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Old 04-09-2007, 01:25 AM
 
39 posts, read 216,243 times
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I am interested in the Lakeview and Lincoln Park areas. This is simply based on the fact that they seem to be the best overall neigborhoods. (younger residents, close to nightlife, good restaurants, quite lively/vibrant, close to Lake Shore Drive and Lake)

However, I have heard much about the Wicker Park area as well.

I am a 21 year old african-american male beginning a career in finance in Chicago (the loop) in June. I am really looking for a place where I can truly enjoy life in Chicago. As many people that move to the area, I would like to experience the "big city" life. I am originally from Detroit and the surrounding burbs and have always loved Chicago, so now that I have the change (and a great job) I would like to experience the city as much as possible and I would like to reside in an area that would make that as easy as possible.

Which areas are most vibrant? Which are more better for the use of public transportation? etc

I know Chicago residents are in-love with their individual hoods, so it would be great to hear from Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and Wicker Park residents.

Thanks in advance guys
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:49 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 93,452,091 times
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I don't live in any of those neighborhoods but I've done plenty of dining, drinking and general nightlife-ing in all of them. The primary difference between Wicker Park (and the adjacent Bucktown, pretty much contiguous and indistinguishable from one another) and Lincoln Park/Lakeview is that Wicker Park/Bucktown has more of an artsy/bohemian/hipster vibe whereas Lakeview and the adjacent Lincoln Park is pretty much your standard white-collar urban yuppie section of town. Think of it this way: if you're an emo hipster, you're more apt to find yourself in Wicker Park/Bucktown, though there is a section of Lakeview centered around Clark and Belmont that has its share of pierced and tattooed crowd and there is no shortage of run-of-the-mill yuppies in Bucktown/Wicker Park. If you're an accountant, ad executive, etc. and into sports bars and oxford shirts/khaki pants, you're more likely to live in Lakeview or Lincoln Park -- the latter if you're in your 30s, the former if you're in your 20s. Lincoln Park in particular has a bit of a fratboy/sorority-trixie vibe to it, almost certainly aided by the fact that DePaul University's main campus is smack-dab in the middle of Lincoln Park. A LOT of young 20-somethings in the area. The crowd in Lakeview is a little older and a little less fratboy-ish, though not by a wide margin.

I think Wicker Park is generally more convenient to downtown as far as public transportation goes, except maybe for the very southern edge of Lincoln Park. I'm not sure it matters right now because the north-side portions Red Line, Brown Line and Blue Line are all an absolute mess right now for differing reasons.
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:22 AM
 
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Ok, thank you for the detailed response. I have found many nice 1 bedroom highrise units available in lakeview. Mostly on N. Lake Shore Drive.

How is the 3900 N. Lake Shore Drive area? The building is located almost directly east of Wrigley Field on Lake Shore. Is it lively over here?

I'm trying to think of good questions to ask you while I have your expertise. lol...but do you have any general advice, Drover? Knowing that I'm a 21 year old african american entering the professional world. I have attended a major midwest university for almost 4 years.
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:08 PM
 
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To be honest, and I don't know you from any other guy, but there aren't a lot of black people in Lincoln Park or Lakeview. I'm not trying to be offensive at all, just telling you that if that is what you are seeking, then, this is not quite the area. That being said, there are a TON of professionals, and anybody that is a professional is very well welcomed in this neighborhood.

I don't exactly agree with the Wicker Park stereotype anymore. It *used* to be like that, and yes, there are more people that would wear fishnets and dye their hair pink in Wicker Park than in Lakeview, it's very very professional as well. The rents have gone up dramatically in the past 4-5 years, and this has forced out the "bohemian" type of individuals.

Both neighborhoods are very nice in a very different way. Lakeview has more apartments and 1 bedroom (or even more) apartments and Wicker Park has more brownstone and recently converted condos (which may be out of your price range).

It's hard to tell you what you that one neighborhood will be better than another in terms of public transportation. I will say that if you will travel (by airplane) Wicker Park may be better because it's on the Blue line that goes directly to O'Hare. I live in Lakeview, and I need to take 1 bus and then transfer to a train to the Blue line. It takes me about 60 minutes from my door to the airport. Living in Wicker Park and off the Damen stop takes about 40 minutes.

