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Old 04-05-2008, 02:40 AM
 
4 posts, read 33,579 times
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I recently drove down Grand Ave. all the way from the Chi. Loop (where I currently live), through Cragin, and into Mont Clare, Elmwood Park, and River Grove. I really liked what I saw in these areas, but I hardly know anything about them.

I grew up in LaGrange, so these northern parts are a mystery to me. They remind me of the urban-like Berwyn/Lyons/Cicero areas, only nicer. I'm a solo and collaborative musician with a steady restaurant gig, I'm single, and on a decent income, but I'm sick of the noise of the city, the high rent, and the trendy neighborhoods. The only thing holding me to the city right now is school and work, which coincide marvelously.

To live in a pleasant town near the city with a swift commute and a safe, clean neighborhood would be great. I'm a white male in my late 20's. Would this be a decent next move or am I out of my mind?
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:01 AM
 
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Default Looking to rent or buy? Short term or long haul?

I have some buddies that live in Elmwood Park. Both pretty much "inherited" the homes so for them it was a no-brainer. One works at Triton, the other is the commercial sound business. The have single family homes.

The area is mostly quiet and safe, but also a little "non-neighborly", there is some tension as Hispanics move in and not integrated much at all towards African Americans. If these matter to you/your friends, be aware.

Much of the same can be said for River Grove, though I feel it is more Hispanic, neither or good or bad thing.

Schools are nothing special, but as a single guy that probably is not important to you. I would not buy in such an area though...

I don't think the towns are very different than Berwyn, though they are a bit further west and north which impacts the commute -- better to O'Hare, worse to SW...

Not really sure how swift the commute will be at rush hour -- driving out on Grand Ave is not exactly an expressway. There is some Metra service, though generally not nearly as quick reliable to that found in LaGrange -- Milwaukee Rd goes into the Ohare area (Franklin Park?) freight yard which much more congested than the Burlington yard in Cicero.

There are some opportunities for musicians in the area, not sure what kind of gig you have and if would put you closer, but if that IS the case probably an OK reason to explore rentals...
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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I dunno, I personally have found Berwyn on the whole to be nicer than the Elmwood Park/River Grove area. It's a little ho-hum out there, mostly post-war ranches and split-levels and the like (versus the pre-war housing stock generally found in Berwyn), but that's a matter of personal taste. I'd steer clear of Cragin though. It's getting a little rough there. Some fear that Montclaire is next, but it seems OK for now. There are plenty of Metra stations in the River Grove/Elmwood Park/Montclaire area so the commute should be relatively painless from there.
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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I am definitely looking to rent right now, I'm not nearly ready to buy, and somewhere near the River Grove or Elmwood Park metra stop would be great. Berwyn is nice too, though, and Harlem avenue metra stop is decent I suppose. What are restaurants and nightlife like around those areas?
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,705 posts, read 98,322,191 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagogreekboy View Post
I am definitely looking to rent right now, I'm not nearly ready to buy, and somewhere near the River Grove or Elmwood Park metra stop would be great. Berwyn is nice too, though, and Harlem avenue metra stop is decent I suppose. What are restaurants and nightlife like around those areas?
Not exactly upscale. It tends to cater to a more working-class/blue-collar set. No precious little fusion bistros or trendier-than-thou sushi joints out there, that's for sure.
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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cool- that's precisely what i'm trying to get away from!!
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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Lot's of Italians in both communities... You can see the old Italian banquet halls and family-style restaurants on the commercial streets. Both have tidy lawns and small homes--mostly post war raised-ranch or cape cods, but definitely a mix. Berwyn is older than both Elmwood Park and River Grove, and seems to be much more Hispanic than either. I think Berwyn is more charming, personally.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:52 AM
 
18 posts, read 53,117 times
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Personally speaking I would rather move to Berwyn if I was you. I am a 26 year old single, female and I currently live on Harlem and Fullerton in Elmwood Park...I am moving out Jan.09. Nightlife is unheard of and believe me I know because I am a bartender!! The area is turning a little rough and if you ask me it isn't cheap because I pay $925 in a 6-flat. There is NO parking, the traffic makes you want to pull your hair out, and the cops are ruthless. ( not that I break the law but they aren't afraid to issue a speeding ticket for going 3 over.) At least in Berwyn you are near Roosevelt and Madison where they is a great night life atmosphere (at least decent)(more Madison.) and even if you are avoiding the trendy ares if you start to miss it there is a nice small strip on North Ave. just west of Harlem with a great sushi bar, Italian restaurant and a few nice restaurants to take a girl out too. Please take it from me and avoid Elmwood Park. Everything closes at 10 except the 2 European bars on Grand. Good Luck!
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:41 AM
 
Location: northwest side of chicago
72 posts, read 204,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinlife22207 View Post
Personally speaking I would rather move to Berwyn if I was you. I am a 26 year old single, female and I currently live on Harlem and Fullerton in Elmwood Park...I am moving out Jan.09. Nightlife is unheard of and believe me I know because I am a bartender!! The area is turning a little rough and if you ask me it isn't cheap because I pay $925 in a 6-flat. There is NO parking, the traffic makes you want to pull your hair out, and the cops are ruthless. ( not that I break the law but they aren't afraid to issue a speeding ticket for going 3 over.) At least in Berwyn you are near Roosevelt and Madison where they is a great night life atmosphere (at least decent)(more Madison.) and even if you are avoiding the trendy ares if you start to miss it there is a nice small strip on North Ave. just west of Harlem with a great sushi bar, Italian restaurant and a few nice restaurants to take a girl out too. Please take it from me and avoid Elmwood Park. Everything closes at 10 except the 2 European bars on Grand. Good Luck!
You are so wrong about everything you just posted. First of all, Berwyn cannot compare to Elmwood Park in many aspects. Berwyn is becoming increasingly Hispanic and gangs are rampant there. Elmwood Parks gang problem is minor to Berwyns. Parking is no better in Berwyn and Elmwood Park has many bars open till 2 a.m. including Baciami, Capos lounge, Inari Sushi on weekends, Circle Inn, and K and M. You are so wrong LOvinlife. Get a Clue.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:12 PM
 
Location: northwest side of chicago
72 posts, read 204,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagogreekboy View Post
i recently drove down grand ave. All the way from the chi. Loop (where i currently live), through cragin, and into mont clare, elmwood park, and river grove. I really liked what i saw in these areas, but i hardly know anything about them.

I grew up in lagrange, so these northern parts are a mystery to me. They remind me of the urban-like berwyn/lyons/cicero areas, only nicer. I'm a solo and collaborative musician with a steady restaurant gig, i'm single, and on a decent income, but i'm sick of the noise of the city, the high rent, and the trendy neighborhoods. The only thing holding me to the city right now is school and work, which coincide marvelously.

To live in a pleasant town near the city with a swift commute and a safe, clean neighborhood would be great. I'm a white male in my late 20's. Would this be a decent next move or am i out of my mind?
we would welcome your stay in either neighborhood.
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