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Thread: I'm in Chicago. Long live chicago!

  1. #1
    Member simulcra's avatar
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    I'm in Chicago. Long live chicago!

    Well, I'm in my dorm and my computer's finally up, and I've actually managed to squeeze in some free time to return to these hallowed grounds.

    I took a taxi from Midway Airport over to the loop (my family and i stayed in a hotel there for two days before orientation) and that was a beeeeeeautiful skyline approach. From my minimal experience in the loop (and north of it), it totally rocks, especially since we didn't have to rent a car to get anyplace. Although, the first day there I went all along michigan ave (magnificient mile for the unitiated), and that was the first day in my life that i've walked ~5 hours in one day. (How tired I was.)

    The college itself and the surrounding neighborhood of Hyde Park is a dream. Much quieter and residential, of course, but still everything's walkable and the bus systems are clearly marked (and mapped!).

    I'm not terribly fond of the surrounding south side neighborhoods, and of course all our college orientation aides are telling us to stay out of washington park at night, but i suppose it's the city.

    So basically this is one huge culture shock. I don't see how I could ever return to suburbia after spending time in a city like this. (No! I never want to go back to the sunbelt!)

    Although, this weather is scaring the bejeezus out of me. I went from 90 degree weather to about 60 (40 at night). I'm starting to think my winter stuff is reeeally going to be inadequate. Atleast I'll see snow.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    These are the best days of your life, Solipsa. Enjoy them!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    DO NOT TAKE THE GREEN LINE AT NIGHT
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Re: I'm in Chicago. Long live chicago!

    Originally posted by Solipsa
    I don't see how I could ever return to suburbia after spending time in a city like this.
    I felt the same while I was in college and a few years after. When I went from the suburbs to a rural area for grad school, I fell in love with that. I would have a very difficult time living in any urban environment now. Still, a real city has far more appeal than the vinyl villages.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Originally posted by Chet
    These are the best days of your life, Solipsa. Enjoy them!
    Ditto!


    Interested in trading places with me?
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  6. #6
    (for now) Frozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Welcome to the rustbelt!

    Well, well, well, it looks as if the magnetic force of the midwest/Great Lakes has grabbed another cyburbian!!!

    Let me, hopefully, be the first Chicago cyburbanite to welcome you here.

    I assume you are attending the University of Chicago, if not then maybe the Chicago Theological Seminary. From your previous posts in the forums, I believe you are coming from Austin, Texas area, so you will definitely be in for a treat when Feburary comes around. But you need to know that winters here in Chi. are not as bad as winters in the northern Great Lakes. You should have attended Northern Michigan University :P.

    Anyways, Have fun with Hyde Park and make sure you explore as many neighborhoods as possible.

    Edit: Darn, I took too long!
    Last edited by mendelman; 23 Sep 2003 at 3:19 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Take it from one who just left the ivory towers--if you don't already have a digital camera, get one and take lots of photos--handy for remembering things you might not have otherwise! Seriously, it will all fly by unbelievably quickly--enjoy!
    I don't dream. I plan.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Re: I'm in Chicago. Long live chicago!

    Originally posted by Solipsa
    Although, this weather is scaring the bejeezus out of me. I went from 90 degree weather to about 60 (40 at night). I'm starting to think my winter stuff is reeeally going to be inadequate. Atleast I'll see snow.

    There is not enough laughter in store for what awaits you. Remember, we will be laughing AT YOU! and not with you!

    In about 3 months, when you pray to the gods that it warms up to 0 so it does not hurt to breath when outside that day. When you have three weeks straight of such weather. All of this knowing it can be more miserable in 4 months when the snow starts to fall for days at a crack in some years. You will look on the bright side though. You may be up to your ass in snow but it won't hurt to breath

    Then tell us it is a wonderful place. Ya got to kind of be a sadist or a masachist to live in these parts and really like it

    Old enough to hit the bars yet? I know some wonderful dark little pits

    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    This is one more excuse for a Cyburbia Invades Chicago! (TM) planning excursion. Maybe we can get some of the Illinois and Wisconsin planners together to tour some of Chicago's neighborhoods (and suburbs, too) one weekend.

  10. #10
    (for now) Frozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Originally posted by Cardinal
    This is one more excuse for a Cyburbia Invades Chicago! (TM) planning excursion. Maybe we can get some of the Illinois and Wisconsin planners together to tour some of Chicago's neighborhoods (and suburbs, too) one weekend.
    Sounds good to me!! I have been thinking about setting up something. I'll get back y'all about this.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Originally posted by mendelman
    Sounds good to me!! I have been thinking about setting up something. I'll get back y'all about this.
    Great!

