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Old 01-21-2012, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Roanoke, VA
21 posts, read 24,663 times
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Howdy! I'm sure y'all gets threads like this all the time, but I'm graduating with my bachelors in business administration (double major, general business and computer information systems) and I'm hoping to land a job or internship in Chicago doing work with databases and systems administration. As a gay guy I'm hoping to be able to find a cheap place relatively close to Boystown and being able to use Chicago's transit system to get to and from work.

So, my questions are: what are the prices like for renting in and around Boystown and what's the jobs market like for graduates with a degree aimed towards computers and information systems, and how difficult would to be using mass transit to get too and from work (wherever that might be). Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:39 PM
 
1,325 posts, read 4,179,136 times
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Hi there. Boystown is actually a portion of the larger Lakeview neighborhood. More specifically, East Lakeview.
Studios (1 large room with no separate bedroom) start at about 750.00 in this neighborhood and 1 bedrooms at about 850.00 for lower priced vintage (think 1920's to 1940's courtyard style) or 4 plus 1 buildings (4 top floors atop a garage...mainly built in 1970's and not too pretty). Anyway, Boystown has a fair number of the above type apartments on side streets such as Roscoe, Cornelia, Stratford, Aldine, Melrose on both sides of North Broadway.
You can sometimes find apartments a touch lower than the prices I have quoted but those are going to be really tiny in less than stellar buildings.
It is also possible to go much higher in price by renting in a highrise on Lake Shore Dr (between Belmont and Irving Park...that would be the part close to Boystown). Also, there are more expensive vintage 3 and 4 flat buildings. You can get a good idea by checking rentals on http://chicago.craigslist.org/apa/ and put "Lakeview" in the search box.

The job market here is relatively tight for new graduates with many more graduates than jobs. It may take a bit of effort to find something entry level but the jobs do exist. They are split between the city and a bunch of suburbs (some far flung). In terms of pubic transportation, you will be much better off if you can land a job in Chicago rather than a burb. From Lakeview to the Loop/downtown there is the Red Line/Brown Line and tons of buses. You could also commute by Red/Purple Lines to Evanston (burb immediately north of chicago) without too much trouble.
For many of the burbs, you will need a car or it will be really hard since you won't have transportation on the "other end" after your reverse commute and suburban bus service can be good to bad depending upon the exact location of your job. Also, most of the suburban Metra trains depart from the Loop which would necessitate you taking the Red/Brown Line from Lakeview to the Loop, walking some blocks to the suburban train station, etc etc etc. A mini nightmare that could take you 2 or more hours each way depending upon the burb and the address of your job site. There are exceptions. For example, there are some companies located within walking distance of the Blue Line between Chicago and O'Hare.

good luck with your potential move

p.s. a fair amount the gay community also lives in Edgewater as there are many cheaper buildings or in Andersonville, which is a super cool area on/off North Clark a touch north of Foster. However, if you want to be close to the bulk of the gay clubs Lakeview would be better (although a few clubs exist in Andersonville and Uptown (between Lakeview and Edgewater). Boystown/East Lakeview has everything you will need in terms of 3 major supermarkets including a Whole Foods, tons of restaurants, shops, the semi gay yet mainstream Unabridged Books on N. Broadway and a ton of transportation options. I think you are wise to plan to live initially in Lakeview if your budget allows.

Last edited by soulful; 01-21-2012 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Roanoke, VA
21 posts, read 24,663 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulful View Post
good luck with your potential move

p.s. you know a lot of the gay community also lives in Edgewater as there are many cheaper buildings or in Andersonville which is a super cool area on/off North Clark a touch north of Foster. However, if you want to be close to the bulk of the gay clubs Lakeview would be better (although a few clubs exist in Andersonville and Uptown (between Lakeview and Edgewater).
Thanks, I appreciate it! What are the Edgewater and Andersonville neighborhoods like? $750 is probably at the upper end of what I'd like to be spending on housing, barring splitting rent with someone. IT work usually pays well, and hopefully I can find an IT related job, but I'm a bit cheap.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:19 PM
 
1,325 posts, read 4,179,136 times
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Andersonville is especially fun. It consists of several commercial blocks on North Clark around Foster. A lot of restaurants and fun shops. Plenty of gays and non gays on the sidewalks. A few gay bars. Neat side streets. The only real transportation is the 22 Clark St bus which you can take down to Lakeview or even all the way to the Loop. Or, you can walk to the Berwyn or Bryn Mawr Red Line stops in Edgewater....about a 10 minute "speed walk".

Edgewater itself is kind of a mix of things. There are tons of highrises up and down North Sheridan Road from Foster northward all the way to Loyola Universities main campus. Kind of nondescript buildings on both sides of the street. A couple of blocks of restaurants/Starbucks, etc on Bryn Mawr near the Red Line stop. Plenty of older buildings on side streets. Some semi sketchy blocks on Winthrop/Kenmore but those can easily be avoided if they bother you. Edgewater is a melting pot of folks from all over the world in all ages, shapes, and sizes. Also, it is very varied socioeconomically (as opposed to Lakeview which tends to be more upscale in many portions).

p.s. Andersonville is sort of a pocket of Edgewater (on the western side away from the Lake).
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Roanoke, VA
21 posts, read 24,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulful View Post
Andersonville is especially fun. It consists of several commercial blocks on North Clark around Foster. A lot of restaurants and fun shops. Plenty of gays and non gays on the sidewalks. A few gay bars. Neat side streets. The only real transportation is the 22 Clark St bus which you can take down to Lakeview or even all the way to the Loop. Or, you can walk to the Berwyn or Bryn Mawr Red Line stops in Edgewater....about a 10 minute "speed walk".

