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Old 05-23-2007, 03:03 PM
 
3 posts, read 33,596 times
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Default Relocating/commuting from Milwaukee to Chicago

Hi,

We currently live in Chicago but my husband got a job in downtown Milwaukee and we plan to move by the end of July... looking for a 1-2 br apartment. I am keeping my job in Chicago so I'll be commuting from Milwaukee to Chicago. Can anyone recommend areas/neighborhoods, preferrably near the Amtrak or Metra stations? Walking distance would be great! We are looking at downtown Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine and Sturtevant. Are we on the right track here? Any specific areas/neighborhoods to avoid?

From what I've read so far, downtown Milwaukee seems ideal for us. I wonder though... are there any groceries and malls downtown or is it more of a business district? Does it get empty and quiet on weekends?

Thanks for whatever info you can share!
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Old 05-23-2007, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
3,058 posts, read 7,946,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relocating2mke View Post
Hi,

We currently live in Chicago but my husband got a job in downtown Milwaukee and we plan to move by the end of July... looking for a 1-2 br apartment. I am keeping my job in Chicago so I'll be commuting from Milwaukee to Chicago. Can anyone recommend areas/neighborhoods, preferrably near the Amtrak or Metra stations? Walking distance would be great! We are looking at downtown Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine and Sturtevant. Are we on the right track here? Any specific areas/neighborhoods to avoid?

From what I've read so far, downtown Milwaukee seems ideal for us. I wonder though... are there any groceries and malls downtown or is it more of a business district? Does it get empty and quiet on weekends?

Thanks for whatever info you can share!
I cannot regrettably address all of your questions, so hopefully someone else will be able to chime in and fill in the gaps that I leave.

*First off...where in Chicago would you be working? I think you are right-on with regard to Amtrak or Metra, etc., because if you would ever need to commute via car, with the massive rush hour traffic in the Chicagoland area (as you are well aware living there) can make a rush hour commute from Milwaukee to Chicago several hours...I would hate to do it every day personally, and I can handle commutes. Via the train, I am sure it is much less stress, etc., however, I am guessing it is still quiet a time-consuming hike.

That would be my only word of warning towards living in Milwaukee but working in Chicago. I just think the commute time back-and-forth daily - regardless of form of transportation but especially via car - would just be real, real old very quickly.

For that reason, a community like Kenosha is indeed growing quite a bit - more of a middle ground between Milwaukee and Chicago (Kenosha actually is considered a Chicago 'burb).

Having said all of that, Downtown Milwaukee is a GREAT place to live. Perhaps your only concern with living in Downtown Milwaukee may be price - it is typically a much pricier place to live than many places in metro Milwaukee. However, if price isn't a huge deal to you, it would be a great place to live.

There is a so-so mall Downtown called the Shops of Grand Avenue...you can see their website here:

http://www.grandavenueshops.com/

Not the greatest mall in metro Milwaukee at all, but they have some decent stores left and have been working quite a bit on revitalization for the past ~5 years.

However, transversely, there are TONS of great restaurants, bars, and even grocery stores Downtown.

Some grocery stores worth noting:

-Metro Market:
This is actually between Downtown and the East Side (the East Side directy borders Downtown and is very close). They have a huge produce section offering many organic options, the deli and prepared foods are a hit as well. A very upscale Pick N' Save, which is a major grocery chain in MKE. Once you round the corner from the deli, however, it's really just a run-of-the-mill Pick 'N' Save - complete but not all that unique.

http://www.roundys.com/modules/content/index.php?id=77 (broken link)

-Whole Foods:
Is on Prospect Ave., again, sort of the Downtown / East Side border area.

-Milwaukee Public Market:
Really a neat place in the heart of Downtown...alot of great area vendors. See their website:

http://www.milwaukeepublicmarket.org/

Tons of great bars and restaurants as I mentioned, micro-breweries, etc., all are very lively and hopping on weekends. Parts of Milwaukee's Downtown are more Business District-ish, but overall Milwaukee's Downtown stays quite alive on the weekends (if not more alive than the week itself, especially in the summertime). You are near here to Summerfest grounds, etc.

Also, the Bradley Center is downtown, where the Milwaukee Bucks (NBA), the Milwaukee Admirals (minor league hockey), and the Marquette Golden Eagles play.

The Riverside Theater, the PAC, etc., are all Downtown too.

