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#1 of 41 Old 09-14-2008, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, after 6 years in Maine. The hubby and I are toying with the idea of moving back to Chicago, at this point I just want to get a handle on what things cost nowadays. I just did an online search of the Reader and must admit rents seem higher than what I expected and after 4 years of home ownership here in Maine the idea of paying more than our mortgage for substantially less space is scary. However we are 1100 miles from close family and professionally we are stalling out here in Maine, so for our financial future we may need to seriously consider coming back.

All that said, we last lived in Andersonville back in 2002 and paid $1200 a month at the time for a 3 bedroom apartment. I wouldn't mind going back to either Andersonville or Edgewater, but I also used to live in Wicker Park and Bucktown so those are 2 other areas that I would feel cool with.

Can anyone tell me what rent prices are going for these days in any of those areas. Also since I would most likely be going back to work ft rather than freelancing what are daycare/preschool prices averaging these days.

I can't even beleive I am considering this but while Maine is a lovely place it seems with each passing year we are getting broker and with us officially at middle age and my eldest child 2 years away from college, we need to make a change financially.

Any helpful tips/hints would be appreciated. Thanks.

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#2 of 41 Old 09-14-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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For cheaper rents you might consider looking at west of Wicker Park and Andersonville/Ravenswood to Humbolt Park (admittedly still skectchy), Logan Square, Albany Park, Jefferson Park. You can't get cheap rent in Wicker or East Village or Ukranian Village any long as it's hipster center. Going north to Roger's Park is a viable option too. It seems to me the housing units are larger and still pretty competitively priced.

It's a buyers market again, so that might be worth investigating. Something we've done to help with rent was to buy a 2 flat and live in one unit and rent out the other. Currently we rent out a 2 1/2 bedroom, with free laundry, AC for $1200 plus utilities. The space is 1100 square feet. Another thing you could do it get a condo, which potentially could be the same cost as some rents for the same space.

ETA: Logan Square feels like Wicker 10 -12 years ago.
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#3 of 41 Old 09-14-2008, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like Logan Square has come up, I lived in Wicker Park back in 93-95 and at that time Logan Square was pretty rough. I actually grew up in Rogers Park (25+ years ago) and I know before we left town it had some pretty sketchy pockets especially the closer you got to Howard St. Is Rogers Park less sketchy these days?

Sucks to hear that Ukranian Village and East Village have also gentrified, those used to be 2 great funky and down right cheap areas. I basically don't want to spend more than $1500-1700 a month but we would need 3 bedrooms, also I would want heat included.

Unless I can find some reasonable areas to live in, I might be stuck in the land of lobsters and lighthouses for a tad longer. : I think I am just seriously missing city life right now.

Thanks for the input.

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#4 of 41 Old 09-15-2008, 02:03 AM
 
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Sounds like Logan Square has come up, I lived in Wicker Park back in 93-95 and at that time Logan Square was pretty rough. I actually grew up in Rogers Park (25+ years ago) and I know before we left town it had some pretty sketchy pockets especially the closer you got to Howard St. Is Rogers Park less sketchy these days?

Sucks to hear that Ukranian Village and East Village have also gentrified, those used to be 2 great funky and down right cheap areas. I basically don't want to spend more than $1500-1700 a month but we would need 3 bedrooms, also I would want heat included.

Unless I can find some reasonable areas to live in, I might be stuck in the land of lobsters and lighthouses for a tad longer. : I think I am just seriously missing city life right now.

Thanks for the input.
You definitely will be able to find what you want in that price range. DH and I are looking at two bedrooms and three bedrooms for less than 1400$. To get a better idea of the neighborhoods in their current form, check out www.dreamtown.com They have loads of information on all of the city neighborhoods.

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#5 of 41 Old 09-15-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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You might want to check out East Pilsen/UIC/Tri-Taylor. You can still get "decent" rent prices over there and there is a ton more stuff to do now. There's even a Whole Foods!

Also wanted to add that the only places you are going to find heat included are on the north side of the city. I've never seen heat included in the mid to south areas.
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#6 of 41 Old 09-15-2008, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A Whole Foods? I know the IC area pretty well, at least I did since when I was in HS I had friends who went to Ignatius. Definitely will consider that area as well, though looking at the additional costs of living compared to Maine is making me have second thoughts. Our income will go up but with the costs of preschool and then school all extra money earned will end up in schooling costs. I think I need to come home for a visit soon before I make a decision, its been 4 years.