Feel free to post questions.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:36 AM
 
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I would take the plunge and live in Lakeview. It's full of young professionals, a little less snooty than Lincoln Park, near the Lake, and has tons of restaurants and bars. Wicker Park is cheaper and does have a more artsy/bohemian vibe like the other poster said. Its a fun area, but it is a little cut off from the other parts of the city you mention.

You're young and living in the city for the first time - you'll want access to the lakefront, lots of nightlife, and to be close to the other people you meet. Pick the neighborhood that makes that easiest even if some people will call it a cliche. If you decide you want a more 'alternative' environment, you can always move after a year.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:52 AM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 13,238,202 times
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I think that it simply depends on what you are looking for. If you are a huge sports fan and want to hang out in a neighborhood that caters to that. Then Lakeview/Lincoln park is your spot.

However, I do think it is a bit of a misnomer to indicate that the Wicker Park area is isolated. Sure it is a bit of a pain in the butt to get to lincoln park and /or lakeview from this neighborhood, but the truth of the matter is, usually people spend the majority of their time in the neighborhood they live in, I know that I do (however, I did go up to Lincoln Square last weekend, and I didn't need a sherpa to get there .

And while to a certain extent chitown is right that the area has certainly changed (I remember it from over 15 years ago), it really does have a different feel than lincoln park. I've spent plenty of time in both neighborhoods. A lot of of arts community is moving to the near south-side these days, but there are still plenty of great galleries in west-town along Milwaukee ave. as well as quite a few storefront galleries still doting the local neighborhood. So it isn't quite dead here yet. I agree that everyone has differing wants and needs to where they live, and I've lived in probably 6 neighborhoods in the city, and so far this is my favorite, so for me that says something.
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 93,452,091 times
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Wicker Park/Bucktown ain't that cut off from the rest of the city. Bucktown actually borders Lincoln Park, though they remain distinct from one another because the expressway divides the two. You can hop on an Armitage bus in Bucktown and be in Lincoln Park 15 minutes later. You can hop on an Ashland bus and be in Lakeview 20 minutes later. You can hop on a Damen bus and be in Lincoln Square 25 minutes later.
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:06 PM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 13,238,202 times
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Actually, I go to Lincoln Square via the Damen bus pretty consistently as I have quite a few friends who live up there.
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:36 PM
 
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I'll echo the sentiments from above. Lincoln Park/Lakeview has more of a yuppie feel, while Bucktown/Wicker Park historically has been more artsy (but has become more professional as gentrification sets in). All of these neighborhoods have good access to the El to go to the Loop along with great nightlife scenes that pretty much reflect their respective residents' tastes.

Lakeview (which is where the 3900 N. Lake Shore building you referred to is located) in particular is dominated by people who are just out of college, which is something that you may or may not be looking for. If there's one thing that the area around Wrigley Field (Wrigleyville is a sub-neighborhood within Lakeview) can be defined as, it is absolutely lively, even when it's not baseball season.

The one major thing that Lincoln Park and Lakeview does offer in comparison to Bucktown/Wicker Park is access to Lake Michigan and Lincoln Park itself (as in the park, not the neighborhood). I will say that it's definitely an extremely nice perk if you're able to easily take a walk along the lake or through the free Lincoln Park Zoo.
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Old 04-11-2007, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 93,452,091 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j33 View Post
And while to a certain extent chitown is right that the area has certainly changed (I remember it from over 15 years ago), it really does have a different feel than lincoln park. I've spent plenty of time in both neighborhoods. A lot of of arts community is moving to the near south-side these days, but there are still plenty of great galleries in west-town along Milwaukee ave. as well as quite a few storefront galleries still doting the local neighborhood. So it isn't quite dead here yet.
I would also point out that Bucktown/Wicker Park is still the heart of the city's local hipster/brooding-emo/indie rock scene with such venues as The Double Door, Subterranean, The Note, Empty Bottle, and (way off on the edge) The Hideout.
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