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 dhaley@wjinc.com.

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Dan Haley

Dan was one of the three founders of Wednesday Journal in 1980. He’s still here as its four flags – Wednesday Journal, Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review and Riverside-Brookfield Landmark – make...

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