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Old 08-15-2012, 05:41 PM
 
18 posts, read 27,473 times
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Hello,I am relocating to Chicago from Boston. I am a fun, friendly city gal looking to mingle with other singles. I am looking for something on the high end. Proximity to airport is a plus as I travel a lot for fun. My job is located in Carol Stream (near wheaton). I am trying to have the best of both worlds - live in (or close to) the city and commute easily to work. Not sure if renting 2 different apartments maybe the way to go ? I welcome any other suggestions . Any suggestions on finding a short term rental to start with ? craigslist ?
Perhaps looking for a more "manhattan" feel. I love NYC BTW
A rocking dating and social scene are a must have !
Thanks
A
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,421,872 times
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So let's see. You will be working in Carol Stream, want to be near-ish to an airport, have an easy commute, and want to be in a high end area.. What's your monthly budget? PROBABLY not going to happen, sorry no matter what your budget is if you want to live in the city, what you want is pretty hard.

Carol Stream is a good 25 miles away from the Western most part of Chicago, WHICH is pretty much ghetto. If you want an upscale and "Manhattan" feel, which would be somewhere like South Loop, Loop (Lakeshore East), River North, Streeterville or Gold Coast.. you're looking at around 33-35 miles away, possibly a little more, to Carol Stream. That commute to work is going to be hell if you plan on driving from the city out there and back at normal times. If you plan on leaving at 6am to go to work everyday and come back way early or past 7pm, then it won't be as bad. The easy way out is to take the Metra (commuter rail) there, but the closest it goes to is Winfield. Meaning you'd either have to somehow have a car there all the time, or take a PACE bus if one goes near there from the Metra stop in Winfield, or see if your work has a shuttle from the Metra.

As far as the airports go, they are basically on the outskirts of the city. There's no upscale areas in the city around there, although some of the suburbs near them (ala Des Plaines or Bridgeview) can be decent. Luckily Chicago has an excellent mass transit system and the El goes to both airports pretty easily, but depending on where you live, it might take a little bit since the airports are basically on the outskirts of the city. From downtown on the train, I think it takes maybe 20-25 minutes to get to Midway, while it takes 40-50 minutes to get to O'Hare.


I hate to say this, but given where you're working, your standards may be a bit high unless you can deal with a 1 hour train ride each way (2 hours total) every day if you can get from Winfield to Carol Stream, or leaving to work before 7am everyday and coming home either very early or pretty late. If you want it to be easy that is....

IF you can easily afford it, then having two apartments isn't a terrible idea. Have one for weekends in Chicago and then somewhere closer to work out in the burbs. I think it's possible to live in the city and do this thing (except being close to the airport thing..there's trains though), but you'd have to leave to go to work fairly early and come home either really early or after 7pm.

Last edited by marothisu; 08-15-2012 at 06:12 PM..
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:40 PM
 
Location: West Loop, Chicago, IL
240 posts, read 426,329 times
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The commute won't be quite so bad. I live downtown and commute to/from St. Charles every day and Carol Stream is definitely closer. Depending on your schedule I bet you can make it out to Carol Stream in 45 in the morning and back to the City in an hour every day.

You may want to consider where I live, the West Loop. It has immediate access to just about every "L" line, especially the Blue Line which takes you directly to O'Hare. Also, you COULD walk to all the hot nightlife in the Near North Side in about 30 minutes, although a cab can get you there in less than 10. Plus, the West Loop is a quick hop onto I-290 which is your best bet for getting out to Carol Stream.

Good luck and welcome to Chicago! Let us know where you decide to live!
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:53 PM
 
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Probably just in a high rise downtown. (I generally think of that being as far north as the Gold Coast, south as the Loop, west to the river).