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#7 of 41 Old 09-15-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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A Whole Foods? I know the IC area pretty well, at least I did since when I was in HS I had friends who went to Ignatius. Definitely will consider that area as well, though looking at the additional costs of living compared to Maine is making me have second thoughts. Our income will go up but with the costs of preschool and then school all extra money earned will end up in schooling costs. I think I need to come home for a visit soon before I make a decision, its been 4 years.
The south loop, U of I, and even bridgeport are good options and the whole foods, target, and other big box retailers have been opening up over the last few years. South loop is new architecture while Bridgeport is still classic chicago architecture with new town houses thrown in. Maxwell street open market has just moved for a second time because of gentrification and lack of space and many of the housing projects are being/have been disbanned.

No doubt that the cost of childcare, preschool, food, utilities will gooble up much disposable income. I go to mdc's frugal living board for tips and no matter how resourceful and frugal I am, I can't compete.

I agree come for a visit first to check thing out. You could set up a block of time with the apartmentpeople and they will drive you around the city to visit apartments and tell you more about the neighborhoods.

While the cost of living is high, Chicago is a FABULOUS place to live and raise a family! We love it!
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#8 of 41 Old 09-15-2008, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Unless Bridgeport has changed there is no way I would ever live there. I am from Chicago, lived there for the first 29 years of my life and as Black woman, Bridgeport along with Cicero and Mt Greenwood are areas that at least back in the day were not to safe for people of color. I do know Cicero had started to change but again as a native Chicagoan some areas still leave me feeling uneasy.

I know the neighborhoods, I grew up in Rogers Park until HS when my folks moved to the Beverly area, so I know Chicago well as far as the north and south sides. I have never lived further west than Bucktown and Wicker Park.

I know its a great place for family, my eldest who is almost 17 spent his formative years in Chicago. Its so great I want to leave Maine which is cool in its own way. That said moving back will be a huge shift, right now we are self employed and do ok but again dh turned 40 this year and I am not far behind him and freelancing while nice is not getting any money saved for retirement plus I have an almost 17 yo and 3 yo.

For us we have a network in Chicago so it would be easy to tap into that professionally but its going to mean getting back on the roller coaster we got off of 6 years ago to live more simply. Right now I am 10 mins from the ocean and 15 mins from farmland, its like the best of both worlds, 2 hours from Boston and 4.5-5 hours from NYC but its just not Chicago.

I appreciate all the tips since my Dad and brother aren't the most helpful and neither area they live in has a huge appeal to me, my Dad's in Lakeview and my brother's in Hyde Park.

Shay

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#9 of 41 Old 09-15-2008, 11:40 PM
 
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I grew up in Maine and have lived in Chicago for close to 10 years with 12 years between leaving Maine and landing in Chicago. My mom and sister still live in Maine and I go back every year.

Anyway, childcare can definitely be more expensive in Chicago, however you have many more options than in Maine.

As for housing, pp are right. It is a buyers market in Chicago and if you are interested in condo living you can find a lot of spacious condos on the far northside (Rogers Park, Uptown, and Edgewater). If you are looking to rent, Albany Park is a hidden gem with large and relatievly cheap apts. There was a previous post that talked a lot about AP and apparently many MDC women live in AP (myself included). Admittedly, condos are small in AP, so I would look elsewhere.

Chicago is great. Maine is great. Whenever my family visits they all wish they lived here. I wish they would move here since I will never move back to Maine although I do love to vacation there
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#10 of 41 Old 09-16-2008, 09:00 AM
 
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Unless Bridgeport has changed there is no way I would ever live there. I am from Chicago, lived there for the first 29 years of my life and as Black woman, Bridgeport along with Cicero and Mt Greenwood are areas that at least back in the day were not to safe for people of color. I do know Cicero had started to change but again as a native Chicagoan some areas still leave me feeling uneasy.


Shay
I think Bridgeport is starting to gentrify... I have a girlfriend that bought and remodeled a bungalo there a few years ago and I will check in with her about about this.

I love the diversity in Chicago but the racism issues are real and a huge downer.

