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Oak Park, IL

Don't believe the hype - 5/5/2010
If you don't know any better you might think Oak Park is perfect. However, if you are like me and have other places as a comparison, you know better. I will say that the tree-lined streets and architecture are beautiful. Being fairly close to Chicago is a plus (although whoever mentioned it was 10 minutes away must always sleep through half of the commute, it's 20 minutes, check the train schedule) and the schools are supposedly fairly good. Now that you've heard the main positives, here are the negatives: Crime, particularly theft, is a problem; the village govt. is mismanaged and in financial trouble; the village govt. is also FAR too controlling; don't get me started on the ridiculous lack of parking and overabundance of parking tickets (can't park in front of your house at night); property taxes are oppressive; while it's easy to get between Oak Park and downtown Chicago by train, nothing else is convenient and traffic is almost always bad on 290, the main highway through Oak Park. If you want to go shopping, you have to either drive downtown or to further out suburbs, since there are few stores here. Some people brag about the independent shops. There are a few cool ones, but I haven't found a town yet that can't say the same. Long story short, it's a great place to visit, but get me the hell out of here!!

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