More than Just a Nice Day

Getting Down to Business with the OPRF Chamber

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Cathy Yen

Executive Director OPRF Chamber of Commerce

After a gorgeous weekend, my friend Sandy posted on Facebook: "beautiful weather three days running is making everyone feel so happy, hopeful and kind."  Everything seemed easier and friendly in the glorious sunshine.

Even doing business in Oak Park.  Was it just the weather? Or are we more than that?

A brief window into my weekend:  Friday through Sunday evening, my family ran ceaseless errands in Oak Park.  Between the three of us, we parked in Downtown Oak Park and shopped – three separate times. We hit up spots in the Hemingway District twice. Parked there too.  We went through a bank drive-up with no wait. We bought groceries at both Sugar Beet and Carnival and sundries at a drug store, each time parking in dedicated lots.

I walked through the Pleasant District on South Marion and "Southtown" near the Eisenhower.  I marveled at the line already forming outside Hole in the Wall.  My husband found easy street parking near a local soccer field. After all the running around, we treated ourselves to dinner – delivered to our home from the Arts District.  

All weekend, the streets showed signs of life: families with strollers, people with dogs, teens with friends and millennials with brunch plans.  Restaurants were busy; shopkeepers upbeat.  The parking was tight but ultimately unremarkable.  Our commercial districts felt lively but not crowded.  Busy with room to grow and prosper.

We walked.  We thought about valet. We parked.  We chose a delivery service.  We worked from home.  We hit up eight different business districts.  We had a great weekend.

Was it the weather that made everything so easy and glorious?  "Happy and hopeful" as Sandy posted.  Or did the weather remind us of what is already here?

Yes, construction brings density.  Yes, it will get more crowded.  Yes, more people means more traffic.  Yes, parking will get tighter.  Yes, sometimes it rains – or snows.  We have challenges ahead.  Managing increased volume and limited geography takes optimism, creativity and compromise.

Let's stay "happy and hopeful" as we figure this out. Our future is as bright as a spring day.

Email: Twitter: @OPRFChamber

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

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

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 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

Classified Ad