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Old 11-29-2009, 12:01 AM
 
24 posts, read 48,879 times
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I am moving to Chicago from San Diego with my wife for law school at Loyola, Kent, or DePaul. My wife will be attending graduate school at Loyola. I have a couple of questions:

We have two cars (the California way of life), I am selling one, do I need to take a car to Chicago? How bad is parking and how expensive is it?

I've read threads about neighborhoods in Chicago like Lakeview, Pilsen, Lincoln Park, south loop. Which is the best that is close to Kent or DePaul and Loyola?we want to get the best of the city and transportation with a budget of 1200 for rent.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:05 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 95,217,258 times
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How bad parking is varies greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. In some neighborhoods, people only drive their cars when they simply have no other alternative for fear of not being able to find a parking space within several blocks of their apartment. In neighborhoods like that, off-street parking runs about $200-250/mo. In my neighborhood, or at least my section of it, you could park a school bus on the street if you wanted to. General rule of thumb is, the further you are from downtown and/or the lakefront, the easier parking will be.

Since all of the law schools you're considering are basically right downtown, your options are pretty wide-open since the city's public transportation is very efficient at moving people from the outskirts into downtown and vice-versa. DePaul in particular is the easiest to get to because every line on the CTA except the Yellow Line has a stop within a block of their downtown campus. Kent is pretty esily accessible from the Orange, Brown, Pink Lines, (plus the Purple Line during rush hour) and it's right next to the two major Metra stations. Loyola is the only one that's kind out of the way, but it's still accessible from the Red and Brown lines -- at least the law school is. Which campus would your wife be attending? Because if it's the one way up on the North Side, then it would be best to stick to somewhere along the Red Line.
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:33 AM
 
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Ok areas with bad parking so bad that it makes almost no sense to drive or own a car there: Downtown(loop area), linlcon park, parts of lakeview. If both of your schools are downtown you will not be driving there unless you want to pay for expensive parking. (i.e. Go carless)

Parts of chicago with bad or midly bad parking(It's not nuts to own a car here but it may take some preplanning). Near west side, Hyde park, Bucktown(although this one might fit in the first catagory better).

With that budget you could live almost anywere in Chicago. What kind of neighboorhood would you like?
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:29 AM
 
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With that budget you could live almost anywere in Chicago. What kind of neighboorhood would you like?

We are looking for a centralized neighborhood that offers the best of Chicago on our budget of 1200.00. we want to be close to school, transportation, nightlife and shopping. We are looking for a 1 or 2 bedroom. I've read about Pilsen, wriglyville in Lakeview, and Lincoln park, are these areas good? My wifes greatest concern is safety. We have never been to Chicago, are most areas safe? Is the transportation system safe?

Thanks
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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Ok all the neighborhoods on your list make the list. However some people don't feel Pilson is gentrified enough (i.e. this area is for the more urban adventurous yuppie or maybe a Hispanic person). I think the area is nice but has rough edges (sort of like where I currently live).

Downtown Chicago is kind of not a neighborhood in a sense. Or at least not a traditional one, Downtown is very commercial/touristy. Some areas just about die when work closes. The river north area (near downtown) has some night life but the area is still touristy and expensive. The only advantage here is major access to public transit.

Lincoln park and Lakeview would be my favorites on the list. Some nightlight that goes on past work time, Close to the lake and Lincoln Park (The park is bigger than the Neighborhood it goes through). They are tad expensive rent wise but otherwise fun hip places.

Basically the whole public transportation system is geared towards getting people downtown. So long as you live near an el line or a metra line getting downtown should be easy. Also there are other places that are less crowed less expensive and less noisy but still reasonably safe like Uptown (near but not in the same neighboorhood as Loyola).

As for safety, well you can get robbed or raped anywhere no mater the neighborhood. This is not some small town. Just keep aware of your surroundings.

Those areas with the exception of parts of uptown and maybe Pilson are non Ghetto areas . What those areas lack are people doing drive bys, gangs shooting at other gang members out in the open (all of Chicago except downtown has gangs. They are just a lot better behaved here). Those areas usually don’t have people dealing drugs out in the open and the only place in that list that has some prostitution is the boys town area of Lakeview (and even then it’s gay prostitution and there isn’t a ton of it…i.e. the police in the area discourage it outside of bars.) Maybe the park and beach areas around edgwater are a notrous gay pickup are but that is about it.

As for transit the most dangerous time will be walking\waiting for the bus or train. Once on it there is considerably less crime(esp. on Metra). If your wife is going to ride late at night I would suggest she get a partner or cab it. If that is not possible ride in the first car(the driver is in this car). For the most part the CTA is safe during rush hour. It’s off hours and night that are a bit more iffy.

