Five Questions With The Urbanophile Aaron Renn

By Mike Fourcher | Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Aaron Renn, The Urbanophile, on Lincoln Avenue. Credit: Mike Fourcher.

Aaron Renn, originally from Laconia, Indiana, is an IT consultant that has lived in West Lake View since 2002. But he is most famous for his hobby, writing and managing The Urbanophile, arguably one of the nation’s most prominent and prolific urban planning blogs.

“Laconia was the region of Greece where Sparta was located. Spartans were famously of few words. So that’s the origin of the word ‘laconic’,” Renn told us over lunch at Wishbone, 3300 N. Lincoln Ave., yesterday. “You would never describe me and my blog as laconic. I think the irony of being from Laconia is lost on most people.”

1. What’s your favorite spot in the neighborhood?

Besides my apartment? Probably The Pony Inn. It’s close, they have food. It’s got a great crowd and very friendly people who work there.

2. What’s the goofiest thing you’ve seen in the neighborhood?

To me the goofiest thing is the people who go to the street festivals like Retro on Roscoe. That crowd! Where did they teleport in from? Are these professional street festival goers? None of them look like the people who live in the neighborhood.

You see the neighborhood crowd, which you can recognize from the strollers, and then you’ve got all these people from where ever. Where did they come from?

Watching the people at the street fairs is one of the goofiest things ever.

3. If there’s something you’d change about the neighborhood, what would it be?

I think we need to have more diversity in every respect. It’s too monolithically the Naperville demographic here. And we need a better diversity of restaurants and other establishments.

4. What’s different since you first moved here?

The staggering quantity of strollers and the number of children in the city. It went from like, you could notice it when you moved here to my gosh, if you don’t have the double wide you don’t fit in.

5. Retro on Roscoe or Summer on Southport?

Retro on Roscoe!

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