Moving to Chi-Town...mmm deep dish...where to live????

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by uspcommuter, May 10, 2010.

  1. uspcommuter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    #1
    Hi all,

    Long story short, I scored a one year gig at the Hines Veterans Affairs Medical Center located next to Loyola U Medical Center.

    I am a single yuppie and a city boy too. I would love to live in the city again because I miss walking to the bookstore, coffee shop , local gastropub, etc. but it is not an absolute, since commute would be horrible. I would settle for the burbs too.

    I will have a car (sorry still paying it off no way I am going to leave it with my mom or relative) and can spend around $900 give or take.

    Please put in your two cents. City or Burbs? What section? Any other thoughts when moving to chicago? and things that I should definitely do on weekends :)

    Thank you very much for the help.
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #2
    OK- here we go:

    1. Get rid of the car, unless you find a place with a garage. Parking is scarce and driving is a pain. Public transportation is the way to go in the city.

    2. You do NOT want to live in the burbs, especially if you're a city boy. There are a few that are OK, but the ones that are decent are pretty expensive.

    3. From the sound of things, you'd fit in nicely in several neighborhoods here. If you're a total yupster, live in Lincoln Park, avidly avoided by artists and people with any cultural sense. :) But there are plenty of hot babes, sports bars, faux Irish pubs, etc.

    If you want something more hip, check out Wicker Park. There are plenty of music venues, galleries and good restaurants.

    If you want more of a homegrown feel (lots of Chicago natives, etc) move to Lincoln Square/Ravenswood. It's where I live and it's the perfect fit for me: cops, politicians, firefighters, truckers, gay people and artists. It's an extremely friendly neighborhood and feels homey.

    If you want to live downtown, I would suggest Printer's Row. It'll probably be close to work for you and is pretty happenin'. There are lots of Columbia students in the area as well. Actually, it's hard to live in a neighborhood where there aren't students. There are numerous colleges and universities throughout the city.

    Whatever you decide, this town is awesome no matter what. It's the best city in the US, IMO- not to mention perhaps the most beautiful.

    You're gonna love it! Welcome! :)
     
  3. callmemike20 macrumors 6502a

    callmemike20

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    If you are living alone and only have a $900 budget for rent, I would avoid the loop. I lived in the loop for a while and it was $1950.00 a month for a 2 bedroom place. Printer's Row, and Lee suggested, was just south of be by a 1 minute walk. It was definitely full of columbia kids, but I don't really remember the prices in that area. However, unless you have a roommate, you will be living in a closet if you chose Lincoln Park. I also lived in Lincoln Park for a while, and it was great. I preferred it over the Loop and Printer's Row. Lincoln Ave. is full of bars and is always busy at night. However, it is also full of DePaul students (which didn't bother me, since I went there too). Also, Lincoln Park is closer to Wrigleyville. So, if you plan on moving there, you better become an avid Cubs fan.

    I don't have an opinion for the "cultural" areas of Chicago that Lee mentioned. I was a student, so I wanted to stay near school and other students, but I knew some people that lived in Wicker Park and stuff. They seemed to like it, but the trip to the loop (for school and work) was a good 30 minutes with the blue line (lots of delays at the time).

    If you don't bring your car (which you shouldn't), make sure you have trains and buses nearby. I would recommend living closer to a train than a bus stop since they are more on schedule and come more frequently. The red and blue line (I think) operate 24/7 and the brown line ends around 1am or something. So, if you plan on staying out late, keep that in mind.

    I know this was a giant ramble, but I hope it helps.

    As for suburbs, you could just ride the metra for a day (out of Union Station) and see all the little neighborhoods. Most have the "family friendly community" feel, but they lack a night life. Naperville (a little far) is nice, but can be expensive. As you get closer to the city, you pass older, middle class to upper-class neighboorhoods such as Hinsdale, Willow Springs, La Grange, Western Springs, Brookfield. They all have little communities around the train stations too. 15 minutes to the city from most of the towns I listed. Naperville is like a 45minute ride. But, if you plan on having fun, I would stick with the city.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #4
    The Brown line runs til 2 am.

    So you never explored the city? Too bad. It's so much bigger than where you were, and so full of all kinds of things to do.

    OP- avoid the burbs. And seriously, ditch the car. You'll hate having a car here.
     
  5. callmemike20 macrumors 6502a

    callmemike20

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    I never said I didn't explore the city. I just choose to live in areas closer to where I had to be at random times of the day. If a class ends at 10am, and I have another at 11, it was nice being able to go home for a little bit.
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #6
    Oh good. I know a lot of people who never leave Lincoln Park or Lakeview and that's just ridiculous.
     
  7. uspcommuter thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    #7
    Lee, you def hit it right on the head that I am a yupster. Btw Hot babes and faux Irish pubs thats awesome. I like your style.

    Unfortunately the car is coming i know i know , remember one year gig its not permanent. Thats why my rent is $900 b/c I left $300 just for the car.

    Anyways, its interesting that Wicker Park was mentioned. Whats the difference between that and Lincoln Park?

    Also, any low or high rise apt company that y'all will recommend? i dont mind living in a closet.

