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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Where's Waldo? Not in Oak Park

Oak Park's new high-end rise apartment building will be named after Ralph Waldo Emerson, who spent even less time than Hemingway in Oak Park.

The development is described as "transit-friendly." In other words, it will exacerbate the village's parking and congestion issues while tenants experience the sounds and aromas of the adjacent CTA rail station.

Oak Park’s latest apartment high-rise tops out and gets a new name, Curbed, May 2, 2017

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Oak Park to cap Ike using OPM funds

Oak Park wants to build a 3-acre "deck" over the Eisenhower Expressway. Unfortunately, they "don't have $67 million lying around" (Oak Leaves, 5/10/16). No problem--like Kanye, they'll just use other people's money to pay for it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Oak Park's architectural integrity (cough, cough)

"Oak Park is losing its architectural integrity," laments a letter to the editor of the Wednesday Journal (11/24/15).

Nonsense! Just take a look at the architectural splendor that Oak Park has to offer.















Thursday, November 12, 2015

R.I.P. Tasty Dog

As Oak Parkites contemplate what the village micromanagers should do with the Tasty Dog site, we thought we'd throw a few ideas of our own into the lukewarm hot dog water ...

First, the obvious: another hot dog stand, but with a twist: vegan, cage-free, gluten-free tofu dogs.

In the interim before the new joint opens, how about a seasonal shop? Perhaps a holiday boutique with holiday decorations -- nothing Christmas-specific, mind you, so as not to offend the natives.

But why limit ourselves to the conventional? Let's go for something bold and different. A clothing shop, perhaps. Not another Lane Bryant, but maybe clothes for pets (no, wait; we've got one of those already). Or Unamerican Apparel. Or No-Men's Wearhouse. A hemp formalwear shop. Or a resale shop specializing in agender and gender-fluid articles.

A movie theatre, featuring foreign art films with foreign-language subtitles.

An e-book stand.

Wait, I've got it: Smug Shop, with everything the prototypical Oak Parker needs. "My other car is a Prius, too" bumper stickers. "Bernie 2020" campaign buttons. TVs and radios that receive only PBS and NPR. Bullhorns for drowning out unsafe speech.

The one thing we don't need? A gas station for our electric cars.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Oak Park bans mason jars, sparking hipster revolt

OK, Oak Park hasn't yet banned mason jars, but it wouldn't surprise us given the village's penchant for regulation.

Trends: Mason Jars (OakPark.com, 4/12/11)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Oak Park jumps the shark

From the Chicago Tribune (March 6, 2015):
A Black History Month event at Oak Park and River Forest High School may have kick-started a schoolwide discussion on race — but not in the way school officials intended.

Several white parents, none of whom would speak on the record, expressed confusion and dismay that their children were prevented from participating in a "Black Lives Matter" event Feb. 27 that was limited to black students only....

The white parents reported that their students were turned away when they tried to attend the Black Lives Matter event. The parents said they were offended that in a school and community that prides itself on diversity and inclusion that students who wanted to attend would be excluded.

[Principal Nathaniel] Rouse, who has been principal at the school for seven years, said the decision to allow only black students was based in an idea known as affinity grouping. In an affinity group, the philosophy is that students of one racial persuasion are able to express themselves fully and safely....

Though the affinity groups began with black students, Rouse said he hopes to have similar groups in the near future for white, Latino and Asian students. And once the students have had their say in the individual groups, he hopes to culminate the effort with a school-wide event that lets all students talk about race together.

A statement on the school's website is consistent with the Tribune article, although it doesn't mention that white students were turned away from the event, and it doesn't commit to holding a future "affinity group" meeting just for white students:
On a final note, some students and parents expressed confusion and concern about the event being for Black students only. Information about the event lacked clarity about this aspect of the conversation, and the high school is committed to improving communications in the future. Further conversations among and across other racial affinity groups shall take place at the high school in the coming months and into next year.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Forest Park snubs Oak Park

OPRF High School recently floated the idea of using nearby Forest Park's vacant Altenheim property for its sports programs. Forest Park's mayor promptly quashed the idea, presumably because the sale wouldn't do anything to benefit Forest Park residents, and the property would be exempt from real estate taxes.

