Monthly Archives: April 2007

H.P. Schmaltz and Co. Provides Taste of NYC for Naperville

Though being a Southerner married to a New Yorker has its share of differences, one thing we do share in common is a great love for our own versions of our native regional comfort soul food.  I’ll have to admit that prior to marrying into my wife’s family, I didn’t really know a knish from a latke.  Even more, my own father’s crude attempt to make corned beef growing up left quite a bit to be desired.  Of course, my wife has shared the culinary adventure enduring my family’s 16 hour slow-smoked pulled pork recipe, iron skillet fried chicken and salt-cured aged country ham. 

However, my world of taste changed when I met my wife over six years ago and began to participate in family meals during visits back home.  In New York, it’s not that hard to find good quality corned beef, pastrami, knishs, smoked salmon, black-and-white cookies as well as any assortment of authentic corner deli delicacies.  However, up until a couple of years ago, you were hard pressed to capture that familiar taste here in the western suburbs.  H.P. Schmaltz and Co. changed all of that when their doors opened in Naperville around three or so years ago.

I recall our first visit to the place we simply refer to as Schmaltz.  For my wife, it was almost like a new-found alumni club/deli speakeasy for all New Yorkers as we joined many other former Northeasterners who were discovering Schmaltz for the first time as if it were a desert oasis for that old familiar neighborhood deli taste.  Since then, Schmaltz has become a regular destination for my wife’s homesick cravings not be speak of hosting family in from out-of-town.  I must say, I too have become addicted to the flavor and tradition which Schmaltz effectively has captured here in the Midwest.

Schmaltz features the full line of New York deli traditions all the way down to actual Carnegie Deli cheesecake.  Last week, my wife and I had lunch at Carnegie Deli during a trip to NYC and followed it up with a visit to Schmaltz this past weekend with my mother-in-law who was in town for a visit from New York.  The taste and quality is highly comparable, minus the airfare and Manhattan crowds of course.  I’m pleased to report, Schmaltz keeps getting better.  On the service side, the conversation starts up quickly with staff providing a fun neighborhood feel.  The food offerings continue to expand providing a multitude of choices, including Mayor Pradels very own signature sandwich which places a strong emphasis on Salami.

Whether you are a former New Yorker homesick for the taste of authentic deli offerings or like me, one of many from the other “fly over” states who might curious about the regional NY deli cuisine, I strongly recommend a visit to Schmaltz… I guarantee it won’t be your last.

H.P. Schmaltz and Co. is located at 1512 North Naper Blvd. in the strip mall just behind McDonalds and TGI Fridays just north of Ogden.  It appears they have also opened a second location in Downers Grove at 1416 Butterfield Rd. “Next to Best Buy”.

They also have a website:  http://www.schmaltzdeli.com

       

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: Ted’s Montana Grill in Naperville a Stampede of Flavor and Value on Opening Night

Given the hundreds of visits to my posting last month regarding a pre-opening introduction to Ted’s Montana Grill, I deemed it fitting that I drop by for a first glance on the grand opening night for Naperville’s newest downtown restaurant offering.

I mentioned the idea of heading down on opening night to my wife earlier today, yet wondered whether we would be able to get a table.  To our relief, a soft Monday opening means we would not have to wait a long time. 

Upon arrival, we were immediatley impressed by the interior aesthetics which suggests casual semi-sophistication with a nice welcoming western accent.  Wood abounds in this beautifully converted space which formerly housed Oswald’s pharmacy.  Through the revolving door and toward the three quick steps we headed only to be greeted by a host who actually walked down the steps to welcome us.  There’s allot to be said for the enthusiastic service of a new restaurant trying to make a strong impression on it’s opening night.  We were immediately ushered down what seemed like a mile long walk to the back portion of the restaurant to a nice booth/table combo.  To the left, there was a short and slender yet inviting bar area separated by glass.  We ventured further into the restaurant, it was easy to see a decent Monday night crowd was settling in for a first taste. 

Upon being seated, our waitress promptly approached us with a friendly and welcoming attitude.  At this point, we got our first glance at both the wine and dinner menus.  Our waitress introduced us to what seems to be a philosophy Ted’s, which is a rotating menu of evening special for each day of the week.  Judging by the fact the night’s special was country fried steak with gravy, Ted’s southern influence was evident.  Though we chose not indulge in a cocktail, I noticed that the wine menu consisted of a respectable variety including Ted’s own private label offerings.  Other softer drink options includes fresh squeezed lemonade and even the option to drink coke in glass bottles (fountain drinks also available).

