Rating the Suburbs - Brook Park

Danielle Walker, 25
waitress at Harpo’s Sports Café
I was a Camp Mi-Bro-Be instructor. It’s a camp that you go to when you’re in sixth grade in the Berea City Schools. It stands for Middleburg Heights, Brook Park and Berea, the three cities that make up the Berea School District. We sang camp songs. We went on nature hikes.

We have the Ford plant, so we have a lot of blue-collar people here, a lot of working families where both parents work — day-care families.

I moved to Fort Myers, Fla. I worked in a souvenir store part time on the beach. We sold anything from ashtrays to key chains, magnets, T-shirts, beach towels, bathing suits, shark’s teeth, an alligator face. I decided to move home after I came home for a visit at Christmastime. Every time I’d come home, I’d be so homesick on the plane ride back to Florida. It was sad to leave everyone.

We have a really good fireworks display for Brook Park Homecoming Days, the little carnival. I’ve been going to that since I was little. I know I’m 25, but I always go and see people I know there. It’s like a big high school reunion.

I’ve always loved the Ferris wheel. I always get a lemonade and usually a funnel cake or a gyro. Then we have a parade, Sunday afternoon, that I usually go to. The marching bands from the schools are in it. My grandpa is in the Shriners. He’s in it usually. I’ll see him.

Someone once told me, “Oh, you live in Brook Park? Isn’t it like the Bronx?” “Oh, yeah, it’s just like the Bronx. You’ve obviously never been here.”

I was younger when Tom Coyne was in office, but from what I remember, I thought he was a good mayor. Everybody makes mistakes and drinks too much and sleeps on lawns or whatever he did (laughs), but I thought he was a good mayor. I know my parents liked him.

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