It's bad enough that Oak Park overtaxes its own residents; now it wants to cut into neighboring communities' tax bases, too. Of course, if Oak Park would finally stop blocking the long-delayed expansion of the Eisenhower Expressway, perhaps Forest Park would be willing to sit down and talk.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Oak Park ranks in the top ten!

Oak Park makes the top ten!  Top ten snobbiest small cities, that is -- and Oak Park is the only one on the list that isn't near the east or west coast.

Oak Park isn't snobby in the sense of wealth or social class, but rather in a sort of politically correct farmers market gluten-free Whole Foods anti-Walmart raw-milk Lake Wobegon anti-vax helicopter parent hypocritical NIMBY greenwashing Range Rover my-other-car-is-a-Prius carbon offset way.

(These Are the Top 10 Snobbiest Small Cities in America, Movoto Real Estate blog)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Oak Park ain't Paris

In a feeble and obviously doomed attempt to emulate Paris, Oak Park has installed a chain-link fence along a sidewalk under the Green Line elevated train tracks, and is inviting couples to hang locks from the fence as a symbol of their "love and commitment," reports today's Chicago Tribune.

The proponent of the project says she hopes the result will be a beautiful piece of art.

Only in Oak Park would hundreds of abandoned padlocks hanging from a grimy chain-link fence under a dingy train track be considered an aesthetic improvement.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Canada invades Oak Park, holds referendum

Inspired by Russia's invasion of Crimea, Canada has dispatched thousands of troops to Oak Park and has scheduled a referendum on whether the village should secede from the United States.

Oak Park voters are divided on the issue, many believing that Canada is far too conservative for their tastes. Meanwhile, residents of nearby towns are jubilant about the prospect of secession.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dominick's out, hemp in?

As Oak Parkers prepare to bid a final farewell to Dominick's (Wednesday Journal, Dec. 17, 2013), many are hoping that the Lake Street site being abandoned by the overpriced grocer will soon be occupied again.

Having already been snubbed by Jewel, Mariano's, and granola-eater/hipster favorite Whole Foods, Oak Park village elders are trolling for other possible retail tenants for the moribund store. Local potheads are dreaming of an organic hemp superstore -- a perfect fit for Oak Park, they say (though experts consider a WIC store much more likely).


Sunday, October 28, 2012

You didn't grow that!

The Oak Park Farmers Market recently suspended a vendor from Michigan after he disclosed that the organic apples he was selling weren't actually from his own farm. According to the Wednesday Journal, Walter Skibbe admitted that he had brought apples from a neighbor's farm because his own crop had been damaged by weather.

It's ironic how all those farmers drive their old pickup trucks containing a few bushels of bruised fruit from Michigan all the way to Oak Park and back every weekend, just so that the PC Oak Parkers can have their "locally grown" produce. Maybe their greenhouse gas emissions will bring us some global warming and improve next year's apple crops.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Art of Oak Park

Oak Park recently launched a sculpture walk, featuring 12 works of art exhibited along village streets.  Unfortunately, we mixed up the photos of the sculptures actually on display in Oak Park with some other examples of fine public art.  Perhaps you can help us sort them out.





Monday, June 11, 2012

Oak Park's left-wing extremism causes car crashes

The Illinois Department of Transportation is proposing that the left-hand exits along the Eisenhower Expresssway through Oak Park be moved to the right-hand side, noting that left-hand exits have a much higher accident rate, reports today's Chicago Tribune. Unfortunately, IDOT plans to present the idea to Oak Park residents, who doubtless will shout it down, since Oak Park revels in its lefty eccentricities despite the burden they place on everyone else. Says one resident, "We're so liberal in Oak Park, we even exit on the left."

Monday, June 4, 2012

Confirmed: Oak Park is full of shit

Pigeon shit, that is.  "It's a problem. It's probably a health problem, and it's an appearance problem," says one village trustee. Village officials are considering euthanizing a roost of pigeons in downtown Oak Park to eliminate the birds' unsightly droppings, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Naturally, animal rights activists are already criticizing the idea. The proposed ordinance would also authorize extermination of starlings and sparrows. First they came for the pigeons...