The first thing you notice upon opening the menu is the diversity of carnivore offerings emphasizing both bison and beef with a touch of seafood and other southern-influenced comfort foods, including jumbo shrimp, cedar plank Salmon, beer can chicken and meatloaf. 

The second and perhaps most welcoming observation was the menu prices, which generated reverse sticker shock as everything seemed quite approachable, with the most expensive steak being their 9 oz. filet at $25.99 which includes two generous side items.  The 14 oz. Delmonico Ribeye goes for $21.99 and once again includes two side items.  Most other entree’s, including their much heralded fresh cedar plank Salmon, runs between $10.99 to $14.99.  For those looking for one of their “world famous” burgers or chicken sandwiches, you will pay between $7.99 and $12.89 and come served with fresh cut fries.  Even before experiencing how this type of value translates into taste, it was clear to see Ted’s would be as strong a contender for the lunch crowd as it will with the dinner crowd.

Another noticable trait of Ted’s is a strong environmental conscience, which includes recycled paper table coverings and even recycled coated straws.  Though it felt like sipping a soda through a paper towell roll at first, I quickly grew comfortable with this interesting recycled alternative.

On with the taste portion of this review.  Our waitress confidently boasted about the grilled jumbo shrimp appetizer, which comes on a grilled sourdough roll with a side of garlic butter, as being the largest shrimp you have ever seen.  As past postings in the World of Naperville suggest, I am a seafood lover and I had to see this one for myself.  Could Ted’s jumbo shrimp be larger than Dublin prawn or Fabian Seafood’s giants? 

The appetizer arrived with four fresh grilled jumbo shrimp on a skewer atop the grilled sourdough roll seasoned and grilled with lemon and other seasonings.  While not the largest shrimp I’ve ever seen, the size was considerable, fresh-tasting and an excellent value for $9.99.  It could almost serve as a meal in itself.  The bread was not only a great compliment, but also delicious.  

My wife had a dinner salad which featured their house BLT ranch dressing which was outstanding.  For dinner, I decided to go straight for the 14 oz. Delmonico Bison Ribeye nice and rare for $24.99 given the fact I had never had a Bison steak.  The waitress assured me the meat was a bit sweeter and was a better nutritional value given it’s limited marbling and higher degree of tenderness. 

For sides, my eyes had already spied the larger-than-life onion rings sitting on other guest’s tables and the buttered broccoli  was also selected to curb a tiny bit of my carnivore guilt.  My wife opted for the 7oz. tenderloin filet at $20.99 and selected the asparagus and baked potato as a side. 

After anxious anticipation, our entrees arrived and any doubt I had as to whether the food would taste as good as the prices quickly subsided.  The first thing I noticed was both of our steaks were clearly well seared on each side which served to lock in the maximum amount of juices.  After carving into my bison ribeye, it was easy to see the payoff for the heavy searing.  The meat was juicy tender with a rich light flavor reminiscent of it’s beef relative.  The seasoning consisted of lemon and basic spices which generated a nice balance between the flavor of the meat and the seasonings.  One shortcoming was the amount of lemon which overpowered the juices which flood into a pool on your plate.  The onion rings were otherworldly and in my wife’s estimation the best she had ever had.  I have to agree they rank quite high on my list as well.  Dredged in what is likely corn meal and flour with a ample concentration of salt and pepper, the enormous onion rings were not terribly greasy despite having been fried.  Our waitress indicated there was a special machine which the restaurants uses to get the onion rings just right.  The onions were tender and sweet.

As for side orders, Ted’s achieves something I think is a powerful yet often overlooked aspect of any meal… the side items.  My wife’s asparagus was tender and well flavored while maintaining a nice crispness.  The buttered broccoli was full of flavor and cooked perfectly.  Finally, pan yeast rolls accompany each entree and are not only delicious but also remind me of my mother’s southern cooking. 

