Where has my town gone?

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John Rice

We moved to Forest Park over twenty years ago but it doesn't always feel like I'm still living in the same village.

When the Village Attorney and Village Manager have shared a law practice at 9501 West Devon, it feels like I'm living in Rosemont.

When the top cop and his relatives from a neighboring suburb allegedly brawled behind the Golden Steer, it felt like I was living in Berwyn.

If I'm feeling beat-up, I know what it's like to be from North Riverside.

After drive by shootings on Roosevelt Road, I wonder if I'm living in a gang-ridden neighborhood like Humboldt Park.

When I see the trendy shops and restaurants along Madison, it feels like I might have moved to Lincoln Park.

When our town pays a consultant fee to a disbarred attorney to oversee a water project, I'm certain that I'm living in Melrose Park.

When pedestrians and bicyclists hog the street and dare me to hit them; when groups hang out on street corners and a car stereo shakes my living room, I could swear I was living in a depressed area of the West Side.

When I see a privacy fence go up, I wonder if I'm in River Forest.

If I see people sitting on their front steps, I know I'm in Forest Park.

When our town gives a disgraced police chief a generous severance package, I know I'm living in Cicero.

When it takes me forever to find a parking place and ten minutes to cross a busy street, I'm pretty sure I'm living in downtown Chicago.

When I see the local police respond instantly to a bar fight, I know I'm in Forest Park.

When I see all the rehabbing and new construction, I think " wait a minute this can't be Forest Park.

When I'm running into friends and acquaintances and seeing familiar faces all over town, I know what it's like to live in Mayberry.

When the new development is built on the Abell-Howe property, I might get confused and think I'm in Schaumburg.

When I hear that our average home prices are higher than those in Downers Grove, I wonder how long I can afford to live here.

If I spend enough time on Madison Street, I start to think I'm living in Ireland.

Change and development are exciting but sometimes I miss the town I moved to twenty years ago. It was a sleepy suburb called Forest Park and it's disappearing fast.

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