Being near the ocean sounds heavenly.
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#11 of 41 Old 09-16-2008, 11:36 AM
 
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Unless Bridgeport has changed there is no way I would ever live there. I am from Chicago, lived there for the first 29 years of my life and as Black woman, Bridgeport along with Cicero and Mt Greenwood are areas that at least back in the day were not to safe for people of color. I do know Cicero had started to change but again as a native Chicagoan some areas still leave me feeling uneasy.

I know the neighborhoods, I grew up in Rogers Park until HS when my folks moved to the Beverly area, so I know Chicago well as far as the north and south sides. I have never lived further west than Bucktown and Wicker Park.

I know its a great place for family, my eldest who is almost 17 spent his formative years in Chicago. Its so great I want to leave Maine which is cool in its own way. That said moving back will be a huge shift, right now we are self employed and do ok but again dh turned 40 this year and I am not far behind him and freelancing while nice is not getting any money saved for retirement plus I have an almost 17 yo and 3 yo.

For us we have a network in Chicago so it would be easy to tap into that professionally but its going to mean getting back on the roller coaster we got off of 6 years ago to live more simply. Right now I am 10 mins from the ocean and 15 mins from farmland, its like the best of both worlds, 2 hours from Boston and 4.5-5 hours from NYC but its just not Chicago.

I appreciate all the tips since my Dad and brother aren't the most helpful and neither area they live in has a huge appeal to me, my Dad's in Lakeview and my brother's in Hyde Park.

Shay
I am also black and my husband is white (of polish ancestry), so we have a bi-racial. I will have to agree with you that while a lot of places in the city we have looked at (in our price range) are diverse, there are definitely ethnic enclaves and my husband and I have had hard feeling as though we would be accepted in those areas. So it looks like back towards the 'burbs we go

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#12 of 41 Old 09-16-2008, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am also black and my husband is white (of polish ancestry), so we have a bi-racial. I will have to agree with you that while a lot of places in the city we have looked at (in our price range) are diverse, there are definitely ethnic enclaves and my husband and I have had hard feeling as though we would be accepted in those areas. So it looks like back towards the 'burbs we go
Yep, that's always been the struggle in Chicago. I am married interracially as well which is why I have always gravitated to the northside lakefront communities as they are the most diverse but over the past 2 decades the average Joe has been priced out. Even the most diverse suburbs like Evanston (my dh is a Northwestern alum, so he likes Evanston) and Oak Park are pretty pricey.

I am not surprised to hear that Bridgeport may be starting to gentrify but that neighborhood definitely has a less than stellar past when it comes to race relationships. Its one of the few areas in Chicago I have ever encountred blantant racism, so admittedly that covers my opinions.

Shay

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#13 of 41 Old 09-16-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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hey ladies - id like to jump on this thread and ask what neighborhoods you might recommend for us? we will be renters too, at first, we have a newborn and a large dog.

we would like to spend between 3 and 4 g's a month - which will be less than we spend here in LA. we'd like a single family dwelling but not married to it. we love good food, bookstores, and pretty streets. we're spoiled here because we live in the mountains very near the ocean, so we've got lots of nature and activity at our fingertips.

thanks much.
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#14 of 41 Old 09-16-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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hey ladies - id like to jump on this thread and ask what neighborhoods you might recommend for us? we will be renters too, at first, we have a newborn and a large dog.

we would like to spend between 3 and 4 g's a month - which will be less than we spend here in LA. we'd like a single family dwelling but not married to it. we love good food, bookstores, and pretty streets. we're spoiled here because we live in the mountains very near the ocean, so we've got lots of nature and activity at our fingertips.

thanks much.
I metioned this link in an earlier post, but you might want to check out www.dreamtown.com It has tons and tons of information about the city's neighborhoods and it will also give you information about real estate as well. As for seeing what you might be able to get in your price range, I would just check out craigslist...a lot of people post on there so it should be able to give you a good idea.

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#15 of 41 Old 09-16-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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Yep, that's always been the struggle in Chicago. I am married interracially as well which is why I have always gravitated to the northside lakefront communities as they are the most diverse but over the past 2 decades the average Joe has been priced out. Even the most diverse suburbs like Evanston (my dh is a Northwestern alum, so he likes Evanston) and Oak Park are pretty pricey.

