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I'm in Chicago. Long live chicago!

simulcra

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
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.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
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34
These are the best days of your life, Solipsa. Enjoy them!
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
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34
Solipsa said:
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.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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13,929
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57
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!
 
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Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
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!
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
Solipsa said:
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 :)

:) :) :)
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
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.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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57
Cardinal said:
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.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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10,080
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34
mendelman said:
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?
 

masafer

Cyburbian
Messages
32
Points
2
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....
 

steveanne

Member
Messages
176
Points
7
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.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
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!
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
Cardinal said:
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.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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13,929
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57
jordanb said:
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.
 

simulcra

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
@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.
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,550
Points
24
Cardinal said:
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).
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
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.
 

Gedunker

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11,494
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41
steveanne said:
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...
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
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..
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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Not "handlebar mustache" bar, I hope?

jordanb said:
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.
 

Maroon

Cyburbian
Messages
45
Points
2
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.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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Maroon said:
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!
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
Re: Not "handlebar mustache" bar, I hope?

mendelman said:
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.
 
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steveanne

Member
Messages
176
Points
7
jordanb said:

Also, don't listen to suburbanites about the L.

I enjoy the L! I don't know if it is just because I feel as though I am supporting the city of Chicago's transportation system or because I am secretly hoping Rebecca DeMornay will board one night while I am on it.

Seriously, it's totally safe with crazy people as your entertainment.
 

Maroon

Cyburbian
Messages
45
Points
2
Whoa... U of C may have had its share of problems being a good neighbor (like practicing "negro removal"), but let's not make the case any worse than it is.

1. The Kenwood branch of the L was abandonned in 1957. According to this page , the primary reason was low ridership. I have no reason to doubt this, since the route was at 41st St., outside the purview of the University.
JordanB may be talking about the Jackson Park line, which formerly ran along 63rd St. along the southern edge of campus. While the University did support the demolition, so did the local residents who wanted to replace a desolate commercial strip with housing. I understand that part of Woodlawn is experiencing significant investment and construction, partially due to the removal of the L tracks. IMO, that line was doomed after the CTA declined to replace the bridge over the IC (now Metra) tracks that served the Stony Island station. The CTA should properly be taken to task for renovating the Green Line, then demolishing it (that section) a few years later.

2. Regarding U-Pass, the administration properly makes the point that it is available only if it is compulsary for all students. The University already subsidizes free CTA service within Hyde Park- they've decided that the benefits for most students outweigh the cost of U-Pass.

3. U of C considered moving to Aspen in the 1950s. Serious option or bargining ploy? Who knows. Would the administration prefer to be located on the North Side? Probably. Does the university play up the the cultural benefits of being in Chicago? Absolutely.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I'll be staying at the Hyatt on Wacker and Michigan. A bar in the downtown area would be easier for me, since I won't have a car. I used to know Chicago bars, but I'm sure most of them are gone now. The Red Lion, near Clark and Halsted, was a favorite authentic English pub. In the 80's I used to go dance at Eddie Rockets on Division. They had lasers and dry ice machines. It was the 80's.

I found this link to breweries.

http://www.abstractpublishing.com/nitelife/breweries-chicago.html

The Rock Bottom Brewery might not be a bad choice. http://www.beerandpoetry.com/beer/brewpub/PUB-111502-U75/RockBottomBreweryChicago.htm
 

Maroon

Cyburbian
Messages
45
Points
2
The Red Lion is still there, and still good.

If you're at the Hyatt, I might suggest Fado. I always enjoyed myself there.
 

steveanne

Member
Messages
176
Points
7
Not that I am totally fanboy or anything, but I think a rite of passage in becoming a local in Chicago is ordering for the first time at the Billy Goat Tavern. You should ask for their fries. They are great. (Muhahahahah)
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
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25
Heh, not having a car is a benefit, not a liability. The handlebar is four blocks from the Blue Line, and I'd actually advise not driving to it if we choose to go there, at least, don't let them see you driving to it.

Goose Island might work too.

By the way, Solipsa, if you want to come, I assume you're under 21 if you're a freshman? Most of these places won't even let you in (let alone serve alcohol) if you're under 21. That drove me nuts when I was younger. If you want we can try to find a place that will at least not kick you out.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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10,080
Points
34
Maroon said:
The Red Lion is still there, and still good.

