Chicago Dopers Beware...VileOrb Cometh

I was in Chicago yesterday for a job interview. As I was leaving, I was informed that I could expect an offer in the next few days. The job is a big step up for me and I expect the offer will be one that I can’t refuse. So, in the next month or so I should be making the move.

My office will be in Niles, but I’m a city boy and will probably want to live downtown. Any thoughts? I was looking at lincoln park, but I think maybe that is a bit too expensive.

Woohoo VileOrb! Congrats on the impending job offer. No particular suggestions on what neighborhoods to check out - I’m sure others will post some good suggestions.

Cool!! It’ll be great to have another Doper here. Go to the Readers’ Spacefinder site and look around. It’s the best place for apartments in the city.
Email me for more specific info-I’ve lived in almost all the neighborhoods on the North Side and I also drive N out of the City to work.
Cheers, Mike
daytime email-

Congratulations, VileOrb. I guess I’ll be using your shower at the next ChiTown Dopefest.

Where exactly in Niles?

Renting or buying?

You definitely will want to be on the N, NW sides.
There are a lot of neighborhoods on the NW side, around Jefferson Park say, which will greatly reduce your commute time, but are still just a reasonable el ride into the city. Same with the N side around Uptown, Edgewater, etc. if you want to be closer to the lake. I suggest getting a map of the CTA el lines, and trying to get a place within walking distance of a station. It is really a cheap and easy alternative. You might even want to check out Evanston. Tho it is a suburb, it borders the city, has a nice downtown because of NU, and is a quick train ride into the city. By not living right downtown, you are able to enjoy it whenever you want, but don’t have to constantly put up with the hassles. JMO.

But if you want to be “where it is happening”, by all means, check out Bucktown, Ukranian Village, wherever seems to be hot right now. Or you could try to predict the next hot spot and be a pioneer. If you are renting, some of the best deals are in Boys Town, if that appeals/doesn’t matter to you. But again, I wouldn’t want that commute every day. Right now it seems like some of the most affordable hosing is being put up on the near W, SW sides. I personally don’t see the appeal ofthose neighborhoods. And I would not want to drive to and from Niles from there every day.

Don’t know your financial situation, but generally the closer you get to downtown, the more expensive it will be, and the more of a hassle having a car will be. And I believe you will need a car to get to and from Niles.

As I look at pricing, it looks like Evanston is going to be my best option. Hopefully I can live close to the el. I think that’s the purple line? I’m thinking I can pay up to $1000 a month rent, but would like to keep it closer to $700. This is preliminary to hearing the exact offer I might get, but I just spoke to the CEO and I think this is a reasonable guess.

The commute from Evanston, from what I understand, isn’t too bad at all (it is the purple line). Right now, you can also get some good deals in Rogers Park (just south of Evanston), but you have to be careful to find the right immediate area. Also, check out St. Ben’s and North Center. I personally am looking in Ravenswood - but I don’t know if I can find anything in my price range, which appears to be similar to yours. Good luck!

Evanston’s a really nice town. Just south over the border around Rogers Park also has nice areas. Over the years I have had lots of friends who lived in the area. Realize that there are very good and very shitty neighborhoods in that area, tho, and the distinctions might not all be readily apparent to a newcomer.

You can keep your rent really low if you stretch the distance from an el stop. Even moreso if you don’t mind living in a dump. I don’t know your particular situation.

If you want somewhere really nice and realy convenient, of course you should expect to pay.

And you won’t be commuting on the el. You’ll be driving back and forth on Oakton or Dempster. Which will be bullshit standard city traffic, but it is only 6 miles or so. Parking will be much better in tose areas than closer in. And it is a really short shot to the beaches, downtown, all kinds of bars in Wrigleyville on in. Going the other way, you can hop on 94 and get north in a hurry.

You also will have the benefit of, when you come into the city, driving south on LSD into the city, which has to be one of the most beautiful urban drives anywhere. Or you can head north and see the mansions along the North Shore.

Cool! Keep supplying details.

And I’m the perfect person to ask! I have lived in RogersPark/Evanston for the past twenty years and know almost every street (pizza delivery). I currently live two blocks south of Evanston on Ridge right across from a girls catholic HS :sigh: :wink: ( it was better when I lived next door while in HS myself)

I know the area really well and can tell you good loc. from addresses- in this area two blocks can make quite a difference. I’d be glad to help.

