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Old 04-26-2013, 08:54 AM
 
28,393 posts, read 68,141,354 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
If I had to live in Rogers Park, I could do it. It wouldn't be my first choice, but it's still pretty much livable for middle class residents, and a white guy like me wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb. I spend time there from time to time, and don't typically feel any threat.

I don't even want to get out of my car in Austin.
The presence of Loyola University has a huge positive effect upon Rogers Park -- there is some segment from the school on the WGN News right now and these kids look about as "middle America" as any campus from Pennsylvania to Kansas... The distinct lack of any such moderating forces / institutions in Austin or frankly ANY of the towns that surround Oak Park & River Forest directly contribute to the feelings that LK and others express...
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:40 AM
 
1,002 posts, read 1,421,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
If I had to live in Rogers Park, I could do it. It wouldn't be my first choice, but it's still pretty much livable for middle class residents, and a white guy like me wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb. I spend time there from time to time, and don't typically feel any threat.

I don't even want to get out of my car in Austin.
Yeah, I wouldn't have much concern in a number of places in Roger's Park. There are pockets that tend to be bad (my friend's experience happened on the north east side, and have another friend that had some pretty bad experiences there too), but I'd be fine living in west Roger's Park. I agree about Austin too, I wouldn't take strolls in that area, though I do feel fine in Galewood.

It's true that this is somewhat different in Evanston, but I think that the notion that Oak Park is surrounded by troubled blight is an over exaggeration. Most people I've heard, especially residents, don't get that sense, and don't feel contained. Berwyn and Galewood for the most part are solid and stable, and River Forrest continues to be affluent (with the river, kind of acts like a buffer). You have pretty accurate observations, so I'm sure you know the details of the place.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:09 PM
 
28,393 posts, read 68,141,354 times
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Default In a weird way I sorta agree ...

If you're old enough to remember when there used to be a literal parade of, uh, street walkers, along Roosevelt from Kostner to just about Lombard the shift away from heavy manufacturing than involved lots of long haul truckers in the area to the more locally responsible businesses has been a good thing. Places like Autre Monde get a boost from the stabilty of the businesses like Turano and Buona that are locally owned. I think too often that folks romanitize the "dignity" of lunch bucket carrying laborers. They forget the negatives that came along with having workers perform low skill jobs like the machines they worked on. For too many folks the only distraction they got from their shift work was to hang one on in the crummy bars or hit a "hot mattress hotel" with a "private dancer"...

Berwyn is now a pretty good alternative to more expensive "bungalow belt" parts of Chicago for folks that work in the Loop and can take advantage of speedy BNSF service of Metra.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chitownperson View Post
Yeah, I wouldn't have much concern in a number of places in Roger's Park. There are pockets that tend to be bad (my friend's experience happened on the north east side, and have another friend that had some pretty bad experiences there too), but I'd be fine living in west Roger's Park. I agree about Austin too, I wouldn't take strolls in that area, though I do feel fine in Galewood.

It's true that this is somewhat different in Evanston, but I think that the notion that Oak Park is surrounded by troubled blight is an over exaggeration. Most people I've heard, especially residents, don't get that sense, and don't feel contained. Berwyn and Galewood for the most part are solid and stable, and River Forrest continues to be affluent (with the river, kind of acts like a buffer)
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:28 PM
 
221 posts, read 534,797 times
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I personally don't have issues with the towns surrounding Oak Park, nor the presence of the Austin neighborhood to the east. However, since I find Oak Park's amenities (good shopping, restaurants-- and yes, I know this is all up to debate) to be lacking, I bemoan the fact that there is not more of a region of similar towns offering other "stuff" -- in the same way that there might be from LaGrange to Downers Grove and even beyond, or from Evanston all the way up the North Shore.

I also should point out that Oak Park -- like other towns on City Data -- has become subject to too much hyperbole and not enough nuance (as Chet has pointed out) in ways that do a real disservice to people using this forum to suburb-shop. Oak Park is not as stylin' as Lincoln Park and not as hip as Bucktown to me, and its shops/restaurants/other amenities reflect that (again, open to debate, but I'm putting it out there). Similarly, I don't buy into the whole "it's chock full of trust fund babies and gazillionaires (who, as people have claimed, haven't yet left OP in droves)" that have been alluded to in OP threads. And, I don't buy into broad-brush depictions of other towns such as ones claiming that "Naperville is full of trophy wives" and "Hinsdale is so snobby." There's far, far more nuance to any and all places.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:18 PM
 
1,002 posts, read 1,421,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
If you're old enough to remember when there used to be a literal parade of, uh, street walkers, along Roosevelt from Kostner to just about Lombard the shift away from heavy manufacturing than involved lots of long haul truckers in the area to the more locally responsible businesses has been a good thing. Places like Autre Monde get a boost from the stabilty of the businesses like Turano and Buona that are locally owned. I think too often that folks romanitize the "dignity" of lunch bucket carrying laborers. They forget the negatives that came along with having workers perform low skill jobs like the machines they worked on. For too many folks the only distraction they got from their shift work was to hang one on in the crummy bars or hit a "hot mattress hotel" with a "private dancer"...

