I had the pleasure of spending my life from the ages of five to eighteen in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Illinois. As with anywhere, there are drawbacks to living in Park Ridge. However, since I have moved to Indiana for college and my parents moved to New Buffalo, Michigan, I have been missing the suburbs. Here are things that everyone who grew up in Park Ridge will know to be true.


1. Every movie you see is at the Pickwick Theater.

When there is a movie theater right in Uptown Park Ridge with $6.00 matinee movies and $8.00 movies after 5 pm, it is no wonder that most middle and high schoolers spend part of their weekend there. Oh, and it is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

2. Your town has two Starbucks within a block.

The age old question when you are meeting your friends uptown: The big Starbucks or the little Starbucks? Do we really need two Starbucks? No. Is it convenient? Yes.

3. Summer starts when the pool at Centennial opens.

Even if this was before school ended, which it always was. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve spending time at the Centennial Pool and the park on hot, summer days. To be honest, I was kind of sad when they tore down the park to make Centennial a water park, but at least they have cool slides now.

4. But Centennial is cool in the winter too.

Giant sled hell? I think yes!

5. The Lincoln vs. Emerson rivalry was real.

You upheld the dignity of your middle school with pride (Yay Lincoln!!) even through high school.

6. You have enormous Hawk Pride.

Most of Park Ridge goes to Maine South. Being a Hawk is not only where you go to school, it's a lifestyle. I am in college now, but I still watched the Hawks win the 8A Football State Championship this year. GO HAWKS!

7. You learned how to ride the Blue Line at a young age.

Being close to Chicago is definitely awesome, and it is even better because of the Blue Line stop at Cumberland. You can get to the Loop in less than an hour!

8. You take pride in the fact that Hillary Clinton grew up in your town.

She didn't win the election, but she won the hearts of all of Park Ridge.

9. And Harrison Ford.

Can't forget Han Solo/Indiana Jones.

10. You're not used to much diversity.

Our town is 93% white and feels like a lot more, and everyone seems to be upper middle class. People in Park Ridge are very accepting people, though!

11. You scream whenever you see the car chase in "Blues Brothers".

You recognize the Nelson Funeral Home.

12. You went to the Park Ridge Park District day camps.

I went there for eight years, and I can honestly say it was one of the best parts of my summer.

13. One of your first jobs was probably working at the Park District.

Whether you were a camp counselor or a lifeguard, you definitely spent time working for the PRPD.

14. You hung out in the library.

The Young Adult Loft at the Park Ridge library was the coolest place to be in middle school.

15. You met some of your best friends in Park Ridge!

I love them all so much, and I will forever cherish our memories.


Thank you Park Ridge for making me who I am.