There ain't nothing NYC like close to the airports. Carol Stream is a long commute wherever you are.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:17 PM
 
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marothisu, jonnynonos and ProgMichael - thank you so much for writing in. I hate a more than 15 min work commute....LOL. I guess, I will just have to get to Chicago and drive it the 45 minutes to see how it feels. Maybe I can find a commute buddy where I work....Or I will just be listening to a lot of audio books LOL. Any other thoughts are welcome
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,421,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilesNFun View Post
marothisu, jonnynonos and ProgMichael - thank you so much for writing in. I hate a more than 15 min work commute....LOL. I guess, I will just have to get to Chicago and drive it the 45 minutes to see how it feels. Maybe I can find a commute buddy where I work....Or I will just be listening to a lot of audio books LOL. Any other thoughts are welcome
It's 45 minutes to Carol Stream from downtown when the traffic is light.. If it was really heavy, the commute could easily be 1 hour 15 minutes or more. Really depends though. Carol Stream is way out there no matter how you dice it. It's still 35 miles from much of "downtown." If you feel comfortable, check to see if your employer has easy access to the Metra station. If not, then you can drive it but beware of traffic times if you want to minimize everything.

Just curious though, what's your budget and what else are you looking for i.e. entertainment, restaurants, etc? Maybe we can suggest a particular area.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:26 AM
 
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If you're set on trying to live in the city, I'd suggest the West Loop/Near West Side between the Ike, Kennedy, Ashland and Lake. The closer to Jackson or Van Buren you can get, the easier to jump on the Ike in the morning. With normal work hours, you're looking at about 50 minutes though. My wife did this to Maywood when we lived in that area and it was 30 minutes (that's about halfway...maybe a bit more to Carol Stream). That's about as short as you can make it while living in the city in a desirable area.

If you want to shorten it a bit but still live in a quasi urban environment, I'd suggest Oak Park. You could shave off about 20 minutes. Oak Park is less singles heavy, but it still has a decent number of condos and rentails off Lake Street (and the nicer condos near Harlem north of Lake) that lean more heavily in the 30s single professional category. Some wine bars, restaurants, pubs...that sort of thing in the area on the commerical strips (Lake, Marion and Oak Park Ave).

Only other area I could remotely suggest would be S. Loop, but you're probably adding 10 minutes to the West Loop estimate above. You can really get bogged down in the city when driving in the AM, so every additional mile or expressway exit adds precious minutes. I would not at all recommend even trying to pull off that commute from Lincoln Park, River North, etc.
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:40 AM
 
Location: Chicago
76 posts, read 259,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilesNFun View Post
Hello,I am relocating to Chicago from Boston. I am a fun, friendly city gal looking to mingle with other singles. I am looking for something on the high end. Proximity to airport is a plus as I travel a lot for fun. My job is located in Carol Stream (near wheaton). I am trying to have the best of both worlds - live in (or close to) the city and commute easily to work. Not sure if renting 2 different apartments maybe the way to go ? I welcome any other suggestions . Any suggestions on finding a short term rental to start with ? craigslist ?
Perhaps looking for a more "manhattan" feel. I love NYC BTW
A rocking dating and social scene are a must have !
Thanks
A
Schaumburg = Close to Carol Stream, close to O'Hare, fairly diverse/social but it isn't like the city in that respect.
Near North Side = Further away from Work/Airport as mentioned in previous posts, but pretty much where the "rocking" dating/social scene are.

Choose your poison.
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:55 AM
 
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don't forget that between Dec-Apr, you're going to have some bad weather days which means a commute from downtown to Carol Stream in a car can easily stretch to 2+ hours.

As another poster said, wanting a great night/city life, short commute and working in CS is going to require some sacrifice on some of your 'wants'
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:14 AM
 
2,687 posts, read 3,895,505 times
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Definitely West Loop, as others have recommended, will be the best compromise. It has some interesting, funkiness to it that is reminiscent of NYC.... with more space. You will have some bad commute days if you decide to drive... especially in bad weather/winter.

Agree with coming here, and doing the commute drives at the time of day you will be commuting every day.
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