Meet your Neighbors: Ana McNamara
Meet Ana McNamara! Ana is a DePaul graduate and litigation attorney who concentrates her practice in business litigation, divorce, and investment disputes. She left a large national law firm based in the Sears (Willis) Tower to start her own practice. Before and during law school, she was a commodities futures trader in the trading pits on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. At the time, she had a full CME seat and was one of only three female traders in the Eurodollar pit. She holds law licenses in Indiana and Illinois, is a member of the federal trial bar, and has a real estate brokers license to better serve and understand her clients’ property and leasing disputes. Her passions include travel, cooking, and scuba diving, and she is a contact sports enthusiast who holds a black belt in Oom Yung Doe and a purple belt in Hapkido from Hyun’s Hapkido school on Western Avenue in Chicago.
What brought you to the dunes?
When my father passed away last summer, I decided to move closer to my mom, who resides in Michigan. The long beach area was ideal, because I can travel to my mom’s house and the city in just over an hour, and still be right on the lake to enjoy our beautiful lake Michigan. During the summer and fall months, I feel like I am perpetually on vacation here.
How long have you lived here?
Approximately nine months, but for the first few months, I wasn’t here much, so it still feels very new to me. With that being said, I’m looking forward to exploring Michigan City even more!
What is your favorite thing to do in the area?
Taking a ride in my convertible with my Wheaten Terrier Russ for some exercise and a swim in the lake, and meeting all the new wonderful people here. The people I have met have been unbelievably welcoming and friendly. I tell everyone it’s like Mayberry around here.
Tell us a secret about the dunes.
Coming from the city, I think a well-kept secret (for now) is all of the redevelopment and upgrading that has been going on. I never realized how beautiful this area is because people from the city seem to gravitate towards New Buffalo or Union Pier. When I was sitting on the rooftop at Fire and Water in Washington Park the other day watching the sunset over the beach listening to reggae, I felt like I was in Key West. With all of the new city-quality restaurants and venues popping up here and the continuous events, in addition to the new South Shore express train to the city and the fact the prices are a fraction of what they are in the city, its going to be booming up here very shortly. I also think the dedication, hard work and training of the Long Beach Volunteer Fire Department seem to be somewhat of a secret here.
Give us your top three “hidden treasures” (restaurant, shop, trail, beach, event…really anything!)
I ‘m a big foodie and I love to cook (my mom talked me out of being a chef), so I have been frequenting all the restaurants in the area. Trattoria Tonelli on Franklin has great pasta, an excellent wine selection, and exceptional service. Bistro on the Greens (LaPorte) has a fried green tomatoes appetizer that is the bomb coupled with a great atmosphere, and, for a personal favorite, you can’t beat NANI’S CAFE in Union Pier for breakfast or their sweet and spicy hot dog (its NOT your average hot dog -they put a spin like no other!).
What would you like to teach people about the dunes?
For those who have not been here lately, its not the same as it was ten years ago or years before – when the outlet mall was the only reason you came here. There are weekly events; from the ridiculous demolition derby to Brew at the Zoo on the lake, Lakefront Career Network’s social events, and the other countless outdoor activities and fundraisers (which are constant during the winter also). Everyone is very social and, unless you are a party pooper, you are never at a loss for a good time!
I recently joined the Long Beach Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter and I am currently establishing a satellite law office here as I transition into the community. I have 18 years experience as a litigation attorney and have never lost a jury trial (I hope I didn’t just jinx myself). I am very much looking forward to serving the businesses and people of this community – both as an attorney, and a volunteer firefighter/first responder. A sampling of my credentials and experience can be found at www.mcnamaralegal.com