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Old 10-09-2019, 12:32 PM
 
1 posts, read 647 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello folks (newbie here),

I'm a single late-millennial-aged male (mid-20s), born, raised and currently living/working around the Lake Forest/Highland Park area. Most of my old friends have escaped, and I plan on getting out as soon as my finances permit, but until then, I'm forced to make do with whatever semblance of "night life" I can find out here.

There actually seem to be a fair amount of watering holes (from classic dives to hip brewpubs) out here in the region between Lake Bluff, Highland Park and Mundelein, but in my experience, they all suffer from the same problem - the clientele consists of more Baby Boomers than the audience at Woodstock did. Don't get me wrong, I think that the Boomers are certainly entitled to enjoy themselves, and I've actually met some fairly friendly/interesting characters among their ranks, but I'm really craving more interaction with people my age (to be fair, there are also the younger button-up/nametag professional types out here due to Abbvie, Rosalind Franklin and what have you, but they tend to lean 5-10 years my senior and are looking to settle down/start families).

I tried the Chicago thing for a bit in my college days and the immediate aftermath, but it was a little too much for me to handle - the bars/clubs were too crowded and loud, the food and drinks were too expensive and I was offered to buy some heroin a few too many times for my liking.

At the risk of wanting to have my cake and eat it too, are there any places out here that offer a decent "night life" for younger folks, but without the overwhelming insanity of the city proper?

Libertyville and Highwood both seem(ed) promising, but every time I've given them a try, I seem to hit that same 35+ crowd (maybe it's just bad luck?). Evanston also seems like it could be promising, it's got the university and it's less of a commute than downtown, what's their nightlife like? Kenosha is a little too far away and Waukegan is a downright tragedy, so that kind of nixes the small cities for me.

Alternatively, maybe I should stop relying on bars for socialization? I've been perusing the local cafes and coffee shops as of late, with the hopes that maybe I might run into some younger artsy-types, but the clientele there seems to primarily be High Schoolers or their parents.

Thank you.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Evanston, Lake Forest, and Wrigleyville, Illinois
2,452 posts, read 1,541,981 times
Reputation: 2939
I'm in the same cohort and living in the same area. Have you considered attending festivals, concerts, or attending different activities put on by Lake Forest College or Northwestern University? I don't feel starved for socialization. You have to think realistically. People living in Chicago don't get a lot of weekday socialization either. That's what the weekends are for. I have no problem going down to Evanston or even staying over at a friend's place for the weekend. Starbucks on Western in Lake Forest always seems to be full of young people.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:01 PM
 
4,018 posts, read 2,953,229 times
Reputation: 3118
I honestly thought it was common knowledge, especially if you grew up in LF/HP, that nightlife for 20-somethings is drastically limited to non-existent out here. It’s Evanston or the city- be happy you have good access to public transportation though.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:53 PM
 
2,100 posts, read 4,737,485 times
Reputation: 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkokieSwift View Post
Hello folks (newbie here),

I'm a single late-millennial-aged male (mid-20s), born, raised and currently living/working around the Lake Forest/Highland Park area. Most of my old friends have escaped, and I plan on getting out as soon as my finances permit, but until then, I'm forced to make do with whatever semblance of "night life" I can find out here.

There actually seem to be a fair amount of watering holes (from classic dives to hip brewpubs) out here in the region between Lake Bluff, Highland Park and Mundelein, but in my experience, they all suffer from the same problem - the clientele consists of more Baby Boomers than the audience at Woodstock did. Don't get me wrong, I think that the Boomers are certainly entitled to enjoy themselves, and I've actually met some fairly friendly/interesting characters among their ranks, but I'm really craving more interaction with people my age (to be fair, there are also the younger button-up/nametag professional types out here due to Abbvie, Rosalind Franklin and what have you, but they tend to lean 5-10 years my senior and are looking to settle down/start families).

I tried the Chicago thing for a bit in my college days and the immediate aftermath, but it was a little too much for me to handle - the bars/clubs were too crowded and loud, the food and drinks were too expensive and I was offered to buy some heroin a few too many times for my liking.