    Will come back for more questions.
     
  8. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #8
    Do not forget that you will have to add another $100-200 a month for parking the car. That leaves you with $700 for rent. That won't get you anything at all in any decent neighborhood- not even a closet. Ditch the car.

    Do not look at rental companies for a place. Look on craigslist- you'll find the best deals and the nicest places there.

    Wicker Park is more of an artist's neighborhood. The yupsters tried to take it over, but failed. Lincoln Park is yuppie heaven- Volkswage Jettas and double-wide baby strollers galore, even if there's no baby in it. I'm serious, they use baby strollers as props, it's insane. :)
     
  9. uspcommuter thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    #9
    Hmmm strollers as props...I should try that.

    Still $900 ... the $300 is just for parking. Yes, I am that dead set in bringing a car.

    Btw, what is the norm in having certain utilities covered as part of rent. When I lived in Boston, the norm was that gas (used to heat the apt) is covered as part of rent? safe to say that for chicago too?

    Seems like the info I am getting on apt is coming to a close. How about stuff that you recommend doing in Second City? :)
     
  10. callmemike20 macrumors 6502a

    callmemike20

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    As Lee mentioned, it's going to be nearly impossible to find a closet with that budget. Living in the city has a high cost of living, but most people make up for that by not having a car. A friend of mine found a place on craigslist and I don't think he pays more than $500 for rent. He is under a sublet and lives with some random guy that he doesn't know. Not that doing that is bad, it just depends on the type of person you are. However, if you plan on living by yourself, you won't find anything (and if you do, its most likely not a good neighboorhood).
     
  11. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    #11
    $900 for rent and $300 for car parking won't get you anything?
     
  12. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #12
    I don't live in chicago, but my cousin does. She lives in Lincoln Park, and she loves it there; I've stayed with her a few times, and it's a really nice area. She has a 1 bedroom apartment; she's paying ~$1,500 a month for her place. It is a nice building and a nice apartment, I think the building is called the Belden or the Stratford. She does have a car, and I think she said that it's $400 a month for a spot or something around there.

    Just thought I'd put my two cents in, sorry I can't be of more help. It is a great city though, I plan on moving to Chicago as soon as I can. I hope the move goes well.

    Don
     
  13. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #13
    Dead set on taking the car? Really?

    Paying $200-400 a month to park it and rarely using it (A. because transit is so good in just about ANY major city and B. traffic and parking can be helacious in just about ANY major city)...plus paying $150 a month for insurance for this car you will hardly be driving....

    Over the course of the year you can waste as much as $6600 (not including gas) by having your car parked near you, or save that same amount by leaving it with your folks.

    Heck, even to rent a car once a week to get out of town will only cost you a fraction of what it will cost you to have your car nearby.

    Is there REALLY a good reason to have this car with you? It's honestly going to be WAY more of a hassle having it in Chicago than it's worth.
     
  14. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #14
    OK, you'll be fine for a good place then. You'll find something good for $900.

    As far as utilities- gas will NEVER be covered. Look for a place with radiator heat- that is always included. Electric you will always have to pay as well. Do yourself a favor and look for a place with heat included in the rent. It's the best deal.

    As far as what to do- what do you like to do? Whatever it is, it's here in droves. I would encourage you to explore the city as much as possible. There are so many cool neighborhoods. I bet I haven't seen half the city, and I've lived here almost 18 years. There's always somewhere new to go.
     
  15. Gonzo3333 macrumors 6502a

    Gonzo3333

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #15
    You will regret bringing a car with you. Owning a car and not really needing it in the city is a gigantic waste of money. Almost all of my friends that have moved to Chicago and brought a car sold it within 3 months of moving due to the frustration (parking tickets, getting towed). If you are looking at Lincoln Park or Lakeview you will be paying at least $300 for a parking spot. Not to mention if you ever take your car anywhere you will need to park it on the street, most likely at one of our fantastic parking meters that don't take dollar bills. Having a car is a major pain in the rear end as well as a money pit. Leave the car and use the money you save for going out. Just remember that Chicago has the highest tax rate of any major city in the country 10.25%.

    I have lived in Wicker Park, Logan Square, Lincoln Park and Lakeview. If you have yuppie tendencies Lakeview and Lincoln Park is the way to go. You may have trouble finding a 1 bedroom for $900 that is not a total dive in Lakeview or Lincoln Park. I would also do as LeeKohler says and look for an apartment that has heat included because you will get taken by the gas company when the winter hits.

    As for deep dish. ONLY GO TO LOU MALNATIE'S. They have by far the best deep dish pizza you could ever eat. I would avoid Gino's East like it was the plague. Don't forget to go to Portillo's and get a hot dog, whatever you do do not get ketchup on it. I almost disowned one of my good friends for putting ketchup on a hot dog at a Cubs game a few weeks ago.

    Good luck with your move and let us know what neighborhood you choose.
     
  16. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #16
    I live in Louisiana but visit Chicago here and there. Have a photoshoot coming up there at the end of the month. Wicker Park is a nice place. If you can find a place to live in there, I'd say go for it.

