I love Chicago. It took me a few years, a bunch of new friends, and multiple jobs I enjoy for me to like it, but I have learned to love this city. With its cultural sites, multitude of parks, plethora of exciting restaurants, and never-ending new bar scene, Chicago is pretty great. Yet, when I decided it was time to buy a condo, Oak Park was my #1 choice. There are multiple reasons why OP seems to be the place for me at this time in my life, and the biggest one is I wanted a community (i.e. a place I could call home, a vibing yoga scene, good schools for my future children, friends nearby, and so on).
At the same time that I’m excited to move to Oak Park, I’m also sad as can be to leave Chicago. I know it’s not far – technically 10 minutes by train! I admit I have stated on many occasions how much I disdain the suburbs. But, OP is cool, I promise! Sure, there are a few chain restaurants that end in an ‘s, but not very many! And there’s a booming downtown with nary a strip mall in sight. There’s a restaurant scene, and a bar scene, and (hopefully!) a singles’ scene. So while I loathe the suburbs, I don’t think of Oak Park as a suburb – it’s more like an extension of Chicago. A sparkly, expensive, pretty extension of Chicago.
And while it’s not far from the city (it even touches Chicago!!), it’ll be a little trickier to go to all of the places I really like here on a regular basis. So, I’ve made a Chicago bucket list! I leave Chicago in just over a month, so let me know if you want to join me in saying “See you soon! It’s not forever! I promise I’ll be back real soon!” at one of these places.