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Help... Evanston-Deerfield-Northbrook-Glenview-ish - Page 2

post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that. It IS actually very helpful, but yeah--doesn't narrow things down!

I was trying to get the low-down on which hmn chapters are more active, too--so thanks for that, too.

post #22 of 25
Just my two cents- take it for what it's worth.....

I would avoid Plainfield. That is a suburb that is growing very fast.... too fast, in my opinion. There is not a lot of commercial growth to help carry the residential infrastructure costs, so homeowners are hit really hard with taxes. Their schools are constantly in flux and currently taking a beating with the economy.

I would also avoid Tinley Park. I lived there for a few years and have family there- I also taught in that school district for a year. It's a solidly blue-collar town, I would say. You can do better with the schools, and it can be a little spotty in terms of safety.

The north shore (Glenview, Wilmette, Northbrook, etc) is very nice but soooooooo expensive. Great if you could afford it.

You might want to consider the western suburbs / DuPage County. Honestly, everything about your post screamed "Naperville" to me. Great library and park district, quaint downtown, always so much going on, very family friendly, well-established and quality schools and neighborhoods, well-thought-out forest preserves and green space. Naperville has a fabulous children's museum right in town, as well as Naper Settlement, a pioneer-village-recreation-museum thing. More affordable than the north shore. Train into the city and near expressways.

Not very crunchy, although there are pockets. If you want more crunch, then maybe Oak Park or Evanston.

Orland Park is another option- one town over from Tinley. More strip-mall suburban, though, and even less crunchy than Naperville. I also agree with the PPs who say no to Rockford. Their schools (and Elgin's) are a mess.

It sounds like you're almost in information overload. There are dozens and dozens of suburbs, all with something slightly different to offer. I wonder if you're at the point where you almost need to just close your eyes and leap.


Good luck. I've lived in the area (all over Chicagoland, actually) for my whole life. PM me if you want.

ETA: I just caught that you homeschool. Sorry for all of the school references above. But still, I think the quality of the schools is closely connected to the quality of the community, so you may still find what I wrote valuable.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belia View Post
It sounds like you're almost in information overload. There are dozens and dozens of suburbs, all with something slightly different to offer. I wonder if you're at the point where you almost need to just close your eyes and leap.

Dead. On. I'm so over it. My family has dealt with so much upset, loss and difficulty over the last 14 months that top priority has been to find a place to stay (vs. renting) so we could move in (with our dogs) and just "be" and heal from the last year. It's hit my 6yo very hard and I'm not sure what moving from the only home he's ever known (and we all love and are attached to) and then moving again in a year or whatever will do to him.

I have a friend who lives in Naperville and she went from crunchy to EXTREMELY mainstream. Disturbing. And I don't know what areas of there to stick to or steer clear of, either.

Overwhelmed. I've actually handed it off to dh and figure that if there's pros and cons everywhere, we'll just deal with them where he lands us. Of course, I'm sure that "handing over" thing will last a week.
post #24 of 25
eh, there really aren't any neighborhoods in naperville to be afraid of, the entire suburb is fairly nice. Pretty much everything along 355 and 88 is just fine and safe, there are only a few areas in DuPage where I would opt not to live, and that's mostly due to the school systems. I am carefully looking at those towns again as a homeschooler, because we still need access to decent parks and city services, but the schools aren't so important.

Feel free to PM me for info, I'm also searching for a home to buy out here, we've been renting (fwiw, it's not difficult to rent with dogs, unless you have like 6 of them) for 3.5 yrs. I'm ready to buy, but dh's job is still in too much flux. The area is SO big (8 counties = Chicagoland) that renting is a fairly safe idea.

Heck, the place next door to me is for sale if you want a townhouse in a walkable neighborhood.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post
You're right. The thing is, once I decide what I really want, it looks like there's a million places to get it. And I can compromise--making it harder.

Ideally? Really active HMN chapter, 30 mins or less to Whole Foods, kick-ass library system (like a great collection, great kids stuff--maybe even activities like they have here, able to reserve online from within the system to pick up at local branch), SOMEthing cool for the kids REALLY close (like here we have a small nature museum for the kids on a "reservation" and they also run very low-cost but awesome classes for the kids and family events, etc.) and then access to the really great stuff that might be further away like the big museums, planetarium, etc. YMCA with well-rounded offerings ideal (I was stunned that Rockford's had so much more than Belvidere).

Homeschool activities (seriously--a weekly park/play gathering is enough for me) would be ideal.

Foreign language classes and music lessons would be nice, but not critical. We had an arts class here, too. But these are definitely things I would live without.

My husband has co-workers in Lakemoor, Tinley Park and Plainfield. Everyone, of course, is lobbying for their areas. It's really frustrating.
I live in McHenry County which offers much of what you are speaking of, although unfortunately the North Suburban Library System is coming to an end, which will effect all the libraries in the system. You will still be able to reserve online and pick up at different locations but the delivery service between libraries will be ending unless some new funding comes through.

Where I live, Whole Foods is about 45 min away, but we have lots of buying clubs/co-ops/CSA's in the area that eliminate the need to go there. We do have a Trader Joe's about 15 min from my town (Crystal Lake).

The Mchenry County Conservation District www.MCCDistrict.org offers close-by cheap/free nature programs and camps, and tons of trails and conservation areas. The Trail of History they put on in fall is really amazing. Most towns have a park district, and in CL the park district is well established with several awesome parks and a beach which hosts free concerts and movies in the summer. There is a YMCA here, which I know has a homeschool PE class, but I have not used it in years.

I think there is a HMN since I have heard of it, but I never joined and do not know if it's active. We have 2 HOUSE groups in the county, but I am more involved in the unschooling group. We are planning beach/park days for the summer, will be having a mom's book club and parent support meetings. There are lots of opportunities for homeschoolers, but we are more spread out here than you might be closer to the city.

Several of the towns out here are along the Metra line into the city, but we are a ways off the tollway. It's at least an hour to downtown....

I love it out here because we are still a Chicago suburb, yet we are bordering on farm country and there are still wide-open spaces. The interlibrary loan coming to an end is a huge bummer, but then again there are already people at work trying to change that.

Good luck on your search! You've had soooo much good info. in this thread!
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