Rosie on Lakeview: “I love my new neighbors!”

By Carrie Miller | Friday, October 28, 2011

Rosie O'Donnell's stoop is decked out for fall, but will she be on hand for Halloween trick or treat? Credit: Carrie Miller

A certain two-story brick home in Lakeview is sure to get its fair share of trick-or-treaters on Monday night, as Rosie O’Donnell’s curious new neighbors are presented with the best excuse ever to drop by.

“I’m sure some people will be hitting her up,” Vanessa Mullen said with a laugh as she walked her Boston terrier Grizz and strolled her toddler daughter Maude down Rosie’s stretch of Grace Street on Wednesday.

Mullen, who moved into the neighborhood October 1–about the same time as Rosie–said she’d probably swing her daughter by on her way to Saturday’s Trick or Treat on Southport.

The stoop of the celebrity talk show host’s 6,000 square foot home is festively decked out with marigolds, pumpkins and corn shocks, but it’s unclear whether she or anyone at her home will be handing out treats. She has shared custody of four children, and splits her time between Chicago and New York.

Rosie’s next door neighbor to the east, Jennifer Piper, said they hadn’t yet met, but she planned to bring her preschoolers Nicholas and Alexandra by for trick or treat (dressed as a lobster and a princess, respectively.)

Piper said the neighbors have been curious, but low-key, as one might expect in an area populated by so many successful professionals.

In all 81 local merchant gifts sailed into Harpo Studios for Rosie O'Donnell. Photo from Central Lakeview Merchants Association.

“If she didn’t want gawkers, this was a very smart neighborhood to choose,” Piper said. “We’re just interested in having a neighbor who is nice because we’re very nice.”

One other neighbor admitted, off the record, to walking her dog a different route in hopes of catching a glimpse of O’Donnell, though she’s only so far spotted a tinted-window Tahoe pulling into the three-car garage.

In a brief email to Roscoe View Journal, Rosie reports that she’s been overwhelmed by the generous welcome she’s received in Lakeview, including a kayak stuffed full of 81 gifts from local merchants.

“I love my new neighbors!” O’Donnell wrote. “Since my arrival, I have been showered with kind words and thoughtful gifts.”

Within three days of an email to Central Lakeview Merchants’ Association members asking for housewarming donations, there were so many that a “gift basket” was no longer an option, said program assistant Rick Cummings. The kayak of presents that was delivered to Harpo Studios October 7 included four skateboards from the Chicago Blue Man Group, framed artwork and hundreds of dollars in frozen yogurt and other gift coupons from local restaurants hoping to host her.

Cullen’s, 3741 N. Southport Ave., was among the first neighborhood restaurants O’Donnell visited and manager Les Fitzgerald reports she was “a very down to earth lady” who mingled with other patrons beyond her party and joined in playing trivia before leaving a big tip.

“It felt like Christmas for my kids in October,” O’Donnell wrote of her reception. “What a warm and generous welcome to the neighborhood.”

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