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Moving Back

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My famous last words: “I will not move back to Highland Park.”

That’s what I told my wife when we were looking for a house. I grew up in Highland Park and though I loved elementary and middle school, high school I could’ve done without. I think that can be said for many people. Instead, I had a suburbs crush on Glenview.

When I was in college, I lifeguarded in Glenview for two summers. I loved it. The lifeguards were all from Glenview and Northbrook and they were amazing people. I also liked the short commute to the city, waterparks, and convenience of the Glen. We rented a home there for two years. I liked living there but there were two crucial things missing: community and a backyard.

We met two neighbors in two years. Our son loved running around the 20 feet of yard we had, but like dogs, boys like space to run around. Oddly, it’s usually in a circle.

We decided Glenview and Northbrook would be the two places we would look. We found nothing. The one place in Glenview we liked went under contract the day we saw it. It was time to expand our search. We still wanted to be in the northern burbs, and thought okay, Highland Park and Deerfield might work.

We have the most friends in Highland Park and my best friend just moved there, so HP was growing on me. Every time we looked at houses there, my angst turned into comfort. I know—it was shocking to me as well.

After a few failed offers, and one bad inspection, we found a great house a mile from where I grew up, close to downtown, and within walking distance of a park. The real-estate stars lined up and we agreed on a price and moved in May 31.

The old owner showed up at our closing and left us a nice note and bottle of wine in the house. She was very sweet and told us we would love the neighborhood.

We had not even moved in, yet already neighbors were stopping by! So far everyone has been super nice and in the first few weeks we’ve received bottles of wine, coffee cake, and one neighbor knew the way to my heart—fresh spices! Nothing beats fresh basil.

The house fit another criterion—a huge backyard. The backyard is perfect for running in circles, chasing birds and even staring at deer! Our first week there, a huge deer was in our backyard. I ran outside (but kept a safe distance) with my almost 2-year-old son. His eyes widened and his mouth dropped. He pointed his little finger out and said, “Cow. Hi cow. Moo.” I told him it was a big deer, and he agreed, but when it walked away he waved, “By COW!”

So to my friends and readers out there, let me know if you have any favorite spots in Highland Park. We of course love Michael’s and Frost (low calorie gelato).

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