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Old 09-09-2008, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago
2,686 posts, read 7,871,502 times
Reputation: 1196

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Aragx,

They can go west of western but should just be more careful there. Perhaps you were being facetious as a number of posters in the past have warned of the dangers of "west of western." Black Beatle, Continental, and California Clipper are all great places to get a drink. Seriously, though, just practice more caution as you approach Humboldt Park and California from the east. Humboldt Park has great housing stock and a great park and in general great people for neighbors but there are certainly a few bad apples that ruin it for everyone else you will not find in area likes Lincoln Park or Bucktown. These bad apples were mostly displaced with the gentrification of these areas but can still be found in areas like Humboldt Park, though arguably to a lesser degree in recent years, particularly east of the park.

Chicago and Damen is a great area and has gotten better recently, especially with the opening of the new Dominick's. It is West Town.

 
Old 09-09-2008, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,063 posts, read 31,623,677 times
Reputation: 3799
I was definitely not being facetious. If I were new to the city I would not live west of Western at Chicago. I would consider living west of Western farther north near North or Armitage, but only if I couldn't afford Wicker Park/Bucktown proper. After a year, the OP and roommates can decide for themselves if they are comfortable west of Western.
 
Old 09-09-2008, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago
2,686 posts, read 7,871,502 times
Reputation: 1196
Default West of Western

Rockwell (2600W) and Chicago (800N) is not that bad. Certainly, it is nicer in Wicker Park and Bucktown as well as Lincoln Park. However, if one is looking for safety and can afford a higher rent, staying east of western is probably not all wrong, though it does get pretty yuppified as you go east, which may be appealing to some and not so appealing to others.

If I were new to the city and was not totally naive I would live west of Western at Chicago. I have 3 single female friends who share a place at 23rd street and Indiana, one block from projects along State Street in the south loop. I would consider that a worse area, even though the new construction going in there is great. That area will never be an area I would want to live in (especially if I were a single 25 year old female), until the projects are torn down and their residents moved. I nearly hit one of these drunk or drugged out residents in my car last Thursday evening after leaving their place when they did not seem to notice the green light and continued standing in the middle of state street and cermak.

Aragx,

North avenue west of western is really no better than Chicago avenue west of Western in my experience. Once you get to Armitage it is certainly better and you have good access to the blue line. I eat at the Pizza Hut at north and western all the time (have lunch every Sunday there) and know the area quite well. The biggest challenges are between division and north west of western. The Smith Park area, just north of grand avenue (530-800N) has gotten much better and I would actually prefer this area (good access to Metra Western stop) over some areas north of division (1200N) west of Western.

Just curious, why do you think think Rockwell and Chicago is worse than say Hirsch (1400N) and Rockwell? There are fewer blue lights between Chicago and Division than Division and Chicago (one prominent one in front of California Clipper at California and Augusta (1000N). Clemente at Division and Western is a big cause of some of this concern (I go to church there every Sunday, so yes I know this area quite well too). Nothing quite like having to walk thru metal detectors (turned off on Sundays) to get to church service.
 
Old 09-09-2008, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Chicago - West Lakeview
1,722 posts, read 2,556,038 times
Reputation: 882
Chicago & Damen is a great area. Lots of shopping, good restaurants, fun nightlife among othwer things. It's the border between Ukrainian Village (West of Damen, north of Chicago), East Village(East of Damen, north of Chicago), and West Town (South of Chicago). As far as west of Western goes, it's not that bad on Chicago until west of California. The neighborhood just south of Chicago, and west of Western is the Smith Park area, and it's pretty decent.
 
Old 09-09-2008, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago
2,686 posts, read 7,871,502 times
Reputation: 1196
Default Mr. Mappy

Thanks. We are on the same page.

Still, note that as you approach California it does get dicier. There is a reason why police cars patrol up and down California and many of the local residents (several of whom I know quite well as I have had lengthly conversations with many of them while walking between California Clipper (1000N) and Continental (800N) on California) have adversarial relationships with law enforcement as many of them or their family members have been incarcerated.

I went to a barbeque in Smith Park 4 years ago and the area has definitely improved since then. There are some new homes being built there that are beautiful.

I agree that generally east of Western is nicer but immediately west of Western isn't that bad at Chicago, certainly no worse than between Division and North.
 
