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Old 11-16-2007, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,204,220 times
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If you can afford it have him just take a cab to union station- that would save a lot of time, but has a significant price tag attached.
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:15 PM
 
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If he is working in Aurora--then come spend a weekend and checkout Oak Brook Mall, Yorktown Mall, downtown Naperville-- City reverse commute would be a nightmare. Save your outings to the"city" for the weekends--
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonkeyTeeth View Post
Unfortunately, the El doesn't go directly to Union Station - the closest El stops are about 4 blocks from there. The neighborhoods mentioned earlier (Lincoln Park, Lakeview, etc.) will definitely give you an urban experience comparable to the Dupont Circle area and offer access to at least one of the El lines. There are some high-rises in the Loop near Union Station, but there's not really a viable neighborhood there and you would miss out on most of the benefits of urban life.

I hate to be gloomy after joining in so much pro-Chicago chatter, but you're really subjecting your husband to a hellish commute to have him catch the El, take it to the Loop, walk to Union Station, catch the Metra, ride all the way out to Aurora and then do it all over again in reverse each night. He's probably looking at 3-4 hours total round trip each day just to get to and from work. This isn't due to any problem with Chicago transit vs DCs, but more just to geography. The city is more spread out than DC, it can take 20-30 minutes to get the Loop on the El, and the area sprawls on a different scale. The distance from Chicago to Aurora would be the equivalent of going north of Baltimore or Frederick if you were leaving from downtown DC, not a commute too many choose to take on.
I'd have to second this notion even though I know the OP said that they're set on living "downtown". I loved living in the city limits - Chicago's restaurants blow DC out of the water, Chicago has a superior variety of walkable neighborhoods, and while the Metro is much cleaner than the El, the El is more accessible to more of the city and runs continuously 24 hours a day (at least for now) - but it's simply 100 times easier to take the Metra to downtown from the western suburbs (which is what I do now) than the reverse commute - there's just no comparison. I cannot emphasize this enough. There are rush hour trains from the Naperville/Route 59 area to Union Station that take 30-40 minutes (which is about the same amount of time that it took me to ride on the El from Wrigleyville to the Loop when I lived in the city, even though it was 30 miles closer) and then if you're working in the Loop, you simply walk to your office. Meanwhile, the reverse trains are almost all local trains that take over 1 hour on the train itself that run sporadically (this isn't counting the time that it takes to get from your neighborhood to Union Station, plus having to figure out a way to get from the suburban train station to the FAA center, which certainly isn't walkable). Driving all of that way isn't any better. If you were commuting from the city to Oak Brook or to an office in Naperville off of I-88, I would say the reverse commute is doable, even if I wouldn't personally want to do it. Going to Aurora, which is even farther out, though, is simply not a good idea at all.

Chicago is a much more vibrant city than DC (IMO, you won't find a better city across the board anywhere), but the reality of where your husband is going to work makes living within the city limits a very precarious situation. Like I've said, there's a lot that I miss about living in the city, but at the end of the day, I just don't get it when a couple will live in the city when one person works in the Loop while the other works in the suburbs - it's just so much easier the other way around. I work in the Loop, but I couldn't imagine subjecting my wife to drive or jump through a lot of hoops to take a train from the city to her job in suburbs when I have the option of taking a relatively fast and painless train ride into the city if we live in the suburbs.
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Finding a place in the West Loop would make it bearable, but I agree.
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:55 PM
 
11 posts, read 35,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAB_MOVING View Post
My husband is thinking about accepting a job offer with FAA in Aurora- we are a young newly married couple in DC thinking about moving to downtown Chicago-

I love to go clubbing, hiking, "hang downtown"(Georgetown, Adams Morgan) and am a foodie at heart. I am very well situated in a top IT firm in DC....and am VERY happy here....Any convincing arguments that will make it easier for me to move there with him?
As someone who has lived both in DC and in Chicago, I think you would find Aurora not much unless you like to gamble and don't mind living in suburbia. If you like Adams Morgan and Georgetown (I used to work in Georgetown and lived in Cleveland Park) I suspect you would also like Lincoln Park or the Near North side up to Wrigleyville. Unfortunately that is a long haul from Aurora.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:38 AM
 
356 posts, read 377,020 times
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DonkeyTeeth--you wise-man you speakum da truth!
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:32 AM
 
4,945 posts, read 8,260,768 times
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When did the EL become 24 hours? As I recall only the red line is 24 hours. When I was there in the spring, I had to catch a cab because the other lines closed at midnight. Metra is not a convenient option for inner city travel either. It doesn't run every five to ten minutes and it's a commuter train similar to VRE and MARC. Plus the EL doesn't even service large swaths of the (SW side) city nor does it go to a lot of key areas like McCormick Place or near the lake. Frank, I would have to disagree with you about Chicago being more walkable than DC. DC is smaller and more compact like Boston and SF. There are large areas on the southside (non residential) that look like the suburbs with (Pulaski & Cicero) strip malls. Chicago's restaurants are way better than DC's.

Last edited by DC's Finest; 11-20-2007 at 08:49 AM..
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:04 AM
mdz
 
Location: Near West Burbs, IL
622 posts, read 2,367,930 times
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Red and Blue lines are 24 hours, brown/green/orange lines are open except for around 2-4 am.
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:25 AM
 
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I moved to Chicago from DC a few months ago, and I lived in Dupont Circle also. While Chicago probably has better restaurants than DC, I haven't found a neighborhood here that I like as much as Dupont. I find DC more pleasant to live in, more walkable, and prettier (expcept for the more ghetto areas). To me, most of Chicago looks older and more run-down than DC. I really miss my beautiful DC neighborhood. Housing is cheaper here, so I have a nicer home than I did in DC, and there is a lot more to do and see here, so it's not all bad. Maybe I'm just homesick and I'll start to like it here, but right now I'm regretting my move.

Everyone is right about the commute to Aurora--it would be pure hell. Commuting is so much worse here than in DC. Think of the worst commute you can possibly imagine, and double it. Sorry to be such a downer! This is just one girl's opinion.
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Old 11-24-2007, 11:47 AM
 
23 posts, read 76,222 times
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Thanks July- Now I am getting really apprehensive about the move...
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