BCoughlin

  • Local Expert 26,393 points
  • Reviews 100
  • Questions 203
  • Answers 1,323
  • Discussions 5

Reviews

2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
May 31, 2014
Read full review on Baird & Warner
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
May 25, 2014
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4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
May 17, 2014
Read full review on Baird & Warner
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
May 10, 2014
Read full review on Baird & Warner
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
May 03, 2014
Read full review on Baird & Warner
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Apr 26, 2014
Read full review on Baird & Warner
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Apr 21, 2014
Read full review on Baird & Warner
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
Apr 11, 2014
Read full review on Baird & Warner
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
Apr 07, 2014
Read full review on Baird & Warner
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
Mar 02, 2014
Read full review on Baird & Warner
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Oct 29, 2010

"How can you not write about Michigan Ave?"

It's a pretty obvious street to review, but honestly, it's one of, if not the most famous and popular, streets in Chicago. Of course, no one is going to mention this street without mentioning the great dining and shopping destinations. The Magnificent Mile is one of those areas that people never forget about.

My only complaint is that it's so upscale. A little to rich for me. I like to visit here though. I don't really spend any money, since I can usually get similar stuff somewhere else for about one tenth the price, but the experience is a must. I'd recommend visiting for anyone coming to Chicago, but really, why recommend it when everyone will visit anyways?
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Oct 25, 2010

"The Windy City, the best city"

I've grown up outside Chicago, and have loved the city my whole life. I like going downtown to Greek Town and eating at the Parthenon, which is one of the best restaurants in my opinion. Taking in a ball game either at Wrigley or Cellular One Field (I prefer the Cubs) is great fun also.

I always used to watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off growing up and it's one of my favorite movies because it's a love letter to the city. It really showed off so much of what makes Chicago great. The city has a magic all to itself. I've been to other cities and really liked them, but Chicago is my city, and it's just great to be here. The latest two Batman films were shot here, and for good reason, as the filmmakers knew that there is a distinct architectural design to so many of the buildings, and a beautiful character that you don't get in New York or Los Angeles.

And one interesting fact for those not in the know. Chicago is not called the Windy City because of wind. When the World's Fair came to Chicago over 100 years ago, their marketing and advertising was so aggressive that other cities resented the boasting of Chicagoans, and they said they were full of wind, making Chicago the 'Windy City.'

It is a great town, and certainly has more to offer than any other midwest city.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Oct 21, 2010
Editors Choice

"Middle Ground"

Dependent on how you look at it, West Town is really a couple of neighborhoods put together. It sort of encompasses Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, Ukranian village, East Village, and River West. The part of the map on Streetadvisor is kind of part of Humboldt Park, although that would be the area I would think of as West Town.

Being between Wicker Park and Humboldt Park, West Town is sort of a middle ground as a far as how nice the neighborhood is. I'm a big fan of Wicker Park, and would like to live there if the apartment prices weren't quite so high, and I see a good future for Humboldt Park, which could use a bit more gentrification to make it safer and nicer. West Town isn't a bad place, as it is just a bit nicer than Humboldt Park, but doesn't have the same price problems that I've found in Wicker Park. It's a pretty good area, close to better neighborhoods, and definitely on the rise. I'd give it a relatively high recommendation.
Pros
  • Close to Wicker Park
  • Good Atmosphere
  • Good bars and clubs nearby
  • safe
Cons
  • Some times it gets a bit loud
  • It feels like an up and comer that hasn't quite arrived yet
  • prices steadily increasing
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Oct 18, 2010

"More than the airport"

Obviously, the first thing to mention when discussing the neighborhood of O'hare is the airport, which is of course the largest airport in the city, and one of the bigger airports in the US. The neighborhood is about 14 miles northwest of the loop, so it is a bit far away from the main action of the city, but the airport really helps make the area prosper.

Of course, public transportation in the area is great, and if you're a frequent business or pleasure traveler, having close access to the airport is a huge plus. I do feel it could get a bit noisy though, so be wary of that.

It's also close to a lot of businesses, which have located their headquarters so close to the airport. So for business reasons, there's a lot to come by for.