Edgewater itself is kind of a mix of things. There are tons of highrises up and down North Sheridan Road from Foster northward all the way to Loyola Universities main campus. Kind of nondescript buildings on both sides of the street. A couple of blocks of restaurants/Starbucks, etc on Bryn Mawr near the Red Line stop. Plenty of older buildings on side streets. Some semi sketchy blocks on Winthrop/Kenmore but those can easily be avoided if they bother you. Edgewater is a melting pot of folks from all over the world in all ages, shapes, and sizes. Also, it is very varied socioeconomically (as opposed to Lakeview which tends to be more upscale in many portions).

p.s. Andersonville is sort of a pocket of Edgewater (on the western side away from the Lake).
Again, I appreciate the information. Edgewater sounds more my speed, though they all sound nice enough. Definitely excited to be graduating. Any advice for transitioning from a small country college town to such a big city?
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:40 PM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
4,620 posts, read 8,116,350 times
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Unless you get roommates, I wouldn't count on spending much less than $750. You might find something, but along the north lakefront the places that are less than that will be more run down or much smaller. A $600 place might literally be half the size of a $750 place. If you want to be near the gay centers of Chicago, then you want to be along the north lakefront.

On the other hand, most of the areas in Chicago you'd want to live are gay-friendly. They may not have gay bars, but there are other areas where you can get cheaper digs or more space (or both), with a good commute to downtown via public transit and will be perfectly fine for a gay person.

I might suggest Avondale. It has less expensive areas. You'd be a 15-20 minute bus ride away from Boystown. You could live within walking distance of the Blue Line for commuting downtown. It's not the most dense, urban of areas, but it still is urban and has a fair bit going on. It's also close to Logan Square, Bucktown and Wicker Park, all of which are lively, interesting and have quite a few young people in them.

Another option might be in the UIC/Taylor Street area, which has some good housing deals although you have to hunt a little more for them. Its proximity to the University means you're near a lot of young people, gay and straight, but it's also very close to downtown so you can easily get there.

The advantage for both Avondale and UIC/Taylor Street are that they're both close to interstates, so if you end up working in the suburbs you can get to the highways pretty quickly. That said, if you really want to work downtown you can probably find work there even if it takes a few more weeks.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:42 PM
 
1,325 posts, read 4,179,136 times
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Originally posted by LaurelDane "Again, I appreciate the information. Edgewater sounds more my speed, though they all sound nice enough. Definitely excited to be graduating. Any advice for transitioning from a small country college town to such a big city?"


You could live for a year in Amarillo first

Just kidding.

I don't think you will have a problem. You seem pretty bright and nice too. Common sense is the main thing and make as many trips here as possible to walk around and check things out in advance.

I need to clarify something I said earlier about Lakeview. When I said "more upscale" I didn't mean everybody is walking around in mink coats and jewelry. Actually it is very very casual in Lakeview. It's just that it is less of a socioeconomic mixture than Edgewater. Lots of new college grads (gay and straight) come directly to Lakeview after getting their first job. Lakeview is pretty good safety wise and another big plus is the park/lakefront bike/running paths which are easily accessed. Of course, you can get to the lake from Edgewater also. But some of the park is a touch more sketchy up around Edgewater. There is hardly any crime in the park adjacent to Lakeview. Frankly, I feel fine in both environments.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:43 PM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
4,620 posts, read 8,116,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurelDane View Post
...
Any advice for transitioning from a small country college town to such a big city?
Don't think of it as a big city, think of it as dozens of small towns clustered together. Because, really, outside of the central business district (the Loop), that's what it's like living in Chicago. The neighborhoods are each more like small towns - the city as a whole isn't some sort of unified super-city. Different parts are distinctly different, with some commonality, but I think you'll find it much less intimidating that it may seem right now.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Roanoke, VA
21 posts, read 24,663 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Don't think of it as a big city, think of it as dozens of small towns clustered together. Because, really, outside of the central business district (the Loop), that's what it's like living in Chicago. The neighborhoods are each more like small towns - the city as a whole isn't some sort of unified super-city. Different parts are distinctly different, with some commonality, but I think you'll find it much less intimidating that it may seem right now.
That actually does help. So it's a lot like how Denver has Arvada, Westminster, and the like, only instead of smaller cities it's neighborhoods? Or did I just butcher that analogy
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:55 PM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
4,620 posts, read 8,116,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurelDane View Post
That actually does help. So it's a lot like how Denver has Arvada, Westminster, and the like, only instead of smaller cities it's neighborhoods? Or did I just butcher that analogy
I'm not familiar with Denver, but I think it sounds like you've got the concept.
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