I am not surprised to hear that Bridgeport may be starting to gentrify but that neighborhood definitely has a less than stellar past when it comes to race relationships. Its one of the few areas in Chicago I have ever encountred blantant racism, so admittedly that covers my opinions.

Shay
I figured your husband had to be of another race if you moved to Maine My uncle went to Bowdoin and we visited during Xmas...way too : for me!!! Anywho, I'm glad it wasn't just our imagination. Everyone always talks about how diverse it is, but there's still a lot of segregation out here.

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#16 of 41 Old 09-16-2008, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I figured your husband had to be of another race if you moved to Maine My uncle went to Bowdoin and we visited during Xmas...way too : for me!!! Anywho, I'm glad it wasn't just our imagination. Everyone always talks about how diverse it is, but there's still a lot of segregation out here.
Actually it was because of my family that we are in Maine (way too long to get into online-my dh is a Northern Cali boy). Oddly enough Maine is not colder than Chicago, I am on the coast so it keeps things pretty mild compared to the hawk in Chicago. What is bad here is the snow, my goodness its frickin snows like crazy and you occasionally have snow in April :. We moved here in March so I figured winter would be winding down, like mid April we got smacked with snow... I was going crazy.

Chicago is diverse up until a point, its still a heavily segrated place outside of parts of the northside and certain suburbs. My grandma spent 40 years right outside of Beverly (87th + Ashland) and I knew kids over there who rarely saw white folks and I am not that old. Even down in Beverly proper where there were a ton of white families, they pretty much kept to their area. You would go to the mall up there Evergreen Plaza and it was not at all reflective of actually lived near there. Back in the mid to late 80's a Black girl with punk rock leaning tendencies on the southside was a strange sight, I was the only kid in the hood rocking doc martens hanging down on Belmont St.

@Hollycat, for 3-4G's a month unless you need like 5-6 bedrooms you shouldn't have a problem finding a good area to live in. Anywhere on the Northside like Roscoe Village (more kid friendly) Lakeview, Andersonville could work for you. As for dogs, folks on the northside tend to be into dogs.

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#17 of 41 Old 09-16-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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Sounds like Logan Square has come up, I lived in Wicker Park back in 93-95 and at that time Logan Square was pretty rough. I actually grew up in Rogers Park (25+ years ago) and I know before we left town it had some pretty sketchy pockets especially the closer you got to Howard St. Is Rogers Park less sketchy these days?

Sucks to hear that Ukranian Village and East Village have also gentrified, those used to be 2 great funky and down right cheap areas. I basically don't want to spend more than $1500-1700 a month but we would need 3 bedrooms, also I would want heat included.

Unless I can find some reasonable areas to live in, I might be stuck in the land of lobsters and lighthouses for a tad longer. : I think I am just seriously missing city life right now.

Thanks for the input.
Hi - I lived in West Roger's Park from 98 until '05 - we moved to Peterson Park because West Roger's Park was deteriorating. However it is very diverse (IMO). I'm finding that Roger's Park and WRP are in the decline.

Rivka, mommy to 3 big boys and a set of b/g twins
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#18 of 41 Old 09-16-2008, 09:20 PM
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hey ladies - id like to jump on this thread and ask what neighborhoods you might recommend for us? we will be renters too, at first, we have a newborn and a large dog.

we would like to spend between 3 and 4 g's a month - which will be less than we spend here in LA. we'd like a single family dwelling but not married to it. we love good food, bookstores, and pretty streets. we're spoiled here because we live in the mountains very near the ocean, so we've got lots of nature and activity at our fingertips.

thanks much.
I think the best place to get a sense of what's available for renters is the Chicago Reader.
Check out some different neighborhoods, see what they have to offer. In that price range, you should be able to live almost anywhere in the city (Chicago rents and home prices are definitely cheaper than most cities in CA).

