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Old 02-21-2020, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Evanston and Lake Forest, Illinois
2,985 posts, read 2,603,820 times
Reputation: 3880

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchemist80 View Post
Rockford is a crap hole. There are some nice areas surrounding it. Elgin is also kind of a decayed industry town like Waukegan. St. Charles has some nice amenities but that is getting pretty far out there from Marengo. Marengo isn't even a Chicago suburb it is just a little town way out there. If the OP wants to accept the job he is going to have to accept that the best social life he is going to get is an outer suburban one. I think Crystal Lake or possibly Algonquin are the best he will be able to get in the circumstances. At least Crystal Lake has the metra into the city and is a decent sized far outer suburb.
You tend to think the entire state is a "crap hole." I think we should, therefore, take your definition with a grain of salt.

There are a number of bars and restaurants in walkable downtown Rockford along with apartments.
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:58 PM
 
162 posts, read 233,352 times
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Rockford is most definitely not a craphole even if it has its rough parts. There is history, culture, and some great institutions (like Midway Village Museum). It has a cool city market in the summer with action all down the street, some cool food traditions (like Zammuto's granita), and a decent number of nature spots. The Rockford comeback is real, even if the city still has lots of tough issues. I hung out in Rockford a good half dozen times last summer when in northern IL and found some really kind souls who are welcoming to anyone interested in their area. I found the people more genuinely friendly than the northwest suburbs, my native area.

I would say that the OP should consider Rockford if he/she wants a bigger city with access to a river trail, some culture, and easier access to get to Madison, Wisconsin; the Mississippi River; and other locales. If he/she is looking to utilize Chicago more often and be around people who are more tied to Chicago, then obviously Crystal Lake or Elgin would be better. Elgin is also overlooked by many, and its schools do have a bad reputation, but the OP is young and makes no mention of children. Regardless, I would opt for the more vibrant Rockford. Seriously, if you think it doesn't have much to offer, send me a message and I'll point out some things I've enjoyed there!
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:50 AM
 
6 posts, read 3,751 times
Reputation: 10
Sounds good. So you guys reccomend I look in the crystal lake region?
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:29 AM
 
3,155 posts, read 1,591,046 times
Reputation: 9259
Quote:
Originally Posted by munt4life123 View Post
Sounds good. So you guys reccomend I look in the crystal lake region?
Does your hiring company provide short-term housing, or at least recommendations? Many larger companies provide or arrange housing for ex-pats or college interns. Assuming you have already spoken with your new HR department about this and have struck-out, I would think your new co-workers are going to be the best source of information - if it were me, I'd find an Extended Stay America motel (or similar, there are two on the east side of Rockford - they have kitchenettes and are designed for stays in the 1-3 month range), and plan on living there for the first two months, until you are sure the new job is a good fit, and you know the area, know your co-workers, local services, make friends, have time to apartment-shop, etc.. Marengo is a bit rural, so you have a huge number of options as to where to live long-term. A lot of younger people gravitate toward larger apartment complexes like Four Lakes in Lisle (too far a commute for you, just an example), but these have their own pluses and minuses. Good luck with the new job.
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:50 AM
 
6 posts, read 3,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly Q. Bobalink View Post
Does your hiring company provide short-term housing, or at least recommendations? Many larger companies provide or arrange housing for ex-pats or college interns. Assuming you have already spoken with your new HR department about this and have struck-out, I would think your new co-workers are going to be the best source of information - if it were me, I'd find an Extended Stay America motel (or similar, there are two on the east side of Rockford - they have kitchenettes and are designed for stays in the 1-3 month range), and plan on living there for the first two months, until you are sure the new job is a good fit, and you know the area, know your co-workers, local services, make friends, have time to apartment-shop, etc.. Marengo is a bit rural, so you have a huge number of options as to where to live long-term. A lot of younger people gravitate toward larger apartment complexes like Four Lakes in Lisle (too far a commute for you, just an example), but these have their own pluses and minuses. Good luck with the new job.
Do Elgin and Crystal Lake have there fair share of things to do?
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:26 AM
 
4,016 posts, read 3,632,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munt4life123 View Post
Do Elgin and Crystal Lake have there fair share of things to do?
It probably depends on your interests.
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:27 AM
 
2,571 posts, read 2,008,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munt4life123 View Post
Do Elgin and Crystal Lake have there fair share of things to do?
Yes, they both do. But you should really tell us what YOU specifically like to do. Outdoors, indoors, clubs, music, games, etc....
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:51 AM
 
6 posts, read 3,751 times
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Thank you everyone for giving your input. One more question. I notice when routing my work from some places in Elgin, that there is a toll highway I need to take (I90E?), is this costly tot take on a daily basis? I think I would only be using it for a few kilometres though.
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Old 02-24-2020, 06:53 AM
 
1,016 posts, read 727,512 times
Reputation: 1721
I grew up in Rockford and my parents and brothers family still live there. I've lived in downtown Chicago the last 15 years so can compare the pros/cons. I agree that the Rockford comeback is real. State street downtown has a decent stretch of bars/restaurants and Prairie Street brewery along the river. Building a new Hard Rock casino next to I90. Rock Cut state park is great for hiking / biking. Rockford Ice Hogs hockey are AHL affiliate of Chicago Blackhawks. Great and cheap public golf courses. Quick 90 minute drive to downtown Chicago (no traffic). Rockford is also very cheap to live in and houses / apts are cheap. Your commute to Marengo will go along 20 which has no tolls. Population of Rockford is 150k vs. Crystal Lake / Algonquin populations of 40k so I imagine there's way more to do in Rockford. For a 23 year old I'd rather live in a city with 3x the population cause I highly doubt you're going to downtown Chicago that often.

Now the bad. The west side of Rockford is pretty bad so live east of the river or as close to the river on the west side as you can (like in downtown Rockford). The people of Rockford are awesome but it's also a more blue collar town with a fair share of trashy people to put it bluntly but again living east of River in nicer areas and you'll avoid this. High unemployment and property taxes.

Honestly Rockford would be further along if property taxes weren't so high and had they routed 90 through downtown. Thinking back to when I was 23...nothing beats downtown Chicago...but if you can't live there I'd definitely choose Rockford in the vicinity of Marengo.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:20 AM
 
Location: broke leftist craphole Illizuela
10,339 posts, read 16,296,070 times
Reputation: 20232
When I worked in Barrington a lot of my coworkers lived in Crystal Lake and liked it. I'd consider it and also the option of taking the metra into the city. Check out E. Rockford as well. Elgin also has metra sevice and is another place with a mix of decent and rough areas. Unfortunately the govt mismanagement and sky high taxes are a problem and major drag throughout the state.
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