U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Illinois > Chicago
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-01-2007, 01:16 PM
 
17 posts, read 69,845 times
Reputation: 19

Advertisements

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.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-01-2007, 01:26 PM
 
3,658 posts, read 8,017,008 times
Reputation: 3033
Quote:
midwestern charm
My first piece of advice is to get rid of that crap line. People in the midwest are not different from people on the coasts, and there's no special "charm" to the midwest more so than anywhere else.

Secondly, I'd highly recommend Houston over Chicago. You won't have to deal with the unending gray skies and winter you'll find here.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2007, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 93,560,334 times
Reputation: 29746
I'm not sure what "undending gray skies" this guy is talking about. This isn't Seattle. If you look at the weather charts between Houston and Chicago on this website, there isn't much diference between the average number of sunny days across the seasons between the two cities. The tradeoff of Chicago winters is Houston summers. When it comes to weather, I'll take Chicago any day. And the guy who says there's nothing different about the midwest also believes that Chicago has no nightlife outside of sports bars, so I wouldn't put a lot of stock in his observations of the culture around here.

Of all the places you mention, Chicago most resembles the urban-chic found in San Francisco. That seems to be important to you, so keep it in mind. Think of Chicago as a smaller version of NYC at a 30% cost-of-living discount. Cincinnati may be cheap, but there's just not a whole lot going on there. Houston is pretty urbane but it's also spread out and doesn't have the same cosmopolitan vibe that Chicago has. Chicago schools generally suck but there are some good private schools here; particularly Latin School if you can get your kids in there.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2007, 04:39 PM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 13,247,076 times
Reputation: 1717
I'm not sure what 'midwestern charm' is supposed to mean either. However, if you can swing the tuition, I've heard good things about Francis W. Parker School as well as the above mentioned Latin School.

Oh, and Chicago runs circles around Houston when it comes to the arts.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2007, 06:39 PM
 
260 posts, read 1,069,040 times
Reputation: 82
Look into River Forest. It's a very pricey area, but convenient to the city and O'Hare. I grew up near there, most of the town was built in the 1920's, the houses are substantial and solid, and well designed. The town even has some architectural gems. Also, it has some very interesting people living there, anyone from top ranking mobsters to world-known academics.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2007, 07:24 PM
 
4 posts, read 18,088 times
Reputation: 10
Default Definitely Chicago!

I agree that Chicago would be a good fit for your tastes. It is a very lively, vibrant city with beautiful parks, arts & nightlife--pretty much something for everyone.

As far as schools go, I think it depends on your financial situation and where you are willing to live. I think that your assessment of the northern area in the city having the best public schools is accurate. If you want really good public schools (some of the best in the nation), you would probably want to go out to the suburbs (Naperville is known for it's schools). I lived in Naperville for several years and it is nice, but you may prefer the city itself (I certainly do). If so, I definitely recommend the Lincoln Park area of the city. It's very urban, but still has a more family "neighborhood" feel. Also, the Gold Coast is a really nice area in the city. All of these areas are pretty pricey. Of course the city will be more expensive than the suburbs, but Naperville is not cheap.

It really comes down to what you can afford. If you can afford Gold Coast, then do that--but it has it's name for a reason!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2007, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 71,964,677 times
Reputation: 10245
Gray skies??? Yes, we have them, but who doesnt (other than parts of AZ)?? We have about the same # of sunny days as Houston and FAR BETTER weather. We get more rain, but at least we dont swelter in the summer. It can get humid, but only for a few days at a time, most of the summer is downright gorgeous!

As for urban chic, Chicago is not quite as chic as NYC, but its a better city IMO. There is just as much to do, its cheaper (but still expensive), and vastly more beautiful IMO.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2007, 11:09 AM
 
187 posts, read 794,398 times
Reputation: 98
Default stylish? creative?

I think that "stylish" and "creative" are in the eyes of the beholder...

I laughed out loud at the recommendation of the Gold Coast. Astor is indeed a beautiful street, and the mansions there are lovely. I don't recall whether or not the author of this original question stated that he wanted to live in a Gilded Age mansion, though...