Only two lines run all night. The red line and blue line. The others shutdown or at least do not go to the loop past about 12:30AM(varies a bit per line). Metra likewise slows down then shuts down for the night. Metra is the commuter railroad with limited stops in the city. It is faster to downtown, a nicer ride and more expensive than the el. However the el is much more frequent than Metra(i.e. trains every hour or so post rush).

Like drover, I think the best place to stay would be near the red line depending on which campus your wife goes to.

As for most areas safe, depends on how you define it. The areas on your list are a lot safer than many areas in the city, but don't go wondering around until you get a sense of where the really bad areas are. The north side is about the safest, but there are still problems. The southside is a mixed bag some nice areas and some of the worst ghettos in chicago. The far westside is almost all ghetto past westren.

As for Uptown, Roger's park and Pilson parking wise you probably could keep both your cars here. There is a lot of parking.

Last edited by chirack; 11-29-2009 at 03:42 PM..
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:16 PM
 
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Would Wriglyville be a good fit for two graduate students and would the commute be OK into Depaul Law School or Kent?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:23 PM
 
Location: University Village
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Pilsen is where the quote-unquote <cool> people live in Chicago these days, and they tend to be ecclectic, artsy, and non-confomist. Lincoln Park and Lakeview are where the backward baseball hat Big Ten basketball-loving crowd lives. The people there tend to be conformist, creative as a brick, and as predictable as snow in January. What you need to do is take an honest assesment of which side of the cultural divide you fall on, and that will tell you where you are likely to be more comfortable. That said, commuting from Pilsen to Loyola's Rogers Park campus is a non-starter under ANY scenario, so if your wife is going to be going there, you can strike Pilsen off the list because you do really need to be on the North Side.

Beyond that, if you want someting less frat-minded than Lincoln Park or Lakeview, there are parts of Edgewater and Uptown that could fit the bill nicely.

As far as the "safety" stuff, if safety is truly your primary concern, then you should probably be reconsidering your move to Chicago. Big cities are places to expand your options, not limit them, and if that is not the way you approach life, you will find little to like about Chicago. Sorry if that sounds abrubt, no disrepsect intended, that's just the way it is. Its not that "safety" is irrelevant here, but it can't be the primary focus of one's life if one is to thrive in an urban environment.
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:43 PM
 
24 posts, read 48,879 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NearWestSider View Post
Pilsen is where the quote-unquote <cool> people live in Chicago these days, and they tend to be ecclectic, artsy, and non-confomist. Lincoln Park and Lakeview are where the backward baseball hat Big Ten basketball-loving crowd lives. The people there tend to be conformist, creative as a brick, and as predictable as snow in January. What you need to do is take an honest assesment of which side of the cultural divide you fall on, and that will tell you where you are likely to be more comfortable. That said, commuting from Pilsen to Loyola's Rogers Park campus is a non-starter under ANY scenario, so if your wife is going to be going there, you can strike Pilsen off the list because you do really need to be on the North Side.

Beyond that, if you want someting less frat-minded than Lincoln Park or Lakeview, there are parts of Edgewater and Uptown that could fit the bill nicely.

As far as the "safety" stuff, if safety is truly your primary concern, then you should probably be reconsidering your move to Chicago. Big cities are places to expand your options, not limit them, and if that is not the way you approach life, you will find little to like about Chicago. Sorry if that sounds abrubt, no disrepsect intended, that's just the way it is. Its not that "safety" is irrelevant here, but it can't be the primary focus of one's life if one is to thrive in an urban environment.
Thanks for the info on the neighborhoods, it helps to know about insider information from someone that has lived or lives in the area. Hence my question about safety in regards to apartment hunting. I would not like to be stuck in a bad part of town because I have no idea where those parts are, and I am quite sure you do not frequent dangerous areas of Chicago to expand your options on life in those areas you need to be an insider, someone who knows the city and cultural norms, I've lived in those areas in L.A., Las Vegas, Mexico City, and Tijuana. Safety would not discourage me from living in one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the U.S., but I certainly need to familiarize myself with my surroundings that unfortunatlly have to include issues of safety for me and my wife who have never even visited Chicago, this will help me thrive in the urban environment of the wonderful Windy City.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 25,018,446 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrownBuffalo View Post
Would Wriglyville be a good fit for two graduate students and would the commute be OK into Depaul Law School or Kent?...
Lake View would be fine yes.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:08 PM
 
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About 20 mins or so. From Belmont to Jackson for depaul on the red line. Addison is actually the closest station to Wrigley park but Belmont has the Purple line during rush hour(an express route that can be faster sometimes depending on where you are coming from and assuming they fixed the track issues by now). The area is also known as Lake view.


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Last edited by chirack; 11-29-2009 at 09:22 PM..
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