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Small-town boy vs. the big city

By Joe Centers • Jun 12, 2018 at 12:00 PM

I always thought being a dad was the greatest thing in the world. I still do. But being a grandpa is a pretty close second.

Jody and I may have to claim dual citizenship this year. I know the trip back and forth to Chicago like the back of my hand. I love traveling to Chicago. It’s a straight 300-mile shot west on the turnpike, with lots of tolls. After you get out of Indiana you have one more toll to pay — $5.20 to get over the bridge into the city. It’s about then when you get your first real good look at Chicago — the massive buildings one after another.

Then you hit the Dan Ryan Expressway and you get your first real welcome to the city. Depending on the time of day, the Dan Ryan is a mix between the Indy 500 and a downtown Cleveland parking garage right after an Indians game. You have to be a patient, and sometimes crazy, person to survive the traffic in Chicago.

Once you are in the city you realize the real difference between Chicago and Norwalk. The cost of living hits both ends of the chart.

We recently had a story in the Reflector about the sale of the Victorian Lady Bed & Breakfast on Main Street. The sale price is $499,000. It’s a beautiful old house and a real gem on historic West Main Street, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It was restored and opened in 2005. The house was built in 1890 by a railroad bridge contractor. This three-story, almost 7,000-square-foot home is a fine example of Queen Ann Victorian architecture, with a large wrap-around porch, stained, beveled and leaded glass windows, quarter sawn oak woodwork and wainscotings throughout.

There are a number of houses for sale now on West Main Street, but nothing like this one. There are not many houses in this price range around here.

I was taking a walk in the Chicago neighborhood where our daughter, Jordan, her husband, Dan, and their daughter, Finley, live.

Wow. The houses there are beautiful and most of them are one of a kind. You could spend days just walking up one street and down another just looking at the different houses.

I came across this one house for sale.

The four-bedroom, 4 1/2-bath house is located on North Sedgwick Street in the heart of Old Town. It features three sets of French doors that lead to the landscaped garden. And the best part — it has a three-car garage.

Parking is at a premium in the city. There was an art show this weekend in the neighborhood and the local parking garage was charging $50 a car. Parking at a hotel is about $65 per night.

If you are interested in this house, you can call Emily Sachs Wong Luxury Chicago Real Estate.

The cost is a cool $2.295 million.

We love going to Chicago. I like taking a walk every morning to McDonald’s, then just strolling up and down the streets people watching and occasionally chatting up a business owner or two.

Then, as I do wherever I go, I buy the local newspaper to see what is going on.

I love Chicago, but I love Norwalk. The only traffic jam I have to worry about here is when four of us are sitting at the intersection of Linwood Avenue and East Elm Street and nobody knows who should go first.

By the way. If you are interested in that house in Chicago you might want to know this: the taxes on that house are $46,941 a year.

That’s $128.61 a day. Good luck with that.

Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at jcenters@norwalkreflector.com.

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