Perhaps he wants to live in Marina City, the two corncob towers recently featured on a Wilco album cover, the buildings in a Steve McQueen movie where a car was driven off the garages and into the river below. The architect, Bertrand Goldberg, was a genius, I think, but a bit unpopular in his day. I think the Art Institute is working on a big show about him--at least they are researching for a big, complete monograph on him. Those apartments are small-ish 1 and 2 BRs, but many, many people have bought multiple units and connected them into one mega-unit, either horizontally or vertically. That puts you right in the heart of the Loop, a really vibrant spot with great views, in an iconic building.

Goldberg himself lived in a building designed by Andrew Rebori in the 1920s, one of the first buildings in Chicago to have air-conditioning, I think; of course, Goldberg didn't live there at that time.

The Chicago Tribune magazine recently had a cover story on the nasty habit of Chicagoans with robber-baron-sized wealth and no sense--the habit of taking a great, historic neighborhood, buying up five or six lots, and then tearing down all the houses to build a suburban-style McMansion. Well worth looking for.

The city's Commission on Chicago Landmarks has a great website to help you figure out which neighborhoods are landmark districts. Gold Coast is one, for example. That means that if you want to change your home as evidenced from the street, you can't without city approval. THIS HAS NO RESTRICTION ON THE INTERIOR OF THE HOME, contrary to popular opinion. It seems as though people hate landmarking--private property rights and all that--but that's what makes great little neighborhoods stay great.

I would recommend the Villa neighborhood, if you can find something for sale there and you're looking for a single-family house. Lots of Arts-and-Crafts bungalows, beautiful houses, big trees. I don't live there, but always wish I did. Lincoln Square is/was a great neighborhood (until I couldn't afford the rent anymore!); lots of great shops and a movie theater, restaurants, convenient to two L stops.

Chicago has a great tax-incentive program for people to buy bungalows and fix them up; this is because the despot-mayor grew up in a bungalow and feels sentimental about them. It's a smart move on his part, as the city is jam-packed with these houses, and so it really helped the housing market there, in terms of developing a frenzy for little urban houses.

Chicago is looking more and more suburban to me all the time, though. The big shopping centers, the Home Depot and the Crate and Barrel and all that, creating big suburban-style traffic jams of big suburban-style SUVs, doesn't really feel urban. But I still think Chicago is a great city.

If you did, for a minute, want to live in the 'burbs (though you say you don't), the very expensive suburb of Riverwoods has a tremendous collection of 1950s-1960s-1970s modern and contemporary houses that are way, way, way cool (think "Atomic Ranch" magazine, or any modern living magazine, like "Dwell") but are being bought by raving idiots for teardowns. I don't think they know that they are buying--they just want the lot to build a gigantic French chateau on steroids. If you want a rambling, modernist ranch with big windows, and skylights, and a heavily wooded lot, try Riverwoods. Of course, the schools there are well-funded, but they are NOT diverse.

I would always vote for Chicago over anyplace in TX (except Austin), and Cincinnati is cute and affordable but not much going on.... NYC is not livable--it's exhausting.

Good luck, whatever you choose!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2007, 11:14 AM
 
Location: The land of sugar... previously Houston and Austin
5,429 posts, read 13,709,167 times
Reputation: 3651
Quote:
Originally Posted by j33 View Post
I'm not sure what 'midwestern charm' is supposed to mean either. However, if you can swing the tuition, I've heard good things about Francis W. Parker School as well as the above mentioned Latin School.

Oh, and Chicago runs circles around Houston when it comes to the arts.
Of course Chicago is a larger, more established city...

But Houston actually has great arts/culture that most outsiders have no idea of. Only New York's Broadway district is larger than Houston's Theater District. The Houston Grand Opera is the only opera company in the country to win Tony, Grammy, and Emmy awards. The Alley Theatre is the only regional theatre in Texas to win a Tony award. The Symphony is one of the country's finest.
The Museum District is also very good; for example, only three cities in the country rank ahead of Houston in terms of volume of fine arts museum space. The Natural Science Museum is one of the largest and most visited in the country. Many traveling exhibits from overseas (like the Dead Sea Scrolls) that come to only a few U.S. cities, often include Houston.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2007, 11:18 AM
 
Location: The land of sugar... previously Houston and Austin
5,429 posts, read 13,709,167 times
Reputation: 3651
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)
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Illinois > Chicago

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top