How about a dopefest welcome? I’ll know more in about a week about timing, but I think we could safely plan something for late February. Hmmmm… Maybe I should have a superbowl party. Thoughts?

Looks like there are tons of apartments available, this is odd to me, everywhere I have lived before it was a challenge just to find something open in my price range. Looks like I’ll have a lot to choose from in Evanston. Hopefully Mike can help me there.

Offer received and accepted. I’m giving two week notice here, and hope to move to Chicago Feb 1st.

Congratulations! One thing though: while I agree with the convenience of the El, it doesn’t run to Niles. The Blue Line will get you to Park Ridge or Rosemont, the Purple Line to Evanston, and the Skokie Swift (Yellow Line) to Skokie, but you’ll need to switch to a bus to get to Niles, and that will take forever. As for Purple Line service from Evanston to the entertainment destinations in Chicago, you’ll do fine as long as it’s running, but it has shorter hours than some of the other lines. I believe that after hours, there is some sort of shuttle from Evanston to the Howard stop of the Red Line, though.

Short hours for the purple line? That’s not good. The red line does go fairly close to my new office - that’s how I got there for my interview. But, not close enough to use it for a regular commute. Is there somewhere along the red line that might be a good place to live?

ooops, not the red line, the blue line. THe Harlem stop is a short drive from the new office.

As mentioned before, Boy’s Town in a great, clean, safe area that is close to the redline. If you are trying to get downtown and the blue line will suffice, I live in wicker park about 2 blocks from the Blue Line and I love it here, if you are into that hipster, boho, live music thing, its a great area. It’s very “crackhouses and condos” shiek, but reasonably safe and reasonably affordable (i pay $650 for a comfortable sized one bedroom with a HUGE finished attic I’ve converted into my office). Also hear great things about(and looked at some really nice apartments this summer in) Ukrainian Villiage.
I lived in Lincoln Park for 2 years and found it didn’t suit me, could be an age or class thing, but I just never felt like i fit in over there. Lots of good restraunts though.
thats my two cents.

How’s the loyola neighborhood? I see a lot of apartments available in that area.

I work at loyola from time to time (independent contractor) and all the kids complain about that area. I know nothing first hand, but they don’t seem to think its all that great. Could also be a bunch of spoiled rich kids who feel like not having a dishwasher means you are living in the ghetto, so I don’t know. It looks kinda like your run of the mill college slum to me, but I haven’t explored much beyound the periphery of the campus itself. My vote is still wicker park. This of course also depend on your recreation interests and age I suppose. but its full of blue line stops, good places to eat and the best bars for live music in town in very tight concentration. I live a little east of the whole Milwaukee/Damen/North madhouse but i’m close enough to walk there, and far away enough that I don’t get really bad ripped off for rent. and a short walk to the North Ave Bus and the Blue Line. I also live by the “Hollywood Grill” which is the best 24hour diner in chicago, IMHO.

I’m 35 years old, still single, and love blues with horns. Wicker Park sounds great except the commute to Niles. I was thinking that I could leave a cheap bike or even my car out there for the commute from the Harlem stop to the office, but I’m having second thoughts.

How do groceries work in Chicago? In Baltimore they have markets all over, like farmers markets but indoors and year round. Here in the Twin Cities it’s nothing but supermarkets except for a few farmers markets in the summer. It would be nice to have convenient access to groceries.

How far north on Harlem is your employer? There is a Harlem bus that goes as far north as Touhy. You could take the Blue line to Harlem, and transfer to the bus and go north. Depending on how far north you are, it might be a fairly short ride, and the blue line is one of the faster El lines. See

If you are farther north, their might be a Pace bus (as opposed to a CTA bus) which might get you closer. You also might want to check with your employer’s personnel office to see what other employees do.

Arg. there might be a Pace bus.

As for the food, no indoor farmer’s markets that I am aware of, but we do have the outdoor kind in the summer, and there is a chain called Whole Foods, which has decent produce. (and in response to Whole Foods, the produce departments of the regular supermarkets are significantly better than they were a few years back.)