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Old 03-22-2013, 09:27 AM
 
24 posts, read 8,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiNaan View Post
Oh yes, it's horrible here. Better stay away. The new overpriced yuppie restaurants and coffee shops going in every couple of weeks on 18th are going to drive up my rent enough already as it is without you moving here, too.
Sounds like what happened to my current neighborhood in Brooklyn. How would you describe Pilsen (or Bridgeport, for those who live there)? My gf looked it up and thought it doesn't sound like the best place, but naturally the value will be in the sort of place most people don't appreciate.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:03 PM
Status: "Its Football time!!!" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Houston, TX
15,275 posts, read 14,667,529 times
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Why not the South Loop, near South or West sides?
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:07 AM
 
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I'm actually focusing on the South Loop. It fits my budget well, lots of apartment options, and provides easy access to 55.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:40 PM
 
2,909 posts, read 1,631,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by permamigrant View Post
Sounds like what happened to my current neighborhood in Brooklyn. How would you describe Pilsen (or Bridgeport, for those who live there)? My gf looked it up and thought it doesn't sound like the best place, but naturally the value will be in the sort of place most people don't appreciate.
Personally, I like Pilsen quite a lot. From a Brooklyn perspective it's not nearly as gentrified as, say, Williamsburg. Wicker Park is the place to go if you're looking for that. It's maybe more at the gentrification of level of Greenpoint, if you replaced the Polish influence with Mexican influence. (Disclaimer: I haven't been to Brooklyn in 3 or 4 years. Greenpoint may be more toward the Williamsburg end of the spectrum now than it was then.)

Stereotypically it's thought of as being mostly Mexican-American families with an influx of White hipsters. That's what I expected it to be when I moved there, and it's pretty true in many parts (families to the SW and artists to the NE), but I find it to be more diverse than that, at least in terms of the people I see walking around on 18th or frequenting bars/restaurants, and certainly the people who live in my building. I see people of all ages and races, more interracial couples than I see anywhere else in the city, and a significant number of same-sex couples. Also, you see plenty of Latino/a people who are dressed in hipsterish garb, and plenty of White people who aren't, which really messes with the brain's desire to lazily categorize/stereotype.

I'm within a 3-4 blocks of a few bars, coffee shops, restaurants, a grocery store, art galleries, thrift/vintage stores, a library, an obscene number of Mexican bakeries, 3 or 4 bus routes, and the el (Pink Line). There is a slow-but-significant stream of yuppie-ish relatively expensive restaurants moving in, and the types of cheaper restaurants you find anywhere (pizza, hot dogs, Chinese, diner) but for the most part Mexican restaurants still dominate.

Two of the bars in the neighborhood (Skylark and Simone's) are regularly on various "best bars in Chicago" lists. There's a BBQ place/bar called Honky Tonk that I recently saw on a list of best bars in the city for live music. There are not nearly as many bars as you find in some Chicago neighborhoods, but the ones that are there are pretty solid, IMO. It's more of a neighborhood to chill in cozy dives with friendly people and possibly hear a DJ or band as opposed to a big bar-hopping meat market kind of scene.

Besides the Pilsen neighborhood itself, I also really like that it's surrounded by a very diverse array of neighborhoods. It's very close to Chinatown, Bridgeport (historically Irish and Italian), Greektown, Little Italy, University Village, South Loop, Bronzeville (historically a middle class and affluent African-American area that is starting to re-gentrify), West Loop, Little Village (sort of a much less gentrified version of Pilsen), etc.

It's still quite a ways off from being completely gentrified. I personally prefer this because I like cheap rent and don't like cultural homogeneity, but if you're bothered by graffiti, trash in the street, or the occasional panhandler, it's not for you. (Then again, I've seen all of these things in far wealthier Chicago neighborhoods, too.) I've known people who say they have heard gunshots there, though I have not. There has been one homicide in the past 6 months, and that was between two cars that just happened to be passing over Pilsen on the expressway. There have been 9 in the past 2 1/2 years in a neighborhood of 35,000. That's not great but is nowhere near what happens in the "bad" neighborhoods of the city. I've known several single women in their 20's and 30's who have lived alone in the neighborhood, and the only problems they've reported are the occasional cat call, usually from dirty old men who never leave their stoops. (Good ol' "machismo.")

