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Anyone from Chicago?

Earl Williams

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Looks like I'm going to be based out of ORD in the near future, and was hoping for some insight on housing from anyone in the "know".

It'll just be myself, and I would like to find a studio for $700 or less ($700 being my absolute max). Can one expect to find a studio/1-bedroom in that price range in a decent/safe neighborhood, or is that unrealistic? Also, I'd rather not have to sell my car, yet I also don't want it to be a liability (having to pay outrageous parking fees, potential for it being vandalized on the street, etc). Is it advisable to live (w/ a car) in the downtown area?

I've heard how convenient the EL train is, and want to live as close as possible to mass transportation. I believe the EL takes you directly to ORD, so that would be key. Does one have to live in the downtown area to be close to the EL, or can I possibly live in the suburbs and still take mass transit to ORD?

Sorry for all the questions...I'm just trying to get a feel for what to expect (and whether I need to consider selling my car as to not limit my opportunities). I'd ask for suggestions on neighborhoods, but I have a feeling that's too open-ended of a question!

Thanks for anyone's insights...I've never been to Chicago, but I hear it's a great town!
-Earl
 

SiuDude

Internet tough guy
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Earl Williams said:
Looks like I'm going to be based out of ORD in the near future, and was hoping for some insight on housing from anyone in the "know".

It'll just be myself, and I would like to find a studio for $700 or less ($700 being my absolute max). Can one expect to find a studio/1-bedroom in that price range in a decent/safe neighborhood, or is that unrealistic? Also, I'd rather not have to sell my car, yet I also don't want it to be a liability (having to pay outrageous parking fees, potential for it being vandalized on the street, etc). Is it advisable to live (w/ a car) in the downtown area?

I've heard how convenient the EL train is, and want to live as close as possible to mass transportation. I believe the EL takes you directly to ORD, so that would be key. Does one have to live in the downtown area to be close to the EL, or can I possibly live in the suburbs and still take mass transit to ORD?

Sorry for all the questions...I'm just trying to get a feel for what to expect (and whether I need to consider selling my car as to not limit my opportunities). I'd ask for suggestions on neighborhoods, but I have a feeling that's too open-ended of a question!

Thanks for anyone's insights...I've never been to Chicago, but I hear it's a great town!
-Earl
There's more to Chicago than the "downtown area." The train line that runs to the airport starts on the City's west side, goes downtown, and then traverses it's way through the northwest side before it gets to O'Hare. Your best bet is to find an apartment on the northwest side. "Downtown" rental rates start at $1200 or so. You should have no problem finding something within that price range on the northwest side. After living in the city for 10 years, I have never had anything happen to my car. However, if your place is close enough to the blue line, you will save time by taking the train because the employee lot is located on the northwest part of the airport (near Elk Grove Village). You can also find a place in a suburb, such as Des Plaines or Elk Grove Village. In that case, your drive to the employee lot can be as little as 5 minutes.
 

flydrummer

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I'm live in L.A. now but grew up in Chicago. If you want to keep your car you're better off living in the suburbs. There's a few to look at. Des Planes, Elk Grove Villiage, Mt. Prospect, Franklin Park to name a few. Actually really nice neighborhoods East of ORD are Park Ridge, Norridge, Harwood Heights. Plus from there I think you can take the park n ride (blue line) as well. I've been in L.A. for 6 years now so I don't know how rents are not but I think you can find something close to your price range.

Chicago is a great city! Make sure you get an Italian beef sandwich from Portillo's and a stuffed pizza from Giordano's. Make sure you go to the gym after eating that crap so you don't loose your medical..haha. Feel free to PM me with any questions.
 

Earl Williams

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Joined
Mar 17, 2002
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Great...thanks for the replies. That definitely gets me going in the right direction. I prefer to be a bit away from the downtown area anyhow, so something either in the suburbs or on the northwest side sounds appealing. I need to take a visit and just start exploring the areas.

...and I've heard ALL about that stuffed pizza! Gotta start stocking up on Rolaids!
 

SkyWestCRJPilot

Now a CAL FO
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Aug 20, 2002
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I live in Bucktown. It's a 5 minute walk to the blue line and 25-30 minute "L" ride from there. It's a 12 minute "L" ride to downtown. We have a car we park on the street. We rent a place and the owner is preparing a good studio below us for rent for $450-550. I think it's already rented though. Where we live it's safe but with lots to do. If you're single I'd live in the city somewhere. There are lots of places on the blue line: Logan Square (Logan Square and California stops), Bucktown (Western and Damen stops), Wicker Park (Damen and Division stops) with the first being a little cheaper than the other two which have more restaurants and nightlife. You can also live on the blue line closer to the airport near these stations: Jefferson Park, Irving Park, and Cumberland (a big crashpad area). But those areas are more residential and have fewer restaurants and nightlife. If you live downtown in the loop prices are generally higher and you'll be living in a highrise but downtown is nice too. Some crewmembers live along the lake front in the Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, and Wrigleyville. For those you'd need to take a bus west till you hit the blue line then take the train to the airport. It's a great city. Check out the Chicago Transit Authority here: http://www.transitchicago.com/
Check out the City of Chicago's website here:
http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/home.do
Here's a map of Chicago neigborhoods here:
http://www.dreamtown.com/services/chicago-neighborhood-map.htm
For apartments you can check out craigslist.com here:
http://chicago.craigslist.org/apa/
or you can use the Chicago reader for apartments which is how I found mine here: http://www.chicagoreader.com/spacefinder
I hope that helps.
 
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Chicago is great, but living downtown doesn't sound to hot to me.
 
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