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Old 01-02-2007, 06:26 PM
 
3,658 posts, read 8,015,979 times
Reputation: 3033

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJP View Post
I would always vote for Chicago over anyplace in TX (except Austin),

I've lived in Austin and it's overrated. Unless you just want a mid-sized college town with a lack of big-city amenities (but still problems like bad traffic)
But mild weather. Don't forget mild weather. Maybe it gets hot in summer, but in Austin you don't have to deal with the midwest's terrible winters. In Michigan we don't even have spring/autumn, just sudden winter.
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Old 01-02-2007, 06:56 PM
 
187 posts, read 794,327 times
Reputation: 98
Default I know, I know

I know that Austin has its problems...as soon as I posted it I knew that I shouldn't have said it. My husband is a musician and loves the Austin of ten or even fifteen years ago. Their city website proudly boasts that Austin's population has doubled every twenty years, and with its current population at around 650,000, that means that it'll be 1.3 million within the next twenty years...a real bummer. It won't be a "college town" any more, it'll be a bona fide "city," if it isn't already. Kind of like Madison, Wisconsin: it's a college town and the state capital, so it must be a city--it's two places in one!

Sprawl, it seems, is inevitable, no matter what planners and designers and historians think. If we don't sprawl outward, I guess we'll spread upward, into taller buildings close together, and the country will become city. We either have to stop spawning, or do a "Logan's Run" kind of thing where everyone over 21 must be killed...

As for the earlier post about Houston being great for the arts--it's true, it's true. But it's still in Texas (!) and that's not so good.

For whatever reason--perhaps nothing more than my own personal bias--I think Chicago is more attractive than Houston. The architecture is "better" and we have a lake as big as a sea, and a crazy-green river running through the city, and a beautiful park system. I never get tired of Lake Shore Drive, in either direction. I just love it.

If the original author of this thread is "creative" and "stylish," he will love all the different art museums in the city--Intuit, the outsider art gallery; the photography collection at Columbia College; the Chicago Architecture Foundation; and of course the MCA and the AIC--and the great music venues--the Hideout, the Green Mill, the Old Town School (sic)--and all the theaters, including the crazy little Neo-Futurarium in Andersonville. The Loop has great public sculpture--Picasso, Calder, Miro, Dubuffet. There's that Millennium Park, whether you like it or not...

I think Chicago kicks Houston's behind.

Houston, we have a problem.

I say, Let's mess with Texas!
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Old 01-02-2007, 07:03 PM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 13,245,668 times
Reputation: 1717
Largest doesn't equal better. Houston may have more theaters, but what are they playing? I can state with confidence the cultural contributions of Chicago's Theater scene to the dramatic arts are more innovative and important than those of Houston's theater scene.
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Old 01-02-2007, 07:05 PM
 
198 posts, read 766,316 times
Reputation: 83
I envy your decision. If you can handle the winters which actually haven't been that bad recently (perhaps a little global warming going on here), Chicago is a wonderful place to live. There is no better city in the summer with all the fests and outdoor activities, Chicago just comes alive in the summer. Hope you like sports because we are fanatics here.
Schools however, Chicago needs help. There are a few magnet schools but just try to get your kid into one of them if you don't know anyone. The same applies to Latin, Parker, CityDay, and UofCLab. Plus the tuition -ouch!! I can think of many worthy causes that need the money. Plus isn't that what you are supposed to pay property taxes for - the suburbs use the money for the schools and some do an excellent job. You don't have to live too far out of the city to have great schools and still be able to enjoy all Chicago has to offer. Join one of the private clubs in the city if you can afford it - we are members of the Union League. They offer a full array of cultural and social activities. My parents live in the burbs too but are active members in the music community, season ticket holders at the CYSO & Lyric and sponsor a seat at the Civic. They thought about selling the big house and moving downtown but instead bought a 1BR condo so they could stay downtown on the weekends and enjoy the city. They take the grandkids downtown for special weekends. It is actually a great alternative if you decide to live in Naperville (which by the way is no where close to either airport). So if you do consider the burbs, the north shore is beautiful but expensive. Evanston is so close to the city that it still has an urban vibe and problems as does Oak Park but each have parts that will take your breath away especially if you appreciate architecture. Kenilworth, Winnetka and Glencoe are close to the city, very beautiful right on Lake Michigan, very expensive but have great schools. River Forest is not as expensive, has good public schools and an excellent Catholic School - Fenwick. Where I live in Oak Brook we enjoy no city tax included on our property bills, only state and county, yet still have the very best schools in DuPage County and that's not just my opinion - see Chicago Magazine's article ranking the best schools. The average home in our school district is over 1 million but still not as high as the same size home on the north shore and the taxes on 1 million homes here are like taxes on $500K homes in Oak Park or River Forest. A truely beautiful suburb with express trains taking only 24 minutes to the city is Hinsdale. They too enjoy wonderful, highly ranked schools. The metra express trains really make some suburbs closer than the north parts of the city. So don't count the suburbs out until you take a look around. I assume you have a realtor but if you don't, I am a realtor and would love to assist you. My brokerage's main office is in Lincoln Park. I handle the western burbs from Oak Brook. My broker teaches at one of the magnet schools in the city so if you choose the city, she would be a great person to help you with your search and with the schools. We also have an agent that works the north shore, based in Highland Park. Good Luck with your search, I hope you pick Chicago.
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:15 PM
 
