30 August 2009

is it possible to get a haircut in Crystal Lake?

this weekend, the we drove up to Crystal Lake, IL to visit Walkup Heritage Farm to research next spring's plantings.

after, we stopped in the downtown area for lunch. i correctly determined that the downtown area would be, well, downtownish, and right by the Metra stop. though car-centric, it was reasonably pedestrian friendly and did have some cool old buildings, such as banks and historic houses converted to shops.

if someone had told me beforehand that this area would have a shockingly high number of places to get one's hair done, i would still have been shocked by the shockingly high number places to get one's hair done. it is not an exaggeration that there are fewer restaurants than hair places, and probably not an exaggeration to suggest there is a ratio of 1:4. i may be underestimating.

in fact, we found zero proper restaurants that were open for a late afternoon lunch. we found 4 grill pubs, none of which looked particularly inviting (and one, the Cottage, which apparently has no front door at all, but only a rear entrance off the parking lot -- so much for pedestrian-friendly). there was a french "cafe", but that was more of a bakery than a proper restaurant.

but good god were there hair places. one after the other, some in a row. i half-suspect that the wives of the guys driving the expensive cars (i saw both a Ferrari F430 and an Audi R8 in the area) have opened up shop as a vanity project; I have little idea how an area that small could support so many beauty salons, especially if the "restaurant scene" is a proper indication of what the area can support.

we left without eating, or, astonishingly, getting our hair done.


pyker said...

Shame, looks like a promising old town center. Row of shops, street not too wide, angled parking.

pyker said...

Blog comment option I want: "email followup comments BUT NOT MY OWN, because I just f**king wrote them, didn't I?"

zim said...

it could be a lot better, agreed. it's not just one street like that, either, there are a couple blocks of old buildings there. and nearby, a nice park (on a river, i think) and some cool old farmhouses.

but then in other nearby places, are the typical used-to-be-farmland subdivisions and miles of stripmalls. i wasn't surprised to locate a Chili's, Appleby's and TGIFriday's all within a mile of each other.