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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2005
    Posts
    155

    Default Tell me about Chicago- the good, the bad (moreso good, hopefully!)

    Wondering if you all can tell me about Chicago, as I possibly have a new opportunity there. I've visited there a number of times for previous jobs, but not explored it as a place to live until now.

    -What is the average price to rent in Chicago? A nice two bedroom, safe area, preferably in a fun, cool area.
    (and, what areas are those and what to avoid?)

    -What is the horse scene link? I have a retired warmblood who will come with me, and would need a safe home for him. He's currently enjoying lots of turnout in his retirement, but he's never seen a 'real winter'!

    -Compared to more 'southern' cities (think Atlanta and Dallas), is the cost of living going to be a sticker shock?

    Thanks all... not even sure where to begin with this, but may as well take advantage of the OT days!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2009
    Posts
    549

    Default

    No advice, but I live just outside the suburbs. Good horse scene! I love it here



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2007
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,466

    Default

    Well, here's the thing about Chicago. "Chicago" can mean a HUUUUUGE area. Are you talking DOWNTOWN Chicago or Suburban Chicago?

    The city of Chicago is, in my opinion, the most beautiful city in the US. It is unique, has deep historical roots, and is a delightful, eclectic place.

    Regardless of whether you end up in the city or the suburbs, you will have some sticker shock. COL is expensive, properties are expensive, taxes are high. But compared to other large cities like NYC, LA, etc....not so bad.

    I love Chicago. I moved away 2 years ago, but only because I was tired of being cold!
    "I enjoy this motorcade and will recommend it to my niece."


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2005
    Posts
    155

    Default

    The company is near Midwestern University. Ideally, I'd like a barn in that direction. But, I'd probably take the plunge and live in Chicago, for the culture and experience. At least for the first couple of years!

    I like living in the city, and am fine with a commute to a barn.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2007
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,466

    Default

    Ok so the Downer's Grove area?
    I lived in the NW suburbs, so I don't really know the DG area all that well. But what I DO know....is that the traffic from downtown to DG is a paaaaaain.

    "I enjoy this motorcade and will recommend it to my niece."



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    9,091

    Default

    Chicago is a city of neighborhoods.
    There are tons of formerly-ethnic-now-yuppified 'hoods:
    Ukie (Ukrainian) Village, Bucktown, Lincoln Square - the list goes on & on...

    I lived in Lakeview (also called New Town or Boystown) for over 30 years - literally a block from Wrigley Field.
    I owned a 2-flat and when I sold 8 years ago I was getting $1500 for the 2-3BR apt on the 2nd floor. That included heat, but tenants paid their own electric & cooking gas bills.

    Any of these neighborhoods will have great public transportation - Go CTA! - but also lots of places within walking distance. Shopping for food, clothes, restaurants, coffeeshops.....sigh, it is the only thing I miss about not living there anymore.

    What kind of neighborhood are you looking for?

    Caveat:
    Living in the city limits means at least a 1h commute to the (NW or SW) burbs where you can board a horse.
    I did that for nearly 10 years.
    Traffic could SUCK, but it was worth it to have my horses on pasture.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2011
    Posts
    237

    Default

    I lived in Oak Park about 15 years ago, so not sure if this is still true...but back then, living in Oak Park meant you could take the L to the city easily and missed a lot of traffic backup when you wanted to head west. (Being that you were already west of where 290 narrowed from 4 lanes to 3.) As I always took 290 out, I'm not sure if there are any traffic problems on I-88, which would be the logical link to Downer's Grove. Oak Park has a housing authority which can show you apartments and there's no cost to you--used them to find my dog-friendly apartment.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Sanger, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,809

    Default

    Lived there in the late 1980's for four years after living in lovely cities like Louisville and Nashville. My first impression was it was concrete city. Never changed much. Worked on the nw side in Mt Prospect and lived to the nw in Cary (north of Barrington).

