the village of niles is a frenzied mix of shopping malls, discount retailers, office parks, manufacturers, middle-class homes, modestly-sized apartment buildings, parks, schools, golf courses, batting cages, recreational facilities, and other assorted accoutrements of suburban living (not to mention a half-size replica of the leaning tower of pisa). for the most part, the village straddles milwaukee and harlem avenues as they cross the northwestern boundary of chicago. counter-clockwise, niles is surrounded by skokie, morton grove, des plaines, and park ridge. it is well-served by several acclaimed public schools, but underserved by public transportation. neither the elevated train lines nor the metra provide public transportation to the community (morton grove and park ridge are more fortunate in this respect), although the edens expressway offers quick and convenient access to downtown chicago.