Personally, I love being near the lake (I"m in Lakeview), because it's one of the best natural assets the city has to offer, and I love the proximity to all the parks, the zoo, the Nature Museum, good public transit, express buses downtown, etc. Lakeview is also super family-friendly - I'm in the Boystown section of Lakeview (so named because it's Chicago's gay neighborhood) but these days there are probably more young families and kids under the age of 5 than gay couples (not saying that's a good thing, just that it's become a very family-friendly place, and I've met tons of other parents and kids DD's age at the many playgrounds). It's also very walkable, lots of great bookshops and thrift stores and fun restaurants. And there are TONS of dogs here. I like it better than Lincoln Park to the south - a bit more affordable and still has a bit more (not a lot) of a funky edge to it. Not quite as many yuppie college students either.
It is hard to find a single-family home in this neighborhood though - even for buying, it's mostly condos unless you spend big $$, and I doubt there are many, or any, single-family homes for rent.
You can get more for your money - and probably can find a single-family home - in Roscoe Village, though you're farther from the lake. Also a great neighborhood, though. I also really like Andersonville. Farther north, and not quite so close to the lake, but lots of fun, funky shops and restaurants and a very livable neighborhood.

Bucktown and Wicker Park are also great, fun neighborhoods, but they were way too far from the lake for me. Worth exploring, though.

Good luck!
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#19 of 41 Old 09-17-2008, 02:07 AM
 
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Hi - I lived in West Roger's Park from 98 until '05 - we moved to Peterson Park because West Roger's Park was deteriorating. However it is very diverse (IMO). I'm finding that Roger's Park and WRP are in the decline.
I keep wondering when Rogers Park is going to get better. It has SO MUCH potential.

Is WRP really going down? I used to live there. I remember one of the people in my building saying she got mugged in the entrance way to the apt. building with a knife. (Thank goodness that was all that happened.) Crime-wise it wasn't great, but it seems crime is rising everywhere. Some beautiful homes in that area!

ETA: Rivka, did you by chance ever attend a drop-in playgroup at a Jewish center on Touhy (I think)? I met a Rivka there long ago, and at that time she had one son. It was probably about 5 or 6 years ago.

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#20 of 41 Old 09-17-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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Well, Rivka is a pretty common name . but yes, I used to go there regularly - however I've always gone with at least 2 boys- hmm, could be that I only had one baby with me. Today my kids are 12 1/2, almost 10, 7, and I have 3 yr old twins - a boy and a girl.


IMO, WRP has continually gone downhill - people have been attacked on the streets -groups of kids are going up to Jewish kids and beating them up - a friend couldn't get out of her car one night because a man on drugs came up to her driver's window and started searching her car and wouldn't let her out. She called 911 and they did NOT come. OTOH, I'm not hearing this all of the time, but still. We moved because our next door neighbors were dealing drugs out of the house and we repeated called the police and they wouldn't do anything. I just found out in June that their house was finally raided in May - police came and broke down the door and everyone was arrested - but then they got back out and went right back to it..

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#21 of 41 Old 09-17-2008, 11:22 AM
 
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Actually it was because of my family that we are in Maine (way too long to get into online-my dh is a Northern Cali boy). Oddly enough Maine is not colder than Chicago, I am on the coast so it keeps things pretty mild compared to the hawk in Chicago. What is bad here is the snow, my goodness its frickin snows like crazy and you occasionally have snow in April :. We moved here in March so I figured winter would be winding down, like mid April we got smacked with snow... I was going crazy.
Sheesh, there I go with my own stereotypes I guess not only white people live in Maine haha. And if Chicago is as cold as Maine....then I'm going to have to temporarily separate from my husband and move to NOLA with my parents for the winter!

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#22 of 41 Old 09-17-2008, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I keep wondering when Rogers Park is going to get better. It has SO MUCH potential.

Is WRP really going down? I used to live there. I remember one of the people in my building saying she got mugged in the entrance way to the apt. building with a knife. (Thank goodness that was all that happened.) Crime-wise it wasn't great, but it seems crime is rising everywhere. Some beautiful homes in that area!

ETA: Rivka, did you by chance ever attend a drop-in playgroup at a Jewish center on Touhy (I think)? I met a Rivka there long ago, and at that time she had one son. It was probably about 5 or 6 years ago.
I am so sad to hear that RP and WRP have both gone down hill. My parents and I moved to RP back in 80-81, I was the only kid of color in my class for several years. We moved there when I was in 2nd grade, back then the area was heavily jewish, my grade school best pal had actually just arrived from Russia. Yet by the time I was in 8th grade the area had changed and my folks moved to the southside by the time I graduated from HS. Though when I graduated from HS and left home my folks went to WRP, the last place they lived was right near California & Devon. (I loved that area)

You are right there are some gorgeous home in the area, both RP and WRP. One of the things I loved was just how large the apartments were compared to other areas. I loved the funky vibe of Wicker Park and Bucktown but many of the places were not nearly as spacious as further north.

