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Old 11-15-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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I am relocating to Chicago and have heard mixed reviews on the Hyde Park area. It sounds like there might be some sketchy areas, but if there are some good areas to try to find an apartment, where might they be? Perhaps closer to the lake? Are there any good places to hang out there and grab a drink?
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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Well "closer to the lake" for MOST of Hyde Park is really not that close at all -- the separation caused by Lake Shore Drive, Jackson Park, the Museum of Science of Industry et cetera. There is a cluster of apartments that is a east of the railroad tracks that is sorta hemmed by LSD, but given the fact that the core of Hyde Park is extensively patrolled by both the CPD and the police forces of University of Chicago & the hospital PLUS you have the Secret Service camped out in front of the President's home -- that is all east of the railroad tracks...

The majority of rental buildings ih Hyde Park are relatively old, relatively small and relatively peaceful.

The tree lined streets, poorly lighted streets and general lack of bustle can lull people into being easy targets of muggings, but if you choose to live closer to the commercial districts OR the relatively well lit parts of the UofC campus (including hospitals) you probably will be less of a target...
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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hyde park is an island of nice in the middle of not so nice areas.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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Hyde Park is generally a safe neighborhood, but it also is a big city neighborhood where crimes do happen regularly. You would have to consult police statistics to find out if crime stats are worse in Hyde Park than in comparable neighborhoods on the north side. My guess is that HP would do worse in this comparison, but not by a huge degree.

The crime is Hyde Park isn't limited to specific "sketchy" areas. Actually, none of the neighborhood is particularly sketchy. Chet Everett got it right in that street crimes tend happen in isolated, poorly lit, and/or untrafficked areas, which can be found all over the neighborhood. Hyde Park's status as a middle-class college neighborhood surrounded for miles by some of Chicago's poorest most dangerous neighborhoods means that Hyde Park is a very attractive target for criminal types for miles around. But that doesn't mean that the area is overrun with crime or that crime is an overriding concern of the average resident there.

I lived there for five years in the 80's. Even though that was a long time ago, very little changes over time in Hyde Park, so I think my observations will still be valid. Neither I nor 99 percent of the people I knew were ever victims of any kind of crime while living in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, three women I knew were raped (two in the same attack). One of these attacks happened in an apartment break in. The other involved two women walking together (but otherwise alone) across the Midway, the long linear park that forms the south border of Hyde Park. This is one of the typical untrafficked and poorly lit (in parts) areas I mentioned above.

As for places to hang out and drink, Hyde Park hasn't been much for nightlife since the University of Chicago (the biggest landowner in the neighborhood) engaged in massive "urban renewal" in the 50's and 60's. As a result, there are but a handful of bars in the neighborhood. How nice you would find them depends on your taste. They are: (1) Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap - near the university campus and very much a university student/staff clientele. But remember, this is the U of C, not Arizona State, so it's not nearly the same party vibe as your typical campus bar; (2) The Cove - a dive bar that's been around forever. Not near the campus, so more of a "neighborhood" place. (3) Bar Louie - part of a chain that leans to the lower end of upscale. I've never been to this one, so I don't know who goes there, but given the location, I suspect it's a campus/townie mix. I believe there's a bar in a bowling alley on the university campus as well, but I guess that alone tells you the vibe of that place.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:44 PM
 
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As far as entertainment goes Hyde Park is in the beginning of a commercial upgrade. The University of Chicago is investing heavily in the area due to major complaints from faculty and students.

Tomorrow developers are breaking ground on the 1st phase of a mixed-use project that will include approximately 100K of retail. It will include a fitness club and several new fast/casual restaurants and bars (Chipotle, etc.). The U of C has nearly completed the rehabilitation of a retail building located at 53rd Street and Harper Avenue. Five Guy (hambuger resturant) has already opened and another tenant, probably food related, is pending. An ajacent historic movie theater is currently being rehabilitated. It is scheduled to open in late 2012 with 4 screens. It will feature arthouse movies. Another restaurant/bar called Clarkes is schedule to open early to mid 2012. They are currently rehabbing a building on 53rd Street.

There are several other projects scheduled for a 2012 ground breaking, including a 130 room hotel (Hyatt Place with a restaurant and bar) and residential unit. In May 2011 Whole Foods announced that they were locating in a future mixed-use project located at 51st Street and Lake Park Avenue. Stay tuned.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:31 PM
 
Location: South Side
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Well "closer to the lake" for MOST of Hyde Park is really not that close at all -- the separation caused by Lake Shore Drive, Jackson Park, the Museum of Science of Industry et cetera.
All of Hyde Park-Kenwood is within a mile and a quarter of the beach. That's not close?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
There is a cluster of apartments that is a east of the railroad tracks that is sorta hemmed by LSD, but given the fact that the core of Hyde Park is extensively patrolled by both the CPD and the police forces of University of Chicago & the hospital PLUS you have the Secret Service camped out in front of the President's home -- that is all east of the railroad tracks...
Actually, that is all west of the tracks.

Drinking in Hyde Park is best at Jimmy's for a grad student - blue collar crowd. Since it is across the street from a church, the parishioners refer to it as 'St. James Chapel'. Undergraduates drink at the Cove in east HP near the lake. There's live music at Park 52 which is sorta upscale and draws a nightclub crowd on the weekends. Folks drink, bowl and play pool at Seven Ten on 55th street, which draws a twenties crowd.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Manigault View Post
All of Hyde Park-Kenwood is within a mile and a quarter of the beach. That's not close?

there's only a couple of places you can cross over the tracks and LSD so the actual distance isn't the problem.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:32 PM
 
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It's reasonably safe but really boring.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:28 AM
 
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Default Yep, I mistyped...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manigault View Post

Actually, that is all west of the tracks.
The main UofC campus, hospitals, and Secret Service patrols are all WEST of the tracks.

Their is cluster of building east of the tracks and north of MSI, some of which at least look to be recently renovated: Algonquin Apartments Ratings, Reviews, Map, Rents, and other Chicago apartments for rent from ApartmentRatings.com
Though honestly I would not be too concerned about being farther / nearer from the lake so much I would scout out the activity around the commercial districts along 53th vs the more campus oriented stuff along 57th as each has a different flavor...

The underpass lighting has been upgraded. Metra stops are at 59, 56, 53rd and 47th -- museum of science and industry - Google Maps
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:48 AM
 
Location: South Side
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Originally Posted by dewthedru View Post
there's only a couple of places you can cross over the tracks and LSD so the actual distance isn't the problem.
Well, look at it this way: The entire west side of LSD from 49th street to 67th street is parkland, so why worry about the location of the six entryways to the lake for cars, boats and pedestrians in that stretch? Or, you could say that a crossover every three blocks is not a bad average.

Remember, the entire lagoon, Wooded Island, Bobolink Meadow and the Japanese tea house are west of LSD in 'Hyde Park', too.

As to the railroad tracks, seven underpasses in Hyde Park from 47th to 59th. How many does one need?
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