Aurora IL - what's it like?

May 22nd, 2006, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 129
Some further info about Chicagoland for those looking at it from afar. Over the last 20-30 years, many of the major companies in Chicago have moved the majority of their employees from downtown to the suburbs. Lots of reasons for this, ofcourse. As Sears, International Harvestor, Allstate and others moved to the suburbs, their employees often bought homes further out. New home communities have sprung up 5 or 6 tollway exits from where they once ended.

While I wouldn't necessarily have called Crystal Lake, St. Charles or Aurora suburbs in the 1970's, I would describe them that way now. It makes sense to live 50 miles from downtown and commute to a job that is 20 miles away for many people. Lower housing costs offset the money spent on gas. FWIW, where there were once clear distinctions between cities, now pretty much everything runs together. I'd defy anyone plunked down without benefit of a map or welcome signs to say where Naperville ends and Aurora begins.

Peace and go White Sox,

ChiDad is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 233
Wow, JJ5, who poured sour milk in your Wheaties this morning?

OP, I personally would never consider staying in Aurora, but as long as you're out that way, you might want to head north and visit downtown Geneva or St. Charles. Very quaint, charming towns on the Fox River with pubs and good restaurants.

If I call Geneva a suburb, I might send JJ5 to an early grave.
CheBird is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 03:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 281
If you don't have a car, Pace, Chicago's suburban bus service, very generously provides service in the Fox River valley. There is service from Aurora to Geneva and St. Charles on those same blue and yellow busses you see running in Oak Park adjacent to the city of Chicago. I know it's a bit suprising a completely independent city doesn't have it's own transit system. Hopefully you have a good flight into Aurora International Airport though.
flamingomonkey is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 05:40 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,253
You can belittle and joke about this in a condescending way all you want. But I want people to consider this:

The perception is what fuels the fact, far more than economics or reality. That's why marketing works. And it is a self-fulfilled prophecy when people cave to language changes in absurd manners such as this exact one.

There are about 10 new books on the shelves re this exact topic and power mongering by politicos and profiteering groups. These are the same types of people who snake oiled the American Indian and destroyed the prairie and buffalo at a whim. But you accept their "perceptions" and sales techniques so easily.

"The Rezoning of America" is one of several that some here may care to read.

Also if you have any interest in historical buildings or preservation of such, this naming issue should be of first concern to you. You aren't going to stop a flood, but you can preserve a trickle or more.
JJ5 is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 06:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,107
Well, we are back, and I missed most of the comments since my last post but have found the discussion interesting.

The stay in Aurora was not bad for just spending a few days with not much of anything planned. We walked around quite a bit of the downtown and over to the casino, just to see it, not being much of gamblers except an occasional trip to Saratoga Springs. Sidewalks (and walk lighs) were good. Saw some pics of the town, which seems to be recovering from some of the blight that many US cities saw in the 60's and 70's.

Is Aurora the suburbs? I don't know. Is a small Starbucks coffee really grande?

At any rate, had we ever taken one of the express trains, the travel time would have been closer to reasonable, but each trip we took made almost every stop. But for a quick visit to "Chicagoland" that cost us $35 each way airfare, and $35/night for suite with hotel pool & jacuzzi, it was ok.

Some of our visits in Chicago were the Washington Library, Sears Tower, the institute of Art (?). The "Spaces & Places of Chicago" event allowed us interesting train station tours and a tour of Pullman. Went to Navy Pier - no big deal - and Museum of Science & Industry ... where we especially enjoyed the DaVinci exhibit.

Many of the towns along the train line looked interesting, and I would have loved to have explored some of them; but not during a short 4 day weekend.

A note on transportation: was impressed by the Metra, Pace, and CTA buses & train service. Almost everything ran on time, clean vehicles, and liked the status displays with digitized voices announcing stops etc. Will stay closer to, or in Chicago next time; we thought we be having to cancel this trip, so didn't really do much homework ahead of time, but had a good trip anyway.

Thanks for the comments.
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
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