However by the time I left Chicago in 2002, I had stopped even going up to the Heartland Cafe because of crime. Parking and walking was downright scary and after I knew a few folks who had gotten mugged, I just didn't want to chance it.

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Originally Posted by tikva18 View Post
Well, Rivka is a pretty common name . but yes, I used to go there regularly - however I've always gone with at least 2 boys- hmm, could be that I only had one baby with me. Today my kids are 12 1/2, almost 10, 7, and I have 3 yr old twins - a boy and a girl.


IMO, WRP has continually gone downhill - people have been attacked on the streets -groups of kids are going up to Jewish kids and beating them up - a friend couldn't get out of her car one night because a man on drugs came up to her driver's window and started searching her car and wouldn't let her out. She called 911 and they did NOT come. OTOH, I'm not hearing this all of the time, but still. We moved because our next door neighbors were dealing drugs out of the house and we repeated called the police and they wouldn't do anything. I just found out in June that their house was finally raided in May - police came and broke down the door and everyone was arrested - but then they got back out and went right back to it..
That is so sad, I remember when it nothing like that in either RP or WRP.

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Sheesh, there I go with my own stereotypes I guess not only white people live in Maine haha. And if Chicago is as cold as Maine....then I'm going to have to temporarily separate from my husband and move to NOLA with my parents for the winter!
Is this going to be your first winter in Chicago? Yeah, in Maine I can count on one hand the number of days I have to seriously bundle up compared to when I was in Chicago. Yep, people are often surprised to hear there are Black folks in Maine, granted not a lot but there are some pretty old Black familes that date back to the 1800s with history here in Maine. Oddly enough Maine is less racist than Chicago. Its just deep down I am a Chitown girl, I miss home

Shay

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#23 of 41 Old 09-17-2008, 01:45 PM
 
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Hmmm.. I'm totally not seeing the same thing about RP and WRP. I think they are fine, definitely safer than they were 1 or even 5 years ago. I think there are still patchy spots on Howard towards the lake and a few other patchy spots, but overall, I think it's fine. Especially WRP. I find it incredibly safe and peaceful.. as peaceful as any part of a major city is ever going to be.

I live in Edgewater right now and I love it. There is still very affordable stuff in here if you are willing to really look for it.

And Shayine, I've always enjoyed your posts. Hit me up when you get here! Maybe we can connect!
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#24 of 41 Old 09-17-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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Doesnt Rogers Park have lots of students from Loyola? That could make for a good dynamic.
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#25 of 41 Old 09-17-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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This has a listing of crimes in WRP

http://chicago.everyblock.com/crime/...t-rogers-park/

Rivka, mommy to 3 big boys and a set of b/g twins
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#26 of 41 Old 09-17-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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Shay - have you considered Hyde Park? Very diverse and I love it and will miss it very much when I move in two weeks to the West Side. Yes, still pre-cute-neighborhood-name west side. I'm AA and dh is PR and he left is PR neighborhoods to join me in HP when we married. We have a daughter who attends a Waldorf early childhood education program which goes through 6 years. It's in HP and we'll continue to take her there after the move. I've been in HP for 14 years (originally from east coast) and have really enjoyed it. There's so much for your little one to do and lots for you and hubby, too. We've gotten a real down-town feel restaurant in the past few months, too! The Hyde Park Arts center has a new building, great park district stuff, easy access to downtown, etc.

We're renting our 1300 sq. ft condo out for $1500. It's a little high, but it has some perks that warrant it.

My dh went knocking door to door 4 years ago asking people if they wanted to sell their homes. That's how we got our 2 flat (now deconverted to a single family) for a mortgage of only $1000. Before you hate me, just know I've spent an arm and a leg on our complete gut rehab - not to mention the stress on our marriage.

In any event, I'd say HP is another good option. There's more diversity in the neighborhood folks living there - to differentiate from the diversity (such as it is) in the U of C students.

