Oak Park Journals

Oak Park - Home-from-home for a Travelling Brit

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An October 2006 trip to Oak Park by GB from Devizes

Majada Restaurant Photo, Oak Park, Illinois More Photos
Quote: Oak Park was my base for the get-together. Its tree-lined boulevards, historic sights, parks, and relaxed feel made for a wonderful stay in the 'burbs.

Oak Park - Home-from-home for a Travelling Brit

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Overview

Ernest Hemingway Museum Photo, Oak Park, Illinois
Quote:
For an Englishman who lives in a rural area of southern Britain, Oak Park was without doubt a wonderful location to be based throughout my six-day stay for the get-together. Its broad streets and avenues are lined with trees, all at this time of year taking on their autumnal hues and providing a fabulous spectrum of living colour. The open areas and parks are a delight, well tended, well used and full of tiny squirrels bounding across the grass and leaping through the trees in fantastic displays of arboreal gymnastics. The streets and sidewalks are clean and tidy and it would appear that the local residents take pride in their leafy village suburb.The area is of course synonymous its two most ...Read More

Write Inn Hotel

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Hotel | "The Write Inn"

Write Inn Hotel Photo, Oak Park, Illinois
Quote:
This elegant hotel sits at 211 N. Oak Park Avenue and was chosen to be my base for my five-night stay. It was originally opened in 1926 as the Oak Park Manor and is listed today as designated historic landmark. Much of the public areas of the hotel have recently been restored with marble floors and mosaics, plus a new elevator has been installed alongside the original.I stayed in room 410 which was spacious, comfortable, clean, and well decorated and afforded a great view through the trees across Oak Park Avenue. The room had a double bedroom, a kitchen area complete with microwave, sink, and fridge plus a sizeable sitting area complete with table, chairs, sofa, and a large TV set. The room ha...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 20, 2006

Write Inn Hotel
211 N. Oak Park Avenue
Oak Park, Illinois 60302
(708) 383-4800

Majada Restaurant

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Restaurant | "La Majada Mexican Restaurant"

Majada Restaurant Photo, Oak Park, Illinois
Quote:
For my last meal prior to leaving for home, Carole suggested we try this restaurant situated in Oak Park at 226 Harrison. We arrived just after midday and as we entered, we could see that the place was deserted. It was however warm inside and had a great ambience albeit with no customers!We were greeted and shown to a table before being presented with the menu which covered several pages. I was in no rush to get to O’Hare, so we opted for a pitcher of Margueritas which arrived at the table quickly. Now, I’m not a lover of tequila but this was fantastic, tasty and refreshing, not like the “knock-you-sideways” stuff I’d very occasionally tried at home.Our waiter came over to see if we we...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 20, 2006

Majada Restaurant
226 Harrison St
Oak Park, Illinois 60304
(708) 848-8838

Great Harvest Bread Co.

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Restaurant | "The Great Harvest Bread Company"

Great Harvest Bread Co. Photo, Oak Park, Illinois
Quote:
I stumbled across this amazing bakery and coffee shop on the third morning of my stay in Oak Park. In fact it was hard to miss with the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread and pastries wafting across the street to assault my senses. It sits at 736 Lake Street and can be entered by one of two doorways. Once inside, it really hits you – the best smell in the world, especially if you’re hungry and after some breakfast. I perused the hugely varied menu boards and chose a choc-chip scone. Now in the UK a “scone” would mean a small bun made with fruit, lightly baked and hopefully still served warm. Here, you are offered something the size of an elephant’s foot – certainly the largest scone I’ve e...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 20, 2006

Great Harvest Bread Co.
736 Lake St.
Oak Park, Illinois 60301
(708) 848-5700

Erik's Delicatessen Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Erik's Delicatessen & Restaurant"

Erik's Delicatessen Restaurant Photo, Oak Park, Illinois
Quote:
This superb diner/restaurant/deli was discovered on my first full day in Oak Park. It sits just two minutes walk south from the Write Inn at 107 N. Oak Park Avenue and offers a staggering array of food at very reasonable prices, both sit down and take away.I walked in on this beautiful morning just as they were opening. It was warm inside and very evident from the great aromas emanating from the kitchen that they were “all fired up and ready to go”. I took a table in the window then walked up to the large counter to order. It was a real challenge to choose from the huge menu but I was pretty hungry after my long sleep and needed something that would hit the spot.I eventually chose a ty...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 21, 2006

Erik's Delicatessen Restaurant
107 N Oak Park Ave
Oak Park, Illinois 60301
(708) 848-8805

Ernest Hemingway Museum

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Attraction | "The Hemingway Museum & Birth House"

Ernest Hemingway Museum Photo, Oak Park, Illinois
Quote:
These two wonderful attractions are situated just a few minutes walk from the hotel where I stayed. The museum was literally across the road at 200 N. Oak Park Avenue. It contains a superb collection of both permanent and temporary exhibits including photographs, letters, and memorabilia that chronicle his multi-faceted life. There are several large displays that detail various chapters of Hemingway’s life including The Oak Park Years, the Natural World, The Eye of the Writer, Hemingway’s Last War, Hemingway and Hollywood and finally, Hemingway and the Arts.These various displays examine the different aspects of his rich and varied life. His only formal schooling was during his 6 years in Oak ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 20, 2006

Ernest Hemingway Museum
200 North Oak Park Ave
Oak Park, Illinois 60302
(708) 524-5383

Scoville Park - an Enclave of Tranquillity

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Attraction

Scoville Park - an Enclave of Tranquillity Photo, Oak Park, Illinois
Quote:
This small but beautifully tended area sits just a minute’s walk from the Write Inn at the junction of N. Oak Park Avenue and Lake Street. Although Oak Park is a peaceful and laid back area, Scoville Park seems to be an enclave of quiet within that area. With the weather in Chicago surpassing all expectations, I came here three or four times during my stay and was pleased to see families enjoying the sunshine, strolling along the pathways between the shrubs and trees, or simply taking a look at the War Memorial that sits centre stage, engraved with the names of those unfortunate souls who never made it back home.As with almost everywhere in Oak Park, the squirrels are the major tenants here an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 21, 2006

Scoville Park - an Enclave of Tranquillity
Junction of N.
Oak Park, Illinois

Frank Lloyd Wright architecture Photo, Oak Park, Illinois
Quote:
Along with Hemingway, Oak Park can be rightly proud of its other revered son, namely Frank Lloyd Wright, widely regarded as the 20th century’s greatest architect. Indeed, “Architectural Record” magazine proclaimed that his buildings “stand out as the most significant architectural works during the last 100 years in the world”.FLW was born in 1867 and lived to a ripe old age, finally meeting his death in 1959. During this prolific career, he designed over 1100 works to include houses, churches, libraries, and museums. Of these, 532 resulted in finished works of which over 400 stand today. He was a man of many talents and in addition to his architectural prowess was also a philosopher, writer, a...Read More
The Unity Temple Photo, Oak Park, Illinois
Quote:
This amazing building sits on Lake Street and was built to replace the original Unitarian Universalist Church which was destroyed by fire. Frank Lloyd Wright began his design in 1905 but had various obstacles to overcome. He had a small budget, the site was narrow and on a busy street and, the building was required to provide a number of functions. He wanted to build a church that was more in the style of an ancient temple and it was his specific request that the "church" should be named a temple.Construction began in 1906 and took until 1908 at a cost of around $60,000. He utilised reinforced concrete slabs that were made with cement and crushed red granite throughout the site. The walls,...Read More