By Susan Flood
When I was starting my career out just of college I jumped into the blooming desktop technology industry. Desktop PCs and Macs were in their infancy, and the industry workers, previously thought of as loners and extremists, were suddenly regarded as the young visionaries of capitalism.
I’ll never forget a conversation I had with Adobe Systems founder John Warnock when I worked on Adobe’s new technology team. As salesmen who aggressively sought profit, we didn’t understand why our company didn’t just commit to one tech platform – and back then PCs seemed to own the market. John said, “There will always be Macs, people will always want a choice.” He was right.
In our community, people have so much choice.
We have choice in what kind of house we live in: Victorian, Queen Anne, Chicago bungalow, Tudor, Italianate, English Country, Georgian, Mediterranean, Prairie School or other styles. The homes built by titans seeking abundant space, interesting scenery and proximity to Chicago’s city center provided a map on which we now build our modern hopes, dreams and legacies.
We have choice in schools. Within Beverly/Morgan Park are some of the highest ranked CPS schools in the city and unusually strong private schools, both with too many success stories to count.
We have choice in places to shop, play, enjoy culture and music, and dine.
It’s true: to live in Beverly/Morgan Park is to embrace choice.
We choose to live here among wonderful neighbors and friends from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, with impressive educational, cultural, artistic and career pedigrees. We value the differences that are offered as a truly tremendous asset to imbue in our future generations. Why not equip our kids with the knowledge of what’s truly out there to discover and how interesting it is to discover it alongside someone who may bring a different perspective to it?
In May, BAPA works hard to draw attention to the gifts of choice our neighborhood bestows on its residents. BAPA’s biggest events — the Home Tour and Ridge Run and Memorial Day parade — evoke a sense of a well-connected small town, rich in history and full of old friends. As we emerge from the long Chicago winter to participate in these events we see new and familiar faces and witness in both their passion for our surroundings.
“They” say the indicators of what makes a place a great place to live are safety, access to good paying jobs, availability of high–quality parks and recreation, availability of high-quality arts, culture and nightlife. We are well placed for checking all those boxes. But the real currency comes in the day–to–day living in our community. It sneaks up to us unannounced when we’re cheering on a runner at the Ridge Run or noticing the crowded sidewalks outside schools in the fall and churches on a summer day. We’re surrounded by people we may not yet know, but we can be sure they too are here for the choice.