queer unschooling single mama considering a move to Chicago... - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 7 Old 01-05-2012, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
Katie Kaput's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

hey, i grew up in chicago and find myself really missing my family, the weather, and the city itself. i'm a young single parent (who happens to be trans). my kids (ages 9.5 and 5.5) are homeschooled (we are eclectic homeschoolers with unschooly leanings). i'm wondering if anyone has advice for us about the advisability of such a move. we currently live in Portland, OR and enjoy the good public transit, quick access to natural areas and farms, walkable neighborhoods, and lots of families who don't find me too weird to consider letting the kids play together. ;)

 

we want to continue to have some/most of those things, as well as a yard (at least 6000 square feet, as we currently have 7000 and are big gardeners). any good neighborhood suggestions? anyone want to meet up if we make an exploratory trip? 

 

thanks! 

Katie Kaput is offline  
#2 of 7 Old 01-05-2012, 09:43 PM
 
kitchensqueen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Elk Grove Village, IL
Posts: 3,336
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)

Being from here, you know neighborhood options really vary based on your housing budget, and big yards are hard to come by. I'd recommend Rogers Park to you though. It's really diverse up here with a grass roots community feel. Totally walkable, decent transit (for the CTA anyhow) and lots of MDC mamas around up here. RP has also got a lot going on the way of community gardening and farmers markets and whatnot too. 


Apartment Farm - the chronicles of my cooking, gardening, crafting and other such things. 

 

kitchensqueen is offline  
#3 of 7 Old 01-11-2012, 04:55 AM
 
tracymom1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First, there are no farms in Chicago. Way, way out in the burbs you might encounter one... but it's probably not organic and owned by Monsanto.

Portland to Chicago is a HUGE change. I moved to Chicago from Oregon about 10 years ago (I grew up in Chicago and moved to Oregon when I was in my early 20s. I was in the Salem area and then up north by St. Helens). There is much less green space, the yards are much smaller and the traffic is exponentially worse. This city is much dirtier and grittier than Portland could ever be. I remembered Chicago fondly, but now totally regret moving back here. Anyways...

That being said, there is a great public transportation system and it is accessible from most neighborhoods. I would HIGHLY suggest coming out for a few days just to drive around and see what is out there. So much has changed!!! The more alternative/queer-friendly neighborhoods are Andersonville, Lakeview (specifically Boystown), and - more recently, Wicker Park. Lincoln Park and Roscoe Village are cool, but a house with a yard there can cost anywhere from $600,000 and up - usually much more than that. West Rogers Park is nice and has an awesome park called Indian Boundary. Evanston is good, too - it is a suburb but it borders the city to the north and has some great attributes - definitely worth looking into.

I am live in the city and know my way around very well so if you have any questions, I am happy to answer them!

hh2.gif Proud Mama to DS1 09/07 ribboncesarean.gif, DD 07/09 hbac.gif, and DS2 06/11 uc.jpg.  Feeling more and more blessed with each day!

 

 
 
 
  

tracymom1 is offline  
#4 of 7 Old 01-11-2012, 07:59 PM
 
kitchensqueen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Elk Grove Village, IL
Posts: 3,336
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tracymom1 View Post

First, there are no farms in Chicago. Way, way out in the burbs you might encounter one... but it's probably not organic and owned by Monsanto.

 

That's not true. We have City Farm in the West Loop/River North area, Growing Power has several farm sites within city limits, and there's the Farm in the Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo. And there are plenty of farms in the near suburbs that are accessible by public transit - my favorite is Midnight Sun Organics at Prairie Crossing in Grayslake (literally right across the street from a Metra stop) . Prairie Crossing Conservation Community also serves as an incubation site for Sandhill Organics and other small farm start ups. 

 

And there are a ton of small, organic family farms in the general Chicagoland area - too many for me to look up and list. We have a pretty robust farming community here for an urban area of our size; you just have to know where to look.


Apartment Farm - the chronicles of my cooking, gardening, crafting and other such things. 

 

kitchensqueen is offline  
#5 of 7 Old 01-12-2012, 01:19 PM
 
tracymom1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I guess we just have different views of what is meant by "farm" and "in the city". I would never consider the Farm in the Zoo at Lincoln Park an actual "farm" and Grayslake is nowhere near Chicago. There are a few small community groups like City Farm - but after living in the middle of rural farming communities, the two simply don't compare. Not that they aren't an important and vital part of the community - just not what I would consider a "farm" they are more like urban garden space.

hh2.gif Proud Mama to DS1 09/07 ribboncesarean.gif, DD 07/09 hbac.gif, and DS2 06/11 uc.jpg.  Feeling more and more blessed with each day!

 

 
 
 
  

tracymom1 is offline  
#6 of 7 Old 01-13-2012, 10:51 AM
 
mama_ness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

you will not find that kind of square footage in a yard. single family homes are hard to come by if you are renting so whatever yard you have will be shared with a neighbor. and neighborhoods with lots of SFHs with yards are also less accessible to the rest of the city via public transit. (i am thinking the nw side here, but also the far south side, like beverly.) 

 

if less than 6000 square feet is a deal breaker, you simply will not find that here. 

 

rogers park is a good neighborhood for transit and progressive vibe, but very little space per resident. community garden plots are very small. maybe 4x6 feet on average. i also like logan square. good transit, walkable, and bigger yards with lots of families moving in. also pretty good public transit, at least to downtown via train and the rest of the city via bus. logan square also has a food co-op and farmer's market to help make up for lack of gardening space.

 

what is your monthly budget for rent? a one bedroom in logan square or rogers park will cost about $900-1200/month. a two bedroom is more. both are very huge neighborhoods with some really nice, family-friendly areas and also dicey spots (active gangs) so you'll need to be careful when you choose your location. 

 

i unschool here and there is good support. 

mama_ness is offline  
#7 of 7 Old 02-15-2012, 10:16 PM
 
tittipeitto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I grew up in a european farm, so I must agree with tracymom, the community garden spots don't really count at all. I love chicago, and we have a huge (by chicago standards) back yard but now with kids I do feel phobic about the lack of green space, but thank you so much kitchensqueen for the link to midnight sun organics. We live by the metra, and will have to check them out to get some green and space for the brain.

If you Katie kaput still feel like you want to try chicago but want the space, try a suburb that has public transport to the city. Evanston and Oak park are expensive, but maybe another suburb could have a reasonably priced house with some kind of yard!

tittipeitto is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off