Old 09-09-2008, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,063 posts, read 31,623,677 times
Reputation: 3799
What I meant to say, and felt I did say, is that I would only suggest considering the area west of Western from North ave. on north, the closer to Armitage the better. I think that I could have stated that more clearly, and was not suggesting I would live at Hirsch and Rockwell.

I would not suggest a newcomer live west of Western anywhere from North Ave. on south. That's a wildly personal opinion, I'll be the first to admit, but it's mine regardless.

I totally wouldn't live at 23rd and Indiana either -- to call that the South Loop is a real stretch of the imagination. I would not want to live in the South Loop at all, but if I did, I'd personally stay north of 18th.

That doesn't mean I'm saying I'm sure you'd have problems farther south, but if you can afford to avoid it, I would.
 
Old 09-09-2008, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago
2,686 posts, read 7,871,502 times
Reputation: 1196
Default Great Points Aragx

I thought calling it south loop was a bit of a stretch too. Is that area Bronzeville? I would have to check the Chicago community/neighborhood map. It is a 3 bedroom townhouse with 2200 square feet and a 2 car garage. Their landlord paid $475M for it in 2007 and rents it out for $2000/mth. That does not even begin to cashflow. Even with all the new condos being built next door, I see that as a bad investment.

Things are certainly better at Western and Armitage than say Western and Rockwell and having the blue line stop is certainly more convenient, particularly for newcomers, who may or may not have a car. Generally, with the exception of a few blocks around Clemente (Division) things get better as you go north on Western, starting at say Grand (530N).
 
Old 09-09-2008, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
3,396 posts, read 7,211,251 times
Reputation: 3731
I lived a block from Chicago/Damen for 10 years, and even 15 years ago it wasn't that bad, it's been a good area for quite awhile and I never had any bad experiences in the neighborhood other than a couple neighbors who had break ins while at work. Even when the area was a little sketchy, the Duk's at Division/Damen was the epicenter of the dealing and gang activity. Chicago/Damen was much quieter, and still is quieter, just in a different way.

When you get into the southern end of Logan Square things aren't bad at all. I've been living about a block from Milwaukee/Rockwell for the last 5 years and the only real issues I've had have been with homeless people, and they've just been annoying. The Liquor store at the intersection of Western/Armitage is actually one of the worst places for this (used to be some prostitutes there as well, but not for a couple years now). It's nothing really bad, just annoying on occasion.

The crowd on Milwaukee Ave. is mostly Hispanic families, and I've always felt safe on it at all hours. Late at night there are generally a few homeless people and people going to the Congress or Tini Martini. Some of the side streets in the Armitage/California/Milwaukee triangle have a couple houses that are sketchy, but no large gang presence. Bingham St. and Francis Place have had issues in the past, but a police camera got rid of that a few years back.

A lot of new businesses are opening in the area and while it is plenty safe now there are a lot restaurants and a bars opening in the area in the next year.
 
Old 09-09-2008, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,586 posts, read 27,612,634 times
Reputation: 1761
Quote:
Originally Posted by aragx6 View Post
What I meant to say, and felt I did say, is that I would only suggest considering the area west of Western from North ave. on north, the closer to Armitage the better. I think that I could have stated that more clearly, and was not suggesting I would live at Hirsch and Rockwell.

I would not suggest a newcomer live west of Western anywhere from North Ave. on south. That's a wildly personal opinion, I'll be the first to admit, but it's mine regardless.

I totally wouldn't live at 23rd and Indiana either -- to call that the South Loop is a real stretch of the imagination. I would not want to live in the South Loop at all, but if I did, I'd personally stay north of 18th.

That doesn't mean I'm saying I'm sure you'd have problems farther south, but if you can afford to avoid it, I would.

I have to agree fully. I drive around the city five days a week at work and I see all of the areas of the city very often.

You have learned a lot in your short time here.
 
Old 09-09-2008, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,586 posts, read 27,612,634 times
Reputation: 1761
Quote:
Originally Posted by godzillinois View Post
Sorry to sound so schizophrenic guys, but we got another roommate and a slightly higher budget. Right now we're gonna look at a bunch of apartments on/off Chicago and Damen. Any thoughts on that intersection/neighborhood?
It is ok (so-so). Not a war zone, but not an area Beaver Cleaver would feel comfortable in either. Just dont go too far South of Chicago or West of Damen.
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