Residences in the area are, in my experience, pretty nice and the area seems safe. Again, the noise may be a problem, and the traffic can get really congested, so it's worth mentioning, and certainly detracts from the neighborhood's appeal.

Nearby is the Rosemont horizon, or Allstate arena, where a lot of concerts and sporting events are held. Though I don't think it's actually in the neighborhood (it may be) it's still close enough that those living here wouldn't have to travel far to get there.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Oct 15, 2010

"Little to do, little to say"

I'm not the biggest fan of South Deering.I've been in the neighborhood a few times, and I can't say I have a reason to come back. I wouldn't call it particularly safe, but it isn't the worst place in the city.

Because of the few places to eat, shop, or get a drink, the home prices are pretty low. I guess that would be the biggest plus for the neighborhood. I'm not going to give it much more time than this. Not a lot to do, not a lot to say.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • It's kinda slow, no traffic
  • Reasonably quiet
Cons
  • Boring
  • Not very safe
  • No tourist attractions
Recommended for
  • Singles
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Oct 11, 2010

"Not great"

I have to admit that Riverdale is one of my least favorite neighborhoods in Chicago. I have essentially no reasons to visit the area.

Crime is higher here that the average for the city, and the neighborhood is fairly poor. I looked it up, and the average income of Riverdale residents is a third of that of the average Chicago resident. I also noticed some statistics on the education of the average resident, and it was a lot lower than the rest of Chicago. There is a far greater number of people in Riverdale without a high school education than the average for other Chicago neighborhoods.

I normally don't like to be so down on any neighborhood, but Riverdale is not a place to visit, and certainly not a place to live or raise a family if you have any opportunity elsewhere. I would just say avoid as best as you can.
Pros
  • Really cheap
  • It can be sorta quiet
Cons
  • NOT safe
  • Poor
  • Depressing
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Oct 08, 2010

"Meh, not so much to entertain"

I have a hard time talking about Northwood Park. It isn't a bad neighborhood, but it's just a little boring to me. I will say it seems safe. I've never felt the least bit threatened on any of the streets, but I've only been here a few times, so maybe there are worse times than when I was there.

As far as eating out or getting a drink, forget it. There isn't a single place worth mentioning. There are a few fast food places, but those are essentially everywhere. I don't remember anywhere to get a drink, let alone try to meet someone.

Shopping is similarly nonexistent. There are some shopping centers in nearby neighborhoods, but nothing actually in Northwood Park.

I feel like I should give the neighborhood 3 stars because it is safe, but I feel that's too kind to such a quiet neighborhood.
Recommended for
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Oct 05, 2010

"I love it!"

I have to admit, the Near West Side has a special place in my heart. I'm not sure my review will be particularly balanced because of this.

I've been coming here all my life. My parents introduced me to the Parthenon, one of, no, THE BEST, Greek restaurant in the city when I was a baby. They tell me stories of the first time they lit the Saganaki on fire and screamed 'OPahhhh' right near me and I cried, but by the next time we went I was ready for it and yelled louder than anyone. I love the food there. Definitely some of my finest Chicago memories are of the Parthenon.

I'm currently 25 years old, and I've watched the area grow since I was young. I remember when it wasn't so nice in the Near West Side, but I think Daly did a lot of good here, and it is MUCH safer than it used to be and I feel very safe on the streets, which I mostly find to be quite clean.

The United Center is right nearby, and while I haven't lived here, I would love to, if for no other reason than the close proximity to the Parthenon and the Bulls.

Absolutely, without doubt, HIGHLY recommended.

EDITED:

I wanted to give a few more thoughts, since it's been a while since I wrote this review. I wouldn't say I disagree with anything I've said thus far, but I've had a few good times in the Near West Side that I wanted to share. I was just recently at The Parthenon, and took in a few bars in Greek Town, and it was a fantastic night. Part of me really wishes I'd moved to the Near West Side (I'm an Evanston boy now), because of how clean and nice it is here. You're right nearby for a lot of good fun in other neighborhoods, and there's plenty to do right here in the neighborhood. While I wouldn't say you could never leave (ya gotta work), you could spend a heck of a lot of time here without needing to head into other parts of the city. There are good restaurants, bars and more to make this a quality neighborhood to live in.
Pros
  • Good places to eat
  • Great atmosphere
  • Safe
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not a shopping destination
  • Not a family neighborhood, though families could live here
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Oct 04, 2010

"Has some potential for growth."