You'd love living Downtown Milwaukee, except for the commutes to Chicago.
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Old 05-23-2007, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee
428 posts, read 1,128,413 times
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Metra may not service downtown Milwaukee for several years, if ever. The Amtrak station is on the southwestern edge of downtown. If you want an apartment downtown there are some decent choices. There is the newly converted Grand Wisconsin, The Majestic Loft Apartments, and the Boston Store Lofts are all very close to the Amtrak station. If you want to buy a condo there are many more choices depending on your price range but you could expect to pay at least $300k around that area.

Downtown definitely has a good flavour to it. I would live down there and it has been converted into a decent residential area. It's not as good as some areas in Chicago but it isn't bad. I'm a regular user of public transportation and have no problems getting shopping done with its help. There are some basic grocery stores nearby but you might have to travel a little bit for more full service stores. If you want groceries closer to where you live then find apartments around Van Buren and Juneau. It is further from the Amtrak station but also is a vibrant area with many apartment choices.
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Old 05-24-2007, 08:57 AM
 
3 posts, read 33,596 times
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Thanks EnjoyEP and Nuclear Art!

Yes, I am preparing myself for the looong commute. Fortunately, although my office is in Chicago, I probably work out of Chicago about 4-5 months of the year only. Unfortunately, these months include winter. Anyway, I'm thinking it shouldn't be too bad as long as I can hop on and off the train. My office is just walking distance from Union Station.

I was looking at the commute times for Kenosha-Chicago (Metra) and Milwaukee-Chicago (Amtrak) and there doesn't seem to be much difference. Metra has more stops than Amtrak, although Metra also does more trips than Amtrak. I guess Kenosha would be the more practical choice, if only I can find more apartment listings. I haven't had much success online. And with Kenosha, if I still have to drive to the train station then maybe it'll take me the same time coming from Milwaukee?

Do you know of any nice/safe areas near the other Amtrak station - the one by the airport?

EnjoyEP, I was hoping to get a reply from you seeing how you've been very helpful to others. Thanks for the grocery listings! The theater you mentioned... is that a movie theater or a live theater?

Nuclear Art, Majestic and Grand Wisconsin are actually on our list! Good to know we are on the right track. Any other areas or streets close to Amtrak that we should be looking at?

So, commuting aside, can you "disect" the downtown area for me? Which areas are safe, which areas to avoid? And if not downtown, what other Milwaukee neighborhoods would you recommend? I've been reading a lot about the 3rd Ward. Kind of similar to where we live now, which I like. But is it a safe area? Is it fairly close to the downtown Amtrak?

Sorry for the many questions! Thanks for all your help!
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Old 05-24-2007, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
3,058 posts, read 7,946,617 times
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Hi! Absolutely no problem at all...if I can be of any help at all, I hope it is valuable. I am a big fan of the Milwaukee area and try to help "promote" my hometown as well as possible!, but doing so in a realistic fashion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by relocating2mke View Post
I was looking at the commute times for Kenosha-Chicago (Metra) and Milwaukee-Chicago (Amtrak) and there doesn't seem to be much difference. Metra has more stops than Amtrak, although Metra also does more trips than Amtrak. I guess Kenosha would be the more practical choice, if only I can find more apartment listings. I haven't had much success online. And with Kenosha, if I still have to drive to the train station then maybe it'll take me the same time coming from Milwaukee?
I will say this - I would absolutely, 100%, unequivicably prefer (this is just for my own tastes though) - to live in Milwaukee downtown (or much of Metro Milwaukee) than Kenosha. So don't get me wrong...if the commute is livable for you...or train-wise if there isn't a great difference, I would do Milwaukee Downtown ANY DAY over Kenosha. That isn't to slam Kenosha. I am sure it is fine for some folks. I would just largely prefer Milwaukee. I only cited Kenosha due to the commute issue, which just would be too much for me, even for just 4-5 months (which at least is far better than year-round). And...admittedly, I was thinking more along the route of traveling via car, where it would be much better (still not very great) from Kenosha. But if the trains are only even 15, 20 minutes different, I would vote Milwaukee hands-down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by relocating2mke View Post
Do you know of any nice/safe areas near the other Amtrak station - the one by the airport?
Hopefully some other good-hearted poster will be able to chime in here, as I just frankly am not too familiar with either the direct surrounding businesses to Mitchell International or the train stations themselves (you'll find that Milwaukeeans are much more in-tuned to loving their cars than Chicagoans, who easily adjust to train, etc., due to necessity. Milwaukee's rush hour isn't bad enough - yet - to move a huge populace out of their vehicles!).

