Saturday, October 27, 2007

"My Hometown" Meme

Sparky Duck touched his beak to my shoulder and now I'm it.

Of course there are rules: answer the questions, tag 5 people and then go off on your travels to their hometowns. The hardest part is that you can only give one answer for each of the questions. No ties, which sucks.

While I firmly believe Chicago is the greatest city in the world (because it is), I will follow the rules to the letter and answer regarding the town where I reside: Oak Park, IL. As you will see, it's nice, too.

Best place to eat. This one is only difficult because I'm a regular at so many local restaurants. Right now my favorite is Winberie's. It fulfills all my requirements for a favorite dining spot -- varied menu, attractive decor (I like exposed brick), good service and a full bar. Best of all, I've never felt out of place there while wearing jeans.

Best shopping mall. Oh, good! Open that can of worms, why don't you? Technically speaking, Oak Park no longer has a "mall" because Marion Street, which had been closed to traffic for decades, is being turned back into a street right now. Literally and loudly as we speak, with jackhammers and cement mixers and other heavy-duty equipment I wouldn't presume to identify. As most things are in Oak Park, it was controversial and many citizens (including me) think it's a bad idea. But never mind. Even though it's no longer a mall, DTOP (Downtown Oak Park) still has many of my favorite stores, a health club and our movie theater.

Famous landmark. "For the worship of God and the service of man." That's what's carved over the entrance to my church, Unity Temple, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright over 100 years and shown above. I love this building. Of all the FLWs in Oak Park, my church is the only one designed as a public building.

Best tourism attraction. Hemingway Birthplace and Museum. Old Ernie was born in Oak Park and spent his first 20 years here. The museum is interesting and the home where he was born has been lovingly restored. (I was tempted to mention the Wright Home and Studio, but I gave Frank his props above.)

Best place for kids. Wonderworks Children's Museum. I've never been there myself, but the North Avenue Art Works Exhibit has gotten high marks from wee ones who have.

Popular outdoor activity. Skateboarding past the signs that say "NO SKATEBOARDING." (Oak Parkers are a free-thinking, lawless lot.)

Breathtaking view. Take in the view of Scoville Park from the new public library. On an autumn day like this, when the leaves have color, it really is breathtaking.

Only found in Oak Park. The Lake Theater. It's been open continuously since the 1930s, which adds to the romance of going to the movies today. Renovations and restorations went on throughout the 80s and 90s and now it's considered "a model of art deco style." Lately it's been home to all the summer blockbusters, today I'm going there to see Michael Clayton, and I just love that it gives today's audiences an "old-time movie palace" experience in a new century.

Now who shall I tag?

So hello, Gorgeous!

As this week draws to a close, I'd like to thank the good people of Entertainment Weekly for their current issue. Every time I saw the fabulous Patrick Dempsey cover, I was happy. Every time I saw the old-fashioned Hollywood McDreamy-noir photos within, I was sure life is indeed worth living.

I cannot imagine how EW can top this. You're right -- they can't.