Though I was already quite stuffed by the end of the meal, I deemed it important to throw myself onto the proverbial sword of gluttony in trying dessert knowing I wanted to write a posting about my experience.  Ted’s offerings include oven fresh cookies ranging from snickerdoodles to chocolate chip.  I settled on the feature dessert, which was Key Lime Pie.  I’m a stickler for good key lime pie and figured this would be a true test.  I asked our waitress whether the pie was green or yellow and her response of “green” told me we weren’t talking true key lime.  Nonetheless, I proceeded.  The pie arrived resembling more of a jello box cheesecake looking dessert than key lime pie, complete with a thick graham cracker crust.  The pie filling was white with a tint of light green, thick and appropriately tangy which somewhat redeemed the fact it was not true key lime.  Overall, I would rate it satisfactory with tinge of curiosity as to how good the cookies may have tasted. 

Overall, mine and my wife’s consensus was Ted’s is a solid value with excellent taste and atmosphere.  As for service, they are off to a good start though all the extra attention was partially possible because Ted’s was far from slammed on this opening night.  It was nice making the long trek back to the front of the restaurant being thanked by every single wait staff we came across.  For those wondering how Ted’s will mesh with the downtown restaurant scene, my analysis as a marketer is Ted’s fills a much needed void in local offerings in terms of price point for the level of quality, atmosphere and experience it delivers.   For those of you who can’t bear the guilt of paying $40 for a steak and $12 extra for sides in downtown, Ted’s will be a welcome downtown Naperville destination.  Even more, with it’s abundance of burgers, chicken and affordable options, the place should be as popular for lunch as it is for dinner.  Welcome to town Ted and we definitely see ya’ll again real soon.

Walt Disney World’s Backstage Success Secrets Provide Insight for Naperville

Over the past week, I had the good fortune to spend four days with the cast at Disney Institute and Fusion Productions during the 2007 Digital Now Conference as both a participant and presenter.  The conference brought together association executives and thought leaders from around the globe to focus on association leadership in the digital age.  Keynote speakers included Jimmy Wales, founder of the Wikipedia project (www.wikipedia.com) Chris Trimble, Susan Scott and Stephen M.R. Covey.

In addition to the conference program, both Disney and the Disney Institute offered deep insight into its success formula and culture as well as a backstage glimpse of what it takes to bring the Walt Disney World magic to life on a daily basis.  George Aguel, Sr. Vice President of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, also shared a number of insights regarding Disney’s success and the impetus behind it’s present “Year of a Million Dreams” celebration.

According to Aguel and his Disney Institute cast, while Walt Disney World immerses guests in an environment rich in sensory experiences, the true magic as quantified by thousands of post-vacation letters received daily is not Cinderella’s Castle, Spaceship Earth or even Space Mountain… it is the cast members who make the difference in bringing the Disney magic to life.  In other words, the “people factor” can make or break the experience. 

As I strolled through the underground tunnel at Magic Kingdom, the audio animatronic laboratory and even the laundry facilities which handle costumes for 57,000 cast members on a daily basis, I thought deeply about the Naperville experience and how our community and businesses bring our own show to life each day for loyal visitors and residents alike.  Further, I thought about how the “people difference” can apply to the next great chapter in Naperville’s history as I’ve discussed in my Naperville Unwrapped series.  

Believe it or not, Walt Disney World and Naperville have much in common. 

First, WDWis the #1 vacation destination in the world and Naperville is consistently ranked the 1st or 2nd best place to live in the country. 

Second, WDW welcomes guests into an environment which appeals to each of the human senses in making an emotional connection via a symphony of aesthetics including use of architecture, environment, textures, aromas, sounds, landscape, a strong sense of place, cleanliness, community, attractions, iconic symbols, history/story and, of course, people.  As covered in previous postings, Naperville also makes use of a multitude of simliar sensory elements to create an experience, such as the Riverwalk, covered bridges, the DuPage River, Naper Settlement, Centennial Beach, Central Park, Rotary Hill, the paddle-boat lagoon, authentic original architecture, landscaping, sculptures, water fountains and many other special features.  

Third, WDW offers a variety of themed attractions, dining and shopping experiences suited for all ages.  As addressed above, a comparable variety of options create Naperville’s own brand of “magic”.    

Finally, WDW and Naperville, of course, enjoys warm and sunny weather year-round… well, maybe there are some things we simply do not have in common.  To compensate, there are qualities which Naperville has that WDW cannot match, such as the functional authenticity of being a true residential community versus the “stage” which Disney creates artificially in bringing their world of life.  Both WDW and Naperville accomplish a similar sensory experience, but at the end of the day, Naperville is where we live, work and play.  To me, I think that’s pretty cool.

