My disdain for Oak Park will never leave

Being a student of psychology, I hate to use labels and psychological terminology. But having lived and escaped from Oak Park, I swear I experience some sort of Post-Traumatic Stress whenever I come close to this town or have to drive through it.  For those who may think that statement goes too far, I beg to differ.

My heartbeat accelerates, my eye begins to twitch, I sweat, I curse, and my anger is stimulated.  All of this, as a result of living in Oak Park.  They say that life experiences can change you.  Well living in Oak Park changed me.  And not for the better.

For as long as I can remember, living out south in my youth, I always looked at Oak Park, through the lenses of an immature child. The full trees, along with the manicured and immaculate lawns, almost always drew me in. Well until I actually stepped out of the car, and begin to walk and experience the streets of Oak Park.

If the stress of avoiding dog poop, like landmines that are almost everywhere are not enough, try living near elderly white women who approach other’s like it is their duty to direct the village. Or how about digesting on a daily basis the name of Ernest Hemingway or Frank Lloyd Wright, whom this town utilizes in every marketing ploy imaginable.

Having had the opportunity of living there, I also experienced the lack of parking (I had to move my car at least two or three times a day to abide by the various parking restrictions), news reports on individuals from neighboring towns (the west side of Chicago) coming to this “precious” area to break into homes or cars, or businesses opening up one day, to be shut down the next (damn I miss Falafel).

It is not the hippie-loving easy going atmosphere that I presumed it to be.  It is overly congested, overly populated (with people and dogs) with know it all’s that embrace a very sheltered form of living.

The idea of “vintage” is actually a management’s office way of not updating the apartments. From my experience, painting already chipped “lead based” walls is not the same as updating the apartment.  But if you like to use the word “vintage” like Oak Park almost always does, keep in mind you may have old broke down living arrangements.  Thanks “Green plan management”!

There are many other great suburbs or towns to live in, that are not far from downtown.  After living in Oak Park, I opted out for one of these calmer cities that do not evoke my anxiety to levels of rage. You may want to do the same or at least consider it if you are thinking “No Park” I mean “Oak Park” is the way to go.

 

Chicago’s “The Cost of Segregation” impacts Oak Park, IL

The Chicago area that includes Oak Park, IL “has the fifth-highest” out of 100 big city areas in the country with a problem with a socioeconomically issue that is racially based. A report created by the University of Illinois in Chicago “The Cost of Segregation” this report talks about how the racial lines in the Chicago land area impacts the crime rates, the businesses that are invested in those areas, and how this all impacts everyone in the area.

Now how does Oak Park, IL get involved well in all this? Well the problems of Chicago, IL does overflow into this suburb especially since they share a similar boundary of Austin Avenue. Therefore, the ideal suburb must deal with the backlash of failed policies (economic, political, etc.) of the major metropolitan body it is connected to, and denying that Oak Park, IL is being impacted by it is just absurd.

Getting worried about a Taco Bell entering the area or that the Village board selling out creating high-rises downtown, is nothing compared to everyday issues that the people in the most segregation areas dealt with on a daily basis. Their problems of low economic opportunities sometimes translate into crime, that crime does not stay in that area.

It also creeps into Oak Park, IL, ignorance is not bliss, and partnerships across the borders of Oak Park, IL in the less opportune areas could help stymied crime bleeding into this area. Even Though Oak Park, IL does not seem to have a ton of crime it is best to keep abreast of the issues that impact the area. You can read more about these issues below.

The study from UIC regarding the racial disparities: https://news.uic.edu/new-report-details-chicagos-racial-ethnic-disparities

The Chicago tonight article:

http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2017/03/28/report-segregation-costs-chicago-residents-billions-annually

The Cost of Segregation:

http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/sites/default/files/article/file-attachments/mpc_cost_of_segregation_web_EMBARGOED.pdf

Failed Stick up attempt on the border of Oak Park, IL

More Crime on the border of Oak Park, IL and Chicago at Madison and Austin avenues. Does not seem to end however the victim was a concealed gun carrier and managed to shoot one of his assailants to avoid being robbed. Looks like that is what needs to be done to exist in Oak Park, IL, and Chicago, since what really needs to be done i.e.: Economic development is not being accomplished.

Unfortunately, this victim did not get the other scumbags it is bad enough these criminals tried to mug a grown man, could you imagine if this was a woman? Or how about an Older woman (since Oak Park is filled with them) being robbed?

Would that get the two communities working to developing opportunities in this borderline area to stem crime? Would the OP Police force get the equipment, manpower and probably assistance on getting the job done in keeping Oak Park, Il safe like it is advertised?

Most likely. There must be a reallyyyy violent crime to get the attention of the civil leaders of Oak Park, IL to divert their attention away from making money off of high rises to deal with this issue. Then only for about two seconds and then they are back to their money-making ways, while the rest of us must deal with the stark reality that crimes like this actually happen in Oak Park, IL

Here is the brief article that discusses the failed stick up attempt:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/oak-park/news/ct-oak-teen-shooting-death-tl-0527-20170527-story.html