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Old 07-17-2017, 10:35 AM
 
237 posts, read 181,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlemagic View Post
...I think many people consider Evanston to almost be part of Chicago and is obviously frequented by many more people via Chicago as opposed to a burb like Batavia not getting any of that traffic.
I am very puzzled by this - many people have made this statement. To clarify, I am trying to understand this point - not trying to create an argument.

How is Evanston a part of Chicago downtown? Is it the physical proximity? Skokie and Niles for example are even closer to downtown Chicago - do people consider Skokie and Niles to be part of Chicago as well? Even O'Hare is technically as close to or closer to downtown Chicago as Evanston is. Same holds true for Oak Park.

If the point is that these are inner ring suburbs rather than more far flung suburbs, that's fine. But the topic of discussion is which suburbs have legitimate self-sufficient downtowns in themselves. So it doesn't matter if the suburb is an inner ring or outer ring suburb. And even though Evanston and Oak Park are even relatively closer to downtown Chicago, they are still several miles away. And they are most certainly not a Lincoln Park or even an Andersonville.

On the other hand, if the point being made is that Evanston and Oak Park are not true "suburbs" and are really more urban in nature, fair enough, that probably holds true for the denser parts. But there are enough "proper suburban" parts of Evanston and Oak Park as well. And I suspect that the denser parts of Naperville also end up falling in the same bucket.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:10 PM
 
Location: All Over
3,947 posts, read 4,053,166 times
Reputation: 2953
Quote:
Originally Posted by asliarun View Post
I am very puzzled by this - many people have made this statement. To clarify, I am trying to understand this point - not trying to create an argument.

How is Evanston a part of Chicago downtown? Is it the physical proximity? Skokie and Niles for example are even closer to downtown Chicago - do people consider Skokie and Niles to be part of Chicago as well? Even O'Hare is technically as close to or closer to downtown Chicago as Evanston is. Same holds true for Oak Park.

If the point is that these are inner ring suburbs rather than more far flung suburbs, that's fine. But the topic of discussion is which suburbs have legitimate self-sufficient downtowns in themselves. So it doesn't matter if the suburb is an inner ring or outer ring suburb. And even though Evanston and Oak Park are even relatively closer to downtown Chicago, they are still several miles away. And they are most certainly not a Lincoln Park or even an Andersonville.

On the other hand, if the point being made is that Evanston and Oak Park are not true "suburbs" and are really more urban in nature, fair enough, that probably holds true for the denser parts. But there are enough "proper suburban" parts of Evanston and Oak Park as well. And I suspect that the denser parts of Naperville also end up falling in the same bucket.
I think my main point was inner ring suburbs potentially have people from the city visiting them ie Forest Park and Evanston where as nobody from the city is going to be out in St Charles.

I think Rogers Park can feel somewhat like an inner ring burb and I sort of feel like Rogers Park just turns into Evanston at some point but with both having a kind of urban feel they sort of mesh together for me.

I guess I don't know how to illustrate my point clearly so much as just saying Evanston and Forest Park are in a comletely different realm than Batavia or St Charles and even Naperville.
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Old 07-26-2017, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Chicago > DC area (Fairfax County)
676 posts, read 305,185 times
Reputation: 852
I'm surprised no one besides me has brought Elgin up in this thread. It's positioned right on the Fox River and has a mix of high-rises, chains, and independent shops. The river even has a couple islands you can get to by bridge with gazebos, garden areas, and their own little ponds. I couldn't believe it was so nice and no one had ever told me about it.

Granted, I was there on a Sunday and it was pretty dead; maybe it's only a little less dead on the other days of the week. Or it's just Kane County, and too far away from Chicago to merit much thought from most people.
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Old 07-26-2017, 11:40 AM
 
631 posts, read 572,968 times
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Timid, If Wheaton or Glen Ellyn were closer I bet they would be 3X as expensive as they already are… They have incredible downtowns that many folks pass up because of that distance to Chicago. Naperville is just a large mini city in itself (really different IMO than all others here) so the proximity is not as much of an issue for them… my only reason of chiming in here is to further highlight the importance of proximity you mentioned…
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Old 07-26-2017, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Illinois
771 posts, read 421,607 times
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Glen Ellyn's downtown (and Wheaton's too probably for that matter) have been very nice for a very long time. Naperville's has exploded and developed into a juggernaut that each year just keeps trumping itself.