However, I would say this...for the limited time-savings you'd have from the airport versus Downtown, I would opt for living Downtown 100% easily. I am - again, this is just my own personal opinion of course - just not a huge fan of the residential areas around the airport. Nothing really wrong with them, just more aged, blue collar, slightly more "blah"-ness in this area versus Downtown which is hip, vibrant, and getting really higher-scale (without being snobbish). Just my opinion, but I would go Downtown any day versus the airport area, even if it meant 5 or 10 extra minutes in the train.

Quote:
Originally Posted by relocating2mke View Post
The theater you mentioned... is that a movie theater or a live theater?
The Riverside Theater is a live theater...geared towards musical acts, etc. (I have seen Oasis play there for example). Here is their website:

http://www.riversidetheater.org/

The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (the PAC) is downtown and features Broadway shows, concerts, etc. Here is their site:

http://www.marcuscenter.org/

There is a neat IMAX theater in Downtown Milwaukee, a section of the Milwaukee Public Museum, that shows IMAX-appropriate movies. Here is their site:

http://www.mpm.edu/imax/index.php

Milwaukee Repertory theater -

http://www.milwaukeerep.com/

As for movies (other than the IMAX) regrettably - and this is something that Milwaukee will need to add - there is no movie theater per se in Downtown MKE. However, there are two extremely neat, very old (but very well-kept and historic and beautiful) theaters on Milwaukee's East Side...again, very close to Downtown...10 minute drive at the most, maybe only 5 depending on where you live - check out the -

Oriental
(2230 North Farwell Avenue)

or

Downer
(2589 North Downer Avenue)
*Both are excellent movie theaters (small, not huge mega-plexes) that have a great vibe. If you need a huge theater, etc., Mayfair Malls is only a 10 or 15 minute drive from Downtown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by relocating2mke View Post
So, commuting aside, can you "disect" the downtown area for me? Which areas are safe, which areas to avoid?
Believe it or not, I can state firmly that almost any areas of Downtown are very safe and nice. I would not likely live in the area of the Amtrak station...not that it is too bad or anything, but it is more of a rugged, business area and can have a few more panhandlers, etc.

Optimumly, I would live anywhere EAST of the Milwaukee River. Many places west of the Milwaukee River would be decent enough as well, but they are more geared - in general - to businesses, commerce, the Bradley Center, etc. You could still undoubtedly find nice areas to live in this area as well...but anywhere east of the Milwaukee River would be very, very, very nice to live in. Literally from the north end (say E. Lyon or E. Ogden Streets) to the south end (say E. Michigan and E. Wisconsin)...or anywhere inbetween...east of Milwaukee River...you'd be doing great. Very safe and a very neat place to live. Here is a map of Downtown Milwaukee that might help you picture what I am talking about:

http://www.wisconline.com/counties/m...-downtown.html

If you do really want to be west of the River, I would say definitely no farther north than the Bradley Center area, and not further west than Marquette University area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by relocating2mke View Post
And if not downtown, what other Milwaukee neighborhoods would you recommend? I've been reading a lot about the 3rd Ward. Kind of similar to where we live now, which I like. But is it a safe area? Is it fairly close to the downtown Amtrak?
I would heartily endorse the 3rd Ward area...you would love it there...it truly is just a part of Downtown in my book, but a very desirable part if you were going to live Downtown-ish. Yes, it is safe, and it is relatively close to Amtrak. The biggest hurdle here without knowing your economics may be price as it is fairly pricey, but if price isn't a huge issue to you, I would fully endorse this area.

Other neat neighborhoods to consider might be:

-The East Side -

Really neat, hip, urban, fairly safe area of Milwaukee...near to Downtown and the beautiful lake shore (and the amazingly pricey but beautiful Lake Dr.). I would - in my opinion - stay farther east in the Oakland Ave., Prospect, Farwell, Downer areas, etc., rather than the Riverwest area (which some folks like and is improving readily but still is sketchier for crime). Would be a great alternative if you wanted near Downtown but not Downtown. Here is info:

http://www.theeastside.org/

Otherwise, beautiful east side suburbs (just minutes north of Milwaukee's east side) are: Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, and Glendale. West side suburbs in parts that are only 10-to-20 minutes from Downtown also desirable would be Wauwatosa or Brookfield. St. Francis is a nice south suburb very near downtown that is right on the lake. The Bay View area would be worth looking at too.