On a side note, for anyone who has ever dreamed of living in the Magic Kingdom, now is your chance during the Year of a Million Dreams celebration as a special suite has been built within Cinderella’s Castle (which believe it or not forced the castle to be brought up to building code), complete with three bedrooms, plenty of Disney magic and a 24 hour concierge on call.  The price you ask?   Free!  However, put down the phone and stop dialing Disney reservations because the only way your family can spend the night in the suite in Cinderella’s Castle is to be randomly selected within the Magic Kingdom by the Disney dream squad.  Should you detect the Disney dream squad is near you, there’s no reason to rush towards them as a randomizer computer pre-selects a specific time, location and spot for choosing the lucky family.     

Have you ever noticed that it’s not just the WDW cast members that play a role in the show, it is also the many loyal guests as well who return to the WDW resort on a regular basis.  Being one of those people, loyal guests are inclined to pitch in as well in helping other guests, whether it be finding their way, providing useful tips for maximizing their visit, volunteering to take a complete picture for a family, making dining/resort recommendations or discussing the upcoming ride/show everyone in line is about to experience.  Loyal Disney guests join together alongside cast members in taking ownership for the same magical experience which has touched our own lives throughout the years.

The insight which we can gain from the WDW success secret is that people can make or break the Naperville experience as well.  Businesses, employees, city government, residents and loyal visitors alike can help bring the magic to life in our interactions with those who visit our community, our businesses, our restaurants and attractions.  As passionate residents we serve as Naperville cast members each and every day.  As we all know, there is certainly plenty to share and talk about when it comes to Naperville. 

If you are passionate about our community and concerned about preserving Naperville’s own brand of magic for the future, we should all take a lesson from Walt Disney World’s success in the answer begins within all of us and the experience we help create for others.   

            

“Meet the Robinsons” Awakens Walt Disney’s Spirit and Offers Wisdom for Naperville’s Own Future

As a special Easter surprise, my wife and I took our boys to see the new 3D version of Disney’s new animation feature Meet the Robinsons. Being an inspired admirer of the life and story of Walt Disney himself and a self-proclaimed Walt Disney-World aficionado, it was wonderful to finally see a Disney animated film that rekindles and reawakens Walt’s original spirit, vision and philosophy in such an intimate way.  Aside from beginning the film with images of one of Walt’s first rudimentary motion cartoons Steamboat Willie (1928)Meet the Robinsons is poignantly concluded with the following quote from Walt himself:

Keep moving forward

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

– Walt Disney

(experience my art and purpose at www.mycreativepurpose.wordpress.com)

Meet the Robinsons is a touching story about an imaginatively energetic young orphan boy who faces repeated failures in his inventions, most notably his device which would enable him to travel into his memory to catch a glimpse of his mother the night she dropped him off at the orphanage.  I don’t want to give anything away, but the movie explores how visionary imagination can serve as precious captial in overcoming adversity and failure.

By now you may be wondering from the title of this post how Walt and Meet the Robinsons apply to Naperville’s future.  My point is rooted in the quote above which is used as a central theme in the film which is “Keep Moving Forward”.

I often hear the stories from native Napervillians of our community’s transformation from a quiet little town into the vibrant city it has grown into today.  Along the Riverwalk, I always like to pause and look at the new “Fathers of the Riverwalk” statues which feature former Naperville mayor Chet Rybicki and Jim Moser, the original visionaries who dreamed of a Riverwalk which would ultimately save a dying downtown.  To me, both the statues and Riverwalk embodies Walt Disney-style imagination which kept Naperville “moving forward” back in 1981 as the city celebrated its 150th birthday poised at an important crossroad in local history.

Today, there is much talk within the community of concern over Naperville’s future as many believe we are nearing another crossroads.  Many community leaders, such as the Naperville Chamber of Commerce with its Chamber 2020 initiative, are pro-actively looking deeply into the short-term and long-term issues and needs impacting the community.

The complementary partnership between business leaders, city officials, community organizations, the media and residents alike play a big role in bringing the “Naperville Experience” to life each and every day.  The vision for our community’s future must remain strong with shared devotion and responsibility as we come together to construct imaginative plans for the future which will continue to maintain the experience of Naperville as a unique destination in which to work, play and live.

