NEW LENOX – What’s the most boring place in Illinois?
It’s New Lenox, according to Movoto Blog, a real estate brokerage website. Another Will County village, Bolingbrook, made the list of 10 Most Boring.
Somehow, Movoto Blog found the most boring towns in Illinois all to be in the Chicago metropolitan area. Places like Tolono, Hoopeston and Standard City didn’t make the grade.
“With a name like New Lenox, you might expect everything to be new, shiney (sic), hip and lively,” wrote Laura Allan, author of the blog post, “but that’s not so with this place ... the numbers really did indicate that this was not a place to find thrills.”
That didn’t bother New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann, who said he laughed when he discovered the Movoto Blog article.
“We’ll be happy to stay at the top of that list any time,” he said.
New Lenox was found to be most boring based on a ranking that took into account cities and villages of certain population size. Movoto spokesman Nick Johnson said the ranking avoids small towns because some of them would have amenities that would end up making them “off-the-charts” exciting based on the websites’ methodology.
The places were then judged how exciting they were based on nightlife, live music, active life options, number of fast food restaurants, percentage of fast food restaurants and percentage of young residents between the ages of 20 and 34.
The website created the ranking based on data gleaned from Areavibes, Yelp and the 2010 U.S. Census.
Baldermann was uncertain if the criteria used was scientific and if anyone goes to the website for reliable information. Nevertheless, he was happy New Lenox is not a location known for its nightclubs or dive bars. Instead, it’s more known for its great schools, great recreational events – such as the Triple Play concert series – and the Silver Cross Hospital, he said.
“We are primarily a community of hard-working families that want their kids to get a good education and live in a safe community,” he said.
Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar was also not offended to be tied for sixth place as the most boring place in the state. Boring is not always bad, he said. Claar touted the village’s shopping centers, theater attractions, local schools and athletic programs as its main highlights.
When he first learned of the list, he said he thought it was funny and didn’t take it too seriously.
“If they think we’re boring, fine. But people are generally pretty happy,” he said. “I don’t care what they say.”
The blog post ranked the most exciting places in the state – with Evanston ranking No. 1 – and decided to have “a little light-hearted fun and skewer the 10 most boring spots.” The most exciting towns also were all in the Chicago metropolitan region.
Johnson said the goal of the Movoto Blog is to build awareness about the website and create a conversation among communities.
“What we’re slowly realizing is even these people in these communities are learning about themselves,” he said.
Reaction to the blog post has been mixed.
One commenter named Molly wrote in the comment section of the blog, “I think I’m honored to have my hometown named. After all don’t the more ‘exciting’ places also have more violence, more depressed people, more homeless, welfare, and wayyyy more dirty?”