Greater Grand Crossing is an affordable neighborhood with some potential, especially over the last few years since the Gary Corner Youth Center was opened. Mr. Corner was a successful businessman who passed away a few years ago, but the Youth Center he built late in life has given the youth in the area a great opportunity to explore creative activities in a safe environment.

The unfortunate aspect of Greater Grand Crossing is that it isn't the safest neighborhood, and there isn't as much to look for in the neighborhood. I don't love the area, but after the Youth Center opened, I think it will continue to improve.

Home prices and rentals are pretty reasonable, and while I wouldn't call it the safest place, it also isn't by any means terribly dangerous. For food, most places are low key, and I only remember eateries in the area being Bar-b-ques, so it's good for that style of food, but there's nothing of particular note here. Certainly no upscale restaurants or dining destinations.

One last thing to mention is Lee's Unleaded Blues. I'm a big blues fan myself, and while the best for me will always be Buddy Guy's Legends, Lee's is a cool place to listen to some good blues and jazz.

So while I'm not giving a huge recommendation to Greater Grand Crossing, there are some things worth visiting for, and I think there will be some continued improvements in the next few years.
Pros
  • Good food, but no real fine dining options
  • Nice people
  • It seems to be up and coming
Cons
  • Not very safe
  • Not a lot to do
  • Not terribly memorable
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Oct 01, 2010

"Good entertainment"

The main thing that comes to mind when I think about Uptown is the Aragon Ballroom. It is a legendary venue that has hosted a number of great musical acts throughout the years. Definitely a tourist destination, but then so is the rest of Uptown, which is known for having had so many gangsters in the past.

Today, it's more of a tourist destination, and it's pretty safe. Police patrol the area fairly regularly, and I feel safe walking around here. The only problem times would come on nights with a big show and there are a lot of people walking around in too excited a mood. I wouldn't say you're unsafe at these times, but it's certainly something to keep in mind.

Overall, I don't know that I'd want to live here, as it seems noisy and there's too much in terms of visitors, but I would definitely continue to visit. It's a great place to have some fun.
Pros
  • Great for music lovers
  • Great atmosphere
  • Fun place to be
Cons
  • A bit touristy
  • Loud
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Sep 22, 2010

"Get here while you still can!"

I'm going to have to say that Kenwood is one of those neighborhoods that I would really like to live in right now. It's not that it is the best area itself, but the prices are pretty good for the most part, and since I have relatively little means right now (no wife or kids) and I don't need a ton of space, I'm looking for something here that will work real well.

One of the reasons why I like Kenwood so much is that it's close to areas like Hyde Park, which is another of my favorite parts of the city. While I might rather live there, Kenwood is a good alternative if you're looking to be close.

Crime is, in my opinion, not too bad here. I've never felt seriously threatened or anything. Of course, caution should be taken, etc etc, but that doesn't mean you have to think about running for it every second you're out like in some areas.

I've seen a lot of families in Kenwood, and I would say it is pretty good for those looking to raise a family. As it is the neighborhood of President Obama, I think that bodes well for the neighborhood to continue to see improvement and gentrification in the coming years, meaning get in while you still can!
Pros
  • Clean and nice
  • Safe
  • Affordable
Cons
  • It may get a little stale in a few years
  • Becoming trendy, so housing prices might shoot up
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Sep 20, 2010

"If it were only closer."

I've been through Jeffery Manor a few times now, and I've always been surprised at how much I like it, especially as there isn't as much there as I would normally like.

I will say I saw a fair number of places to shop, although they mostly seemed pretty standard. I had a friend who lived there who loved the local Gamestop, but that's a very common chain found most places. Still, it's nice to have that, especially if you live there, but it doesn't give you much reason to visit.

