My Dh, DS and I are possibly moving to Chicago soon. We've gotten some lovely advice from you all about neighborhoods (though if anyone has an opinion, feel free to chime in on that too). When faced with a big change, my personality tends to focus/ obsess over details. Sometimes they are important, sometimes not. So I have some questions about life in Chicago that I'd like to just get off my chest and hopefully stop chasing them around my brain (how's that for a mixed metaphor?).
1. Is a king sized bed a liability? We bedshare and were planning on getting a king bed before this whole move thing came up. However, now I'm wondering if that would make it hard to find an apartment that could accommodate such a thing. Would we be better off with a queen? (We have a full now and it is way too small.)
2. Can someone please explain all the heating options to me? Where I live you either have central heat or none at all. What's the difference between radiant, radiators, ect? Is one kind preferable to others?
3. Does anyone know if hanging out laundry is ok? I've heard in bigger cities it can still be against the rules in certain complexes. Is that generally true? We cloth diaper, so do a lot of laundry. And I hate using the dryer both for the cost, extra heat, and waste of energy.
Thank you all for taking time to answer all these details!
See, now these I can answer. I don't live in Chicago proper, but I know they allow chickens because I live in the 'burbs and the constant lament is that "they even allow chickens in Chicago" where there is INFINITELY LESS PROPERTY/LAND!!! This thread might help and give you more resources: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/304235/chicago-chicken-laws-ordinances but it's pretty much well known that they're legal in the city.
Raw milk in IL is like this: the law says you can buy it for personal use if you go to a farm and give them your container to put the milk in. Of course, there are a few coops that make you pay an annual fee (presumably for a container and the delivery) and then will delivery it to a drop-off point. But it's legal here. Not "I can buy it in a store" legal, but you can get at it legally. I don't know which coops deliver to the city, though.
1. It may reduce your options a little, but it can be done. It's really more a matter of how much floor space you personally require in your bedroom. Most places will accomodate a queen. Take a measuring tape with you when you look at apartments. take the time to really visualize the space.
2. With forced air heat, you will likely have your own meter and pay for it yourself. In a shared apartment with radiator heat, it is likely included or shared equally. Make sure you ask if utilities are included & estimated cost. Radiator heat is a little moister. I prefer it. On the downside, you need to teach your kids to not touch them.
3. Hanging laundry is not regulated via city ordinance. It could be a clause in your lease, though. Especially if you are renting in a condo building with strict community rules. Check with prospective landlords about restrictions. Diapers can be hung inside pretty easily if you can't hang outside.
4. Raw milk is really not legal. Yes, you can go to the farm and get milk. The nearest farm is 1 hour away in Elgin. That time estimate is on a really good traffic day and dependent on which part of Chi you live in. The coops are not following the law. Which is fine... until they get busted and your source is gone. It happened a couple of years ago. It will happen again. It's very unfortunate. It's also very expensive. Up to $10 per gallon. Eek. I really miss raw milk. We are currently drinking unhomogenized milk from Whole Foods (less than $7 per gallon).
5. Chickens are totally legal here. They can't be a nuisance (ie: most roosters) and you cannot slaughter them in your backyard. We have had chickens for 2 years. My advice: you are living in tight quarters here. Keep your coop clean and odor free. Do that and your neighbors will not bother you. If you bug your neighbors, they will bug your landlord and the chickens will get evicted. There are places that will process your birds if you choose to not keep them post laying years. There is also a place called belmont Feed & Seed where you can get chickens and chicken supplies. there is a google group for chicago chicken keepers. You will definitely want to ask prospective landlords about this. They are generally not super keen on chickens. Also, Chicago has rats. Plan your coop accordingly.
Chicago is a great city. Welcome!