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4 years ago
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Moving to Chicago, what is the best neighborhood?

I am moving to Chicago from Springfield for work (and play). I have not spent much time in Chicago other than going downtown for different events. What neighborhoods should I think about moving to? Is there a "best" neighborhood? I have heard that Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville are cool... are they worth the possibly higher rent? Are there other areas that are lesser known but just as fun? Thx...
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3 years ago
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Hey Stan. Chicago is a great place to live. Your answer is ridiculously jaded and off topic. The overtly racist and classist tone may lend readers to believe Chicago is filled with people like you. I want to clear that up.

Chicago is a major metropolitan city. It is expensive - in parts - and rough - in parts - not unlike LA, NY, SF, Tokyo, London, etcetera. Though unlike some of those other world class cities listed, Chicago provides amazing opportunities for experiencing a multitude of cultural and art events AT NO CHARGE to its residents. Yes the exchange is we all pay slightly more in taxes(+4%), but it helps to make Chicago world class.

I'm aware this was asked nine months ago but for those googling the same question I will answer. Like most of the other constructive responses to the question of 'best' neighborhood - I agree that it is up for debate based on what you like.

Personally as a 28 year old male living with his girlfriend - full time school and work - I must say that Wicker Park/Bucktown has been amazing for the months we have lived here. The most amazing mix of old world Chicago families, hipsters, students, and young starter families as well.

Amazing nightlife, shopping, food, and downtown is five minutes by train if you need an expensive night out or world class shopping or to attend one of the many events.

Many neighborhoods in Chicago are distinctly segregated by class and/or race it seems from my exploring the city. Wicker Park, Bucktown, Ukranian Village, Logan Square, and more and more Pilsen seem to all eschew these lines. Though I'm not a hipster...they do seem to be the best barometer for a neighborhoods ability to meld cultures and often they are the first to venture outside established 'nice' areas.

In closing if you share Stan's closed minded view that government should really do nothing except buy bombs and impose our will on sovereign foreign nations, while you buy milwaukees best tax free...Stan's right move to Texas.
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2 years ago
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What was racist about what Stan said? Why do you think Texas has such a great economy right now compared to the rest of the country, especially California and Illinois? It is because their government does not get in the way of business. You seem to think that it is great to pay more tax in order experience art and culture events for "free". I am someone who has no interest in art or culture events so if I was to move to Chicago it would not be fair to make me pay for a luxury item that I would never use. Chicago is a great city but it is not because of their government.
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15 hours ago
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axing, public housing, popo. You don't see any racist overtones here?
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2 years ago
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What was racist about what Stan said? Why do you think Texas has such a great economy right now compared to the rest of the country, especially California and Illinois? It is because their government does not get in the way of business. You seem to think that it is great to pay more tax in order experience art and culture events for "free". I am someone who has no interest in art or culture events so if I was to move to Chicago it would not be fair to make me pay for a luxury item that I would never use. Chicago is a great city but it is not because of their government.
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1 year ago
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Ho is what Stan said racist or classist? Seriously. He's just asking a simple question about neighborhoods.
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15 hours ago
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Hi Jason. Thanks for the info. Do you recommend any family-safe northside neighborhoods that run in the $200-300k range for a 3 bed, 2 bath house?
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4 years ago
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bring your money for the Mayor King! He will tax your everything! Drink and work and everything will be fine as long as you don't ask questions. If you are going on public housing and applying for a link card there is a future here for you. Otherwise the taxes are staggering. Not to mention private school for the kiddies or they will be axing you too many questions about the PoPo (police). It is going Detroit here! Zombies would be an improvement as far as you can see "them" coming at you. The liberal utopia here is failing like California and folding like a Kmart lawn chair, so soon you will be paying for the bloated city and county government! Welcome Comrade! Move to Texas while you still can! Idaho, maybe Hawaii the cost of living here is the same as Hawaii but the weather sucks and the traffic is bad.
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3 years ago
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Hey Stan. Chicago is a great place to live. Your answer is ridiculously jaded and off topic. The overtly racist and classist tone may lend readers to believe Chicago is filled with people like you. I want to clear that up.

