The Cone Family: Brendan, 9, Shannon, 11, Chris and Greg
Greg and Chris Cone were raising two young kids in a high-rise area of Chicago when they realized this might not be the place they wanted their kids to grow up. So they started hopping the train on weekends to visit some of the suburbs at the end of the track.
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About six years ago, that train ride led them to Western Springs and, ultimately, their new home. Now their kids, Shannon and Brendan, ride bikes in the neighborhood or hang out with friends in a place Chris considers a little bit of Mayberry. Chris took a few minutes recently to talk about her hometown.
What made you choose Western Springs?
I felt the schools in the city weren’t what we were looking for. When we were in the city, the only thing they talk about is what school you’re going to send your kids to. You can get them into a magnet school or language or science schools, but you might not get your second one in.
What do you do on weekends?
We’ve become friendly with some people who have kids our age and we get together and have pizza and a beer. The social aspect is hanging around home if you don’t want to make a big production of going somewhere.
What’s your favorite part of living here?
We have a guy on our block who, every year, runs the Howard Avenue Art League (I live on Howard Avenue). He gives every family on the block a big thing of sidewalk chalk, and he gives you a scene, and you decorate the driveway or the house or whatever, and he gives out awards. We have a Halloween party every year. It’s kind of Mayberry.
What’s not to miss?
Downtown there are restaurants and a wine shop (Taste of Vino, 821 W. Burlington). The wine shop has tables out in front where I go with some of the other moms from my golf league.