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Old 04-01-2008, 03:54 PM
 
7 posts, read 66,059 times
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I checked the neighborhoods thread but I didn't quite find the info I was looking for. I am moving to Chicago in a few weeks, and through a friend I have the opportunity to get a place around the 24th and Oakley area in Pilsen. Any comments good or bad are greatly appreciated. I have read threads about gentrification in this area but I know that theres also opposition. Has that actually happened or not? I know its not an overnight thing but one poster had stated that its better than say 5 years ago. I am mainly trying to asses the safety level ( I know its relative given its Chicago so NO I dont have unrealistic utopian expectations) but I dont need to feel threatened by my surroundings either.
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Old 04-01-2008, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago
2,358 posts, read 4,968,938 times
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It is livable depending on what you are used to but in 5 more years it will be much nicer.

Tell us more about what you are used to living-wise and we can tell you better if you should move there or not. You will definitely need to be aware of your surroundings around there. There are certainly nicer neighborhoods in Chicago, but worse ones too.

If you are threatened by gangs and having to watch your back as you walk down the street (you should do this wherever you are at) perhaps you should wait a few years to move to such an area.

What is your budget and where will you be working/studying? That will be the biggest determinant of where you live.
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Old 04-01-2008, 04:18 PM
 
7 posts, read 66,059 times
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Well I live in Austin now so I cant really compare it to Chicago. I can only spend around 1000 a month and I have car-I work in the burbs. I have an opportunity to get a 2 bedroom w/ a garage for 900/mo. But I am unfamiliar w the area. Before Austin I lived in SoCal but it was in the northern part of LA.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:03 PM
 
Location: West Palm Beach/Chicago
85 posts, read 243,290 times
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I used to live around Pilsen. I would look on the northeastern part of Pilsen - around the arts district, (16th street cooridor and Halsted). It's not a bad area, but does have it's fair share of gang activity and the occasional homeless person roaming through your street. If you are freaked out by this sort of gritty thing, I would suggest you look elsewhere very carefully, because many affordable neighborhoods in Chicago have this sort of element. I lived there in 2005 for over a year, and never had any issues.

There's a few good restaurants on Halsted around that area that are great, along with an excellent bakery/coffee shop. On weekends, you can sometimes see the artists selling their work in front of their homes or in their shops. If you are not satisfied there, you can always walk up to the UIC area where they have more restaurants and bars. Pilsen is an interesting mix, very urban. It's close to downtown, and you don't have to deal with overcrowded EL lines.

Last edited by Pebbs78; 04-01-2008 at 09:18 PM..
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,589 posts, read 13,253,099 times
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Do you speak Spanish or more properly Mexican? I hope so.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:14 PM
 
Location: University Village
433 posts, read 949,641 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firetop View Post
I checked the neighborhoods thread but I didn't quite find the info I was looking for. I am moving to Chicago in a few weeks, and through a friend I have the opportunity to get a place around the 24th and Oakley area in Pilsen. Any comments good or bad are greatly appreciated. I have read threads about gentrification in this area but I know that theres also opposition. Has that actually happened or not? I know its not an overnight thing but one poster had stated that its better than say 5 years ago. I am mainly trying to asses the safety level ( I know its relative given its Chicago so NO I dont have unrealistic utopian expectations) but I dont need to feel threatened by my surroundings either.
That particular area of Pilsen is usually referred to as "Heart of Chicago". Unlike most of Pilsen, it is (or at least was) a largely Italian area, the home turf of the legendary politician and ward committeeman Vito Marzullo. I believe the strip of Italian Restaurants along Oakley is still there.

Unless the neighborhood has changed dramatically, you won't find it to be particularly challenging place to live. It is not a high crime area by any means, and the ward office is right nearby on Western.

The biggest downside I see is you will definitely need a car because it is not well-served by public transit. In fact, you will probably be driving just about everywhere, which is may not be a problem for someone coming from Texas.

Other than that, there isn't a whole lot to say about it other than it is a real, down to earth, old-style Chicago neighborhood. You won't find a lot of trendies or hipsters there. I also hope you like the White Sox, and even if you don't, pretend you do anyway.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,588 posts, read 57,867,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avengerfire View Post
Do you speak Spanish or more properly Mexican? I hope so.
Italian will help too at that particular intersection.

The area immediately around 24th and Oakley is a very small island of sanity surrounded by a sea of urban uncertainty. That's the epicenter of a very small holdout of Italians who refused to be swept out of their neighborhood. The solid Italian part is maybe 6 blocks square, and it's known locally as Heart of Italy. It's an interesting area with a strip of great restaurants and a couple of cozy pubs. I personally would be OK living there, but don't wander too far away from 24th and Oakley at night. The area immediately around it isn't quite "da 'hood," but it could turn that way if nudged hard enough. It could also turn toward revitalization if nudged hard enough in that direction too.

Last edited by Drover; 04-01-2008 at 11:22 PM..
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,588 posts, read 57,867,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NearWestSider View Post
The biggest downside I see is you will definitely need a car because it is not well-served by public transit. In fact, you will probably be driving just about everywhere, which is may not be a problem for someone coming from Texas.
There's a Pink Line stop 3 blocks away, the Damen bus line is 3 blocks away, the Cermak bus line is 2 blocks away, the Blue Island bus line is 2 blocks away, the Western bus line is 1 block away, and there's a Metra station 6 blocks away. How much better served do you want it to be?
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,589 posts, read 13,253,099 times
Reputation: 1761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Italian will help too at that particular intersection.

The area immediately around 24th and Oakley is a very small island of sanity surrounded by a sea of urban uncertainty. It could also turn toward reThat's the epicenter of a very small holdout of Italians who refused to be swept out of their neighborhood. In fact The solid Italian part is maybe 6 blocks square, and it's known locally as Heart of Italy. It's an interesting area with a strip of great restaurants and a couple of cozy pubs. I personally would be OK living there, but don't wander too far away from 24th and Oakley at night. The area immediately around it isn't quite "da 'hood," but it could turn that way if nudged hard enough. It could also turn toward revitalization if nudged hard enough in that direction too.
Yes, you are right in many ways. But I do not think the Italians over there would even speak to anyone in Italian (or English) let alone speak to anyone they know is not from the area or not in their interests to speak to unless necessary.
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:51 AM
 
Location: University Village
433 posts, read 949,641 times
Reputation: 227
This is a condo sales pitch, but it will still give you a little sense as to what some of the selling points of the neighborhood are:


YouTube - Villa 24, new condos in Heart of Chicago

And PLEASE take the comments in this forum with a huge grain of salt. Neither Heart of Chicago nor the adjacent areas in Pilsen are dangerous neighborhoods by any stretch of the imagination. Yes, it is the West Side of Chicago and you can't afford to be stupid, but the issue is not that they are dangerous. The issue is that they don't have the kind of night life that appeals to young people.
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