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Town Center and Hawthorne Plaza

September 22, 2015

If the random trees in the middle of the sidewalk and the busy streets don’t bother you, then the Town Center and Hawthorne Plaza are nice places to shop. Most of the shops are fairly expensive and well over a high schooler’s budget, but it’s a nice place to window shop and get some exercise walking from place to place.

Francesca’s

Francesca's at Town Center is a boutique with everything from trinket-like gifts to clothes and accessories.
By Victoria Wright
Francesca’s at Town Center is a boutique with everything from trinket-like gifts to clothes and accessories.

The Francesca’s at Town Center is a cute little boutique and clothing store with a wide variety of merchandise ranging from tall boots and long necklaces to decorated portable chargers. While Francesca’s is a chain company, each shop is unique in its own way. The large windows let in a nice amount of light and give the shop a peppy feeling, whereas the one in the Oak Park Mall feels more closed off. It is a generally well kept place and there is always something interesting to look at, but some of the clothing is a bit overpriced. Yet, there are also plenty of sales going on throughout the store. Francesca’s is more geared toward the ladies with necklaces, bracelets and shoes. It’s a quirky little place to walk through and look around in and not necessarily buy anything in.

Blue Chip Cookies

Located in Town Center, Blue Chip Cookies offers a variety of cookies and ice creams.
By Victoria Wright
Located in Town Center, Blue Chip Cookies offers a variety of cookies and ice creams.

With a spunky environment, Blue Chip Cookies is a nice place to just stop by if you are ever in the area and in need of a quick picker-upper. The cost of a single cookie is around $1.50. It’s easy to step in, pick out a cookie from the 17 available choices, pay and enjoy the treat. From personal experience, it’s advised to get a drink of water after enjoying the cookie. Blue Chip Cookies also gives you the option to customize a cookie and even build an ice cream cone from 24 flavors to choose from. It has a energetic feel to it and has a nice view of the parking lot from the inside of the shop. Overall, Blue Chip Cookies is a relatively calm but not very spacious place to stop if you are craving something with a lot of sugar in it.

The Rice Gallery of Fine Art

The Rice Gallery of Fine Art in Hawthorne Plaza showcases paintings from Midwestern artists and allows shoppers to purchase artwork.
By Victoria Wright
The Rice Gallery of Fine Art in Hawthorne Plaza showcases paintings from Midwestern artists and allows shoppers to purchase artwork.

While it isn’t necessarily a viable option to buy a piece of art from The Rice Gallery of Fine Art, it’s a nice place to pop in for a couple of minutes. A good majority of the artwork is Midwest themed, and most of the artists are local. In general, it’s a nice, quiet place to stop and look around. It is one of the only art galleries in the area. The way that the art is displayed on the walls in the middle of the room is nice and gives the gallery a flowy feeling. The wall in the very center of the gallery is known as the “Under $500 Wall” and features numbered art works and a list in the center of the wall giving the amount of money each painting is worth. In conclusion, it’s a neat place to step into, poke around and continue with your day.

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