Berwyn is now a pretty good alternative to more expensive "bungalow belt" parts of Chicago for folks that work in the Loop and can take advantage of speedy BNSF service of Metra.
Yes, Berwyn is a good option for people looking for an easy commute. Roosevelt has come a long way to revitalize that part of the community. This, plus the stability of Galewood and River Forest, gives Oak Park a much more "open" feel than I think some people give it credit for.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:39 PM
 
1,002 posts, read 1,421,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doglover5 View Post
I personally don't have issues with the towns surrounding Oak Park, nor the presence of the Austin neighborhood to the east. However, since I find Oak Park's amenities (good shopping, restaurants-- and yes, I know this is all up to debate) to be lacking, I bemoan the fact that there is not more of a region of similar towns offering other "stuff" -- in the same way that there might be from LaGrange to Downers Grove and even beyond, or from Evanston all the way up the North Shore.

I also should point out that Oak Park -- like other towns on City Data -- has become subject to too much hyperbole and not enough nuance (as Chet has pointed out) in ways that do a real disservice to people using this forum to suburb-shop. Oak Park is not as stylin' as Lincoln Park and not as hip as Bucktown to me, and its shops/restaurants/other amenities reflect that (again, open to debate, but I'm putting it out there). Similarly, I don't buy into the whole "it's chock full of trust fund babies and gazillionaires (who, as people have claimed, haven't yet left OP in droves)" that have been alluded to in OP threads. And, I don't buy into broad-brush depictions of other towns such as ones claiming that "Naperville is full of trophy wives" and "Hinsdale is so snobby." There's far, far more nuance to any and all places.
I can't really think of any suburb that has amenities that can stack up to that of the most "hip" Chicago hoods. I think it's not that Oak Park (or some other communities) has the "best" of everything to offer, just that it's has a good balance of a certain combination of elements (though I find it to have more than a few good eateries). This is after all what makes each place distinctive from each other, and worth noting.

Oak Park has a mix of people from different income levels, I don't think anyone has said otherwise, but that's one of the things that I find refreshing about it... It's not just all rich people, or all low income... people generally seem to get along.

As for generalizing about Oak Park without nuance... There has a been quite a number of occasions where things like schools and safety has been "generalized" based on data without the "nuances" of what that data actually reflects, and much of the back-and-fourths usually stem from these generalizations. As for generalizing about other towns, there seems to a be a disproportionate amount of negative generalization surrounding Oak Park which tends to lead into these long drawn out threads that become a disservice to suburb shoppers. I am all for "nuance".
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,140,019 times
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Nuance, I think, is in the living and not in the telling. It's different for each resident, as is their favorite stylist. From my perspective Oak Park is neither a hopelessly forgettable place nor a happenin' frat party town.

OP works hard to attract new residents and visitors. Its difficult for me to call the results of its hard work hyperbole as is supported by data and awards from architectural groups, newspapers, and national magazines -- which it usually mentions on it website. The website is also where it mentions, or did, the millionaire bachelors who call Oak Park home.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Doglover5 View Post
I personally don't have issues with the towns surrounding Oak Park, nor the presence of the Austin neighborhood to the east. However, since I find Oak Park's amenities (good shopping, restaurants-- and yes, I know this is all up to debate) to be lacking, I bemoan the fact that there is not more of a region of similar towns offering other "stuff" -- in the same way that there might be from LaGrange to Downers Grove and even beyond, or from Evanston all the way up the North Shore.

I also should point out that Oak Park -- like other towns on City Data -- has become subject to too much hyperbole and not enough nuance (as Chet has pointed out) in ways that do a real disservice to people using this forum to suburb-shop. Oak Park is not as stylin' as Lincoln Park and not as hip as Bucktown to me, and its shops/restaurants/other amenities reflect that (again, open to debate, but I'm putting it out there). Similarly, I don't buy into the whole "it's chock full of trust fund babies and gazillionaires (who, as people have claimed, haven't yet left OP in droves)" that have been alluded to in OP threads. And, I don't buy into broad-brush depictions of other towns such as ones claiming that "Naperville is full of trophy wives" and "Hinsdale is so snobby." There's far, far more nuance to any and all places.
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:29 AM
 
3,790 posts, read 5,554,288 times
Reputation: 2105
I've always liked Oak Park and have been going there since I was a child. Oddly, it was considered conservative once upon a time. I think to me it had a kind of solidness and "villagey" aspect to it that other suburbs where they threw up houses after WW 2 did not have...lots of housing styles that were interesting and not cookie cutter, an active shopping district (now nothing like it was in the past) and an urban vibe that did not exist in other places but the city. Years ago before shopping centers, Oak Park was "the" place to shop if you could not make it downtown. It had a large Marshall Fields, Wieboldts, Lyttons, and many other small shops along Lake St. that made it a shoppers dream. It was unlike the sleepy little western suburbs of blue collar inhabitants with only a drug store and a dime store....so that is my take on it. I still look upon it with fondness.
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Illinois
158 posts, read 115,890 times
Reputation: 125
Oak Park is and has been a very overrated village. I live in a nearby suburb for a long time. I suspect that liberals are
overrating it. O.P. loves the overrated author Hemingway and Frank L. Wright-- architect. IMO.

O.P leaves much to be desired, such as a nightlife. Its diversity is not always a virtue. Can I say that?
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Old 07-04-2016, 11:51 AM
 
3,790 posts, read 5,554,288 times
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Many people don't care about nightlife. And there is a considerable amount of stuff happening in South Oak Park/Berwyn along the "Veltway" (Roosevelt Rd) where there is Fitzgeralds among other things. Its also a short drive to the city for anything you desire.
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