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Thread: Moving to Chicago

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    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Moving to Chicago

    I will be attending UIC in the fall for the MUPP program and thus need to find an apartment. I plan on going out next week to look and was wondering if the throbbing brain had any suggestions. I've looked on Craigslist but I'm sure that is only a small representation availiable units in the area. Do any of you suggest I use one of the apartment search firms? Or is it better that I do it independently? Any suggestions of neighborhoods? I wouldn't have a car so it would have to be close to the '"el" or the University. Any help is appreciated.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    You might want to call someone at UIC. I'm sure that they have to have some sort of advice. One problem, where would it be located? Recruiting? Conseling? Office of Campus Life???
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    I moved to Chicago five months ago, and I used housingmaps.com, aka the original Google Maps mash-up. It maps out all of the postings on craigslist...great stuff!

    The Apartment Hunters and Apartment Savvy are the two big apartment search firms here...but I think they tend toward more expensive rents.

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Regarding crime and quality of life, things have gotten a lot better. Crime is down a lot compared to what it was just 5 years ago. And a lot of neighborhoods surrounding the Loop have gentrified considerably. So what may have been a bad neighborhood 10 years ago may be a pretty decent area now. Much of the area around UIC I believe is pretty nice. And anything from the Loop northward is really nice. But yeah, be sure to be near an El station and close to shopping and dining. I don't have enough familiarity to suggest a specific building or neighborhood though. But try to find something within your price range that's as close to the school and the Loop as possible, and don't stray too far to the south and west.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    ...and don't stray too far to the south and west.
    And while we're at it, let's keep those negative perceptions going, shall we?

    I'm a UIC MUPP graduate and current South Side resident. There are many fine South and West Side neighborhoods that are, as illinoisplanner says, gentrifying quickly. And there are other solid, stable neighborhoods that are doing fine without gentrification.

    True, there's not much to offer grad students on the South and West Sides in terms of nice and affordable rental options, largely because there are more single family, middle-class and working-class (and yes, poor) neighborhoods there. And UIC's location just west of the Loop might prevent a carless person from living very far south or west, anyway.

    But I really resent the characterization that the South and West Sides are places to avoid.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Pete, he is just a product of his environment, a typical north side suburbanite. Cubs = good, Sox = Bad. All he does is repeat the crap he hears others say. Another thread he mentions he has never been to the Museum of Science and Industry, yet you have folks from around the world that go there. Heck even I've been to the Illinois Railway Museum that he lives next to, TWICE, yet he says he has never gone there either.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    Folks, we aren't going to head down this path. No one likes being pigeonholed or having words put in their mouths, and suggesting someone is a 'typical whatever' in a derogatory sense only leads to a needless elevation of conflict/provocation.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Craigslist is a start. Apartments.com or any of the apartment finder firms will be helpful (but many of those concentrate on the north and northwest sides).

    If you don't have to be in a bary area, then I would suggest looking into either the very west side of the Austion neighborhood (within 3 blocks of Austin Ave - the western limit of the City, or in south Oak Park. You will be able to get twice as much space for the same price in north neighborhood or directly around UIC, and still be near the Blue line that runs within the Eisenhower Expwy (I-290). Rents will be cheaper on the Chicago side of Austin versus the Oak Park side and if you are south of I-290 there are tons of services along Roosevelt Rd that are in easy walking distance. And this area is only a 15-20 minute L ride to UIC.

    I live in Oak Park and know the area intimately, so pm me if you consider the area and need further guidance.

    here are some links for the Austin/Oak Park area:
    http://www.oakparkapartments.com/
    http://www.apartmentsoakpark.org/
    http://www.mmpropmgt.com/oakPark.html
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    maybe jordanb is looking for a roommate, or knows someone who is.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Personally I would stay away from Austin. Stay on the Oak Park side of the street (west side of the street). My father taught gradeschool in Austin for over 20 years, and it is NOT safe. I do agree that there are MANY different pockets within a neighborhood on the south side, west side, and yes, the southeast side. There are some nice parts of Austin, Garfield Park, Lawndale. These are mostly some streets, NOT the entire neighborhood. You really have to dig pretty deep to find a nice cheaper unit in a quiet, safe area of the city.

