10 Things Only People From Highland Park, Illinois Will Understand

The city of Highland Park, Ill. is a unique place indeed. The suburb outside of Chicago isn't the Midwest wasteland your East and West Coast peers believe it is, but it's certainly a bubble of a community only Highland Parkers can relate to. (If you grew up there, you know what I'm talking about.) Here are 10 ways to know you grew up in Highland Park.

1. Much like champion figure skater Jason Brown, you had your teeth straightened by Silberstein Orthodontics

Unlike champion figure skater Jason Brown, you never had an ice sculpture of yourself displayed prominently in your hometown (though you probably did take skating lessons at Centennial Ice Arena at some point in your life). 

2.  Your wardrobe included Church Girls, Birkenstocks, Juicy jumpsuits, So-Low pants, Michael Stars, and Uggs


You also had a North Face jacket for every season (and yes, your summer North Face was probably really cute and doubled as a blanket for Ravinia concerts). If you wanted to stock up on the aforementioned items, you'd run to E Street or Uncle Dan's on the first day of Sidewalk Sale.

3. Every time you walk into Michael’s, you have to make a critical decision: salad line or hot dog line? 

It’s best to go with a friend so you can divide and conquer.  Stash's (RIP) provided the same dilemma.  

4. You can site all the incorrect references to your neighborhood in Mean Girls 

Old Orchard is an outside mall!  Walker Brother's Pancake House doesn't give gift cards! (Wait, do they? Why haven’t I ever gotten one?)

5.  You had a more active social life in seventh grade than you do now 

Three Bat Mitzvahs a weekend was standard. More importantly, you were on a first-name basis with all the good Bat Mitzvah DJs, and could easily get your Destiny’s Child song request played right after the Snowball. Yeah, you were totally wired on Shirley Temples.  

6.  Your Halloween costumes came from HP Tops

Whatever you were “dressed up as” was printed on the t-shirt you wore with leggings. I was “Posh Spice,” a “devil,” and a “Fanta." It's also highly likely you spent the entirety of at least one Halloween waiting to trick or treat at Michael Jordan's house

7.  Your high school didn't have cheerleaders


But Jammers, Poms, Collage, Marching Band, and/or Swing Choir performed at all your pep rallies. You knew (and quite possibly mocked) all of their signature moves. 

8.  It wasn't until college that you realized that most schools don't have Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur off

Nor do they take field trips to Peru, China, Prague, or Scandinavia.

9. Between the ages of 11-18, you spent more hours at Northbrook Court than your house


 
Because Late Night HP was never really a thing. If it was nice out, Port Clinton and Rosewood Beach may be in the mix.

10. Going to downtown Chicago meant State Street or Michigan Avenue


Sometimes Clark Street, if you were feeling adventurous. 


Images: tumblr; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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