    In the last half hour I found out that I will be making an unexpected business trip to Chicago next week. Anybody care to go out for a drink Friday night?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian masafer's avatar
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    Ah, Hyde Park, my old stomping grounds. Although the neighborhood gets a bum rap from a lot of the students, I had four of the best years of my life there. Most everything you'd need is available in the neighborhood, and if it isn't, it has great transit, even without the L. I do highly recommend you leave on occasion, because while Hyde Park is great, you have one of the great cities of the world at your doorstep. Go, explore. And stray away from the cliche michigan ave/river north area. There's lots great areas of the city that many U of C kids sadly know very little about.

    Have a pizza at the Florian for me! Mmmm.... Florian....

  13. #13
    Member steveanne's avatar
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    Welcome to "Chi-Town" or "The Windy City". Nobody from here actually calls it that though. It seems the locals enjoy "Second City" over the other nicknames. At least that is what I gathered in my unofficial poll of the the young guys who beat empty buckets in front of Marshall Fields, "The Yellow Man" who paints himself yellow and sits across from the Art Institute periodically, and "Mr. Blues" who was last seen playing Elvis on his guitar at the State Street Red Line stop.

    And, if you want to view the ugliest thing in the midwest, check out our rennovated NFL Stadium! The aliens have landed and have turned the once beautiful Soldier Field into their base of operations. I hear the scoreboard is in Klingon!

    Seriously though, I love Chicago. If you claim you are bored and there is nothing to do, then you are most likely lying or are actually living in Erie, PA and your friends have tricked you into believing you are in Chicago.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    First of all, take everything the UoC says about the surrounding neighborhoods with a grain of salt. The UoC has traditionally had a bad relationship with them and has been known to demonize them to students in the past. They are distressed and blighted and whatnot, but they're also moderatly safe and filled mostly with nice people, just don't advertise the fact that you're a UoC student, if asked in that area, you might even want to say DePaul or UIC or something (like I said, UoC has a very bad relationship with those neighborhoods!)

    The advise on Washington Park is probably sound, but if I were you I'd check it out myself and see if it exceeds my comfort level, don't just let the school tell you where to go and where not to go.

    Also, don't listen to suburbanites about the L. The CTA is one of the safest systems in the country (there has been one murder on the system in the past three years and that was a fight over a girl) and you will have nothing to fear if you follow sensible precautions: If traveling late at night, ride in ether the first car (next to the operator), or the car with the most people in it. If you feel scared at all in the station, go to to the main entrance where there are CTA customer service people or security guards. If there are any problems of any sort on the train, push the "emergency button" and describe the situation to the operator. If warranted, they can usually have a transit cop at the next station waiting for the train by the time it gets there. By far the most common crime on the system (besides vandalism) is theft, so be cautious about that, don't fall asleep on the train, carry your wallet in the front pocket of your pants, don't put valuable items in the back pocket of your backpack where you won't be able to feel if a pickpocket opens it, etc.

    And welcome to Chicago!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Originally posted by Cardinal
    Great!

    In the last half hour I found out that I will be making an unexpected business trip to Chicago next week. Anybody care to go out for a drink Friday night?
    You mean the third? I might be up for that.

  16. #16
    (for now) Frozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Originally posted by jordanb
    Also, don't listen to suburbanites about the L. ......most common crime on the system (besides vandalism) is theft, so be cautious about that, don't fall asleep on the train, carry your wallet in the front pocket of your pants, don't put valuable items in the back pocket of your backpack where you won't be able to feel if a pickpocket opens it, etc.

    And welcome to Chicago!
    Thanks for the advise, McGruff. ; )


    Edit: I'm up for the Oct. 3. I know nothing about good bars in Chicago, so let's brainstorm.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  17. #17
    Member simulcra's avatar
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    @jordanb
    Yes, I've heard of UofC's bad uh maneuvers. I was randomly surfing around for an urban studies program at the university, and I came upon on old artifact of a webpage that discussed UofC's (now nonexistent) urban studies program and the context within Hyde Park. Apparently, when neighborhoods started to decline, the university deliberately restricted african americans from moving in in order to halt blight? I can see why it'd be unpopular if that was their policy.

