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Old 10-28-2012, 05:29 PM
 
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I am considering moving to the Portage Park/Irving Park area once I have enough money saved up for a house or condo. I was born and raised on the Northside of Chicago, but rarely went that far west while growing up. However, as an adult, I go to Portage and Irving sometimes, and I am drawn to those areas. I currently live in Pilsen.

I was wondering if there is a difference in quality of life in those areas? By that, I mean other than stats like ethnic makeup, rent and housing prices, which I already have. I know the statistics are different, but is there really a qualitative difference? For example, is one "hipper" than the other? Is one quieter? Is one significantly safer? Does one have better parking? Does one have cheaper stores? Is one more "family-friendly?" Note, I neither have nor want kids, so although I know I can't avoid children, I don't want to live somewhere with a lot of big families, playgrounds and tons of schools. Therefore, the less family-friendly, the better!

Any info would be appreciated. FYI I am also considering Bridgeport or just buying in Pilsen, but should I return north, I like the Northwest side.

Last edited by cmhllama; 10-28-2012 at 05:57 PM..
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:49 PM
 
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Irving Park is a little older, prettier, and "hipper."
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:13 PM
 
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Big difference. IMO Portage Park is pretty boring and is more suburban in the lifestyle it provides. Meaning its almost a necessity to have a car there. Although Portage Park is improving. It's not terrible and I think it's good for families. Even aesthetically speaking portage park is boring looking.

Irving park has more going on. The western portion that borders portage park has suburban feel to it, but it's very beautiful and very safe. Also family oriented. The eastern portion is more diverse and urban. There you will find a lot of restaurants and bars.

For single guy I think portage park sucks! It's far from all the night hotspots. I would go withIrving Park. You are just closer to a lot more action and within in your neighborhood there are plenty of places to eat and drink. In portage park you aren't close to very much and within the neighborhood there is very little to do.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:14 PM
 
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Btw Avondale which is between Irving Park and Logan Square is a good deal. It has characteristics of both the Irving Park and Logan Square neighborhood. It's hipper than Irving Park just as affordable, closer to a lot more than IP and better served in regards to transportation. It's literally going to be the new Logan Square
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Portage park feels more open.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Irving Park has much better transit access with service provided by 2 Metra lines and 2 CTA lines. Portage Park seems to be experiencing a slow but steady incursion of gang activity esp. in the southern half.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:12 PM
 
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Thanks for the feedback so far. FYI I have a car so proximity to expressways and good parking is more important to me than public transportation options. I drive to work. Portage and Irving seem to be equally close to the Kennedy.

I am a single female (in my late 20's), and I don't assume to be married any time soon, so safety is a concern too. I also like ethnic diversity and proximity to vegetarian-friendly restaurants, and by proximity I mean within a few miles.

Avondale is another area I've considered because I like the vibe around there currently, but not if it turns into Logan Square! Don't want to live in a highly-gentrified area or area highly-saturated with people. Pilsen is fun for now, but ideally I want to move someplace more quiet (and safe) when I get a house or condo. I work for the city so I have to live in the city. But I haven't ruled out Pilsen totally for when I go from a rent to a mortgage.

In terms of nightlife, I would like to live within a couple miles of places that are open late for the rare times I do go out. But I prefer good neighborhood bars over anything douchey, like in River North or Wrigleyville. I also want to live in an area with a lot of native Chicagoans, as opposed to someplace with a lot of out-of-towners as residents.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:37 PM
 
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I was leaning on Portage but wasn't aware of the growing gang activity in the area. Thanks for the tip! I am a big city girl, though, and Pilsen feels safe to me. As long as the area is as safe or safer than Pilsen, that's good!

I used to take dance class by Six Corners and feel drawn to that area. I don't know where life will take me (or the city) within the next five years. However, based on how the neighborhoods feel to me now when I hang out there, I am digging the areas along Irving Park road from Six Corners over to Kimball.

