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Old 04-24-2011, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Tampa Bay
286 posts, read 954,340 times
Reputation: 147

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So I've been considering a move to the area, Chicago looks cool but the North Shore burbs caught my eye also. In my native Florida "suburb" is code for strip malls, no infrastructure, and overall blandness. The North Shore 'burbs seem to have public transit and working downtowns so that's better.

Anyway, my point is: would a single, 25-or-so year old guy feel out of place in Lake Forest or Winnetka? What about nightlife, good places to eat, shopping and other social infrastructure for a younger person? Of course I'm also mulling over moving to the North Side of Chicago proper but the safety and laid-back nature of the NS is appealing to me coming from a safe mid-sized city. Thanks for the help and reading all that.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:58 AM
 
28,461 posts, read 76,254,813 times
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I really doubt that you would find much to do in a true North Shore town. Even Evanston is really not very happening compared to Chicago. Social life for the undergrads at Northwestern is very much centered on the campus and the grad students tend to be pretty serious (through in fact that law and medicine students are downtown Chicago and it is even easier to say that someone pursuing an advanced degree at Northwestern is unlikely to be socializing in Evanston...).

Do you have a job offer in Lakpe Co. Or the North Shore? I really can't imagine what would be appealing about living in the area for a 20 something... I suppose if you were a personal trainer or tennis pro and were looking for some kind of side gig that involved more "personal services" there are probably a fair number of divorcees and even frustrated housewives that have too much free time that they might dote on you, but don't expect rapid cougars like on some reality show. The milfs with schools age kids are going to be running full tilt taking kids to organized sports, lessons, etc ...

Not even going to find many good housing options. Smaller condos and apartments are overwhelming filled with old folks in poor health. Kinda depressing, but if you are used that in Florida it'll seem like home.
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:08 AM
 
1,800 posts, read 3,559,791 times
Reputation: 885
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obamanation View Post
So I've been considering a move to the area, Chicago looks cool but the North Shore burbs caught my eye also. In my native Florida "suburb" is code for strip malls, no infrastructure, and overall blandness. The North Shore 'burbs seem to have public transit and working downtowns so that's better.

Anyway, my point is: would a single, 25-or-so year old guy feel out of place in Lake Forest or Winnetka? What about nightlife, good places to eat, shopping and other social infrastructure for a younger person? Of course I'm also mulling over moving to the North Side of Chicago proper but the safety and laid-back nature of the NS is appealing to me coming from a safe mid-sized city. Thanks for the help and reading all that.
Do not move to the North Shore. A 25 year old not from there will be miserable. It is very very suburban. Chicago suburbs do not have real nightlife outside of a couple of restaurant bars. Nearly all entertainment venues are in the city. Some suburbs do have actual downtowns, but they are nothing compared to the city. Naperville in the west burbs has the best burb nightlife, followed by Evanston.

The North Shore is completely unlike Palm Beach County (suburban Miami) socially. There are very few 20 somethings still living in the north shore. Move to the North Side of the city.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Tampa Bay
286 posts, read 954,340 times
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Jeez is it that bad? I know most burbs are as described but I thought the North Shore would be different.
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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North Shore is probably the most bland suburban area for a 20 something. If you google map bars and clubs for all the north shore suburbs, you could count them on both your hands and feet and this is for an area of over 300K people.

If you want suburban, move to Schaumburg or Arlington Heights which will have people your age and some nightlife, although it is still nothing compared to the city, or Palm Beach County (I know you are from Tampa but it sounds like you want a Delray Beach atmosphere).
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay
286 posts, read 954,340 times
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Thanks for the suggestions. How about this, since you all know the area, recommend a Chicagoland burb based on these three criteria:

1. Beach

2. Cute cafes and boutiques

3. Coffeehouses

Those are my favorite activities, more or less. Number one is what drew me to the North Shore in the first place. I'm not discussing the actual city here much since this is the burbs forum, although any info on gang territories on the North Side would be appreciated.
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:25 PM
 
1,800 posts, read 3,559,791 times
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There are only a few suburbs with beaches and they are all north shore (Wilmette is the largest that comes to mind) and even north of there (these aren't so nice). I was never impressed with the Lake Michigan Beaches. The city has North Avenue Beach which is really cool and that's where a lot of young professionals hang out in summer.

For suburbs with cafes, boutiques, and coffee houses, Evanston. Evanston has a lot of 20 somethings due to Northwestern and those who want a mix between urban and suburban living. Plus it is close to the city, but if you work in the north shore, it's an easy commute.

