Illinois' second city
Aurora unseats Rockford as state's No. 2 as it nears 200,000 population mark
When Jeff and Crystal Alperin sought a home for their growing family, the last thing they wanted was a stereotypical cookie-cutter suburban community.
Instead, it was a rebounding former industrial river town that drew the Alperins' interest and eventual allegiance. In 2003, the family of four moved from a Chicago high-rise to a newly built home on Aurora's far southeast side.
"We liked the fact that there was some diversity," said Jeff Alperin, an attorney. "It's a vibrant community and you see a lot of different things going on.
"We felt that was very important and that it was a great thing for our kids. You don't feel like you're in some homogeneous suburban lifestyle."