Chicago is a major metropolitan city. It is expensive - in parts - and rough - in parts - not unlike LA, NY, SF, Tokyo, London, etcetera. Though unlike some of those other world class cities listed, Chicago provides amazing opportunities for experiencing a multitude of cultural and art events AT NO CHARGE to its residents. Yes the exchange is we all pay slightly more in taxes(+4%), but it helps to make Chicago world class.

I'm aware this was asked nine months ago but for those googling the same question I will answer. Like most of the other constructive responses to the question of 'best' neighborhood - I agree that it is up for debate based on what you like.

Personally as a 28 year old male living with his girlfriend - full time school and work - I must say that Wicker Park/Bucktown has been amazing for the months we have lived here. The most amazing mix of old world Chicago families, hipsters, students, and young starter families as well.

Amazing nightlife, shopping, food, and downtown is five minutes by train if you need an expensive night out or world class shopping or to attend one of the many events.

Many neighborhoods in Chicago are distinctly segregated by class and/or race it seems from my exploring the city. Wicker Park, Bucktown, Ukranian Village, Logan Square, and more and more Pilsen seem to all eschew these lines. Though I'm not a hipster...they do seem to be the best barometer for a neighborhoods ability to meld cultures and often they are the first to venture outside established 'nice' areas.

In closing if you share Stan's closed minded view that government should really do nothing except buy bombs and impose our will on sovereign foreign nations, while you buy milwaukees best tax free...Stan's right move to Texas.
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3 years ago
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I agree mr. man, and we are moving out of chicago because it is time to take that step, and become parents and I cannot fathom the amount it would cost to send a child to private school, just so that he or she is safe. And the taxes yes out of control and don't taxes pay for public schools so kids, can be safe. Everyone here thinks that California is sooo much more expensive than Chicago. Maybe that is because of the do not ask question rule, that so many people have become apathatic to. Idaho can be great place to live for the outdoor lifestyle I have lived there before and it is second to california, for the big move to get out of Chicago. I lived here 10 years and love a lot about Chicago. I just can't deal with the tax increases and crappy landlords, anymore.
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3 years ago
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I realize this is an older thread and the OP may have already moved. But I'll put in my two cents for the sake of anyone looking for a "real" answer to the question.

Of course what constitutes "best" is in the eye of the beholder BUT (& I say this having lived in over half a dozen major US cities) in the Windy City it pays to follow the schools (the best public schools that is) - whether or not you have kids and whether or not you plan to utilize public schools (over private), the best communities to see & be seen in the city & in the burbs have the best schools. To name a neighborhood as the "Best" in Chicago is to be a rookie who knows nothing, I mean nada, about the city. Every neighborhood has it's good & bad sides. The school boundaries will help you determine what's what. School areas to look for:

City:
North side - Blaine, Bell, Audubon, Burley, Lincoln, Stockton, & Rogers elementary
South side - Ray/Murray (Hyde Park) and Sutherland (Beverly)
For the city's edge look to Lincolnwood (sub) & Edison Park (neigh.).

Suburbs:
Oak Park/River Forest, Evanston/Skokie/Winnetka/Wilmette, La Grange, Downers Grove, Glencoe/Highland Park (if you can afford it), Northbrook, Hinsdale, and Naperville. Orland Park is not the most exciting place, but it's got a great school district & decent shopping if you have to look at the south suburbs.

There are other areas that are good (w good schools) depending on what you're after, but these areas have the most to offer the widest variety of people while still being relatively safe & interesting.

Again, be sure to look at the micro-communities/school data/crime stats for any given part of any given neighborhood. They vary drastically from block to block.