Every neighborhood and suburb in Chicagoland has gang presence in one of two ways. Either they also live in that neighborhood or suburb or they travel there. The North Shore is much less than other suburban areas, but it does exist. The violence aspect is mostly West and South sides and South suburbs, which are gang problem zones.

Chicagoland, not just the city, but the whole metro, has the most gang activity in the US. However, this being said, if you don't live in the worst areas of the city, (Austin, Englewood, Little Village), and the worst suburban areas (mostly south and some western burbs), you won't have a problem. Most gang members, particularly Hispanic, do not bother with people that are not part of that gang community.

Obviously the choice is yours, but I think based on what you are looking for, you will be really bored in the suburbs. Chicago's entertainment and nightlife venues for young professionals are all in the city. If you are absolutely sure you want north shore suburban, check out Evanston and Highland Park, maybe even Deerfield. Deerfield has a downtown with a few restaurants and bars.

Also look at Arlington Heights. It is NW suburban, but has a pretty decent downtown with 8 or 9 bars and a bunch of restaurants that cater to 20 and 30 somethings. It isn't as nightlife oriented as the city, but it sure beats 120 suburbs other than Evanston.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay
286 posts, read 954,340 times
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Oh I see. The crime is something I'll just have to mentally power through. Tampa is quite safe with 7 murders/100,000 and almost no gang activity to speak of. I'm not a sissy and actually like a little urban character (Look up Ybor City here in Tampa) but I am ultimately a suburbanite by upbringing. A listing like this 429 Linden (http://www.nsapts.com/429Linden.htm - broken link) looks good, in a pocket commerce area, 2 blocks from Metra, and 1 mile from Downtown Wilmette and 1 mile from the beach.

What is the deal in Wilmette, etc. on 24-hour restaurants and coffeehouses? Being a night owl that's super important. Thanks for helping me through this people.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:48 PM
 
1,800 posts, read 3,559,791 times
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Very very few 24 hour restaurants on the North Shore. Most restaurants are closed down by 11, unless they have a bar, but some villages require midnight or 1am closings. Coffeehouses are limited to chain Starbucks type. Downtown Wilmette is very empty on late nights and weekends, which I've driven thru on a few occasions.

I am not trying to discourage you from living where you want, I just want to caution you that what you expect may not actually be the case. I've been thru that area and have never really seen 20 somethings hanging out, even during summer, other than those who clearly grew up in the area. Wilmette and the surrounding north shore are strictly family friendly.

I am a 20 something who grew up in the Chicago burbs. I know certain Tampa suburbs that are more "suburban" like Bradenton and St. Pete still have a lot of young professionals and a few nightlife options. Same goes with the Jersey side of NYC Metro and parts of Boston, Philly, and LA. In Chicagoland, that really isn't the case. You pretty much have to be in the city for any semblance of a single life.

The burbs that have more active 20 something populations of people from all walks of life and all over are Evanston, Arlington Heights, Oak Park, and Schaumburg (to an extent).

The typical Chicago mentality for North Shore folks is grow up with north shore privilege, go to college, move to the city to have fun/work/find a spouse, then return back to have kids and start the cycle all over again.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:52 PM
 
16,877 posts, read 19,618,959 times
Reputation: 16912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obamanation View Post
Oh I see. The crime is something I'll just have to mentally power through. Tampa is quite safe with 7 murders/100,000 and almost no gang activity to speak of. I'm not a sissy and actually like a little urban character (Look up Ybor City here in Tampa) but I am ultimately a suburbanite by upbringing. A listing like this 429 Linden (http://www.nsapts.com/429Linden.htm - broken link) looks good, in a pocket commerce area, 2 blocks from Metra, and 1 mile from Downtown Wilmette and 1 mile from the beach.

What is the deal in Wilmette, etc. on 24-hour restaurants and coffeehouses? Being a night owl that's super important. Thanks for helping me through this people.
At that location you are almost in Evanston. I don't think you are going to find 24 hour restaurants or coffeehouses in either Wilmette or Evanston though.

There are a few listed here:
Evanston Restaurants: Open 24 Hours in Evanston, IL | DexKnows.com

There are quite a few coffee shops, but I don't think any are open 24 hours. Most close around 1 am or earlier. Some are not open at night at all. Some are open until 9 or 10 PM.

Evanston - Coffee Shops - Chicago | Urbanspoon

Here's a list of all Chicago area coffee houses
Chicago! Coffeehouses Food & Restaurants on Centerstage Chicago - Chicago City Life in Chicago, Illinois

It looks like Kafein in Evanston is open until 3 am.

1621 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 491-1621
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