I read that list that has been all over Facebook, the internet and in the news about the most boring places in Illinois. It sounded like it was written by perennially bored 12 year old or someone who thinks Illinois has four counties and not 102.
I’ve been all over this state and can think of so many places more boring than New Lenox which was the top of the list of boring towns. I know New Lenox well, I live 10 minutes from it and my wife and her family are from there, its your run of the mill upper middle class suburb. Some of what someone may think of boring is intentional. Its a bedroom suburban community with really good schools, a nice selection of shopping, quality restaurants and surrounded by two expressways. 50 years ago it was a rural farming community but there’s plenty to do if you choose, granted its not Chicago but its not some one-horse down state town either.
I will now give you 10 truly boring communities.
Shirley is in central Illinois near Bloomington off of I-55, its so slow, there is a sign on its exit ramp stating “no services”, they are warning you that there is absolutely nothing there, so don’t bother stopping. That my friend is boring.
Riverdale is boring, it was in walking distance of my childhood area of West Pullman, there is a bad golf course, a skanky river (The Little Calumet), and a few factories and houses. Oh they have a nice post office that used to be the old drive in and that’s about it. Yeah, boring.
Salem is your typical town off the highway downstate, its in the lower quarter of the state about 50 miles south of Effingham and 20 miles north of Mount Vernon (its okay if you don’t know those towns either), its a blur on I-57 with a couple of chain restaurants and gas stations. There’s a little residential area there off of Route 37 and in 4 minutes you are clean out of town. If you blink on the way to Carbondale you will miss it.
East Dubuque is a classic town with a directional first name, its the eastern muddy bank of the Mississippi river. if the Old Man River were to come east and flood, East Dubuque is the moat that protects the great tourist town of Galena. As you drive on Route 20, East Dubuque is the speed bump that lets you know the state line near.
Robbins is so boring even the trash incinerator closed over a decade ago and it makes Harvey look exciting, as you drive on Kedzie or Crawford it feels like a hole in the ground between Blue Island & Midlothian. Dixmoor & Posen are right behind it in excitement except Robbins happens to be bigger and have even less businesses.
Shiloh is in what’s called Metro east, the eastern Illinois suburbs of Saint Louis Missouri, yes I know East Saint Louis is in that area too but Shiloh actually has a Interstate 64 exit and still remains boring. It has a couple of hotels and mediocre restaurants but you’ll find yourself driving to Belleville or Fairview Heights to get a decent meal or shop for something worth buying.
Rockdale is one of those towns so much like its larger neighbor (Joliet), you don’t know you crossed the city limits until you realized there’s nothing around you. Rockdale has one exit on I-80, but only if you go south and THE gas station and restaurant is all one street and that’s it. Now that’s boring.
Dix is only about 10 miles south of the previously mentioned Salem. It truly is the Mayberry of Illinois, population is under 600, no stoplights and the postmaster closes the post office at lunch time and goes home to eat his lunch. The local grocery store has home baked goods from a local resident, that’s their bakery and if she doesn’t stop by and drop off goodies, then no cake for you. That’s not even boring, that’s tragic.
Matteson is not even boring, its sad, I used to work there almost 20 years ago (Montgomery Wards), what was once thriving suburb now home to a dead mall, more closed chain restaurants than open ones and bad versions of stores that every other suburb has. Its the one place on this list with a lot of potential but a lot of empty commercial space. As you come up I 57 or US 30 you think, wow what’s here and its a lot of space, like I said, its more depressing than anything, I knew in its heyday, it and neighboring Park Forest are shells of themselves.
Lastly is Bensenville, if you like airplanes then this place is not boring, well if you like very low flying commercial aircraft because Bensenville is best known for being O’Hare’s backyard. A lot of the town was wrecked for the airport expansion (though the historic graveyard was spared), what’s left is a sleepy suburb that’s also well known for a junk yard that has been showing the same commercial on local syndicated TV for the last 30 years. That (if you can stand the jet noise), is really boring.
Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
Filed under: Chicago