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Old 03-26-2015, 02:14 PM
 
1 posts, read 10,496 times
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Hi All,

I would be shortly shifting to Chicago and is looking for a good place with Indian community.
My work location would be in East Randolph Street Chicago 60601 near Michigan Lake.

I am looking for an area which should suffice most of the criterion's below:
1. Good commute to work location
2. Nearby good school for my kid, where my wife can drop and pick him walking or by public transport.
3. Nearby Convenient and grocery store.
4. Safe, especially at night.

If anybody knows about it then please do let me know. It would be a great help.

Regards,
Pankaj C
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Lublin, Poland
4 posts, read 15,098 times
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From my indian friend i once heard about "The Chicago (West Suburbs) Indian Community", but it was long ago and i don't know more about it. Try searching for it online.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:20 PM
 
1,500 posts, read 1,605,903 times
Reputation: 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pankaj_Chouhan View Post
Hi All,

I would be shortly shifting to Chicago and is looking for a good place with Indian community.
My work location would be in East Randolph Street Chicago 60601 near Michigan Lake.

I am looking for an area which should suffice most of the criterion's below:
1. Good commute to work location
2. Nearby good school for my kid, where my wife can drop and pick him walking or by public transport.
3. Nearby Convenient and grocery store.
4. Safe, especially at night.

If anybody knows about it then please do let me know. It would be a great help.

Regards,
Pankaj C
Rent or buy?

Drive to work or train?

Urban or suburban?

Budget?
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:21 PM
 
15,287 posts, read 16,828,849 times
Reputation: 15019
Where is work? Difficult to give a good answer without that.

I will say there is a large Indian community in Skokie - my ex-dil's parents live there. The wife is a city worker there currently. There are a lot of cultural events in Skokie for the community. Garbas are common.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:16 PM
 
1,500 posts, read 1,605,903 times
Reputation: 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Where is work? Difficult to give a good answer without that.
See original post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pankaj_Chouhan View Post
My work location would be in East Randolph Street Chicago 60601 near Michigan Lake.
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Old 03-27-2015, 03:57 PM
 
237 posts, read 190,909 times
Reputation: 520
Try Evanston downtown.

Here's my take (different from conventional logic). Most Indians who have lived in the US for a few years tend to move to the Western or North-Western suburbs like Schaumburg, Napervile, Aurora, Gurnee, Vernon Hills, etc. (or the Stevenson high school district). Some (a few) also move to the Northern suburbs like Highland Park, Glenview, Wilmette etc. for the high school (New Trier) despite these areas being very expensive and predominantly white.

The only problem with the suburbs is that you and your wife need to take the car out for almost everything. You haven't given more details but it sounds like your wife may not prefer driving. Among the suburbs that have a self-sufficient downtown are (in my limited knowledge) Naperville and Evanston. I have not lived in Naperville downtown but I can tell you about Evanston downtown that it pretty much meets all your criteria. A significant number of people walk/bike on the footpaths at all time of day and night (also because Northwestern Univ is situated in Evanston). Even very late at night, you will see many people on the road, and in general, it is very safe to walk in downtown Evanston. A lot of people in Evanston downtown also do not own a car.

It is also almost completely self-sufficient so you can get everything from hardware, groceries, veggies, library, movies, restaurants, furniture/housing stores, doctors, dentists, pharmacy. Even the lake and beach are walking distance. Evanston is also very multi-cultural and while it is not an Indian suburb per se, there are many Indians, and also many people from other parts of the world. The schools are decent (the elementary schools have good rating) - but this is the trade-off. If you are looking for the absolute best rated schools, Evanston will not cut it. But it is still very good, in my personal opinion.

It is also very close to downtown Chicago where you seem to work, and is also extremely close to Devon - which is the biggest and oldest Indian/Paki neighborhood in Chicago. I wouldn't recommend living in Devon but it is the go to place for Indian restaurants, groceries, etc. Downtown Evanston is also very well connected to downtown Chicago via road, and CTA and Metra (it is rare to find both CTA and Metra connectivity to downtown). Metra is about 25 minutes to downtown and the fast Purple line on CTA is slightly longer but not by much.
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:54 AM
 
3,783 posts, read 5,526,561 times
Reputation: 2084
I'd nix that suggestion. Most Indians coming here from India (he does not say where he is shifting from) will find it a challenge to get acclimatized to the brutal weather here and won't want to walk everywhere. Also the Indians I know (and half of my family is from India) have their children in lots of extra curricular activities so they need to drive them to many places. Go to a suburb with good schools and one where you will have an attached two car garage.
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,070,616 times
Reputation: 6183
A suburb that would meet your immediate needs is Oak Park. It shares a boundary street with Chicago. It is about 8 miles from downtown. OP offers train, bus, taxi, limo, and zip car as public transportation. Trader Joe's is a natural foods grocer in Oak Park. Milk products can be delivered to the home by the local dairy. The elementary public schools are quite decent. The library has a great book program for kids. Kids can also stay at the library after school if the parents are at work. You have to arrange it with the library. Walkable downtown, nice restaurants, motels, etc.. There are theatre and music groups for kids too.

Oak Park is a diverse village of about 50,000 with a desirable address. Most of the residents love it; a few don't. There is a OP housing center that will help you find a place to rent while you get boots on the ground. Housing stock ranges from simple family home to luxury apartments with covered parking. You do not want to live any closer to Austin than two blocks.

I advise you to take a year lease while you investigate your options. You may find a larger Indian community elsewhere that better fits your family. In the meantime, OP is the closest-to-downtown inner ring suburb in Chicago. It's about a 20 minute ride in nice weather.

All Illinois elementary schools are decent. All high schools have the same problem: teenagers. Parents involved with schools from K-12 usually have good students that are respectful and stay out of trouble.

A couple of years ago the largest Indian community in Chicago was located on
W. Devon near N. Western (Not Northwestern). Is it still there? I do not know.

Good Luck and WELCOME to Illinois.
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:31 AM
 
237 posts, read 190,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToriaT View Post
I'd nix that suggestion. Most Indians coming here from India (he does not say where he is shifting from) will find it a challenge to get acclimatized to the brutal weather here and won't want to walk everywhere. Also the Indians I know (and half of my family is from India) have their children in lots of extra curricular activities so they need to drive them to many places. Go to a suburb with good schools and one where you will have an attached two car garage.
At the end, it comes down to personal preference. Your points are all valid. The things you are not considering though are that most Indians who have just moved to the US are not comfortable driving. Especially driving in US streets. In many cases, and now I may be over generalizing, women usually take much longer to get comfortable driving. This further worsens when you have family visiting for extended periods of time. In a suburb, you end up in a situation where you are literally immobile or paralyzed and become totally dependant on the one family member who can drive.

India is not like this. In most big cities, you just walk out and hail a cab or a "rickshaw". And everyone prefominantly walks or uses public transport instead of driving multiple cars. And suburban American life is the exact opposite of the hustle and bustle and chaos that one finds in most Indian cities. Not just the driving problem, but not seeing people walking on the streets also becomes depressing.

Which is why I put walk ability first. But as I said, this is highly subjective.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:33 AM
 
15,287 posts, read 16,828,849 times
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I agree that Evanston downtown is a good choice, but there is not a large Indian community there. The Skokie area is much more Indian, but transportation downtown would be by *el* rather than metra (might take a little longer, be more crowded and be a bit less comfortable).

Still living in Skokie, there would be a very large Indian community. My son's ex-mil and ex-fil live there are are very involved in both the city and the cultural Indian events.
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