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Old 12-02-2007, 03:37 PM
Location: Gurnee IL.
675 posts, read 1,631,149 times
Reputation: 301


If I'm in my mid 20's I would choose Madison for the nightlife alone---and the chance to meet other 20-somethings. Naperville is mostly families with young kids. Too funny about Aldi's---if you like generic food and no name brands that might be the way to go--- I would shop at Woodmans to save money---either North Aurora if you choose Naperville or the Woodmans in Madison---either store carries things that you can't get at other grocery store chains---such as a "pasty" from the yooper...ummmmm.
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:10 PM
Location: the Great Lakes states
796 posts, read 1,979,134 times
Reputation: 529
Great comments and help, thanks.

As it happened I didn't get the Naperville job, or the Madison job. Or any of the north suburban jobs I applied for (I was looking at Brunswick Zone management opportunities also, some near Zion.) So... I have landed something locally here where I am in Northwest Indiana... which buys me more time to keep looking around and find someplace that feels more like home. The beaches here are great, and if you volunteer, you can meet people and have a lot of fun... but... really I want to live somewhere that's more alive and has a happier vibe to it. I don't know if Chicagoland is really my taste either, a lot of people seem rather beaten down by the daily grind and I don't want that to be my future. Although the night life is always tempting, and the reverse commute isn't a bad idea. The far suburbs north and west have some appeal to me for their open space, and high quality of life, but I still have a lot to think about over at least the next six months to a year. It's hard to find a place that has it all - people and fun opportunities. I might eventually be one of those folks that has two homes, one more suburban/rural and a condo in the city. Ha, I might need more than two. Another one in a college town... another one on the beach... LOL.

Originally Posted by Don Vito View Post
It seems to me that the Naperville scene (I am a 20 something) was more "local". Not that there is anything wrong with that. Suburbs should aspire to provide entertainment for their young adults, rather than loose them to the city; only to have them return when it is time to raise their devil children.

I agree with you about that Don Vito, its a real problem here in Indiana... no one in their twenties wants to live in any of the towns/cities here except Indy and the 3 college towns. They say the number of college grads who move out of IN is over 85% (that's an old statistic, maybe from 2000 and not for sure where that research came from). Something town planners completely forgot... I think we have real problems when our communities are missing entire age groups, any age.

Originally Posted by HOWELL_STREET View Post
Dear Friend:

I believe you are looking at identical twins although Naperville, IL is smaller than Madison, Wisconsin.

Since you plan business in a tourism industry, Madison would be a better choice. That's due to the state of Wisconsin vs. the state of Illinois. Much more tourism in Wisconsin.

As my personal opinion, choose something much better than Jewel Food Stores and the other one you mentioned.

On a world - wide basis that also includes the entire Chicago area - - do your grocery shopping at "Aldi's". It is a warehouse food store and will save yourself a bunch of money in the long run. Do a Google search on "Aldi's" but I believe it is Aldi.com or something similar.

Carter Glass,
Wheaton, IL &
Cortland, IL

Carter, I went into an Aldi's, there is one near here in Valparaiso... its improved a lot. My grandparents used to shop at one when I was little and the food was so bad as was the store itself... its really improved a great deal, the meat actually looked really good. Not for everything though... and somehow I think if you grow up with a certain grocery store you have an affinity to them for one reason or another. For me it was Jewel and when I've lived in other cities in Ohio and Indiana the food offerings just never quite compared in quality. Chicago may be a hard-work and intense city to live in, but one result of that has been really high standards for food, restaurants and groceries both, well, and for a lot of things. You get used to trains/buses every 10 minutes and 24 hour everything. Cosmopolitan is a good word to describe it, like MidwesternBookWorm did.

Thanks for the very helpful comments and good discussion and hope everyone is having a good last couple days of the year.

Last edited by summer22; 12-30-2007 at 09:20 PM..
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:31 AM
1,464 posts, read 4,743,070 times
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You will not have a hard time meeting other gay men in Naperville or around it. They won't just flit by you at the mall, but you can go on websites like Myspace or hotornot to find them.

Its all a law of averages my friend. Where do you think you will have an easier time in meeting someone? A city/metro area where there are probably a million gay people now, or a small city in the north arctic region (cold of which most gay males don't like to begin with), where there may be some "out" people? Figure this, the city/metro area itself (Madison) only has about 400,000 people max of which you can estimate 25-30% are gay or bi or curious and Chicago has a total population of what??? 8 million? Which 25% margin is greater? Hope that gave you some insight.