Location: The land of sugar... previously Houston and Austin
5,429 posts, read 13,707,291 times
Reputation: 3651
Quote:
Originally Posted by schoenfraun View Post
I know that Austin has its problems...as soon as I posted it I knew that I shouldn't have said it. My husband is a musician and loves the Austin of ten or even fifteen years ago. Their city website proudly boasts that Austin's population has doubled every twenty years, and with its current population at around 650,000, that means that it'll be 1.3 million within the next twenty years...a real bummer. It won't be a "college town" any more, it'll be a bona fide "city," if it isn't already. Kind of like Madison, Wisconsin: it's a college town and the state capital, so it must be a city--it's two places in one!

Sprawl, it seems, is inevitable, no matter what planners and designers and historians think. If we don't sprawl outward, I guess we'll spread upward, into taller buildings close together, and the country will become city. We either have to stop spawning, or do a "Logan's Run" kind of thing where everyone over 21 must be killed...

As for the earlier post about Houston being great for the arts--it's true, it's true. But it's still in Texas (!) and that's not so good.

For whatever reason--perhaps nothing more than my own personal bias--I think Chicago is more attractive than Houston. The architecture is "better" and we have a lake as big as a sea, and a crazy-green river running through the city, and a beautiful park system. I never get tired of Lake Shore Drive, in either direction. I just love it.

If the original author of this thread is "creative" and "stylish," he will love all the different art museums in the city--Intuit, the outsider art gallery; the photography collection at Columbia College; the Chicago Architecture Foundation; and of course the MCA and the AIC--and the great music venues--the Hideout, the Green Mill, the Old Town School (sic)--and all the theaters, including the crazy little Neo-Futurarium in Andersonville. The Loop has great public sculpture--Picasso, Calder, Miro, Dubuffet. There's that Millennium Park, whether you like it or not...

I think Chicago kicks Houston's behind.

Houston, we have a problem.

I say, Let's mess with Texas!
Certainly Chicago is more established and better-planned out! And larger, more amenties, etc. You're right. My comparison was more Chicago/Houston/Austin... having lived in both of those Texas cities, I think Austin is overrated and Houston is underrated. Of course as far as big city arts/cultural amenities, if Chicago is a '9', NYC a '10' and Houston is a '7', Austin is a '2' or '3'. Most of the culture/arts revolves around the university. It also has horrible traffic now, no pro sports, so-so restaurants... which is part of why I said it's overrated.

And I don't think Houston (or Dallas for that matter) should be discredited in the least on their arts/culture just because they're in Texas... especially considering that they're huge cities and so many of the residents now are from other states or countries.
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:18 AM
 