(Photo: OakPark.com/Wednesday Journal)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Only in Oak Park

The Chicago Tribune reports that Oak Park officials have approved plans for a high-rise apartment building.  The village code would have permitted 97 apartment units with 373 parking spaces, but village trustees voted to allow 270 apartments with only 288 parking spaces, hoping that the higher density would result in decreased auto ownership.

That's right -- they approved a huge apartment building with woefully inadequate parking facilities, in a downtown area that's already crippled by a severe parking shortage, because it will be even harder for people to own cars.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hybrid-friendly Oak Park threatens pedestrians

Oak Park's policies on hybrid vehicles may threaten the lives of innocent pedestrians.  A federal government study notes that occupants of hybrid cars sustain fewer injuries in collisions (because the cars are heavier than comparable conventional vehicles), but hybrids place pedestrians at much greater risk.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oak Park fights to preserve gridlock

As east-west commuters on the Eisenhower Expressway desperately struggle to pass through the Oak Park sphincter, wasting fuel and spewing pollutants into the air, village officials continue to fight expansion of the expressway, arguing that "enhancements" to the CTA's Blue Line will induce long-distance commuters to take the train instead of driving, making additional traffic lanes unnecessary.  (Oak Park promotes mass transit to ease Eisenhower congestion, TribLocal, 11/16/11.)

Sure, that's gonna happen.  Just pave over the entire village, and plant a couple of trees in the median, we say.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Occupy Oak Park Arts District

Protesters gathered in Oak Park to demand action from village elders (Wednesday Journal, 11/11/11), after realizing that Oak Park Arts District was a stupid idea from the very beginning. Three knick knack shops, a grimy resale store, a "hip" maternity store, a pretentious overpriced cafĂ©, and a used record store do not an "arts district" make.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More Oak Park hypocrisy

Back in '06, Lane Bryant -- a retailer of larger-size women's clothing -- announced that it would be opening a store in downtown Oak Park.  Not so fast, said the village, explaining that Lane Bryant didn't fit the "kind and quality" of merchants that Oak Park desired.  The Gap across the street was just fine, so it wasn't about not wanting a chain retailer; apparently, Oak Park felt it already had its share of fat women.  (So much for diversity, tolerance, inclusiveness, etc.)  Fortunately, the national media caught wind of the kerfuffle and shamed the village into letting Lane Bryant open its store.

Friday, September 30, 2011

"I pledge allegiance to the Earth ..."

In yet another example of Oak Park political correctness run amuck, school children in Oak Park once were required to pledge allegiance to the Earth.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Get Out the Way, Oak Park!

For years, Oak Park has been trying to block expansion of the Eisenhower Expressway, which narrows to three lanes in each direction as it crosses Oak Park, causing massive traffic congestion (not to mention unnecessary air pollution, which you'd think Oak Parkers would be hypersensitive to, considering that Idling Gets You Nowhere).

The village has used a variety of delaying tactics over the years, including demanding some sort of "consideration" in exchange for widening the expressway, and floating ridiculous schemes like "capping" the Ike by burying it in a two-mile-long tunnel from Austin to Harlem -- presumably, with trees and pretty flowers and rainbows and unicorns frolicking on top.

Oak Park's latest obstructionist tactic, reports the Oak Park Patch, is to "sensitize" transportation officials to the village's history and architecture by characterizing buildings near the expressway (including a Volvo dealership) as local landmarks.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

That's racist!

"Oak Park looks at limiting beauty supply stores," reports TribLocal (9/9/11). “It’s not to say that they are undesirable, but if you have a lot of them right next to each other, it’s not the right fit,” says the village planner.

"Not the right fit."

Hmmm ... you mean like pawnshops, laundromats, and currency exchanges (all of which are illegal in Oak Park, according to the same article)?

Gee, I wonder whether this has anything to do with a concern about the clientele that those businesses might attract?  Better to let those folks stay in Austin where they belong.