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Old 02-16-2012, 08:59 AM
 
Location: In flux
5 posts, read 5,124 times
Reputation: 15
Default Relocating to Chicago - Irving Park?

I have been reading these forums for quite some time and have learned a lot about the different neighborhoods, etc. so thanks! I guess my situation is pretty typical of a lot of these threads, but I haven't read much about Irving Park from this year so I thought I'd start a new thread with specifics. Here goes!

We (lesbian couple, early 30s) are relocating from NJ in May. I am transferring within my company from NYC to Chicago (in the Loop) so I know my budget and everything. We are considering buying a house in Irving Park (on N Kimball between Irving Park & Addison) and would like to get a better idea of the neighborhood. Obviously, our time spent in the area will be shorter than we would like on our weekend visits so I want to make sure we are not going to be in for a bad surprise.

What we care about:

Safe for the most part (I have lived in some bad areas of NYC so we are not averse to some sketch)

Walkable to the El - looks like we can walk to the blue line

Walkable to at least a few restaurants and bar/grill types. We love all kinds of beers!

Easy access to Wrigley and the Loop - baseball nuts!

Dog (pitbull mix) friendly

Obviously gay friendly or at least not hostile


What we don't care about:

Schools

Parking

Having "the right" address

Weather (grew up in WI - I know all about the winters)

Basically, we live in the burbs of Jersey right now and are too far from the city for our liking with no 24 hour public transportation options. We would prefer to be able to get to the bigger nightlife areas by cab and/or train while also living in a more residential area. We need to have a yard for our elderly dog with creaky joints, so no need to mention condos or apartment buildings. Do you think that part of Irving Park would be good for us? Any other suggestions you think would be better? We have limited time obviously. Renting is also an option, but we thought it might be difficult to find a place with a yard that would allow our dog. Is that accurate? As far as budget, we are looking under 300K for purchase, under 1500 for a rental of at least 2 bd. Looking to keep my commute under 1 hour - my current commute is closer to 1.5 so I can manage if necessary.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Uptown
1,521 posts, read 1,183,519 times
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That area is fine for most of your checklist, might be a little sleepy and the nightlife spots it is convenient to on the blue line (Logan, Wicker, Bucktown) might be a little young. Given your desire for a house w/yard for the dog, it's probably a good bet. Andersonville meets your criteria but would probably be out of your budget. I'd consider looking around Rogers Park, some really nice houses up there, good parks and better access to Wrigley and whatnot.

Overall, you seem on top of things.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:40 AM
 
1,323 posts, read 2,333,152 times
Reputation: 477
I think you will be fine in that neighborhood. As the other poster mentioned, it is a little "sleepy" and can seem almost suburban on certain blocks. That may actually be appealing if you seek a quieter neighborhood. Having a yard is a wonderful thing in the city.

Good luck with your move
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:15 AM
 
Location: CHicago, United States
6,937 posts, read 3,335,535 times
Reputation: 3389
It's an older, not-yet-gentrified area. Quiet. Not hip. Good family place, I'm thinking. Close proximity to shopping, excellent public transit options. Within easy reach of just about anything you'd want to see and/or do while living here.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
816 posts, read 1,224,335 times
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For your checklist, you are probably better off the closer to Addison you are (as opposed to Irving). The blue line Addison stop is a bit farther east, and Addison and Kimball is only a few blocks east of that stop, but with the train following the Kennedy Expressway by that point, the Irving Park stop is a lot closer to Pulaski, which is six blocks from Kimball.

There is an Addison bus #152 that takes you right to Wrigley from anywhere along Addison.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:26 PM
 
Location: In flux
5 posts, read 5,124 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks everyone so far for the feedback. One more thing I guess - I was just assuming that the blue line is safe to ride all night. Guess I am used to the NYC subway. Is this a correct assumption?
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Volker, Kansas City, MO
12,062 posts, read 18,694,841 times
Reputation: 3618
Quote:
Originally Posted by glassy View Post
Thanks everyone so far for the feedback. One more thing I guess - I was just assuming that the blue line is safe to ride all night. Guess I am used to the NYC subway. Is this a correct assumption?
Yes; I'd have no major concerns about that.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:24 PM
 
1,323 posts, read 2,333,152 times
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I feel very safe on the blue line at night. Since it originates at O'Hare Airport there are almost always travelers and airline employees. For ultimate safety I ride in the very first car with the train driver when it is very late at night (lots of folks do this...that car really fills up).
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:49 PM
 
Location: CHicago, United States
6,937 posts, read 3,335,535 times
Reputation: 3389
I think you'll really enjoy rapid transit in Chicago as compared to NYC. The north side section of the Blue Line is considered very safe. The "ride in the first car" idea is a bit overworked, IMO. But if you're concerned about safety, until you become accustomed to the system, ride in any car and look for a blue flourescent light in the ceiling, below which is an intercom/emergency communication system connected to the engineer.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:58 AM
 
Location: Chicago
36,121 posts, read 56,108,919 times
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My biggest red flag about a house on Kimball, if it's literally on Kimball, is that it's a very busy thoroughfare even though it's only 2 lanes. That can affect quality of life to some degree.

That area is generally safe, though there has been a gang turf war flare-up over the last few months directly north of there, as in, maybe 2 blocks north. Most of the action has happened north of Irving Park so far but you never know what might spill south. Random crime isn't a major concern, though the area is certainly not immune from it. As always you're in "the city" and all of the attendant cautions should be observed.

Another minor red flag is that the stretch of Kimball between Irving and Addison is in a little bit of a L-train "no-man's land." You can either walk some 20 minutes to the Blue Line, 20 minutes to the Brown Line, or take a bus to either -- which may not save you much time by the time you wait for it to arrive and then have it lumber leisurely through street traffic to get to a station. You can lop a lot of time off your commute by planting yourself just a few blocks pretty much any direction but east.

While it's true there's not much going on in the area, one of the city's most renowned indie night clubs (Abbey Pub) is right off that stretch of Kimball, so I guess that's something. There's also a renowned lesbian hangout a few blocks east on Irving Park called Lizard's Liquid Lounge.

Last edited by Drover; 02-17-2012 at 04:06 AM..
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