No matter what side of the media business you work in, you become a professional observer. After decades of experience developing marketing solutions for clients, you become sensitive to their challenges, whether it's transformation of a traditional business model or just more competition out there. Often both situations. And house-hunting provides a close-range view of both the business and residential landscape.
One of the first things that my wife Laura and I noticed about this area is the number of businesses—large and small—that seem to be popping up all over the place. Whether it's a new tenant or just a re-design and paint job (probably some of each), everywhere I look there are storefronts with eye-popping signs. Health food, home décor, noodles, craft beer, designer everything from desserts to lampshades.
I have already learned that timing is important when it comes to trying new places. I've heard about the wall-to-wall people at Bread + Bar in Benton Harbor and the sushi bar at the Highland Strack's.
The new year has come early for my family, in the sense that re-location represents a beginning and change, so positive in many ways, that can also be scary. It is impossible to forget what it's like for a child going to a new school and a new neighborhood for the first time. All three of mine—Savannah, Cassidy and Thomas—loaded up their backpacks and posed for photos before they charged off to their first day of the school year. But I'm going to be much happier to hold their hands on their second first day of school later on this month. I'm also looking forward to meeting their new friends and exploring our neighborhood.
We have a whole bunch of firsts ahead of us. We have to figure out our favorite stores, our best restaurant for hanging out together and where to get ice cream when you need it fast. There will be homecoming dances, trips to Fair Oaks Farm, the corn maze at County Line Orchard, turkey at Strongbow, graduations, pep rallies, Taltree Arboretum, White Sox games—or maybe the Cubs, or both—and the occasional side trips to the top of the Willis Tower, the Museum of Science and Industry, Navy Pier, the Bulls at the United Center and of course, the Dunes.
I'm sure that once I get settled I will take it for granted, but at the moment I am happy to have an edited collection of what's Best of the Region. I already use our online guide often and look forward to diving deeper into making plans and targeting the fun stuff options for the weekends ahead.
We will be back before Thanksgiving with holiday gifts, surprises and a special Shore subscription package for 2014.
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