    Cost of living was sticker shock--ended up buying instead of renting and ended up in the sticks as prices were lower. Rarely went into Chicago...long drive, bad
    neighborhoods. Did sign up for a community college horseback riding course held at a stable about 3 miles away and got hooked and bought first horse. Did mucho driving to work and to stable. Moved horse closer but still felt like I spent more time in my car than in my bed.

    Riding in the winter outside pretty much ceased for about 5 months of the year.
    Horses turnout got restricted in the spring to wait for pastures to get re-established so all had to peel our boys off the rafters before riding. Denver was such a nice change with lots of riding outdoors available in the winter.

    My experience was a long time ago. Don't remember a lot of boarding places more in town and what there was had no or very limited turnout.
    Julie
    www.centaurfencing.com
    Safer, Stronger, Lasts Longer!
    Godspeed BARBARO--Run fast and free!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2008
    Location
    gorgeos city
    Posts
    593

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OTTBs View Post
    I lived in Oak Park about 15 years ago, so not sure if this is still true...but back then, living in Oak Park meant you could take the L to the city easily and missed a lot of traffic backup when you wanted to head west. (Being that you were already west of where 290 narrowed from 4 lanes to 3.) As I always took 290 out, I'm not sure if there are any traffic problems on I-88, which would be the logical link to Downer's Grove. Oak Park has a housing authority which can show you apartments and there's no cost to you--used them to find my dog-friendly apartment.
    I visit Chicago several times a year and 290 is almost always a parking lot, at all hours of the day. It can be just as bad going east on 290 at rush hour, as going west, esp the section from 294 to Oak Park... which is counter intuitive, because you would think you would be going against the main traffic flow.
    I can't imagine living in Chicago proper, or even one of the close-in suburbs like Oak Park, and trying to get to a barn on a regular basis after work. I would lose my mind.

    That aside, Chicago is a true honest to god wonderful city. It has all the culture you could want and still be an honest hardworking down to earth mid-western American town. You can keep the big two on the opposite coasts as far as I'm concerned.
    ----//\\----
    ---//--\\---
    --//----\\--
    -//------\\-



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2005
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,651

    Default

    Lived in highland park for 2 years. Hated it! Took an hour to get out of the city to go for a drive in the country. Nice place to visit, but sure wouldn't want to live there. And the winters were brutal and seemed to last forever. I was sooooo relieved to get back to Va.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 21, 2008
    Location
    Somewhere in Texas YEEHAW!
    Posts
    850

    Default

    Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and Chicago proper. City traffic or any traffic on the major interstates is generally horrible. Avoid the southside as much as possible, live as far north as your budget allows. There is lots of fun stuff to do in the city but I personally love the things on the outskirts. The north suburbs have many parks and festivals, there is Great America, Milwaukee is a short drive as is the natural beauty and attractions of Wisconsin. Great if you like sports. I find the city itself rather cold, it's got a rather old feel to it but the history and architecture are pretty amazing. The weather is really the only reason I now live in Texas, the cold is just brutal and the drearyness of the winter months lasts long into spring. The city itself can be especially dreary at that time.

    If you live in the city itself, it's going to be VERY rough having a horse. You are looking at anywhere from an hour to 2 hours in evening traffic to get to a barn. The horse scene there is amazing, lots of beautiful stables, trails, and horse shows, but you will be paying for it heftily. Pasture is going to be hard to come by the closer you are to the city. The Barrington area is the biggest horsey area, they have a beautiful show facility that hosts many big shows, as well as a public facility with a cross country course and miles of public trails. Lots of trails around. There are 2 racetracks, and the world famous Tempel Lippizanner's are nearby.
    OTTB CONNECT
    FB group for all things related to non racing Thoroughbreds.. Click here to join ~~~> OTTB CONNECT



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    4,039

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeBreeze View Post
    . There are 2 racetracks, and the world famous Tempel Lippizanner's are nearby.
    I was based out of Chicago for nearly 15 years; Arlington Park was owned by the company I work for, it was traded in for a majority ownership stake of Churchill Downs Corp. We had rebuilt Arlington Park after it burned in 1985

    Winter are cold.... snow, flight delays, more flight delays, summer storms flight delays...