Lastly, don't limit yourself to just Naperville. While the town is very nice, it may not be the best bet for a young gay male. You may want to consider the city (Chicago; Lakeview, Downtown, Gold Coast) where there is a much larger "out" populous. I just think you will have a much easier time in meeting people in that case. Do you own searches on Myspace and see what kind of returns you get in how many people are "out" on there by zipcodes. I think you will be surprised at how many pages you can get if you look in the city esp. Lakeview area. I just looked by zipcode near Lakeview for you and got something like 40 pages or 4000 people!

Last edited by NYrules; 12-31-2007 at 06:41 AM..
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:30 AM
5,792 posts, read 9,922,255 times
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I'm somewhat familiar with Madison, and grew up in a town similar town to Naperville, just instead to the NW of Chicago about the same distance away.

Both are great, it depends on what you are looking for. I personally often think of major college towns as being more "cosmopolitan" in many ways than many suburbs of major cities.

Theres obviously a lot of good advice on this board, good luck with your decision.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:57 AM
11,971 posts, read 26,127,599 times
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I was born in Madison and went back for an internship in my mid-twenties. The college kids have the best run of that town. If you are living there and NOT in college, it really kind of turns into a big suburb. There are some older charming neighborhoods with funky pedestrian-friendly commercial strips, but this is a very small part of the city. But if you're comparing it to Naperville, I would pick Madison because it is just much easier to accomplish day-to-day tasks by car. Downtown Madison is definitely not Chicago in terms of cultural offerings, but the college does attract a good deal of entertainment and culture. And the lakes are quite beatiful and accessible!

As far as gay life in concerned, Madison is VERY liberal and there is a small gay scene there with a few active bars.
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:35 PM
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So I grew up in Naperville (among other places) and am now living in Milwaukee considering a move to Madison!
I have never lived in Madison but have always enjoyed the city, the nightlife is great and the community very friendly.
I lived in Naperville from birth to 5th grade and in 9th grade and then watching my siblings finish growing up there for a few more years.
The city does have a good 20 something nightlife, the downtown is adorable and the riverwalk is very pretty. The activites for children are extensive and varied. Shopping is great, the libraries and schools are excellent and the city is clean and safe. Everything about Naperville looks great on paper, that is why it was rated the number one place to live not long ago.
The reality though is different from a day to day kind of experience. The people are the problem. They are just flat out mean. The children have an incredible sense of entitlement that makes many of them bullies. If you are not one of the familes with money and plenty of it, with plenty to throw at your kids, you will find it hard to fit in. By the time they turn 16 nearly every teen owns a car which their parents have gifted them. Few have learned the merit in working your way to anything. (I grew up in a family with plenty of money but I was also required to have a job by 15 and two when I visited from college)
My (now) husband and I witnessed the most amazing arguement in downtown Naperville. We were on our way out of town and hit up a bagel shop in the middle of the downtown. We parrallel parked on the street, ran in, got our bagels and sat in the car while my husband ate his bagel so he could drive. While eating, the car in front of us left. Another pulled up and sat behind us for 3-4 minutes expecting us to turn our car on and pull forward. After we didn't the driver reluctantly pulled ahead of us and used the very large spot in front of us. He then proceeded to get out of the car with his son and berate us for not pulling forward when he wanted us to. We tried to just ignore him and let the whole thing drop. A man sitting outside the bagel shop across the street with his wife and child jumped up to our defense and yelled back at the driver telling him that if he knew how to parallel park it never would have been an issue. The arguement escalated to the point that the wife of the seated family got up and physically put herself in between the two yelling and cussing men trying to remind each of them that they were there with their children on father's day and to let it drop. Yes, this arguement was had on father's day with children present. This has been my quintessential Naperville experience. Ever since then my husband has understood why there is no circumstance under which I would consider raising the children we may have some day in Naperville.
Great on paper, bad in reality. Unfortunately, the personal end is hard for any magazine to pick up on and include as a factor of the best city to live in type of scale. People in Naperville may have every advantage but they also take most of them for granted.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:26 AM
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 66,396,140 times
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I lived in Naperville, been downtown about a gajillion times, and never once have seen an argument. I have, however, seen people almost fight in St. Charles, should I dismiss that as the quintessential St. Charles experience? Didnt think so.
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