I chose the neighborhood in large part because of its convenience for my commute, but it has turned out to be a really good fit for me in most other ways, too.

Last edited by ChiNaan; 03-26-2013 at 01:02 PM..
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:54 PM
 
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I've not lived in Bridgeport, but have had friends who do, and have spent time there. It is on the whole less gentrified than Pilsen, but is moving in that direction, particularly in the east part of the neighborhood. There is a growing artist kind of scene there (possibly overflow from east Pilsen), and a handful of cool bars and restaurants. Bridgeport has a sushi place, which Pilsen doesn't. On the surface this is somewhat ironic to me since I always consider that to be a surefire sign of gentrification, but that's probably in part due to the demographic and cultural influence of Chinatown that spills over into Bridgeport. It was historically a working class White area and still has a good amount of that. It now has significant Latino and Asian populations, as well. It has historically been an area very known for being hostile to African-Americans, and may still be (depending on who you ask).
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:05 PM
 
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Default Probably a good compromise...

Access to Stevenson without having to deal with Dan Ryan will minimize commute hassles , especially as the circle interchange gets "rebuilt"...


Quote:
Originally Posted by permamigrant View Post
I'm actually focusing on the South Loop. It fits my budget well, lots of apartment options, and provides easy access to 55.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwestern7 View Post
Thank you for the reply. My after-tax income will be around $3600/mo. I wanted to try and keep housing costs to 30% of that, which is ~$1100.

Ideally I wanted to be close to Boystown, or close to a Red or Brown Line stop for ease of getting up to the North side if I wasn't actually going to live there - What about the Gold Coast or River North if I lived relatively close to Lake Shore Drive?

The job is in Bolingbrook/Lemont area. I would be willing to stomach a car commute of up to 1-1.5 hrs, but anything over that will wear on me.

Theoretically if I did live in East Lakeview, driving to/from Bolingbrook/Lemont area, should I anticipate a 2 hour commute? "Normal" driving time according to Google Maps is ~40-45 minutes. I know some people commute to Hoffman Estates and can usually do it on the Kennedy in 1-1.5 hrs.
MY BF works in Indiana and we live in Boystown. Honestly if you get a place east of Belmont, you can without too much trouble jump on Lakeshore to I-55 and then do the reverse commute. It's not going to be fun, but you are correct in that the dead stopped traffic isn't really going to be that big of an issue. I-55 runs pretty well. Understand though that this can change at any time if there is an accident or any weather. The thing is to GO TO WORK EARLY AND LEAVE EARLY OR LATE to make any of that work.

I love Boystown and honestly I always put life before my work. I couldn't stand living in the suburbs, especially when I was in my 20's. You only live once. Maybe try it and see.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:03 PM
 
2,909 posts, read 1,631,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
I couldn't stand living in the suburbs, especially when I was in my 20's. You only live once.
I'm pushing 40 and couldn't agree more. I suspect I'll still feel that way when I'm pushing 70.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:31 PM
 
24 posts, read 8,401 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiNaan View Post
Personally, I like Pilsen quite a lot. From a Brooklyn perspective it's not nearly as gentrified as, say, Williamsburg. Wicker Park is the place to go if you're looking for that. It's maybe more at the gentrification of level of Greenpoint, if you replaced the Polish influence with Mexican influence. (Disclaimer: I haven't been to Brooklyn in 3 or 4 years. Greenpoint may be more toward the Williamsburg end of the spectrum now than it was then.)

