Oak Park snobby? Who are they kidding?

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

As a handicapped senior citizen, I'd like to complain more about the Ridgeland Common facility, with a very long walk from the pool to the far west entrance and all the way back again to customer service.

But I'd rather ponder why Oak Park is called snobby. First off, we must rank high among small cities who are seriously committed to diversity. Surely that takes us off "snobby." Then I think of the Farmers Market and its wild gathering of bluegrass musicians. Snobby? Our gorgeous diversity of trees, wild prairie-style gardens everywhere, well-used bike paths, soon a food coop. We have community theatre, ethnic festivals, much involvement in world and local problems by our citizens, services for the homeless, the poor, the disabled. We even have a preservation of wildness in our downtown area in Austin Gardens. And I never stop being amazed at the frequent politeness of Oak Park drivers indicating "Go ahead. You first!"

Sixty percent of our population is college-educated. Calling that snobby is a put-down of education and smells of an uneducated person threatened by the strength and independence that education gives people.

Yes, maybe we get a little taken with ourselves over famous residents and a little silly about our new identity as beer drinkers, but to me Oak Park is not snobby. We are civilized, down-to-earth, and real. It's an honor to be part of this lovely community that works together respectfully. 

And Wednesday Journal helps us be our best! 

Marti Matthews

Oak Park

Reader Comments

9 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 1:51 PM

What a refreshing simple pleasant overview of OP's attractions. I'll click to see adverts for the positivity, so much more peaceful than seeing the unhealthy vile of a previously mentioned LTE. Thank-you, Marti Matthews. Ironically, snobbery is similar to humility, in its converse- the moment you claim humility, you lose it; once you accuse others of snobbery, you become a snob. There's nothing wrong with proudly appreciating your hometown. Don't knock it. Help make it work. Enjoy it.

long time resident  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 1:12 PM

We're not intentionally snobby - but OP does have a strong tendency to look down at (or ignore) anything that does not reflect "ideal OP". Case in point - how much money went into Ridgeland obviously without considering people with mobility problems. Next time there's something being planned bring up the issue of people with mobility issues and see how much support you can generate. OP has an "if you don't fit into our image of who we are that's your problem" attitude.


Posted: August 6th, 2014 7:28 PM

Or perhaps acting superior/entitled is part of larger generational shift form the great generation (our parents) to the self serving (our kids) and caring/ openess/ is replaced by elitism? Or perhaps I am full of crap... who knows.


Posted: August 6th, 2014 7:16 PM

Perhaps the ethos change in which we act superior but really know our relative position has declined is in part due to middle class erosion. Few OP'er will be able to escape the reality the promise of middle class may not exist for thier children - and are mad?


Posted: August 6th, 2014 6:29 PM

OP ethos has definately changed over last decade but into what is the question. I too beleived OP'ers had become snobby, cliquish, social climbers but then realized that our collective angst and insecurity drives the inside the bubble mentality. We are afraid of any real critism and label anyone who disagrees bad/crazy/ not one of us.

Keith from Oak Park  

Posted: August 6th, 2014 5:21 PM

Snobs describe a large percentage of OP residents. They are "special". OP is a Village that needs to keep up appearances and appear so wonderful to everyone. Here, it is who you know and are you in the "inner" circle. So many are nobodies trying to be somebodies. I agree totally with the previous commentators who don't have blinders on or belong to the cheer leading team.

also a physically challenged senior from OP  

Posted: August 6th, 2014 12:35 PM

Ms. Matthews, how can you complain about Ridgeland Common? Did you not ever go to the old RC, which was as inaccessible as it could be? This new RC is great, especially for us who have physical issues. That's very snobby of you....and yes, Ken Trainor's piece this week is the epitome of Oak Park snobbery.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 6th, 2014 12:11 PM

You want proof? Read Ken Trainors column this week. About as narrow minded, condescending and insulting as it gets!

Patricia O'Shea from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 2:06 PM

I think it might be the holier than thou aren't we so great thing that makes us snobby. That said, that piece was meant to grab clicks for advertising purposes. It's was weak journalism at best...

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2017

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2017 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad