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Old 03-28-2007, 11:56 AM
 
8 posts, read 58,779 times
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I know some western suburbs are known for having snobby/materialistic teens.

How is La Grange in that respect? Is it a working class suburb?

Thanks for any info you can provide. We live in a blue collar working neighborhood now and want to remain in that kind of neighborhood when we move.
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Hollywood/Brookfield, IL
677 posts, read 4,071,101 times
Reputation: 359
This is probably way more than you wanted to read but I'm going to tell you my experience with snobs/materialism in this area. The part of La Grange east of La Grange Rd is more blue collar than the western half of La Grange, which is virtually indistinguishable from Western Springs, where I was raised and live currently. Here it's not unusual to see groups of junior high kids walking around downtown with Starbucks cups in hand. Girls carry designer purses. I think it's disgusting, but I work in the northern suburbs and see the same things. I grew up here and I've never owned designer anything. And it's not that the area has changed a lot in the past 20 years; there were snobby teens when I went to high school and I admit to being one of them. However, this isn't so much of a problem here that you're going to be overwhelmed by it. There are plenty of working-class people, but keep in mind that one has to earn more than a decent living to afford a house here. My husband and I are teachers, and my next-door neighbor works in a factory and his wife is a nurse. We're not all doctors or lawyers or CEOs. It also depends on your children and how you raise them. I was a snob because my parents raised me to think and act that way. I was born in Evergreen Park, which is very much a blue-collar, middle-class suburb, and my parents still talk about it as if it was the ghetto. "I'm so glad we got out of there" and such. My parents are wealthy and we lived in a huge house, but my parents didn't buy us a lot of expensive stuff, and we were snobs anyway. The opposite is also true. When I was in college and home for the summers I nannied for a family in La Grange who had three children. From the outside it didn't appear that the family had a lot of money - they lived in an average-sized house with peeling paint and Christmas lights up all year round. But those kids had more toys than I've ever seen. They had a spare bedroom in their basement which was so full of toys that it was impossible to step inside (which was unfortunate for me because one of the kids loved to find old toys and would crawl in there, stepping on everything, get stuck somewhere in the middle and ask me to come help him get something out from the bottom of a pile). Their bedroom closets were in the same condition and toys were all over the house too. But every day those kids played with the kids who lived in the house behind them, who were very obviously poor (there was a broken-down car and a moldy old mattress in their backyard, and the kids always looked like they hadn't bathed in weeks). The kids I nannied for didn't seem to notice or care. They were raised not to judge people based on what they have or don't have (unlike me).

Here's the upside: those junior high kids walking to Starbucks with their designer purses - they don't have to worry about anything happening to them. This is still a place where kids can play outside without fear. My 6-year-old walks home from school alone everyday, and I don't have to worry about her. It is incredibly safe here. So I would say it's "down to earth" in that respect, and also in that people are very neighborly (think summer block parties and a real sense of community). I can't go for a walk without at least one person greeting me. There's an elderly man who lives a few houses down from mine and whenever he's outside and I walk by he stops me to chat for at least ten minutes. This is in contrast to Arlington Heights, where I lived for seven years and the only people who ever greeted me were my next-door neighbors, and I definitely didn't feel safe walking my dog at night like I do now. I liked living there, but it was nothing compared to Western Springs/La Grange, which is why I moved back.
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Old 03-30-2007, 06:36 PM
 
8 posts, read 58,779 times
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Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. It is greatly appreciated. It really is so hard moving (we're moving from Boston) without knowing an area. I've read so many great things about La Grange and I really feel it's where we belong.

We have a 16 month old daughter and I really do want the community feeling that we have here, the safety, but don't want to live around snobs!

We were also considering living in the city, like Andersonville or something, but I really think it'll be too congested for us. La Grange has great schools and a great downtown area from what we saw on our brief visit.

Thanks again for your response! Maybe we'll see you around La Grange...we're moving this fall.
Suzanne
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Hollywood/Brookfield, IL
677 posts, read 4,071,101 times
Reputation: 359
I'm glad I could help. I have a 10 month old son - maybe we should set up a playdate? I hope you and your family enjoy living here as much as I do. Good luck with your move!
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