    So far, I've found the L quite enjoyable, although mainly the actual elevated parts. Mmm... the serene calmness while riding the brown line over the chicago river, seeing the reflection of skyscraper lights in the water...

    and yes, people have already commented on my chattering teeth and they tell me I won't know cold until waiting for the 55 bus at the red line stop... which is in a wind tunnel near an overpass, fully exposed in all directions to fierce wind chill. bah.

  18. #18

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    Originally posted by Cardinal
    This is one more excuse for a Cyburbia Invades Chicago! (TM) planning excursion. Maybe we can get some of the Illinois and Wisconsin planners together to tour some of Chicago's neighborhoods (and suburbs, too) one weekend.
    That would be great!!!! I'm game!!!

    jordanb is right on about UofC's relationship with the surrounding communities, particularly Woodlawn (to the south). However, Hyde Parkers are safe there, if you just stick to the rules of urban engagement.

    Hyde Park was where I lived when I first moved to Chicago some 16 years ago. It's a great neighborhood. And as far as the weather goes, solipsa, get your winter stuff now; our first frost will be here by mid-October at the latest, and it's all downhill from there. Last winter we had a stretch of some 50 consecutive days with temps under 32 (that's 0 in celsius-speak).

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    I was actually supposed to be in Chi town the weekend of October 12th for the marathon. Last minute change of plans though. Not going to be there.

  20. #20
    Originally posted by steveanne
    And, if you want to view the ugliest thing in the midwest, check out our rennovated NFL Stadium! The aliens have landed and have turned the once beautiful Soldier Field into their base of operations. I hear the scoreboard is in Klingon!
    I saw it this summer and said EXACTLY the same thing! It is an architectural travesty.

    Solipsa , enjoy Chicago, it truly is an experience. Ditto the idea of getting a good camera -- the time really does fly. Ditto the winter clothes -- sooner the better.

    OT to steveanne: Remember the ad regime "Gennies from Heaven?" and "I dream of Gennies"? I still chuckle...
    Je suis Charlie

  21. #21
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    You guys are cyclists, aren't you? There's a cycling bar called the "handlebar" at around North and Western that's fairly nice, and the people there are very into urban planning..

  22. #22
    (for now) Frozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Not "handlebar mustache" bar, I hope?

    Originally posted by jordanb
    You guys are cyclists, aren't you? There's a cycling bar called the "handlebar" at around North and Western that's fairly nice, and the people there are very into urban planning..
    Sounds good to me, as long as they don't play the ambient music too loud to talk over. I hate those kind of bars.


    It can be on the list of choices.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  23. #23
         
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    Great to see another U of C person on the board.

    I have to say the stuff above is really on target. I'd recommend "Urban Structure and Process" with Andy Abbot as a great way to learning about issues related to planing, Chicago, and the Chicago School of Sociology. That's the class that caused one of my urban planning professors to state multiple times, "That's the value of a U of C education."

    Re: the L, taking the Garfield/55 to the Red Line, no problem. Waiting in the middle of the expressway for the bus on the return trip is a bit dicier, especially at night. I've heard good things about the CTA's current service between Hyde Park and the Loop/North Side.

    I'm sure that you'll have a great time discovering many of the city's jewels.

  24. #24
    (for now) Frozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Originally posted by Maroon
    That's the class that caused one of my urban planning professors to state multiple times, "That's the value of a U of C education."
    Off-topic:

    (Careful, esotericism below)


    Oh Maroon, Please don't quote Campbell. He drooled everytime you mentioned your undergrad education!
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Re: Not "handlebar mustache" bar, I hope?

    Originally posted by mendelman
    Sounds good to me, as long as they don't play the ambient music too loud to talk over. I hate those kind of bars.


    It can be on the list of choices.
    No, no music, and they have a beer garden.

    As far as UoC goes, I hadn't heard about them trying to keep Hyde Park segregated, but I know they used to release dogs to roam the campus at night to keep neighborhood people away (Jane Jacobs mentioned that in Death and Life). They also were instrumental in getting the Kenwood branch of the L torn down. They had appearently even had a policy of discouraging students and faculty from riding the line in an effort to keep ridership as low as possible. I think they're still the only eligable school in Chicago that isn't in the U-Pass program.

    UoC has struck me for some time as a university that would rather be located in the middle of a big forest in New England rather than in a metropolis of three million people, so it does what it can to distance itself from the city.
    Last edited by jordanb; 23 Sep 2003 at 5:41 PM.

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