The biggest downfall for Jeffery Manor is that it's pretty far south. It almost didn't feel like I was still in a part of the city. I don't really mind that, but I'm not used to going so far south. I'm more north west than south, so I don't get to Jeffery Manor or even many of the surrounding neighborhoods that much, but that's just because it's so far.
Pros
  • Reasonable house prices
  • Very friendly
  • Safe
Cons
  • Too far south
  • Not the cleanest neighborhood
  • Unimpressive
Recommended for
  • Singles
meli360
meli360 This neighborhood is ghetto and crime rates are terrible. I use to live here and the violence and drugs has gotten worst. my brother is currently in jail for murder as I type this comment.. run away from this place
Jun 11, 2012
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Sep 19, 2010

"Nice, but unremarkable."

Jefferson Park is a decent neighborhood that I've been through only a handful of times during my lifetime in Chicago. I can't claim to have very much to say about the neighborhood, but that is mostly due to the fact that it's a relatively quite neighborhood without a ton of really great places to eat at or see.

This isn't to be overly critical of Jefferson Park, it just isn't as happening a place as other parts of Chicago. I have enjoyed some Mexican food here on occasion, but it is mostly a quiet, residential area. Home prices are not that high, and they tend to be decent homes. Crime isn't too bad from what I recall, and I didn't feel unsafe here, but I wouldn't say there's a lot of crime here either.

The biggest negative I would place on Jefferson Park is that it's just another neighborhood. Not really special, but that's not to say bad. Just unremarkable.
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Sep 15, 2010

"Not quite city, not quite suburb"

Irving Park is, in my opinion, not really a part of Chicago. I realize that technically it is included in the city, but I really look at it as a suburb. The odd thing is that I feel like Irving Park still tries a bit to hold onto being a part of the city, so it never quite goes all the way to being a suburb.

Some people might consider it nice that you could have the best of both worlds, but I see it has not having the best of either world. It certainly isn't a place with all the action and excitement of the city, but there are a handful of good, but low key places to get a bite to eat or a drink.

Shopping is also fairly low key, but it's serviceable. Nothing worth going out of your way for, but if you lived in Irving Park you'd be okay.

I would recommend Irving Park for families only. I'm not saying you can't have a good time here, but there are more exciting places. I'd say it's relatively safe, and while it isn't the most affordable part of Chicago, the prices aren't as bad as some of the suburbs.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Sep 14, 2010

"One of the best!!"

Obviously, the first thing to mention about Hyde Park is the University of Chicago, which is in the neighborhood. Being a 25 year old guy, I love stopping by as there are a number of people my age there, and some of my best friends in the city attend the school or live in Hyde Park. As the University is there, there are a number of college friendly places to eat, get a cup of coffee, or go shopping, but there are also some other cool things to see in Hyde Park.

I've been by the Museum of Science and Industry a few times, only once recently, but I also went when I was younger. I have to admit I enjoyed it more when I was younger, although I have a different appreciation for it now.

Overall, I find Hyde Park to be a great neighborhood. I know another reviewer said there were some crime problems, but I've never found that to be the case, and the area is, in my opinion, nicer today than in the past, so if there were problems once, it isn't so much the case anymore. That's not to say crime is non existent, but I wouldn't call it a problem area. Housing is generally affordable, but there are some nicer places that are more expensive. The nice thing is that most of the places to eat offer a lot of good food for a reasonable price. Definitely one of my favorite neighborhoods.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Sep 08, 2010

"Could use a bit of gentrification to really shine"

I see a bright future for Humboldt Park. It used to be a really rough neighborhood with a lot of crime, but it has been cleaned up as of late, and the actual park that lends its name to the neighborhood is family friendly now, and I feel pretty safe here. I know it has had a reputation in the past for being tough, so I think that scares some people off, but it's really not that bad anymore. I wouldn't suggest walking around at night without keeping an eye on the lookout, but overall it's really coming into its own.

The area has not, as of yet, really been gentrified, which can be a good thing, but I think a bit more gentrification would help drive up home prices and really solidify the improvements that have taken place. Perhaps if a few Starbucks showed up it would bring in more yuppies. Yeah, I know the yuppie crowd seems like it would ruin the unique flavor, but it's a safe crowd that brings in a lot of money to an area that can really help rejuvenate the community.

