Each month our ChicagoNow Community Manager challenges us to write about a surprise topic of his choice in one hour. I love this challenge, so since I was sick with strep throat, I was sad that I missed the December Blogapalooz, “Write about your favorite place in Chicago.” I have lived in the Chicago suburbs for almost forty years now. When we first moved here from Pennsylvania my father had an office at McClurg Court in Chicago, so I would take the train down to the beach in the summer and ride home with him at the end of his work. As a family and then in my twenties, Chicago was a frequent destination.
Once I started having my own family, our excursions became more local where traffic and parking were less stressful, so I became less comfortable going into the city. Then when two of my daughters attended college in Lincoln Park, I began driving and parking downtown. Driving doesn’t bother me as much as the stress of finding free or cheap parking, but since they both live in Chicago, I face that issue on frequent basis now. Even my youngest daughter who goes to college in Milwaukee wants to live in the city, not the suburbs, when she graduates so I know that I need to get over my parking anxiety.
Until 2017, I had never visited the Lincoln Park Zoo. I am not sure why since I have went to museums, sporting events, plays, restaurants, beaches and more. When the kids were young, we went to Brookfield Zoo instead in the suburbs, so maybe even then it was my fear of city parking that kept me from it. Now I love going there, and that area is my favorite. I enjoy walking around the zoo as well as the surrounding nature paths. A short walk from the zoo is the beach in one direction, shopping and restaurants in another, and one time we even took a longer walk to Michigan Avenue. Even though I still stress about finding a good parking spot, I love going to the Lincoln Park Zoo area especially when my family is with me.
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