Things I like about Oak Park

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By Dan Haley

Editor and Publisher

Elizabeth Court ... The lighting in the entrance to the stadium at the high school that faces Lake Street. Lovely at night ... The Fourth of July fireworks ... The lead counter woman at Laury's Bakery on Madison Street. Talk about nice ...

After watching the book-loving energy dissipate over the decades at Barbara's, that Oak Park has The Book Table. ... The library lit at night ... The skate park and b-ball courts at Stevenson. What were we so worried about? ... The curve of The Ridgeland, that nicer-than-usual condo building at Ridgeland and South. ... Sparks coming up from the rails of the Green Line el ... The dome at Ascension ... FitzGerald's. 30 years old, just like the Journal ...

The Mount Hosmer mural on the wall at FitzGerald's. It's from a small river town on the Mississippi where my wife's family has roots. ... Paco at New Rebozo. Family ... The Buzz. Is there a place that is more Oak Park? ... The council chamber at village hall. A little cool but altogether remarkable ... The garden at Lindberg Park ...

Watching traffic flow as a summer night darkens on the Ike. So many people. Why are they in such a rush to get back to DuPage County? ... The patio at Maya del Sol. Come on, summer ... The Live Here Oak Park website ... T-ball games ... Scoville Park in the snow. The war monument restored ... Tasty Dog filled with our high school kids ... Linda Sahagian singing "God Bless America" ... Beye School. So cool ... Watching people walk the track at OPRF ...

The waitresses at George's Restaurant. It's like Cheers without beer. ... The pews at United Lutheran, filled end-to-end with presents for the Holiday Gift Basket project ... The entrepreneurial/environmental energy percolating around the Marion Street Cheese Market, and Mary Jo Schuler ... The new brick streets ... The McDonald's on Madison now that they've hired an entirely new staff ... Careful Peach, FlyBird and Ten Thousand Villages ... The Medical Arts Building on Lake Street lit up at night ...

The stair-step roofline of the Bushouse building on the southeast corner of Lake and Oak Park ... The grand staircase of the Scoville Square building across the street ... The first floor of Pleasant Home. Gracious. Understated ... The sledding hill at Barrie ... Block parties ... The goldfish at the conservatory ... The main banking room at U.S. Bank (once upon a time Avenue Bank) on Oak Park Avenue ...

Walking up the three steps to the children's area at the Maze branch ... Of course, stating the obvious, but one can't not mention the marquee at the Lake. ... The north firehouse ... The Animal Care League ... Pan's ... Ed Hadac, the beat cop on Oak Park Avenue ... Ethnic Fest ... The murals on the Green Line embankment near Oak Park Avenue ... 1920s apartment buildings ... Gary Nebiolo knowing all his customers at Winberie's ... Yes, the disposable razor welcoming signs to the Arts District. They've grown on me. ... Austin Gardens.

I'm out of room and I feel like I've only gotten started. What things do you like about Oak Park? Let me know. Send me a line at

Reader Comments

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Oakparkerr from Oak Park  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 9:35 PM

Thanks for the mention. I like Taylor Park, having neighbors who welcomed us with pies and cookies, Marion Street Cheese Market, being able to see the city from the corner of my block and too many other things to list. - Becca

Brent Borgerson from Oak Park  

Posted: January 7th, 2011 10:41 PM

Dan, what's wrong with egg salad? Does it induce flatulence?

Brent Borgerson from Oak Park  

Posted: January 7th, 2011 10:40 PM

May I Add: " The Journal" Ken Trainor and Dan Haley's writings especially. The Village Custard Shop. Public transportation connections to "the city" View of "Sears" Tower when I look south on Jackson. The libraries (was that mentioned?)

Brent Borgerson from Oak Park  

Posted: January 6th, 2011 8:11 PM

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 This list could go on and on, but I'm reaching my limit Fitzgerald's is at least visible from,if not in Oak Park Dan. Now about those taxes and parking regulations...

June from Oak Park  

Posted: January 6th, 2011 2:11 PM

I love every "thing" that you mentioned, but I also love all of the remarkable, passionate, outspoken, thoughtful and considerate folks that live in our spectacular community!


Posted: January 6th, 2011 1:47 PM

sounds like we live in the same neighborhood

OP Resident  

Posted: January 6th, 2011 11:54 AM

Wow! Just like Larry King. A goofy list of odds and ends. When can readers expect Dan Haley to issue his "Things I don't like about Oak Park"?

anne from oak park  

Posted: January 6th, 2011 10:41 AM

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!!

Jessica Bullock  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 9:02 PM

Great list!

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 11:25 AM

Lori -- Don't go there. You know the consistency, the smell, the very presence of egg salad makes my skin itch. Not just George's egg salad, anybody's egg salad. Just typing the words "egg salad." Yeech.

Lori Malinski  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 10:59 AM

Dan - I know you disagree but George's egg salad - still best on the planet!

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