    And like what others said, you don't need the car. It will just get in the way.
     
  17. uspcommuter thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    #17
    Hmm...

    Okay, I was only on travel for two weeks, didn't know I was going to make an uproar with the car situation.

    I know its a money pit as many people has said already. Cant agree more. But there are two big variables, that I can't really control.

    First, I will work at Hines...public transit does not reach there. If I live in lincoln park or lakeview it will take 90 mins to get there (assuming I catch all the changes on time) and the last leg of the trip is via taxi according to Google maps.

    Second, my job is a one year gig. Would love to stay, because there is no official job offer to stay. If there is one , awesome. But a permanent job might arise somewhere else. Who knows, def need a car then.

    If anyone has a solution, I am all ears. Because I thought about living in the burbs to cut cost, but then realize that I it won't do my single status that much good since most single people live in the city.

    Yes, all this talk of deep dish made me really hungry. I do like Gino's East, but I prefer Lou's. Can't wait. Thanks y'all.
     
  18. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    ЧИКАГО!
    #18
    On top of cars being a money pit, our traffic here is awful.
    It's an hour. To where? Doesn't matter.
    If you're intent upon living downtown, forget the car.

    Outside of downtown, a car is a necessity. I'm from Englewood and West Lawn in Chicago originally (now war zones) and have moved to the SW burbs.
    There are loads of nicer burbs, all of them expensive. Many of them offer access to the city life. All are a short but painfully slow commute away from downtown. Oak Park is one of many, with convenient access to the "L" trains. ("L" is short for "elevated" or "Loop", as the tracks are raised over the street and form a loop in the downtown area)

    The Chicago area has the best food in the world. Pizza is our speciality. Even our local corner pizzerias beat out anything anyone else has to offer. Boston Pizza almost made me throw up, as did SF and Indiana attempts.
    Connies, Giordanos, Gino's East, those are very good franchised chains.
    Personally, I consider Gino's East to be a last resort. Bacchino's was my favorite but they seem to have disappeared from the burbs.
    Oh! And Portillos! You GOTTA try Portillos. Portillos is the worlds best Hot Dog Stand. They put 80% of restaurants to shame.

    See you at Cafe Winberie in Oak Park,
    Keri
     
  19. NEENAHBOY macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    #19
    I actually live in Printer's Row and was, until recently, a Columbia student. :)

    There are a ton of condo developments in the South Loop that are struggling at the moment, and I'm sure you'd be able to find a great deal. Honestly, though, I'd avoid downtown if you expect to go anywhere either past 9 pm Monday-Saturday or at all on Sunday and find it open. Businesses still aren't very accommodating of the fact that people actually live in the Loop now.
     
  20. Gonzo3333 macrumors 6502a

    Gonzo3333

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #20
    http://lakeviewassociates.com/

    If you are still looking for an apartment this company has a pretty good selection of nice apartments. I just moved out of one of their buildings after living there for 4 years. The building I lived in has parking available below the building.

    I wasn't sure where the VA Hines Hospital was located before I first posted so you will actually need a car to get there, a cab will cost some serious $$ to get there and back everyday.
     
  21. StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    #21
    Why did you put "mmm deep dish" in the title of this discussion? I'm aware of the origin of deep dish pizza and it's widely enjoyed flavor; that's not what I'm asking.

    Why did you put that in the title?
     
  22. Kimba macrumors member

    Kimba

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Location:
    Ventura County, California
    #22
    I haven't lived there since I was 5 but I've been back visiting dozens and dozens of times because I have a ton of relatives there. In fact, I'll be going back there in less than two weeks to see my stepmother, who lives in Edgewater. :)
    A lot of good advice here! :D

    Agreed on both points. Last time I visited Chicago we we went to Gino's East because it was near the hotel where I stayed. We waited in line over an hour and half for pizza that was good but not up to par for what you can get elsewhere.
     
  23. uspcommuter thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    #23
    hmm two plugs on lakeview associates...are they bribing you guys?

    Anyways, Gonzo...how much did parking run at their properties? is it secure? meaning you have a key or device to get in?

    @stephen: I put that in the title b/c I am a foodie... plus I love deep dish...so when I think of chicago deep dish always come to mind... and its a conversation starter too...

    Are there any other places that I should hit up for food?
     
  24. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #24
    Are you kidding me? Chicago is known for some of the best chefs and restaurants in the world: Grant Achatz, Charlie Trotter, Rick Bayless, Jean Joho...the list goes on. Take your pick. The food here is incredible.

    Grant Achatz's restaurant, Alinea, was named seventh best restaurant in the world this year. They are also make a biographical film about him, which is rumored to start Tobey Maguire. The food here is no BS.
     
  25. Gonzo3333 macrumors 6502a

    Gonzo3333

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #25
    I believe that parking was under $300 a month. The parking in the building that I lived in was pretty secure, chain link fence with barbed wire. When you rent parking from them they issue a Garage door opener that grants access to the parking area.

    Lakeview Associates did not ask me to do anything. I just really enjoyed the property I rented from them. They take excellent care of the facilities.

    I will P.M. you with the address of the building I lived in.
     

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