I saw on another thread that some people recommended Edison Park as well, but unless I get a really sweet raise or promotion within the next five years, that area is too expensive for me! Portage, Irving and Avondale's median income are closer to my income than Edison Park's.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmhllama View Post
Thanks for the feedback so far. FYI I have a car so proximity to expressways and good parking is more important to me than public transportation options. I drive to work. Portage and Irving seem to be equally close to the Kennedy.

I am a single female (in my late 20's), and I don't assume to be married any time soon, so safety is a concern too. I also like ethnic diversity and proximity to vegetarian-friendly restaurants, and by proximity I mean within a few miles.

Avondale is another area I've considered because I like the vibe around there currently, but not if it turns into Logan Square! Don't want to live in a highly-gentrified area or area highly-saturated with people. Pilsen is fun for now, but ideally I want to move someplace more quiet (and safe) when I get a house or condo. I work for the city so I have to live in the city. But I haven't ruled out Pilsen totally for when I go from a rent to a mortgage.

In terms of nightlife, I would like to live within a couple miles of places that are open late for the rare times I do go out. But I prefer good neighborhood bars over anything douchey, like in River North or Wrigleyville. I also want to live in an area with a lot of native Chicagoans, as opposed to someplace with a lot of out-of-towners as residents.
They are not equally close and that's because the Kennedy runs and slices through the neighborhood of Irving Park right in the middle.

Which makes Portage Park significantly further away from the Kennedy. I mean not saying Portage Park is super far from the expressway, but in order to get to it you have to drive through the Irving Park neighborhood or Jefferson Park. Iriving Park wins in that category by A LOT.

You will be a lot closer to vegetarian places in Irving Park. Ethinic diversity in residents and the restaurants is much better in Irving Park by A LOT. than Portage Park Especially once you get east of Elston. It also borders Albany Park which is probably the most diverse neighborhood in Chicago with a wide array of different ethnic foods. Irving Park also has a lot native Chicagoans as does Portage Park. I really think Irving Park offers more of what you are looking for. Portage Park is good for families, but it really doesn't offer anything special. Most of the restuarants there are chains, with few to no bars. Also traffic gets really bad when you want to enter Portage Park from the east so keep that in mind. Portage Park is not the easiest to get to from the east, meaning there aren't very many short cuts. To get from the east there you basically have to take Irving Park, Addison or Belmont, all which can get horrendous traffic, especially Irving Park and Addison.

If you don't want to live in a gentrified area, then I would not suggest Avondale as it is going that way. Avondale just got a Chipotle which basically tells you enough right there. I am sure if Avondale becomes the next Logan Square, then Irving Park could most likely become the next Avondale, if that makes sense. So it might not be gentrified now, but in ten years from now it wouldn't surprise me. Portage Park though I don't think ever will be. It's too far west and too cut off from other neighborhoods and transporatation.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:50 PM
 
2,426 posts, read 3,842,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmhllama View Post
I was leaning on Portage but wasn't aware of the growing gang activity in the area. Thanks for the tip! I am a big city girl, though, and Pilsen feels safe to me. As long as the area is as safe or safer than Pilsen, that's good!

I used to take dance class by Six Corners and feel drawn to that area. I don't know where life will take me (or the city) within the next five years. However, based on how the neighborhoods feel to me now when I hang out there, I am digging the areas along Irving Park road from Six Corners over to Kimball.

I saw on another thread that some people recommended Edison Park as well, but unless I get a really sweet raise or promotion within the next five years, that area is too expensive for me! Portage, Irving and Avondale's median income are closer to my income than Edison Park's.
Mind you, the six corners are basically at the eastern border/end of Portage Park along with Irving Park. So if anything Irving Park residents probably have more access to Six Corners than do most Portage Park Resdients, with the exception of the ones that leave in the immediate area.

You said you don't know where life might take you in 5 years, which I am assuming means you could have another job, which I am assuming means you might have to take the train in the future. It would suck to live in Portage Park and have to deal with it. I mean it's doable, but you have to take the bus and train, and like I said traffic can get really bad on Irving Park and Addison.
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