17 posts, read 69,834 times
Reputation: 19
Thank you so much for the valuable feedback. From the real estate we've looked at Chicago seems to be a much better value than Beverly Hills with regards to amenties at your footstep. How do you feel Chicago compares to San Francisco? We spent 8 years there, and my wife misses it quite a bit. I've always loved parts of San Francisco but been annoyed at it's "quaint" beauty as I tend to love cities that have more density. The architecture in Chicago is amazing. My wife grew up in Ann Arbor, MI so she doesn't mind the cold so much. We work from home most of the time so I imagine the winter months to be not as bad as it for those who must commute every day.
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 93,542,365 times
Reputation: 29746
Quote:
Originally Posted by parklifemedia View Post
Thank you so much for the valuable feedback. From the real estate we've looked at Chicago seems to be a much better value than Beverly Hills with regards to amenties at your footstep. How do you feel Chicago compares to San Francisco? We spent 8 years there, and my wife misses it quite a bit. I've always loved parts of San Francisco but been annoyed at it's "quaint" beauty as I tend to love cities that have more density.
I'm not sure what to tell you here. You won't find many cities in America that have a higher population density than San Francisco. The only major U.S. city with a greater population density than San Fran is NYC. Even Chicago has a lower population density, though barely. (At least that's the case if you compare the cities proper. I don't know how the respective densities of the metro areas compare.) However, Chicago's entertainment and nightlife districts tend to be densely packed together in various pockets across the city, mostly on the north side or near downtown. Just about anywhere you live on the north side you'll be able to step outside your place and be within a few blocks' walk of a dense, substantial business district. Failing that, Chicago has a very comprehensive public transportation system that can get you to most business and entertainment districts in short order. You defintely won't have to drive to every single destination like in L.A.
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:14 AM
 
8 posts, read 25,216 times
Reputation: 13
Default chicago

As you might expect, the public schools in the city of chicago are pretty horrible, but many close suburbs have really good public schools, better than most private schools even. These will mostly be in the north suburbs because that's where the wealthy tend to live.
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Southern California
3,455 posts, read 7,657,496 times
Reputation: 1412
hmm. I'm glad you posed the question "how does chicago compare to san francisco" because I was just about to ask you....why dont you just go back to san francisco!?!?

I have lived in the Chicago area most of my life, and have also lived outside of Sacramento so I was able to experience San Francisco quite a bit.

Well...if it tells you anything I am looking to move back to California, and am looking in to the same area (sacramento and san francisco).

I have to say I have been a bit disenchanted with Chicago...you may love it! But I dont think it compares to San Francisco. I just don't. L.A. - yes! It will be better than L.A.

But from what you have written here, it seems to me San Fran is a good place for you.

chicago is cold yes, but in my opinion, latley the negatives of chicago outweight the positives, if you can afford a place like san francisco....and that is not all about the weather.

I also love chicago arechtecture, that is a plus, and the colleges and art museum and science museums, the cultural center. But Sf is much more sophisticated in my opinion and creative. Chicago is hard working and cultural and interesting...but when it comes to the arts...nyc or sf would beat chicago I think.

I gotta say....I think the mid-western charm is kinda funny too. We seem a lot more charming from a distance. When I was working in california I was always the more outspoken and direct in the group. We tend to be pretty straightforward.

If your wife is from michigan, she may be missing a place she has idealized in her memory. The reality, when you move back is something different!

I prefer San Francisco. But maybe you should take a nice 2 week vacation in chicago and see how you feel.
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:17 PM
 
2,101 posts, read 4,752,924 times
Reputation: 1097
Based on your profile I'd recommend the following. If you're looking for a city neighborhood I'd recommend either Gold Coast or Lincoln Park and send your kids to a private school such as Latin or Francis Parker. If you're looking in the suburbs, I'd probably go with Wilmette and send your kids to a public high school such as New Trier (one of the best in the country) or a private like Loyola Academy or North Shore Country Day if necessary. The public elementary schools in the Wilmette area are among the best I'm sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by parklifemedia View Post
We are a creative family that has the ability to live anywhere that has a major airport. We recently made the mistake of moving to the declining urban death trap of Los Angeles (Beverly Hills) from San Francisco where we lived for 8 years. We've narrowed down our choices to Chicago, New York, Houston, and Cincinnati, with Chicago being at the top of our list.

Our move to Chicago would be for it's great shopping, restuaruants, midwestern charm, architecture, and a move to Cincinnati (Mt Adams/Hyde Park) or Houston (Montrose) would obviously be for the big house that we'd decorate in hip suburban isolation.

My wife is originally from Michigan and is used to the "terrible" cold in Chicago. We have children age 3 and 6 and prefer them to remain urban children. Are there any decent public schools for children in the more expensive Northern areas of Chicago and/or is it very difficult to get children into private school. I understand Chicago has a magnet school program, however we will be moving in July and most likely will have missed the registration process. We had great public schools in San Francisco by luck after being wait listed at several ultra competitive private schools in SFO. Our daughter attends a decent public school in Beverly Hills, but we are not morally/financially opposed to private education. My wife misses San Francisco but loves Chicago as she visits for extended times several times a year for work.
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