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Old 05-05-2015, 09:19 PM
 
341 posts, read 323,501 times
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I currently live in a southwest suburb of Chicago, IL. I applied for a job in Charleston, Illinois. Who, what, were, when, why and how Charleston, Illinois please!
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 27,459,213 times
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Charleston is the county seat of Coles County, Illinois, population was 21,838, as of the 2010 census. It is home to Eastern Illinois University. It is near Mattoon and Paris Illinois. The largest town in the general area is terre Haute, Indiana

It is around 300 miles south of Chicago. There are 36 restaurants, 3 motels, 12 shops that include antiques, books, hookah and cigars, and massage. There is a golf course, drag strips, country club, three parks, one lake and an aquatic center. I found five grocer/food vendors that included Walmart, Dollar General and Huck's convenience/gas station.

There is no hospital. The nearest medical facilities are in Mattoon and Paris. No Trader Joe's, Costco, Lowe's, Kroger's, or Whole Foods. No Sears, but you might find it in Effingham, Robinson or Mattoon.

Bottom line: Do rent for a year with boots on the ground before you decide to buy a home.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 93,463,323 times
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Are you prepared for a complete change of lifestyle? If so, Charleston may be for you.

Yes it's a college town... one that hosts a third-rate state university that almost entirely lacks the eclectic student body and and thus the eclectic atmosphere of a place like Madison, Ann Arbor, or Champaign/Urbana. There are some cultural offerings at the university but they're not of the same caliber you'll find at major flagship universities. Shopping, dining, and nightlife opportunities are extremely limited. The vast majority of bars are geared toward getting broke students drunk as cheaply as possible. Dining leans heavily toward fast food and pizza. Outside the college-dominated areas (and even within much of it), the city has a look and feel like it has basically given up on vitality. Many if not most professors commute from Champaign/Urbana because they'd rather drive 125 miles round-trip to work than live in Charleston.

All that said, to say "there is no hospital" is deeply misleading; there is a major medical complex 2.5 miles outside of town. So no, you're not going to die if your appendix ruptures for lack of nearby medical facilities.
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:46 PM
 
568 posts, read 514,593 times
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Doesn't sound like it's changed in the 30 years since I've been there. Of course I didn't realize it was bad back then. To a 17 year old college freshman, a town where you can get into bars with your college ID was the epitome of culture.
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Old 05-08-2015, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 93,463,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeotheOrangeCat View Post
Doesn't sound like it's changed in the 30 years since I've been there. Of course I didn't realize it was bad back then. To a 17 year old college freshman, a town where you can get into bars with your college ID was the epitome of culture.
I was just there 5 months ago. They've made some significant capital improvements on the campus such as replacing Buzzard Hall with a brand new building and rebuilding Blair Hall after it burned to the ground save some exterior walls. The rest of the city hasn't changed a bit other than it's aged a bit more (not all that gracefully).

As for the poor underage students, they've been enforcing a 21 bar entry age pretty strictly for many years now.
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Old 11-15-2015, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Hellinois
5,196 posts, read 2,423,731 times
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I've been to Charleston long time ago, while visiting someone for a few days, and didn't like it there at all! It had an unsettling "Straw Dogs" vibe to it (long before that movie came out), and seemed devoid of culture, despite being a college town. When I saw the actual movie "Straw Dogs" some years later, the town in it reminded me of Charleston quite a bit. All in all, I came out unharmed, and so did my car, but my happiest moment there was getting on I-57 at the end.

Like Drover nicely pointed out, if you can get a job in Urbana-Champaign, do it. The town is heads and shoulders above Charleston.

Last edited by MillennialUrbanist; 11-15-2015 at 11:59 PM..
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:00 PM
 
29 posts, read 40,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
I've been to Charleston long time ago, while visiting someone for a few days, and didn't like it there at all! It had an unsettling "Straw Dogs" vibe to it (long before that movie came out), and seemed devoid of culture, despite being a college town. When I saw the actual movie "Straw Dogs" some years later, the town in it reminded me of Charleston quite a bit. All in all, I came out unharmed, and so did my car, but my happiest moment there was getting on I-57 at the end.

Like Drover nicely pointed out, if you can get a job in Urbana-Champaign, do it. The town is heads and shoulders above Charleston.
Yes, don't waste your time in Charleston. It's sucks! Move to Champaign-Urbana and commute.
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Hellinois
5,196 posts, read 2,423,731 times
Reputation: 7095
You can also live in Mattoon if you want something closer. It's older and more build-up, with better infrastructure and higher population. It's not as vibrant as Champaign-Urbana, but better than Charleston, and commuting would be a straight shot on a rural road. The train schedules are actually pretty decent for Amtrak, giving you convenient 4-hour access to Chicago.

It's been to Mattoon too. The downtown is OK. It looks somewhat urban, and there's a restored historic train station and a few decent restaurants. But overall, Mattoon still has a tried, neglected appearance, like a lot of American small towns. Some storefronts are dirty or boarded-up. One redeeming feature is that it lacks Charleston's "Straw Dogs" look and feel.

Last edited by MillennialUrbanist; 11-22-2015 at 10:31 AM..
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