Oak Park named best suburb in Chicago Reader poll

Library gerbils also receive recognition

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

According to the Chicago Reader's Best of Chicago poll, Oak Park is the best suburb.

Oak Park took the title, and Evanston is listed as the runner up.

Also named in one of the categories are the Oak Park Public Library's faithful gerbils, who earned the title of Best Library Mascots. While Romona Nibbles, the library's first gerbil, passed away in March, a new trio  Henry, Ralph and Mudge  were later donated.

Marion Street Cheese Market was runner-up for Best Cheesemonger. Oak Park Farmers' Market also got a runner-up nod for best farmer's market.

Click here to see the complete Best of Chicago list.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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Reader Comments

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JK from OP  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 3:15 PM

So glad Oak Park won. Maybe that will make the housing prices go up so I can sell and get the heck out of this town.

Gerbils of Oak Park   

Posted: June 26th, 2012 2:20 PM

On behalf of the gerbils at the OP Library, we are delighted to win this award. We have worked hard and tolerated small children constantly poking us and long work days. We would like to discuss a raise (perhaps fresh fruit). also, we are so tired of other OP former residents - hemingway etc. claiming to be the attraction as we are clearly why OP won this award.

Violet Aura  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 6:58 PM

@Grammar Girl: "...needs a lot to be desired" or LEAVES a lot...?" ROFL & facepalm on steroids...

Violet Aura  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 6:56 PM

@Spelling Champ: You mean like RECEIVE?;)

grammar girl  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 4:42 PM

Trainor is on vacation. A lot is slipping through the cracks. Get back soon, Ken. Spelling and grammar at the WJ needs a lot to be desired.

Dave Coulter  

Posted: June 24th, 2012 8:06 PM

Oak Park: Not only do we have the cheese, we have the gerbils to eat it.

Slogan Guy  

Posted: June 24th, 2012 3:34 PM

Oak Park: Small Town Charm, Big City Crime.

Like button  

Posted: June 22nd, 2012 5:51 PM

Lets reverse the survey Murtagh. If Oak Park was voted the worst by a survey would you agree? Ha

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 22nd, 2012 2:56 PM

Epic - Thanks Epic but I was not confused. Only one of the Bests in my e was from the Reader staff - Brawla Poundstone. No question the staff is whimsical, but so are the readers. They were having fun and did a great job of it. But the survey itself was bogus. There were some confused though. The ones who posted with pride Oak Park's achievement. Being recognized by the Reader Survey is fine to brag about, but lets not make-believe that its meaningful in or for the village. What's next quotes about OP from the Onion?

epic lulz  

Posted: June 22nd, 2012 2:32 PM

@Murtagh, the Reader "Best of"s are of two types: polls of the Reader's readers, and whimsical selections by their writing staff. Don't confuse the two.

epic lulz  

Posted: June 22nd, 2012 2:31 PM

@Peter Ibarra, my experience exactly. Although most have good things to say, EVERYONE has an opinion about OP.

Peter Ibarra from Oak Park  

Posted: June 22nd, 2012 1:10 PM

It helps that Chicagoans have heard of OP and Evanston, as opposed to so many of the faceless and bland suburbs that lie to the west and north (and south). As someone who works in the city, I can attest that most city residents have only good things to say about OP when I mention that I live here.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 22nd, 2012 11:29 AM

Like button and OP Rez. C'mon, why would I care enough to check the survey if I did not like OP - a lot. I give into the fact that I don't LOVE OP. I also like my new shoes and the house I live in , but I don't LOVE them.

Grammar too! from Oak Park  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 11:41 PM

By the way, shouldn't the subtitle read "Library gerbils also receive recognition" (not "receives")?

OP Rez  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 11:30 PM

Unimpressed Oak Parker, I'm going to guess that you don't even live in Oak Park, but probably some snooty place like Hinsdale... probably just someone with a chip on his shoulder.

Like button  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 10:31 PM

Of course you have a reason. We have figured it out. You dont like ________about Oak Park. Fill in the blank.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 9:29 PM

I am suspicious of all surveys, but this one takes the cake. Here are some other "Best of Chicago." LAWYER - Arnold Airheart - Brunswick Corporation, BEST POLITICIAN YOU WOULD LOVE TO RESURRECT - Harold Washington, STREET - Milwaukee Ave., NEIGHBORHOOD - Logan Square, CHARITY - Paws Chicago, ACTIVIST - Andy Thayer, Gay Liberty Net, LOCAL BLOG - Bad Sandwich Chronicles - Host:Chuck Martz, JOURNALIST - Chuck Martz, GENIUS - Weed Wolf (Weed quote "And, s--t, I like to wake up, hang around, try to figure out something to do. Man. What do I even do?), STREET CHARACTER - Puppet Bike Guy, and in the Critics category ROLLER DERBY NICKNAME - Brawla Poundstone. I like the Reader - it is the best free paper in Chicago. I just don't think its surveys represent the the BEST OF THE BEST.

Like button  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 9:26 PM

Of course Murtagh. You're right again. Everyone dislikes OP and its leadership. You are so in touch with the pulse of this community. Better yet- You are Mr Oak Park! Would you like a ribbon or a medal. I think its time to go fishing sir.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 8:56 PM

Unimpressed - and most of the Readers readers have no idea where Oak Park is!

More Unimpressed  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 7:52 PM

I think it has more to do with the fact that OP and Evanston are the two suburbs that get flooded with copies of the Reader.

Carol Southern from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 6:44 PM

This is quite a follow-up to Tuesday's article... ;-)

Unimpressed Oak Parker from Oak Park  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 6:18 PM

As the two suburbs with access to the "L", I would expect Oak Park and Evanston to score one and two. Most people in the suburbs outside of Cook County have probably never even heard of the Reader.

Editor at Large  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 6:10 PM

And it's Farmers' Market not Farmer's Market. More than one farmer attends it. And why do Best Libary Mascot and Best Cheesemonger get capitalized but not best suburb and best farmer's [sic] market? Seems like they all should (or none). But hey, you spelled Oak Park correctly. Wow.... just wow.

RF mom  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 5:51 PM

It looks like those two words are now spelled correctly, but it should be "receive," not "receives" because the subject is plural.

Spelling champ  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 1:25 PM

Recognition is misspelled too! What are you guys drinking for lunch over there?

Spelling champ  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 1:23 PM

Hey Wednesday Journal, check your headline, it's I before E except after C ...

David Wyant  

Posted: June 21st, 2012 10:58 AM

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