Good luck & Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world despite the current woes (Chicagoans would do well to keep in mind that every city is in angst right now).
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3 years ago
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I forgot to mention Pritzker (great school) in Wicker Park (desirability of actually living in this neighborhood is dwindling though still a fun place to hang out in numbers).
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4 years ago
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Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Wrigleyville. Live in the city. The suburbs are not as fun :)
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4 years ago
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It really depends on your style. If you are a frat boy type, Lakeview is great. If you are a little more grown up, Andersonville and Lincoln Square are great. I really have never understood the appeal of Wicker/bucktown: no trees, away from the lake, lots of traffic.
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4 years ago
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no area is good in Chicago everything is over priced hope u r rich!!!
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2 years ago
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Hey Cherise, Indiana is just south of here, so probably a better choice for you. Doug, Chicago has been my home my whole life. I've lived both north and south. It's a wonderful place to live if you like multi-cultural experiences, fun, art, music, walking/biking, all 4 seasons and great people. I see that you're a Cubs fan, so Lakeview seems like a good choice to keep you close to your Cubs. I personally prefer the south side, since I'm a fan of Chicago's real team. Welcome to Chicago! lol
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4 years ago
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There are many wonderful neighborhoods in Chicago--it is a city of neighborhoods. It depends on what you are looking for. My home is for sale in the Beverly neighborhood--4 bedrooms. It is perfect for families--I raised my two children here--with excellent housing stock that is really affordable. Excellent school choices, and you can walk to the Metra train to get downtown in 25 minutes. Neighbors are very nice, social, and helpful. We refer to ourselves as the village in the City. Search the area--zip code is 60643.
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3 years ago
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I think the best neighborhood in Chicago is Rogers Park on the far north side. There's plenty to do, nice bars, a thriving art and theater scene, a world class university, the most progressive alderman, affordable real estate, and the prettiest, least crowded beaches in the city are right at your doorstep. There's a great movie theater, great restaurants, and a great neighborhood feel. Also, Evanston and Lincolnwood are a ten minute drive if you want to get out of the city for an evening.
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4 years ago
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I wouldn't say there is a best neighborhood in Chicago. I'm a big fan of Lincoln Park. I'd also throw out Logan Square and Wicker Park. It really depends on what you are looking for and what type of scene you are into. Neighborhoods in Chicago have vastly different "feels" to them, so it really depends on if you are looking for upscale shopping, restaurants and bars, parks and water, or a more trendy or hipster vibe.
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4 years ago
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Wicker Park/Bucktown and Logan Square and great, I agree. River West and River North are also sweet. Check into the ChicagoReader.com for listings. They have a map with zip codes that really helps. There is a great rental company out of WP/BTown too but I can't remember the name right now, sorry.
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3 years ago
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I am biased toward the Lakeview/North Center neighborhoods on the near north side of Chicago. There are great transportation options, incredible food choices from neighborhood bars to fast food to high end restaurants. The area is very walkable with pretty much anything you can possibly need within a 15 minute walk. The western part of this area has more affordable condos and single family homes with less congestion. The eastern part of the area is much more densely populated and there is less parking and more traffic (especially on Cubs game days). I have lived in/near the area for 19 years now and we have chosen to raise our two children here as well because of the short commute times, the good schools in the area and the easy access to the best museums in the midwest and maybe the country.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write or call.

Eric Marcus
ESM Realty
Your Real Friend in Chicago Real Estate
773-244-1110
esmarcus@sbcglobal.net
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4 years ago
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I would say Galewood, which is close to Oak Park. It's very affordable and peaceful and since it's next to Oak Park there is much to do, as well. I see you are a Cubs fan, and if you want lots of entertainment around, Wrigleyville is the answer, and yes, it's worth the higher rent.
Maria Rios
American International
Let me know if there is anything else I can help with. m_lourdesrios@yahoo.com
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4 years ago
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It does depend on what kind of scene you're into. Dreamtown.com has a great little guide to the neighborhoods of Chicago. I'd recommend looking for a sublet first, so if you do decide you like another neighborhood best, you're not committed to a lease for a year.