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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#27 of 41 Old 09-17-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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we live right on the border of lincoln square and albany park. i recommend it, especially if you have a toddler. there is so much stuff going on for young kids, a lot of it free. i especially love that we are in close walking distance to two large recreational parks (wells and horner) and are close to several playlots, too. we're actually moving out of town at the end of the month, and are very sad to leave this area.

we pay 1000 for a two bedroom that includes heat. this is a steal for the area. lincoln square, ravenswood and andersonville are all wonderful family areas, but are pricier that some of the more overlooked northside neighhorhoods. if you're looking for cheaper rent, i'd look in ravenswood gardens/manor, albany park, budlong woods/lincoln bend, and edgewater. they all have a family feel to them, and are relatively safe. we lived in pilsen for a year before moving to this area, and i had mixed feelings on it. i loved some aspects of it, but didn't feel comfortable there because i am white and felt like i was viewed by my neighbors as a gentrifier, which is a hot button issue there, as it should be.

everyone is right about bucktown and wicker park-- they are so expensive now! my first apartment as an adult was in ukrainian village, and i loved it there then. i love it there now, too, but it's out of our price range, for the most part. you should see division street these days. it's a hipster version of lincoln park. most of the cheaper apartments listed as being in ukrainian village or bucktown are really in humboldt park. i've had two apartments in humboldt park, pre-kids, and wouldn't choose to raise a family there. the violence is mostly gang-related, and doesn't involve you if you're not in a gang, but it's still not a pleasant experience to have your neighbor across the street gunned down in a drive-by. plus, i just don't think it's that pretty there-- too much concrete, not enough trees.

in the almost ten years (on and off) that i've lived here, things have gotten astronomically more expensive. i used to think that chicago was the dirt-cheap, midwestern version of new york or san francisco, but that's just not the case anymore. cost of living has gone up all around the country, but i can't help but feel that independent of that, chicago has gentrified itself right out of the price ranges of many families who live here. look up average daycare rates, the cost of a gallon of gas, and even what we pay for electricity and cooking gas. it has changed a lot since 2002, in my opinion.

Jean, feminist mama raising three boys: W (7), E (5) and L (2.15.13)

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#28 of 41 Old 09-21-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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We live in Logan Square and love it! We are currently renting a two bedroom for $1200 right now, with two sunrooms, no utilities included. We will be moving at the beginning of the month, though, to a two bedroom garden. It is $750, utilities included. Definitely a steal, and we got lucky. Lincoln Park is nicer, but it is definitely more pricey, as is Wicker Park/Bucktown.

We like Logan Square just fine, though, and we have a baby. The people are very nice, there's a seasonal farmer's market that rocks, and it's close to Whole Foods and Strack & Van Til. The boulevard areas are very nice, but a bit hard to get into - you have to search for apartments and snap them up right away.
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#29 of 41 Old 09-23-2008, 10:06 AM
 
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[quote=shayinme;12191699] I was the only kid in the hood rocking doc martens hanging down on Belmont St.
quote]

! Love this!!! My husband and I (separately though) were rocking the doc martens & me with black or blue or fire engine red hair down by the, then, punkin' donuts there on Belmont mid/late 80s. Does Medusa's and Lower Links ring a bell?

Anything new on the moving back to chi-town front?
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#30 of 41 Old 09-23-2008, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=coobabysmom;12239325]
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
I was the only kid in the hood rocking doc martens hanging down on Belmont St.
quote]

! Love this!!! My husband and I (separately though) were rocking the doc martens & me with black or blue or fire engine red hair down by the, then, punkin' donuts there on Belmont mid/late 80s. Does Medusa's and Lower Links ring a bell?

Anything new on the moving back to chi-town front?
OMG, I was a regular at both Medusa's and Limelight... in fact on Facebook there is a Medusa's group. Talk about some sweet memories. : Yep, hung out at the DD afterwards, until we were all chased out of there if there were no parties to go to afterwards.

Right now we are still in fact finding mode, an opportunity to go to Chicago in 2 weeks has popped up, not sure if I can make it but I do plan on a visit home before making a final decision. As my brother reminded me, I waited almost 30 years to escape Chicago, do I really want to come back? LOL

Then again I just miss so much, as settled as we are here in Maine and I love my old house, I just miss city living. Miss the el, speaking of Belmont, I want to make a pitstop to the Alley. I used to have the coolest police leather but when we moved here it got left behind :. I actually want anotjer one though it will take another 12 years to get properly broken in.

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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