As a community, the only way we will lose our unique character is through a loss of imagination, spirit and partnership by complacency and inaction.  When in doubt, we need only look to the strong spirit residing throughout Naper Settlement, the imaginative vision of the Fathers of the Riverwalk or the authentic architecture of downtown in applying Walt Disney’s own words in that we must “keep moving forward” with vision, creativity and imagination.  We must open new doors and engage in new ideas allowing curiosity and imagination to lead our way. Finally, we must learn from rather than dwell upon mistakes.

Naperville “Iron Chef” Meyermoto Takes on Mongolian Barbeque

There was a crisp chill in the Downtown Naperville air on Tuesday evening as the echoing overtures of culinary competition drifted through the atmosphere with appetite apprehension.  Driven by an insatiable hunger for full contact iron chef drama… and of course a little dinner… my wife and I moved through the light blanket of evening darkness further into downtown drawn by the ageless wisdom-stumping question… what are we in the mood to eat and how will we possibly choose between our many favorite downtown restaurants.  The evening’s “mystery restaurant” was revealed and turned out to be… Mongolian Barbeque.

Okay, so maybe we enjoy Food Network a bit too much.  We hadn’t been to Mongolian Barbeque since the Fall and thought it would turn out to satisfy both our appetite and time-frame.  The chain concept seems simple enough… choose meat, veggies, seasoning and sauces and turn over to part iron chef/part college student-looking flatop grill cook to work their magic.  You start at the seven o’clock position and then are quickly hustled around to the five o’clock position to await the completion of your food.  Of course, your journey begins with three self-prep stations. 

First, you begin at the meat station.  Though they ask you to choose only one, your first glance at the scallops, shrimp, chicken, lamb, sausage, crab meat (imitation), and steak sends your sinister mind into overdrive envisioning a clever strategy to bend the rules.  You think to yourself, “if I choose multiple meats and bury them deeply underneath the veggie choices, they won’t detect my violation until the food has been dumped upon the sizzling hot grill… by that time it would be futile for the Mongolian Barbeque police to send me back to the meat station to start over and make shameful amends.”  Despite the guilt-drenched tension as you approach the grill with your illegal combined contraband of meats, you quickly realize these poor sweaty souls tapping rythmically on the grill with ear-piercing treble could care less about your meat combination.

Having piled on the meat, you proceed to the veggie station which is pretty straight forward in terms of a typical assortment of Asian stir-fry suspects.  How do they make that broccoli look so green?  Once you’ve completed your veggie selection and piled atop your meat, you suddenly realize you need a much bigger bowl.  I always wonder if they keep a count of how many stray veggies they pick up off the floor on an annual basis. 

The next stop is sauces and seasoning, which is the area the brain really begins to melt down as there are seemingly a million combinations you could choose from.  Even more, there is no way to sample the sauces gracefully, thus I choose the “splash a little dab in the bowl and do the quick pinkie taste test while looking around to make sure nobody is watching” technique.  The only sauce choice missing seems to be my mom’s pot roast gravy from my childhood days. 

Next, it’s on to the fraternity of shogun showman who slave over the sizzling steamy grill day in and day out.  One request if any of these iron chefs happen to read this tribute, if the latest fast tempo teen anthem song should happen to be playing on the restaurant sound system, it’s not particularly pleasant when you begin hammering out the rhythm on the grill with your twin set of Mongolian metal grill sticks.  Also, do you really have to the use the same grill stick you just repeatedly poked the raw chicken with to rake my food off the grill? 

Once your food is done and your steaming bowl of custom recipe stir fry is handed to you, please tip the grill dudes.  Not only does it recognize their sweaty facial complexion sacrafice but they will also give you a few hits on the gong.

You head back to your table anxiously anticipating how your selection will taste, but please accept the most important tip of all.  DO NOT IMMEDIATELY TAKE A BIG BITE OF YOUR CULINARY EXPERIMENT…. it’s uncontrollably steamy for a very good reason.  The steam is a friendly omen that if you dare bring your mouth anywhere near the just released blazing grill fare wedged between your chop sticks, your tounge will descend deep into a painful fiery hell that will not only ruin your meal but serve as a Mongolian reminder for days to come.

My final note relates to my inability to understand who has any room left to eat the mile high slices of dessert the waitresses seem to constantly be carrying over their heads after completing the sizzling shogun safari.     

Overall, Mongolian Barbeque is a fun experience featuring tasty food once you fine tune your preferences and recipe combinations.   Avoid the waves of weekend crowds by walking right in and sitting down during any regular weeknight.