Stereotypically it's thought of as being mostly Mexican-American families with an influx of White hipsters. That's what I expected it to be when I moved there, and it's pretty true in many parts (families to the SW and artists to the NE), but I find it to be more diverse than that, at least in terms of the people I see walking around on 18th or frequenting bars/restaurants, and certainly the people who live in my building. I see people of all ages and races, more interracial couples than I see anywhere else in the city, and a significant number of same-sex couples. Also, you see plenty of Latino/a people who are dressed in hipsterish garb, and plenty of White people who aren't, which really messes with the brain's desire to lazily categorize/stereotype.

I'm within a 3-4 blocks of a few bars, coffee shops, restaurants, a grocery store, art galleries, thrift/vintage stores, a library, an obscene number of Mexican bakeries, 3 or 4 bus routes, and the el (Pink Line). There is a slow-but-significant stream of yuppie-ish relatively expensive restaurants moving in, and the types of cheaper restaurants you find anywhere (pizza, hot dogs, Chinese, diner) but for the most part Mexican restaurants still dominate.

Two of the bars in the neighborhood (Skylark and Simone's) are regularly on various "best bars in Chicago" lists. There's a BBQ place/bar called Honky Tonk that I recently saw on a list of best bars in the city for live music. There are not nearly as many bars as you find in some Chicago neighborhoods, but the ones that are there are pretty solid, IMO. It's more of a neighborhood to chill in cozy dives with friendly people and possibly hear a DJ or band as opposed to a big bar-hopping meat market kind of scene.

Besides the Pilsen neighborhood itself, I also really like that it's surrounded by a very diverse array of neighborhoods. It's very close to Chinatown, Bridgeport (historically Irish and Italian), Greektown, Little Italy, University Village, South Loop, Bronzeville (historically a middle class and affluent African-American area that is starting to re-gentrify), West Loop, Little Village (sort of a much less gentrified version of Pilsen), etc.

It's still quite a ways off from being completely gentrified. I personally prefer this because I like cheap rent and don't like cultural homogeneity, but if you're bothered by graffiti, trash in the street, or the occasional panhandler, it's not for you. (Then again, I've seen all of these things in far wealthier Chicago neighborhoods, too.) I've known people who say they have heard gunshots there, though I have not. There has been one homicide in the past 6 months, and that was between two cars that just happened to be passing over Pilsen on the expressway. There have been 9 in the past 2 1/2 years in a neighborhood of 35,000. That's not great but is nowhere near what happens in the "bad" neighborhoods of the city. I've known several single women in their 20's and 30's who have lived alone in the neighborhood, and the only problems they've reported are the occasional cat call, usually from dirty old men who never leave their stoops. (Good ol' "machismo.")

I chose the neighborhood in large part because of its convenience for my commute, but it has turned out to be a really good fit for me in most other ways, too.
Wow, awesome response. And funny you bring up Williamsburg - that's where I am. This place has undergone hyper-gentrification. 5 years ago, there was quite a bit of gang violence still going on (though maybe just intergang violence). 2 years ago, there was broken car window glass on some block every day for months. It has since hit the critical point of Manhattan overflow and corresponding tax money that crime is way down, but now it just feels like Manhattan, complete with the crowding and sky high prices.

The other half is kinda sketched out by what she has read about Pilsen. I'm open to it. We're going to visit soon, so we might scope out the neighborhood, but I think South Loop will get most of our time.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Chicago
35,926 posts, read 54,687,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by permamigrant View Post
The other half is kinda sketched out by what she has read about Pilsen. I'm open to it. We're going to visit soon, so we might scope out the neighborhood, but I think South Loop will get most of our time.
Pilsen's bark is worse than its bite these days, even in the parts that haven't gentrified. Half of it looks like Yuppieville, the other half looks scarier than it is. There's still some lingering gang activity particularly in the non-gentrified part and you can tell by the look of the place that the "bad ol' days" weren't very long ago. But things have definitely calmed down there over the last couple years.
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