Tag Archives: suburbs

People of Flossmoor: You Drive Like Self-Entitled Pricks

An open letter to my fellow residents in the great village of Flossmoor, IL.

Dear Flossmoorians,

We all have to drive. We all know we have to drive, because we all moved to the suburbs. Metra’s great, but it won’t take you everywhere, whenever you want (jury’s still out on whether the CTA can even do that). Fellow residents, since moving to Flossmoor, there are a couple patterns I’ve noticed that cause a certain amount of distress.

1. Mornings at the Flossmoor Metra station. Just like you, I drop my spouse off at the Metra station in the morning. As expected, there is a lot of traffic in this area in the morning, both pedestrian and motor vehicle. I know you’re all impatient, just like I am. But just because you¬†are in a hurry does not mean I should run over a pedestrian in the crosswalk so you can get on your merry way. The pedestrians should also not feel the need to speed up (since most of them are already walking quickly or running to make their trains!) just because you can’t wait 4 more seconds at the stop sign. Dropping your spouse off at the Metra station also does NOT entitle you to pull away in front of other cars. If I’m honking at you, it’s not saying hi, it’s saying “HEY ASSHOLE I’M DRIVING HERE!” So please, feel free to not beep back, and just take the chastising honk in stride.

2. Residential intersections without stop signs. A good majority of Flossmoor’s residential areas have streets without stop signs. The only stop signs are located at the intersections of a residential road and a main road. Sometimes there are 3-street residential intersections, and the majority of the intersections are not perfect square/right angle street intersections. According to the Illinois Rules of the Road, this is the proper way to proceed:

When two vehicles on different roadways reach an uncontrolled intersection at the same time. The vehicle on the left should yield to the vehicle on the right.

Strangely enough, I never seem to see this habit practiced. In fact, I see no yielding whatsoever. The intersection approach seems to be more of a “barrel through the intersection at top speed, signifying that I have the right of way, even if there are multiple cars waiting on the other street(s).” I work a schedule that is off about an hour from the regular 9-5, so I don’t typically drive during rush hour periods. Fortunately, I haven’t seen a situation in which two self-entitled drivers approach the same intersection. But I HAVE seen one self-entitled driver at pretty much every single intersection since I’ve moved here. Literally, I have only seen one person cautiously yield at these intersections, and this was last week. We have lived in Flossmoor since December, 2008.

This is really just an irritation to me, but perhaps not to others. Homewood-Flossmoor is one of the top school districts in the state, so there are MANY children in our residential areas. I can only imagine that if a driver will not yield to another vehicle, the driver will also not yield to (or perhaps not pay enough attention to see) a young pedestrian.

Of course, I’m sure most of you fellow Flossmoorians are not this careless when you wheel your $50,000 SUVs onto the roadways. If, perhaps, either of these habits sound familiar, please revisit the updated Illinois Rules of the Road manual.

Love, Peace, and Axle Grease,

Southwest Oriental Market

Southwest Oriental Market Inc
9170 W 159th St.,
Orland Park, IL

After checking out Bangkok Oriental Grocery, we hopped onto LaGrange Rd and drove down to Southwest Oriental Market. This market was more modern and much larger. There is a wall of frozen goods across from shelves of noodles and rice. In the next aisle, there is a refrigerated case of produce, meat, and perishable sauces. The other aisles had varieties of sauces, seasonings, instant food, and snack foods. They also stock a few common appliances and utensils necessary for Asian-style cooking. This store seems to cater more to Filipino, Chinese, and Japanese cooks.

I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the wide variety of items in the store. I could have spent more time in this store, but we had already picked up many of the items I needed at Bangkok, so I only gave the store a bit of a cursory glance. The staff were not overly friendly, but they were not rude, and answered a couple of questions we had. We are also definitely coming back here, because on Fridays, Southwest Oriental Market has a local cook bring in Balut. Vegetarians need not apply; Balut is basically a cooked duck egg that was once near hatching time. Peruse the Wikipedia article about Balut if you’re not grossed out already.

We probably won’t like it but I still can’t wait to try it, haha. I’ll post a trip report about that too… but will put the pictures after the jump for you queasy folks. ;)

Bangkok Oriental Grocery

As promised, I went to the Asian markets I had previously Googled. Unfortunately, due to vehicular difficulties and time constraints, I was unable to do this until yesterday. To refresh your memory, the two markets we visited were:

Bangkok Oriental Grocery
7430 S. Harlem Ave.,
Bridgeview, IL

Southwest Oriental Market Inc
9170 W 159th St.,
Orland Park, IL

This entry has actually gotten pretty long, so I’m going to put the other market into a second post.

I’m most interested in Thai cooking, so we called Bangkok Oriental Grocery first and drove over. The grocery is on the west side of Harlem (which, by the way, is one INSANELY busy street on a Saturday afternoon), and shares the building with a Thai restaurant. I don’t think it was open when we went, so we didn’t check it out. Google Maps displays a building with no sign, but they have put a sign up at this point. If you’re coming from the south, because of the way the storefront is angled, it’s easy to miss. From the north you shouldn’t have a problem.

The store itself is pretty tiny. It’s definitely not the most modern, and the shopkeeper was unloading some stock while we were there, so we had to step over a few boxes. Don’t let this scare you though! Sometimes smaller markets aren’t the cleanest, but that has nothing to do with their products (sometimes older, non-updated facilities are also misconstrued as being unhygienic). There are 4 aisles, but the shelves are packed packed packed with mostly Thai goods. A shelving unit near the door displays Thai memorabilia in the patriotic color yellow, and many products with nary an English description. Due to the size of the store, there is not much fresh produce. There are 5 or 6 chest-style freezers holding frozen dumplings, meat, fish, and freezable produce (kaffir lime leaves, peppers/chilies, ginger/galanga, etc). Typical chill chests were in the back of the store, and they contained high-demand fresh produce; eggplants, lemongrass, several varieties of basil, some chilies. Pretty much if you need anything for Thai/Vietnamese/Filipino cooking, this place will have it. Head to your usual grocery shopping location for “regular” produce.

We will definitely be heading back here. The shopkeeper was incredibly friendly, and when we were paying for our groceries (CASH ONLY, by the way) he was asking us what kind of food we wanted to cook. I had picked up a bottle of fish sauce, and he let me know that there was another brand better suited to Thai cooking. We had a couple of different curry pastes, and he told us which ones would work best with different meats and vegetables. He also suggested some Thai cooking essentials, but wasn’t trying to shove a bunch of products down our throats. So, huge, huge thumbs up for Bangkok Oriental Grocery and the friendly shopkeeper! :) Maybe after a few trips I can ask him what the mystery products on the front shelves are…