I grew up going to Glen Ellyn's downtown a lot - thought of it as such a nice place. It hasn't really grown much, it's still mostly the same, but very nice.

Naperville's Water Street District just opened with a flourish in the last couple of months. First hotel, a high end wine bar, high end Mexican place, Sushi, shops, etc. It totally wasn't needed, but man, it's amped up the scene down there yet again.
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Chicago
2,884 posts, read 3,782,816 times
Reputation: 2738
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimidBlueBars View Post
I'm surprised no one besides me has brought Elgin up in this thread. It's positioned right on the Fox River and has a mix of high-rises, chains, and independent shops. The river even has a couple islands you can get to by bridge with gazebos, garden areas, and their own little ponds. I couldn't believe it was so nice and no one had ever told me about it.

Granted, I was there on a Sunday and it was pretty dead; maybe it's only a little less dead on the other days of the week. Or it's just Kane County, and too far away from Chicago to merit much thought from most people.
I lived very near that area of Elgin for 18 years. You forgot to mention the 2nd best symphony in IL and a wonderful library right on the river. Unfortunately the downtown is always pretty dead. I would take walks along the river, but if I wanted to walk around a more active downtown, I'd go to St Charles or Geneva.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
2,876 posts, read 1,155,337 times
Reputation: 3547
Allow me to add Aurora to the list; nobody mentioned it so far, either. Unlike downtown Naperville, which has a "lifestyle center" (a glorified mall) feel to it, downtown Aurora feels organic and steeped in history. Heck, it was the first American city to get electric streetlights in 1881; it got them even before Chicago did. There are many high-rises with that dignified weathered look, the Paramount Theater, and a good number of non-chain restaurants. Granted, Hollywood Casino and the nearby parking lots take away from the historic look, but the place still feels like a real downtown, not a theme park or a lifestyle center. Of course, it has a downside: Aurora isn't very safe, its downtown including. But I went to a bar there at night once, and I was fine.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Tri-Cities
486 posts, read 550,219 times
Reputation: 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
Allow me to add Aurora to the list; nobody mentioned it so far, either. Unlike downtown Naperville, which has a "lifestyle center" (a glorified mall) feel to it, downtown Aurora feels organic and steeped in history. Heck, it was the first American city to get electric streetlights in 1881; it got them even before Chicago did. There are many high-rises with that dignified weathered look, the Paramount Theater, and a good number of non-chain restaurants. Granted, Hollywood Casino and the nearby parking lots take away from the historic look, but the place still feels like a real downtown, not a theme park or a lifestyle center. Of course, it has a downside: Aurora isn't very safe, its downtown including. But I went to a bar there at night once, and I was fine.
I would actually say that Elgin's downtown is better than Aurora's. Aurora's downtown certainly does have "the look" in a lot of cases, but there's not much to do down there, aside from the Paramount and the Casino. Two Brothers is nice but a little too far from the actual downtown, same with RiverEdge Park.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Illinois
771 posts, read 421,607 times
Reputation: 803
That one block where Ballydoyle's sits is pretty nice. Done that a couple of times. But yeah, not much to do for nightlife really. It does have a presence and feeling of history. It also feels kind of "brooding".
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Illinois
771 posts, read 421,607 times
Reputation: 803
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
Allow me to add Aurora to the list; nobody mentioned it so far, either. Unlike downtown Naperville, which has a "lifestyle center" (a glorified mall) feel to it, downtown Aurora feels organic and steeped in history. Heck, it was the first American city to get electric streetlights in 1881; it got them even before Chicago did. There are many high-rises with that dignified weathered look, the Paramount Theater, and a good number of non-chain restaurants. Granted, Hollywood Casino and the nearby parking lots take away from the historic look, but the place still feels like a real downtown, not a theme park or a lifestyle center. Of course, it has a downside: Aurora isn't very safe, its downtown including. But I went to a bar there at night once, and I was fine.
While Naperville has tons of shops and restaurants, it was definitely born from an old village along a river. One of the streets is cobblestone still, and there are still some old buildings. It still felt more like an organic downtown (which I would contend it is - it developed over time, not all at once) before the Water Street transformation.

At this point, it's gotten so flush with eateries and bars, it's gone from a robust suburban business district to a full-on destination. Those who first visited the downtown in the last 5 years will think it's a fake, manufactured downtown. But what you see there has been the result of layers of new growth over decades of time.
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