    Most places do not advertise anything more than a "for rent" sign on the sidewalk. The ads you see on apartment.com or rent.com are usually by larger management companies that are going to jack the rent up.

    I recommend you hit the pavement. This might mean driving around the neighborhood till you find a rent sign (I am moving apartments right now in the west burbs, trying to find one within walking distance to work and yes, I am keeping my car). I found out that pounding the pavement is effective. Already I have put in calls to at least 5-6 units that are not advertised on the internet. However, I agree that UIC should have an office to help students find housing.

  11. #11
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Personally I would stay away from Austin.
    At the risk of going off-topic, I can't agree with you. If he looked in Austin between Central Ave. and Austin Ave. he's going to be relatively safe. Once one gets east of Central Ave. the neighborhood starts to get "worse".

    Plus, he is (presumably) a single guy in this mid-20s, I doubt he is likely to be targeted for violence. Also, I don't see why being on the east side of Austin Ave. (in Chicago) is any more dangerous than the west side of Austin Ave (in Oak Park). Criminals can easily go back and forth. There's no giant mediveal wall enclosing Oak Park and keeping it "safe".
    Last edited by mendelman; 02 Jul 2007 at 4:01 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  12. #12

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    I didn't realize that this thread could become so charged.

    Anyway, my brother is a current UIC grad student and lives in the Logan Square neighborhood on the Near Northwest Side. There are tons of rental options there, and a pretty large contingent of UIC students in the area. That's mostly because the Blue Line travels right through the neighborhood, linking it with the university (no more than 20-25 minutes away).

    I lived there briefly in the late '90s, and really enjoyed my experience there. Logan Boulevard is a link in Chicago's boulevard system, and it is beautiful. Talk about gentrifying -- it is changing rapidly as people who have been priced out of the Lincoln Park and Near North locations have pushed westward. However, there are still rental bargains to be found there.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Pete, he is just a product of his environment, a typical north side suburbanite. Cubs = good, Sox = Bad. All he does is repeat the crap he hears others say. Another thread he mentions he has never been to the Museum of Science and Industry, yet you have folks from around the world that go there. Heck even I've been to the Illinois Railway Museum that he lives next to, TWICE, yet he says he has never gone there either.
    Excuse me? Typical north side suburbanite? For your information, I have lived in the Chicago area my entire life and I am a Sox fan. Second of all, I'm only 20. Sorry, my parents didn't take me to every frickin' museum as a kid. The only kids that do go to all the museums are the suburban brats whose parents spoil them or the adults that acutally have time to waste at a museum, instead of paying the bills, taking care of sick relatives, and other things working class people like myself have to do.

    And I have been all over the city. I have seen the good parts, I have seen the bad parts. And more than anything, I hate people from other states or moving here from other states acting like they're true Chicagoans or know what the hell they're talking about regarding my town.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by pete-rock View post
    And while we're at it, let's keep those negative perceptions going, shall we?
    All I ever said was "don't stray too far to the south and west". Never once did I suggest a "negative perception". All I meant was that it's kind of not an appropriate area for a grad student to live in. Too far from the school, too far from the nightlife in the Loop and the north side, too far from the decent apartments. Believe me, there are plenty of good neigbhorhoods along the South shore, and west of the Loop. It just kinda gets beyond the realm of the "student areas", that's all.
    Last edited by illinoisplanner; 04 Jul 2007 at 12:03 AM.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Nightlife as a student

    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    too far from the nightlife in the Loop and the north side.
    Maybe this should be moved to a new thread. Do you really have enough time for nightlife while as a student? Maybe it's the "studio" part of me where I labored for days/weeks on projects, all around the clock, or maybe it was busy preparing presentations or writing papers in my non-studio courses.