If you're at the Hyatt, I might suggest Fado. I always enjoyed myself there.
Fado is sounding like a good suggestion. Can't go wrong with Guinness.
 

simulcra

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
well, i've basically heard that any decent nightlight doesn't exist if you're 21-, so don't go head over heels trying to find one that's 18+.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

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2,713
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24
Solipsa said:
well, i've basically heard that any decent nightlight doesn't exist if you're 21-, so don't go head over heels trying to find one that's 18+.
If you don't mind scary dressed in black types who like industrial music, you will find the once or twice a month night at the METRO (across from wrigley field) VERY amusing and interesting. 21+ can get beer drinks and those 18-just under 21 get sodas and a good show.

As far as I am concearned, there is only 1 place in town where the entertainment is better. Halloween is a great night here :)

In fact, if your game:

**Tuesday, 21 October: The Annual NOCTURNA All Hallow's Eve Ball! The Halloween season starts NOW! With fanciful performances, the infamous costume contest (gret prizes!), many give-aways, and more! At Metro; 18+; 10p.m. - 4a.m. $10.00 More info to be posted closer to the date.
There is a very special give-away this night for the new Bruderschaft c.d., "Forever". This c.d. release party will also be a FUNDRAISING EVENT where we will be asking our patrons to make their own individual contributions to the Bruderschaft cause by taking up donations throughout the night & AGP will be donating a portion of the night's proceeds to local cancer charity, the Leukemia Research Foundation (see: http://www.leukemia-research.org) Please view the Bruderschaft site for more info on this musical project that involves members of VNV, APB, Covenant, Icon of Coil & more! http://www.run.to/razorburn
ALSO! Promo & give-away for new c.d.s by FEKTION FEKLER and FINAL SELECTION (www.final-selection.de)
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
I bet it must suck not to be able to legally drink when you're 18.... But then again you people at least enforce alcohol laws and such... Go find me a pub or disco here that DOESN'T sell booze to kids (I say kids because I've seen 12 year old girls drunk, comming out from discos and such)

I hope you're having a great time in Chicago Solipsa :)
 

Duke Of Dystopia

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2,713
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24
Solipsa said:
well, i've basically heard that any decent nightlight doesn't exist if you're 21-, so don't go head over heels trying to find one that's 18+.
Somebody also mentioned the Red Lion Pub. They have book readings on Monday nights (Twilight Readings at the Red Lion).
You might be able to eat and sit in on the book readings.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
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3,232
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25
Solipsa said:
well, i've basically heard that any decent nightlight doesn't exist if you're 21-, so don't go head over heels trying to find one that's 18+.
That's basically true, you'll not have a chance getting into any nightclubs and about 90% of bars. However, in this instance, since we're going as a group, some places will cut a bit of slack, and we can find a place you can get into if you want to come (although it appears this group is leaning more towards a Bob's Big Barn of Beer location #341 than a local bar).

Actually I know a place on Taylor street that's fairly nice. The guy behind the counter owns the place so I'm sure he'll have no trouble with you being there. The handlebar seemed like a fairly laid back place so they may not have a problem with you there ether, but they're borderline so I'd call first. I know a nice place in River North called Pippins, but I'm almost positive they're 21+. There's also a place on Broadway (red line) in Edgewater that I know will let you in called Moody's. I know because I went there when I was under 21 as part of a birthday party and they didn't make an issue.

Anyhow, if you want to come, say so, and we'll make arrangements. I think it'll be a good thing because it'll steer these guys to a more authentic place.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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Cardinal said:
Fado, 10/2, 7pm. Under 21 can get it since it is a restaurant as well.
So is it 10/2 or 10/3 at 7pm at Fado?
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,550
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24
Sorry, I'll have to take a rain check, what with the honeymoon and all.

Have fun in da Chi!
 

simulcra

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
that's a friday, right?

i may join, depending on how the first week of classes go. i'll provide a less vague answer sometime next week.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
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3,232
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25
If you do decide to go, make sure that you call and find out if you can get in. I've been under twenty-one in this city, these guys haven't. I know what you're up against. Serving food is no indication that they'll let you in.
 

mendelman

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Cardinal said:
We're still on for Fado, 7PM?
Still on!

I'll be at the front door at 7pm! Hopefully? I have a 30 mile commute on I-90, so the travel time can vary.

See everyone there!
 

steveanne

Member
Messages
176
Points
7
I am unable to attend. Pseudo-family obligation. I wouldn't have much to contribute anyway, seeing as I am just a planner wannabe. I would just interject with my extensive knowledge of the "Sad Clown" sub-culture and how "sad clowns" actually cause sprawl. Why, oh why, did all those once-happy clowns go sad?
 

mendelman

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steveanne said:
I would just interject with my extensive knowledge of the "Sad Clown" sub-culture and how "sad clowns" actually cause sprawl. Why, oh why, did all those once-happy clowns go sad?
What is this "Sad Clown" thing of which you speak?
 
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