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Old 04-21-2011, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
1 posts, read 1,354 times
Reputation: 10

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HI,

I have been a Tennessee resident for 20 years and decided to make a move to Pittsburgh to follow the online courses I was taking with the Art Institute there. That sort of didn't work as I discovered that for the amount it would have cost me to gain an education and live on campus would have made a sizable contribution toward the purchase of a new home, or for half the country. So, needles to say I came back to the Volunteer state but am still not happy.
I am currently a freelance writer, something I chose to get into after publishing my first novel back in '09. I would like to continue on my writing course, but also need a steady income while I'm chasing my dreams. I have a hunger to see what America has to offer and Chicago seems as good a city as any to begin this course. So please, if anyone has any advice on what to expect from such a vast city such as the safest form of public transportation, what areas to stay out of and even what's popular. I would greatly appreciate your input.
Thank You,
Tricia
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,063 posts, read 29,532,519 times
Reputation: 3777
Oh lord, that's pretty broad.

The public transit is good, bordering on great and will seem amazing to someone who's lived most of their life without hardly any. The el and the buses are both reasonably safe so long as you take precautions: 1. Be aware of your surroundings 2. Don't flash expensive electronics around 3. Sit in the first car of the train near the conductor 4. Stick to well lit, well trafficked streets after dark 5. Don't get too drunk and take public transit -- esp. not by yourself.

Most transplants end up in one of the popular northside communities -- the one you ultimately choose will be dependent on your interests and your budget

I can't even begin to tell you what's popular. It's a big city, so it just depends what you like.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
818 posts, read 2,011,136 times
Reputation: 327
Until you learn more about the city and individual neighborhoods, I would stay out of the "West side" (Area bound by Damen/the United Center, Austin/ Oak Oak, Fullerton, and Cermack) and "South side" (Pretty much anything South of 39th/Pershing, and east of Western with the exception of Hyde Park- Kenwood). Once you learn more about the city, you'll find some areas within these broad areas that are okay. Pretty much anywhere else is okay, with some exceptions for those who have a lower tolerance for crime, or not as much "Street smarts".. those areas are Uptown, Rodgers Park, Hermosa/ Belmont-Cragin, and some "Southwest" neighborhoods like Archer Heights and Brighton Park.

Most public transportation within the safe areas is pretty safe, including the CTA trains, busses, and the METRA trains. Some stations get a little bit shady at night, those are generally in the afore mentioned neighborhoods.

Almost every neighborhood has it's own unique character, so I would suggest checking out as many as possible. As a writer, I would especially check out some of the neighborhoods on the Northwest side along the blue line. Wicker Park and Bucktown have a fair share of night life, and along with Logan Square there are a lot of artsy type people, along with young professionals, and young families. Most transplants move to the lakefront neighborhoods from River North upwards to Lakeview. I'd check those neighborhoods out as well, and check out the lakefront, especially North Ave. Beach. Parts of Lakeview tend to be fresh out of college Big-10 grads.

There are a lot of good neighborhoods, a lot of good dining, and a decent amount of nightlife. Public transportation is pretty good, but not as good as NYC.

The bad is high taxes (especially sales tax), and winters that kind of suck. If you end up living near the lake, you will get a lot more cold days in Springtime too.
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