At the risk of wanting to have my cake and eat it too, are there any places out here that offer a decent "night life" for younger folks, but without the overwhelming insanity of the city proper?

Libertyville and Highwood both seem(ed) promising, but every time I've given them a try, I seem to hit that same 35+ crowd (maybe it's just bad luck?). Evanston also seems like it could be promising, it's got the university and it's less of a commute than downtown, what's their nightlife like? Kenosha is a little too far away and Waukegan is a downright tragedy, so that kind of nixes the small cities for me.

Alternatively, maybe I should stop relying on bars for socialization? I've been perusing the local cafes and coffee shops as of late, with the hopes that maybe I might run into some younger artsy-types, but the clientele there seems to primarily be High Schoolers or their parents.

Thank you.
I felt the same way you did back when I was in my 20's & living in the northern suburbs of Chicago / North Shore. I would often make the trek to the city & crash with friends or even secure lodging in the city periodically to soak in the nightlife. During lengthy stints that I wasn't renting in Chicago's North Side, I was an unabashed Chicago version of NYC's "Bridge & Tunneler" minus the extreme Jersey Shore brashness. Due to a rather unusual turn of events, fast forward several years & I'm living in Metro Detroit (suburbs). This area is obviously on a different trajectory with different demographics & lifestyles than many folks in or near Chicago. One interesting thing is that since the city of Detroit was a post apocalyptic warzone up until the Recession maybe, is that Detroit actually has suburbs (ie. Woodward corridor of Ferndale, Royal Oak & Birmingham) that arguably have more nightlife for folks in their 20's than any of the suburbs of Chicago from my memory. Throw in the nearby city of Ann Arbor (home to the prestigious University of Michigan), and that is its own hybrid blend of college town / 20 somethings nightlife, etc. Fortunately the core areas of Detroit have forged a nice little comeback & you have areas in Midtown / Downtown / Corktown that are far better than the old days. It is not a late night city like Chicago, however. Public transit & taxicab service is also lacking although Uber & Lyft is a more viable option in the modern era unlike the earlier 2000's.

I know what you mean. The contrast between Chicago's sleepy suburban nightlife (mostly the older folks / Boomers) vs. the congested / hyper city nightlife is pretty dramatic.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:09 AM
 
749 posts, read 826,689 times
Reputation: 366
847 you are right on. It was weird for us when we moved here from MI experiencing this huge sleepy difference - do you think Chicago suburbs are heading towards a energetic Renaissance? Slow but seems to me some (some) are heading that way... Oak Park's future maybe the next Royal Oak/Ferndale and Evanston/Naperville growing more similar similar to Ann Arbor from energy perspective. With some smaller ones here like La Grange becoming more similar to Plymouth. Hinsdale to Birmingham...

I fully understand the 24h day/night party scene will always remain in the big city... I think Detroit is heading/trying to go in Chicago's direction on that front creating a similar hyper-city nightlife scene that even MI's more vibrant burbs cannot come close to match.

Last edited by JJski; 10-10-2019 at 07:45 AM..
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:39 AM
 
4,018 posts, read 2,953,229 times
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Naperville like Ann Arbor(?)
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:46 AM
 
Location: IL
498 posts, read 409,410 times
Reputation: 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJski View Post
Oak Park's future maybe the next Royal Oak/Ferndale and Evanston/Naperville growing more similar similar to Ann Arbor from energy perspective. With some smaller ones here like La Grange becoming more similar to Plymouth. Hinsdale to Birmingham...
I think LaGrange and Rochester match up pretty well too, though not perfectly.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:22 PM
 
749 posts, read 826,689 times
Reputation: 366
damba, if you were to squash evanston and naperville together here you would then have ann arbor imo - when we moved here all the chicago peeps were telling us that if we wanted ann arbor'ish vibe you can chose either of those to get it...

deeman, yea Rochester is a nice matchup... agreed...

to get this thread back on track - OP should go hang out in Evanston...

Last edited by JJski; 10-10-2019 at 07:49 PM..
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