http://www.dreamtown.com/neighborhoods/chicago-neighborhoods.html
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3 years ago
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South Loop area. It is close to all public transportation and it's quiet! A nice way to get away from the busy life of work and the social scene.
Looking to Rent
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3 years ago
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I lived on the north side of chicago for 10+ years. I personally think it is expensive to live (not to mention ridiculously hard to park) in Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville. Try a bit north like andersonville or some pockets of rogers park. These areas are a bit less expensive and only 10-15 min from the hot spots. PS if you like sushi try Shiroi Hana on Clark - it's yummy! Good Luck!
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1 year ago
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Hi Cassandra. I would like some more information regarding your property on Jessica Lane in Supply, NC. I sold my home & verrrryyy shortly need a home. please email me at rextr@ec.rr.com

Thanx,
Rex
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4 years ago
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Come on over Misery loves company is the new Chicago Slogan. The cubs are a great place to get ripped and watch your team loose drinking 7 dollar crappy beer. What else can you say about this place? The water is good! Really best in the world, But I am thinking I will sacrifice my Chicago water for a town
I can afford. Unless you got a government job here, Then you start making the big bucks straight away. I just love socialism it is so fair! Well other than that there is 160,000,000 square feet of vacant industrial commercial space here so get that job in writing if you haven't already. Make out a will if you move to Logan Square so there is a document for your wishes. Lake view,Lincoln square and Roscoe village are the best areas for all around living to answer your question.
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3 years ago
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I've found that Streeterville / Gold Coast is still one of the best neighborhoods in the city. Many people love to talk about Bucktown, Logan Sq, etc. but nothing beats being steps away from Michigan Ave, with tons of bars close by at Rush and Division and on top of that the commute to work in the Loop is very reasonable.
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3 years ago
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The South Loop is an up & coming neighborhood with convenience to downtown, safe, quiet, family/pet friendly. We have lived here for a year & love it.
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3 years ago
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thanks for your help on tips. i have a house in the suburbs and i just bore of it and want to live the city!!We are a family of 3 with a 10yrs boy. I wish somebody can advice me where is the best place to rent a apartment around 1,500 budget. My husband works in the suburbs(palatine) and we need to be walking distance to ogilvie metra station to save time for him or if you can recomend a convinience neighboorhood close to madison. on the other hand, im wondering about schools ranking.. how to choose one? of course we all want the best 4 our kids, besides that, is there school buses to pick kids to schools? how can i find out which streets they get pick out? Im worry about the winter times.. so, i love being close to the lake and have my own gym at.. if you know any apartments with heat and aircond included, plus amenities will be awesome!!i need to work also partime job waitress, any tips are welcome... also, need to know if it easy to move in the public transportation since i wont have a car.... im moving for summer from Mexico city to there, so is dificult to check on neigboorhoods and stuff and my husband is busy working!!! THANKS A LOT FOR YOUR HELP!!!
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3 years ago
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Move to the Gold Coast, Old Town, or Lincoln Park if you want the best neighborhood. As for tax discussion started below, I think Stan was talking about some of the things listed in the link below.

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/publius-forum/2011/03/former-state-senator-quits-illinois-moves-to-texas.html
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3 years ago
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wicker park is the best. Still affordable and is very trendy..
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2 years ago
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So, this is a popular topic for newbies. Read my blog.

http://findmyapartmentchicago.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/how-to-look-for-an-apartment/

http://findmyapartmentchicago.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/bacon-more-important-than-neighborhood/
Real Estate Professional
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1 year ago
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River North! It is in the center of EVERYTHING and on the east side of the river (the good side). Its a $10-15 cab to everywhere important in the city whether you go N,S,E,W. Condos have great amenities and you are next to the hottest places in the city.
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1 year ago
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Anything lakefront from the Loop north, and midcity, most anything bordered by the Dan Ryan east, Harlem west, and Irving Park Rd south. Wicker Park and Bucktown are exceptions to that rule.
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1 year ago
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I've lived here five years and have covered the city as a visiting nurse. The suburbs ARE boring, but I live in one with a top school. Another great area I didn't mention was Rogers Park/Clark Ave north, and Evanston.
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7 months ago
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Here's a quick couple of articles that offer some advice if you're new to Chicago:

http://allchicago.info/apartment-search-tools/
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