Frankly, the only parts of Milwaukee itself that I would suggest as being highly desirable would be Downtown, East Side, a few selected areas around Miller Park, and the far far west side (near Wauwatosa in the Bluemound Rd. / Hwy. 100 areas). Otherwise, I would stick to closeby suburbs (still only 10-20 minutes to Downtown).

Quote:
Originally Posted by relocating2mke View Post
Sorry for the many questions! Thanks for all your help!
No problem whatsoever...you can ask as many questions here as you'd like! As you can tell, I like to blather on about my beloved home area. I just hope that my info is at least of some value...I apologize that I cannot address everything (I don't want to address stuff I am not sure of and give you bad info)...hopefully someone(s) else will be able to fill in my gaping gaps! But if you have more questions, do not hesitate.
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
428 posts, read 1,128,413 times
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I would consider all of downtown to be safe. For rentals, I wouldn't go outside of the city limits. Especially for your criteria it doesn't make sense. You are not going to be saving that much money by going to Shorewood for example.

The 3rd Ward is a good place but I belive most of it is condos. Be aware that during festival season (Summerfest especially) it can be a painful area to live. Parking will be impossible and the crowds and noise may become unbearable. It is only a short few weeks but may not be worth it for you to endure.

Another trendy area is along South 2nd Street between St. Paul and Virginia St. It is sort of a gay area but is also close to downtown. The Teweles Building is a good possibility in this area. But there isn't much in the way of groceries in that neighborhood. You'd have to go all the way to El Rey on South 16th St. for a good full service grocery. The area is medium safe but I would probably not park on the street overnight.

By the airport Amtrak it is kind of generic except for the commercial area around the Bay View neighborhood. Although it is mostly houses and duplexes around there you may want to check the area around S. Kinnickinnic and E. Montana St. It's a short drive to the airport Amtrak station and the area has lots of excellent places to eat, drink, shop, etc. There are other apartment complexes down around 20th and College but the area is more typical of bland suburban, car-centric living.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:33 PM
 
3 posts, read 33,596 times
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Hey thanks again EnjoyEP and Nuclear Art! Sorry for the late reply. We were on vacation so I didn't go online. Anyway, this is a lot of information and I'm just too excited! We have a little less than 2 months before we move so we really better get started. Good thing is now we know where to start!=) THANKS!
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:29 AM
 
1,703 posts, read 3,659,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relocating2mke View Post
Hi,

We currently live in Chicago but my husband got a job in downtown Milwaukee and we plan to move by the end of July... looking for a 1-2 br apartment. I am keeping my job in Chicago so I'll be commuting from Milwaukee to Chicago. Can anyone recommend areas/neighborhoods, preferrably near the Amtrak or Metra stations? Walking distance would be great! We are looking at downtown Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine and Sturtevant. Are we on the right track here? Any specific areas/neighborhoods to avoid?

From what I've read so far, downtown Milwaukee seems ideal for us. I wonder though... are there any groceries and malls downtown or is it more of a business district? Does it get empty and quiet on weekends?

Thanks for whatever info you can share!

A little confused with your long term plans. Do you plan to work one person in Chicago and one in Milwaukee...long term? ....the only positive you have is that you said it is only 4-5 months per year. Any more would break you imo....

Ok...everyone has to just give their own opinion on things. And you'll get mine, obviously trying to offend no one...etc...blah blah yada yada.

Where in Chicago do you curently live? This would help a lot understanding your lifestyle and neighborhood. All I need is a name to generally size it up. City? What neighborhood? Suburb? Which one...would tell me a lot.

Moving on....Milwaukee imo has made great strides in its downtown areas in past 5-10 years and still has ways to go and is getting better. It is not like it used to be and that is a good thing. It took way too long, but that is of no conecrn to you. I would live in Milwaukee. It is not a ghost town on nights and weekend, and I believe that is your question. People live and work downtown, and downtown Milwaukee is safer than many other in the Midwest imo. Walking around at night is fine. Plenty of busy bars, restaurants etc...people...summer is nonstop festivals every weekend.