I could see in the next 5 to 10 years Humboldt Park getting a little more gentrified and becoming a great area. It isn't there yet, but it could get there.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Sep 07, 2010

"More good, than bad or ugly"

I've stopped by Hermosa handful of times, and I've always had a good time here. Thing is, there isn't all that much to do. I've had dinner here a few times, but for the life of me I can't remember the name of the restaurant. In a lot of ways, that sort of sums up the neighborhood. It's nice, I've enjoyed it, but it's overall unmemorable.

The times I've visited Hermosa I've felt safe, although I don't think I would suggest any women go for walks alone at night. I don't normally suggest that anywhere in the city, but Hermosa is a bit less safe than some nicer areas. I'm not calling it truly unsafe, and it's a lot better than other parts of Chicago, but it's still not the best.

Overall, if you have a limited budget, then I think Hermosa would be good for you. Not a travel destination, and you'll have to travel a bit yourself if you're looking for a party, but it's still pretty decent.
Pros
  • Fun neighborhood with good people
  • Quiet
  • Family area
  • Lots of parks
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not a lot to do
  • Somewhat unmemorable
  • Not really for young adults
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Sep 06, 2010

"Meh..."

I'm not the biggest fan of Hegewisch. I've been through the area a few times, and I've never seen hardly a thing worth stopping for. The dining options available looked at best below average, and the overall atmosphere was, for me, somewhat depressing.

I've never heard of it being that dangerous, but I know some of the nearby areas are, to say the least, unsafe, and that type of thing tends to have a large area effect. I've never had a problem myself, but that's because I wouldn't feel safe walking alone at night, and have chosen to never do so. Perhaps one day I'll have a horror story to tell, and can rank Hegewisch with just one star instead of a generous two.

The home prices are low, which is something, but really, you get what you pay for.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • It has been pretty quiet the times I've been there
  • Not as dirty as you'd expect such a dangerous area
Cons
  • Scary
  • Not safe
  • Not a lot to do or see, boring nightlife and dining
Recommended for
  • Singles
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Sep 02, 2010

"Not recommended"

I will not be recommending Gresham for anyone to be living in any time soon. For those of you who like the area (I have no idea who you could be) I'm sorry, but it isn't the safest part of the city. I don't know the crime statistics off the top of my head, but I have no doubt it's higher than average. That alone is enough to avoid the neighborhood.

One other reason to avoid Gresham is that there isn't much to see. I can't think of many reasons people would have for visiting. The lack of good stores and restaurants immediately put it at the bottom of my list of neighborhoods.

I'm not entirely sure that Gresham is the most dangerous part of the city, and there are certainly areas with a worse reputation, but I wouldn't feel terribly comfortable here even during the day. With Superman walking next to me
Pros
  • It's really affordable
  • Gresham helps you appreciate other neighborhoods
Cons
  • Not safe
  • No nightlife
  • Nothing to do but be scared
Recommended for
  • Singles
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 31, 2010

"Not the best part of town..."

Unfortunately, Grand Boulevard is not one of the nicer parts of Chicago. I've only been through the neighborhood a few times, but I've never found it to be safe or to have much to offer. Many of the buildings are vacant, and many lots are just empty. It could really use some revitalization.

The best thing I can come up with to say about Grand Boulevard would be the low cost of living, but that's only because of the poor quality of the area. I hate to be so down on any area, but I've mostly avoided Grand Boulevard because it isn't that safe.
Recommended for
  • Singles
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 30, 2010

"Good beer, cool place to be"

Goose Island is one of my favorite Chicago Neighborhoods. I'm not a big beer drinker personally, but I love pubs and pub food, which you will find in abundance here.

Obviously, there is a fair amount to drink here, but it also has some of the nicer homes in Chicago. I guess some people think it's isolated from the rest of the city because of the river, but not really. Still, the homes and condos here are spectacularly nice, and while not exactly affordable, if you have the means, you should definitely give it a look.

Probably one of the more attractive things about Goose Island is it's relative proximity to so much that's going on in the city. It's right nearby the Loop, as well as Wicker Park and the Ukrainian Village. Those are a few of my other favorite parts of the city, so it's nice to have such a good overall area.
Pros
  • Great atmosphere and spirit
  • Good nightlife
  • Safe
Cons
  • A bit loud
  • Small neighborhood with a bit highway through the middle
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 27, 2010

"Noisy and boring, but safe enough"

I can't claim to have an overwhelming amount of experience in Garfield Ridge. I've been through a handful of times, and each time I visited I did notice that it was a nice enough area, and didn't seem dangerous or unwelcoming.