Be creative, bring the kids and have a good time.  

In Praise of Naperville’s Gina Glocksen

When this season of American Idol began, I must confess that I was not that crazy about Gina Glocksen despite the fact she from Naperville.  While her voice was strong and her image right, it was more of how the edited show portrayed her attitude toward the competition, perhaps nudging her across the line in the early days from what was most likely excited confidence into the realm of perceived arrogance.  Maintaining a healthy sense of humble awe for one’s accomplishments in life is always the best policy as a dose of undiscriminating humility is always lurking around the corner for us all.  This perspective only magnifies itself under the intense microscope of the entertainment business as the aspiring struggle to manage perception through an unforgiving lens.    

Nonetheless, over the weeks as we had the opportunity to see more of Gina through the live show,  she did a solid job in representing and staying true to herself.  As she evolved, I was quite proud that she never lost that image of being a tough and talented mid-western girl.  Having danced briefly with the music industry out in L.A. myself in a former life, the institution commands a high level of hypnotic influence over the transitory legions of the hopefuls who embark upon the lonely yet well-worn path.  The pressure to shed the truth of one’s self in exchange for latest pre-fabricated mold is intense.  But Gina held true to the music and image which clearly has inspired her throughout her own life, which at the end of the day is what matters most, whether you are a multi-platinum selling artist or a morning shower crooner.

Regardless of where Gina ultimately lands in her life as the dust settles, I’m in hopes that the influence she has on the aspiring young talent in Naperville is showing the importance of staying true to one’s self and maintaining an uncompromising devotion to one’s passion in life regardless of where the road leads.  

To Gina, keep your musical passion strong, stay open to unexpected callings, never let anyone pressure you to remove your tongue piercing and may your road lead back to Naperville soon.         

Ogden Avenue Corridor “Facelift” Needed

Recently I was having a conversation with a colleague of mine, who lives in the Northwestern suburbs, and the subject of Naperville arose.  My colleague acknowledged her awareness of Naperville’s ranking as one of the best places to live in America, but went on to say she had driven through Naperville a couple of times in the past year and remarked that it didn’t seem to be a particularly attractive place.  Out of curiosity, I asked her to elaborate.  She responded by saying Naperville appeared to be a series of aging commercial strip malls.  Puzzled, I asked her if she recalled what part of Naperville she drove through and learned that she had only driven down Ogden Avenue having exited at Naperville Road from I-88.  After further clarifying conversation, I secured a commitment from her that she would return this summer, making a left turn onto Washington Street from Ogden, to spend the perfect day in downtown Naperville.

I believe this true story illuminates the issues surrounding the ongoing discussion regarding the enhancement plan being developed for the Ogden Avenue corridor running between Naper Blvd. and Washington Street.  If you read part 1 of my Naperville Unwrapped series discussing “The Naperville Experience” (located under the Naperville Unwrapped Category), you will recall the power of the five senses and first impressions in creating the lasting and memorable “experience” which translates into engagement, invaluable word-of-mouth marketing and customer loyalty.  Based on these real marketing measures, the Ogden Avenue corridor is lacking. 

While there are many real concerns out there from residents and business owners alike regarding “change”, the end product of enhancement and future development strategy could not only yield a stronger Naperville impression but also create a more attractive “stage” and setting for businesses to prosper.  I’m a strong proponent of business, especially small business, but there must be realization that a little pain can potentially create great gain.

I drive down this stretch of Ogden Avenue each and every work day and can honestly say that many of the businesses lack presence and visibility in my eyes.  Even more, I don’t really desire to pull off the road to determine exactly what is tucked away in many of those small strip malls.  I’m certain there are some terrific businesses waiting to be discovered, but nothing really stands out at this point. 

Finally, for many, the Ogden Avenue corridor serves as the “gateway” to Naperville and the question we need to ask ourselves as a community is what kind of impression to we want to paint.  As I’ve discussed, to strengthen the Naperville experience, we need to continue spreading the same types of sensory elements which make downtown Naperville unique to other areas of the community to foster aesthetic continuity and minimize harsh contrast.

For those on either side of this issue, there are two public meetings/workshops planned to foster dialogue on the Ogden Avenue Corridor Enhancement Initiative.  The first workshop will take place April 10 with the second on April 16th.  Both workshops will take place from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St. in downtown Naperville.

I invite you to provide your own comments below.