Yes you were right on with your choices out in Racine, Kenosha, Sturtevant etc...Racine and parts of Kenosha are rough, other are fine. Sturtevant is fine. These are small towns....even thogh Racine and Kenosha are booming with Chicago transplants etc...these are still small town lifestyles with some rough parts of economic strife mixed in. Basically these in the middle of two cities, not close to either one....If it were me, no contest, I'd live in Milwaukee and suck it up for 40 more minutes each day as tough as that is. .....

The train from downtown to downtown is 90 minutes. You are correct on the greater frequency with Metra, but you would have to live out closer to a Metra stop.

Milwaukee is small and easy access to all parts. You could drive less than 4 miles downtown to some of the North side suburbs of WhiteFish Bay etc...that is how close some of the suburbs are to the city. Milwaukee is basically a much smaller miniature version of Chicago. It will not have the same amenities as Chicago or close...but both are Midwestern cities.

You could always rent a year and see what you think. Urban living in Milwaukee is different from Chicago Urban living. Driving a car is easy to do in downtown Milwaukee and not stressful. You would be going very small short distances to most things you need.

Areas to live? Milwaukee has some good city choices of neighborhoods these days....Don't know your age or lifestyle....but downtown has areas of young professionals, empty nesters etc...variety.....all amongst each other. Downtown is mostly lofts for rent or purchase...both. The Third Ward is the warehouse brick building district where the Milwaukee river meets Lake Michigan...condos, lofts etc...rent or buy. Prices vary, but will be more expensive than downtown or Eastside. It is very close, just South of downtown, by several blocks. They are going up everywhere all the time...most are remodeled/new ...within past 5-10 years...in that area, same for downtown....if you like, the loft style, warehouse, or more urban feel and being close to the water with views...this is good spot...it is a trendy area for young professionals and empty nesters...a little higher end in price....another option is the lower East side of Milwaukee which is more residential, eccelctic, feels most like a neighborhood....wide array of people, ....

I'd recommend any of the 3 areas...as I said, if you take Lake Drive North you hit the very nice higher end suburbs East and North on the Lakefront....and these are 2-4 miles from downtown or less. Downtown and Third Ward would be very close to train station. But the other area is pretty close too. All have places to rent and buy for all ages. ....and all areas are safe. Downtown Milwaukee is very safe, especially the futher East you go towards the Lake.

You would have very small distances, some walkable to most anything you would need or want. As long as you have a car between the two of you, you will be fine and on top of everything within minutes. Having a car is not essential, but definitely more convenient.

You have to ask yourself what is most important...proximity to your Chicago job...proximity to his job....urban life, or suburban small town life.

Milwaukee is a nice city....small....but underrated. It is no longer a gray industrial town...escaping out of that former identity.... It's safe where you will be, and you'll still have a city feel, but not stressful. And you will access to restaurants, festivals, etc..at your feet....lakefront etc...

There is a definite extra 30-40 minutes from Racine or Kenosha and you would feel that difference daily....but imo...your weekend qaulity of life would go up a lot.

This isn't something you could do for a long time. It is not doable....for more than 4-5 months in a year for a year or two...or 1 year of doing it full time. The grind will wear you down. Those weekends will be huge for you. And to me, Milwaukee trumps Racine and Kenosha etc...any day.

The only other suggestion I would have is keep your Chicago place if you love it....and let him commute toi Milwaukee 90 minutes daily...but it sounds as if he has a permanent Milwaukee position. And that wouldn't work. Milwaukee has a high quality of life for married couples. I believe you would be pleasantly surprised. I am a city person, so....I would only live in say Oak Park or Evanston type areas in Chicago if I couldn't live in the city...don't understand why anyone would libe 1 hr or more out in a suburn...might as well live in Milwaukee if that is the case. Quality of life is better, and you can always visit Chicago in 90 minutes time by train, and sometimes slightly less driving(though sometimes more driving).
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:15 PM
 
2 posts, read 17,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relocating2mke View Post
Hi,

We currently live in Chicago but my husband got a job in downtown Milwaukee and we plan to move by the end of July... looking for a 1-2 br apartment. I am keeping my job in Chicago so I'll be commuting from Milwaukee to Chicago. Can anyone recommend areas/neighborhoods, preferrably near the Amtrak or Metra stations? Walking distance would be great! We are looking at downtown Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine and Sturtevant. Are we on the right track here? Any specific areas/neighborhoods to avoid?