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2005
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    1,472

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Muffin View Post
    The company is near Midwestern University. Ideally, I'd like a barn in that direction. But, I'd probably take the plunge and live in Chicago, for the culture and experience. At least for the first couple of years!

    I like living in the city, and am fine with a commute to a barn.
    A Google search shows that Midwestern University is in Downers Grove. I grew up in Lisle (next to Downers Grove) and did not know that! You really do not want to live in downtown Chicago and commute! Traffic was horrible 20 years ago so I can only imagine what it would be like now.

    All of the barns where I rode growing up are now housing developments so I can't help you there but I can tell you where to find the best pizza in Downers Grove!
    Crayola Posse - Pine Green
    RIP Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 17, 2011
    Posts
    140

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy's Mom View Post
    A Google search shows that Midwestern University is in Downers Grove. I grew up in Lisle (next to Downers Grove) and did not know that! You really do not want to live in downtown Chicago and commute! Traffic was horrible 20 years ago so I can only imagine what it would be like now.

    All of the barns where I rode growing up are now housing developments so I can't help you there but I can tell you where to find the best pizza in Downers Grove!
    I also lived in Lisle for a bit of time and I second everyone suggesting the suburb areas. Even my short commute to work from Lisle to Burr Ridge could take 45 minutes. I personally can't stand traffic so I couldn't imagine going from DT Chicago to a farm.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2009
    Location
    College View
    Posts
    1,218

    Default

    Gosh, if you will be working in the Downers grove area... you can live in one of the nicest cities in the whole area... Naperville. Super great great scene for people of all ages. EVERYTHING to do. Easy quick train ride into the city when you want to go downtown. Good barns close. There is also the St Charles/Geneva/Wayne area. Same features, probably a wee bit better selections of barns really close. Both really picturesque river towns. Great schools, LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of viable dating possibilities.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2006
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    822

    Default

    Not much help, live in Central Illinois, but just a warning. Illinois is a joke, probably the worst run State, even worse than California. We have high taxes and probably will get even worse.

    If you have choices to move in different states, be sure to look at the difference in taxes. It may be wiser not to move to Illinois.
    Riding is NOT meant as an inside sport, GET out of that arena!!!


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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10,269

    Default

    Illinois is CATASTROPHICALLY expensive, Chicago most of all. So there's that.

    Chicago itself is not a bad city to visit. My cousin lives in Ukrainian Village (note that she and her husband are very well-paid computer people so they can afford to). It's sort of like a lot of the amenities you'd have in New York only feeling a little more cozy with a big lake right there. (That you can swim in!) NICE museums (especially the Field.) Relatively easy walking downtown and lots of train options.

    I don't know what the situation is like now for horses. My old trainer when I was in high school had worked out there, but the barn no longer exists and if it did she'd tell you to steer clear, but I'm sure there are still nice h/j barns.

    I do know some people who live in Indiana and commute by train, which lowers COL because Indiana's more affordable. But that would I assume depend on where you work. Trains in are much easier than driving--I always take the South Shore and just had my first experience driving the Expressways on my way to Wisconsin and . And I've had a lot of time driving in Boston and the DC Beltway!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2007
    Posts
    441

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeucesWild11 View Post
    No advice, but I live just outside the suburbs. Good horse scene! I love it here
    ^ Ditto. Awesome horse scene, great barns, lots of tack shops and feed stores, etc. However (at least out by me, far western 'burbs) the traffic and road construction is hellacious, as are taxes and gas prices.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2005
    Posts
    155

    Default

    Thanks all! You've given me things to think about.

    Who knows what will ultimately end up happening... The next three weeks will be interesting, to say the least! If it goes the Chicago route, I may reach out to a couple of you via PM with more questions.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 1999
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA USA
    Posts
    5,619

    Default

    First question if you're trying to decide on a neighborhood. This will make all the difference: Cubs or Sox?


    2 members found this post helpful.

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