Chicago, IL

East Dundee as Clueless as Elgin

Sherry McGuinn

Just what we need: Another car dealership on Route 25.

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As if that strip of road, at Routes 25 and 72 also called Dundee Avenue, wasn't sufficiently mind-numbing, the long-shuttered Walmart that at least served as a place where residents could, you know...shop, was replaced by yet another car lot in a sea of them. That's what it looked like when I drove by yesterday, anyway. Don't quote me, but I looked for the old store and all I could see were dealerships.

The auto industry must be thriving, given the sheer volume of these places. It's not like I was expecting a Trader Joe's to move into that space but did we REALLY need another dealership? Is local government so devoid of imagination that all they could think of plunking into that space was the same old, same old?

The answer is "yes," they are, as they obviously don't give a damn what the residents want. We're just a bunch of dumb country folk here in this suburb approximately forty-three miles west of the "big city."

I mean, why would we want a Trader Joe's, for example? Or even a Mariano's for that matter? I guess we're not high-tone enough for cauliflower gnocchi, or a smoothie bar. No. We have to drive to Schaumburg or Hoffman Estates for such "perks." Here's the part where the haters here call me a snob, but the irony is, I'm the farthest thing from it. I love a good bargain the same as anyone else, but I also appreciate having options as to where I shop and dine and I don't understand why Elgin, at least, is so devoid of them.

As much as I appreciate living here and the affordability and variety in housing, this town is a dud. There's no other way to say it. The pandemic has really driven that home to me because now that things are "opening up," I've realized there are precious few places that call to me.

I do have to give a shoutout though, to the relatively "new" Planet Fitness in East Dundee. I'm a member and I couldn't be happier with that particular club. The monthly membership fee is dirt cheap for what they provide and the place is immaculate. Always. The staff is helpful and does everything possible to ensure the safety of its clientele. And yes, social distancing is observed, as well as mask-wearing. So, a big "thank you" to whoever made the determination that a gym in that particular locale was the way to go. A gym beats the hell out of another car lot, any. day.

Walmart shoppers do have another brick-and-mortar store in the vicinity and they're going through big changes. The relatively new "superstore," located farther down on Route 25 in Carpentersville is doing away with cashiers as the store has decided that self-serve registers would cut down on theft. There was one standard lane available when I was there. Everything else was self-checkout, which isn't so bad actually as there seemed to be plenty of registers available. Hey, no long waits in line? I'm good with that. I'm not exactly sure how this new protocol cuts down on theft but a security guard told me there are cameras "everywhere," for what that's worth.

The store is also getting a makeover and is much cleaner and brighter than in its previous incarnation. That, too, is a good thing. And it's not a car lot, so I'll take it.

As always, thanks for reading.

© Sherry McGuinn, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Sherry McGuinn is a slightly-twisted, longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and numerous other publications. Sherry’s manager is currently pitching her newest screenplay, a drama with dark, comedic overtones and inspired by a true story.

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