From what I've read so far, downtown Milwaukee seems ideal for us. I wonder though... are there any groceries and malls downtown or is it more of a business district? Does it get empty and quiet on weekends?

Thanks for whatever info you can share!
I just relocated from Chicago to Milwaukee in March and my wife has kept her loop-based job, although she only commutes to Chicago 1-2 times per month and otherwise works from home. To address a few of your questions, I would first note that living in Kenosha/Racine/Sturtevant is not at all comparable to living in Milwaukee - they are substantially different communities so that is really a major decision. This is not like Chicago where neighborhoods that are 45 minutes away are attractive options for downtown loop jobs. I would say most people who work in MKE do not consider Kenosha/Racine to be reasonable options, but that's just a guess. If your husband works in downtown MKE, the commute will generally be unpleasant. Remember, one of the nice benefits of Milwaukee over Chicago is that we don't deal with long commutes here.

I personally think the Amtrak is far superior to the Metra if you work in the loop. The Amtrak train is generally more comfortable and more conducive to working, reading, sleeping, etc. during the ride. One major difference between the Amtrak station in MKE and Union station in Chicago is that you can very easily and safely park near the Amtrak station for a reasonable daily rate (dozens of commuters do this every day). You don't have to live downtown to be convenient to Amtrak, assuming you have a car (not that I have anything against living downtown). You can live in the north shore suburbs, west (tosa) or in the communities south of downtown (bayview) and still be a 15 minute easy drive to Amtrak to catch the 6:00 a.m. train. One problem with Amtrak commuting is the return train (last I checked) is at 5:08, so you have to leave your loop office a bit early or the next option is not until three hours later.

Let me know if you have any further questions from the perspective of someone who just went through a similar experience. I know of a great 2 bdrm rental opportunity in Bayview if you are interested. For what its worth, we lived in the city in Chicago (Lincoln sq. area) and now live in the city in Milwaukee. So far no regrets.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Arizona & Wisconsin
4,929 posts, read 5,825,977 times
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Forget Sturtevant or Kenosha.

Amtrak goes directly to St. Paul Avenue in Milwaukee, which is walking distance (in almost any weather... you know what I mean, being from Chicago) from a whole TON of great residences. I mean, new/restored lofts, new places, and great city residences.

Downtown is a LITTLE slower on weekends, but that's only part of the year. In about 5 or 6 other months, it is actually MORE active during the weekends. So much so, you might say "Get me out of here".

There is a lot of action in the 3rd ward (walking distance to train), downtown (walking distance to train), lower east side (again, walking or easy driving/taxi/bus to train) Brewer's Hill (same thing), upper east side (same thing).

TONS of action in those areas. No traffic, at least if you've lived in Chicago, or better yet, Washington or Philly. There is NO traffic in Milwaukee.

Amtrak is great, one Mitchell Int'l stop, one in Sturtevant, one in Glenview, and then the Loop. 1.5 hours. I used to ride from Lake Forest to the Loop and it took almost an hour on Metra. So for 1/2 more hour, I would not even stop to think about Kenosha or Sturtevant. Just go right for the city.

THe couple of extra hours of commute time per week will more than make up for the ample opportunities that are afforded to you in the downtown or near-downtown areas of Milwaukee. Trust me, I lived in the city for a long time. I love going back and love the areas I've told you about. You can find grocery on the same street as Amtrak (Milwaukee Public Market--check it out). Plus others. There are tons of grocery stores within 5 minutes by car, including Outpost, Whole Foods, and many others. All are easily accessed by bus as well if you don't feel like doing the driving.

As far as malls go, there is a major downtown mall. But the more upscale retail can be found in Wauwatosa and Glendale/Whitefish Bay (Bay Shore Mall). Both are easy distance, but do require driving. Typical suburban upscale malls, and worth the drive. But as far as living in the city goes, you can easily do it, happily and with many things to do, within walking distance to the train. And probably have a REALLY nice place as well... this is a hotbed of development, lofts, and beautiful apartments/condominiums. Not to mention the lakefront, which is probably one of the most beautiful lakefronts/ocean fronts in the country, during the summer.

Good luck!
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