    Personally, nightlife isn't THAT important to me because I am in school to learn as much as I can, graduate, and get a job. I think making friendships in school is important, and some of my good friends were in the same program. This helps build up your network. I just don't think that you should spend the time and money to go out on the town.

    I realize that not everyone shares these views. To some students, especially those who are just beginning their planning career as first year graduate students, it is exciting to absorb as much as you can both inside and outside the classroom, whether it be going to a concert, museum, art fair, etc. Sometimes, this is the first exposure to the culture of the city/town.

    Bottom line, night life or day trips can be fun, but please do them in moderation. Remember why you are really in school.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    Excuse me? Typical north side suburbanite?

    I hate people from other states or moving here from other states acting like they're true Chicagoans or know what the hell they're talking about regarding my town.
    Not worth the arguement.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  17. #17
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Not worth the arguement.
    OK, troll. Personally attack me and that's what you get.

  18. #18
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    DP & IP...take it to PMs next time. OK?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Off-topic:
    DP & IP...take it to PMs next time. OK?
    Moderator note:
    Hey, that's my line....but yeah, exactly what he said!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    The tussle above.....and the early-in-the-thread comments by pete-rock does bring an important set of thoughts and questions to the surface. These issues would certainly have some relevance to the title MOVING TO CHICAGO. But.....perhaps there is a thread already started that deals with these topics and is a better forum for discussion.

    Of course, I am talking about those "negative perceptions" that many folks get about big cities and older urban areas in smaller cities.

    A friend of mine grew up in south Chicago, loves the Sox and the Bulls.....but his family moved from Chicago to Dayton to Toledo. In May of this year he moved to southern California. He told many many great stories about life in south Chicago and you could "feel" his allegiance and love of the place. Also, I tend to have somewhat of an open mind about central cities, the urban experience.....so, based on what I hear and read I tend to "pooh-pooh" those negative perceptions.

    But.....I hear them all the time. So I am not surprised to hear folks from the dissed communities react quickly.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  21. #21
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Didn't mean to turn this into what it became. I've been looking largely at Logan Square as its on the Blue Line. Probably end up spending 700 something for a one bedroom. I'm going out next week so I'll see what I can find.

  22. #22
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    I've been looking largely at Logan Square as its on the Blue Line.
    Well, so is Austin/Oak Park, and they are even a straighter shot to UIC. You done have to go through the congestion of the Loop.

    But...you know...I'm just advocating.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  23. #23
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I must admit I am extra sensitive when it comes to that sort of stuff. I grew up in an area that would be seen by many a rough neighborhood, as did both my parents. I can recall sitting in a suburban catholic church one day that had just got a new pastor. He came from a parish on the south side of Chicago and during his homily he started to say how pleased he was to be at this new church. Why? Beacuse the south Side of Chicago was full of a bunch of Animals much like he expected his parish in suburban Detroit to be. Those in the congregation just laughed because they got the joke, he was among the priveldged in the suburbs. My father and I we got something too, we got our asses up out of the pew, and walked out, making sure that they all saw what pious hypocrites that they were.

    Even though that parish was only a couple of blocks from my parents 'new' (1920's) house they found another one and never went back until that pastor had moved on.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  24. #24
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    Thanks for the replies. Didn't mean to turn this into what it became. I've been looking largely at Logan Square as its on the Blue Line. Probably end up spending 700 something for a one bedroom. I'm going out next week so I'll see what I can find.
    Logan Square is good. Close enough to the Loop, but not too close. A generally affordable, pretty safe area, that's within reach of just about everything. Good call on locating close to a CTA line. It's definitely nice when you can live close enough to a public transit line to be able to use it all the time.

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    Ive walked west across the city of chicago all night before...i'd do it again. chicago is freakin' gorgeous right now, and i've never seen such pretty industrial areas.

    i enjoy the commercial district and music venues centered around milwaukee, north, and damen (blue line - damen) but i don't know how affordable it is. but theres a lot of other wonderful areas.
    Last edited by SuburbanNation; 06 Jul 2007 at 11:50 PM.

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