,267,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhousegirl View Post
Hmm, forgot about all of the transplants. But that's okay. I just want a strong sense of community/vibrancy, walkability and to actually see my neighbors. When we moved to Flossmoor, I can't even count the neighbors that came by to welcome us and some even brought food. Very cool, sort of retro.
You'll find neighborhoods like that all around the western burbs, but you'll have to search for them. I attended a church in Lisle for a few years and there were a lot of families with deep roots in the community; the organist who was in her 60s was born in the house next to the church, and still lived there.

Some of the neighborhoods in Naperville are like that, too; the areas around the college and downtown, some of the areas off Hobson east of downtown. There's also the Cress Creek area, and some of the Brookdale neighborhoods. In general I think you'll find more neighborhoods like that north of 87th street than in the far south areas which is where all the growth has happened over the past 20 years.

Just my opinion...
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:49 PM
 
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If you want the walkability then you will need to search out an in town locations. Many of the western suburbs such as Naperville, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, and Downers Grove have this feature. An old core town, mostly started in the late eighteen hundreds and older homes surrounding. Then as you move away from this, newer subdivisions that are mostly car centric.
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Old 11-24-2011, 10:01 PM
 
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Naperville is absolutely nothing like Orland. The closest suburbs that can charitably be described as being similar to Naperville are :Wilmette, Glen Ellyn, some parts of Wheaton, Highland Park, Burr Ridge and some parts of Schaumburg.

Frankly Naperville is a suburb/city of its own and really can't be easily compared to any other in the Chicagoland area. I would suggest that if you are looking for an upscale suburb relatively near to Chicago but far enough away to avoid most of its problems, then Naperville is an ideal location.

From my experience both traveling there and from knowing people that live/lived there is that the Friday commute home is h*ll and the people in the area can be a little too full of themselves. Great schools and safe neighborhoods, though.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:15 PM
 
Location: On the road.
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You are looking for two different things- nice neighbors and close to a nice walkable downtown. Orland does not have a downtown, so you need to look at whatever town you like with the walkable downtown and move close to it. As for the neighbors thats a roll of the dice in any town you look at. Why not just move back to Flossmoor? You will get a smaller town feel IMHO in Glen ellyn, Wheaton, Hinsdale etc. in the west burbs, and Tinley Park, Frankfort in the southwest burbs all with cool and walkable downtowns.
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