By Dan Haley
Last week I offered up a list — pretty random, pretty quickly drawn up — of things I like about living in Oak Park. I invited you to add your favorite things.
And here they are:
The businesses that let me bring in my well-behaved dog (The Book Table, Muse, the running store, Careful Peach, UPS store, etc.) ... That my sweet neighbor snowblows my sidewalk ... That the ladies of Sirius Cooks might actually love my dog as much as I do. ... The awesome crossing guard at Kenilworth in front of Brooks school ...The Banker sandwich and the loaded fries at Erik's Deli ... Al's Grill's omelets and cheery waitresses ... That Oak Park leans (almost falling over?) left ... The carrot zucchini muffins at Prairie Bread Kitchen. — Andrea Kovach
The St. Giles Family Mass (the only thing keeping me Catholic at this point). Hatch School, a wonderful small community. The pre-kindergarten program at Longfellow School, a truly special place where my children — both adopted and biological — have met so many other families just like theirs! — Liz Johnson
May I add looking at the stained glass windows of our churches when they are lit from the inside and you are outside on a winter's day. — Kate Janush
1. Walking to Hole in the Wall on hot summer nights. 2. Sheila Carter, principal of Hatch School. She knows everyone — students and parents — by name. She is the most positive and energetic person I've ever met. — Rhonda Ditzel
I like the big trees. Lots and lots and lots of mature trees. And lots and lots of types of trees. The Katsura trees are my favorites, followed by the Ginkgo trees. And the view of Scoville Park from the windows at the main library. — Rosetta Kessler
Waving to neighbors on the block on morning walks to the bus stop. It seriously makes me feel like I live in Mayberry. I never thought I'd live in such a place. And how about the trees — huge and gorgeous. — Rick Pollock
Funny you should ask. I was hoping to thank everyone who lights up the town for the holidays. Made for a great winter's night walk. Got to be one of the best-looking villages. — Jim Gearhart
I love every "thing" that you mentioned, but I also love all of the remarkable, passionate, outspoken, thoughtful and considerate folks who live in our spectacular community! — June
The Student Center at OPRF. It still smells and looks the same 25 years later! Driving past the FLW Home and Studio and seeing all the tourists touring what we get to see everyday! The main entrance at the Lake Theatre. It looks the same despite all the renovations and additional theatres! — Anne
I've been waiting for this for a long time. This could be a weekly feature: The flowers. The trees. Many of the people. The architecture. The parks. The schools. Pleasant Home Mansion. The fountain and landscaping of the courtyard building on the northwest corner of Pleasant and Home. The horse fountain in Scoville Park. The Village Custard Shop. Public transportation connections to "the city." View of Sears Tower when I look east on Jackson. The libraries. — Brent Borgerson
Again, we're out of space. This could be a weekly feature. But before we close, quick shout-outs from Sophia Lloyd at the Community Foundation, to the OPRF Citizens Council, the Day Nursery, environmental groups at Hatch School and OPRF, Community Bank, Seven Generations Ahead, the Rotary Club and the Oak Park Education Foundation. And Dana Balaz lauds teachers, coaches, volunteers, the Y, the park district, and, generally speaking, "the people and sense of community."
Modesty prevents us from including the several mentions of the Journal on these lists. But it warms our cold, cold hearts.
Finally, a massive brain cramp from yours truly: Val, forgive me.