There are a handful of places to eat and shop, but nothing extraordinary. I wouldn't avoid the area, but it doesn't have a lot to offer someone just looking for a visit.

The main thing to note about Garfield Park is how close it is to Midway airport. This can be a blessing or a curse. If you go on a lot of business trips or just like to get out of town from time to time, the proximity to the airport will likely be a big bonus if you live here. On the flip side, it can get noisy. I was here a while back, and it seemed like there was constant noise from airplanes going overhead. I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for peace and quiet.
Pros
  • Pretty safe
  • Mostly quiet, but you are close to the airport, so it can get loud
  • Welcoming
Cons
  • Not a lot of outdoor options
  • Slow nightlife
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 23, 2010

"What A Park!"

I have only a little experience with Garfield Park, but what I have experienced makes it one of my favorite neighborhoods. It's interesting, as I can see some of the negatives, with the lower economic classes in the area and what I think is above average crime (not too dangerous though) but at the same time when I think of Garfield Park, I think of beauty.

Of course, the main attraction is Garfield Park itself. It's a rather large park/conservatory, with a great deal to see every year, with new attractions put in place to keep people coming back. I can't claim to know a great deal about flora or fauna, and while I've done some minor landscaping for my parents, it's nothing that would help make me an expert. Still, there is splendor to behold in Garfield Park. The plant life is of course first on the list, but the overall style and structure of the park dazzles most who come here. I've been to France, seen Versailles (and no, this doesn't compare) but it is still so beautiful. It took me back to some of the beauty I've experienced in my life. It opens you up to something new. There are few places in Chicago quite like it.

I realize that the park contrasts somewhat severely with the rest of the neighborhood, as it does not share the beauty of the park, but the park elevates the area so well that I rank it above average, even if there isn't much else worth noting about Garfield Park.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 19, 2010

"Quiet, and a bit boring"

Galewood is one of the furthest neighborhoods from downtown, and there isn't a whole lot here that makes it part of the city. Honestly, it's more suburb than city. That isn't the end of the world, but it makes for a less than exciting area.

Home prices aren't terrible, but it isn't as affordable as other parts of the city. Fortunately, it's a fairly safe part of the city, and while I haven't spent a whole lot of time here, I would feel perfectly comfortable doing so if there were more going on.

That's the big problem with Galewood. There just isn't all that much to come for. People don't often go visiting suburbs like they do cities. I can't think of any nightlife that anyone would want to come visiting for, and I don't see the restaurants, which are solid if unremarkable, being much of a draw either.

Overall, it's just a decent neighborhood that's a bit too quiet for my tastes.
Pros
  • Safe
  • Quiet
  • Good spirit, good for families
Cons
  • Not much going on
  • Too slow for my tastes
  • A bit expensive
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 18, 2010

"Below average"

Gage Park is a below average neighborhood. The crime rate, while not as bad as some areas, is higher than I would like, and frankly, there isn't a whole lot to do here.

I've been through Gage Park a few times, and the restaurant selection has mostly let me down. There are a handful of Mexican places, as the area is mostly Hispanic, and while some of it's good, nothing struck me as great or truly memorable. I do like Nicky's for Greek food, but that doesn't qualify the neighborhood for a visit.

The population is mostly lower class, which I think accounts for much of the crime, so the home prices and general cost of living isn't very high. That would be the one thing I really feel Gage Park has going for it. I wouldn't really consider living here unless money got really tight for a while. Otherwise, I'd spend a bit more to be in a neighborhood with more going on, and less crime.
Pros
  • Decent restaurants
  • Not the safest
  • Affordable
  • quiet
Cons
  • Quality food doesn't make up for the boredom of the neighborhood
  • not much going on
Recommended for
  • Singles
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Aug 17, 2010

"Expensive, but safe and beautiful"

Forest Glen is certainly one of the nicest and richest parts of the city. The area is extremely residential, and while many of the homes are older, they are extremely well preserved. Home prices in the area are quite high, so it isn't for everyone, but if you have the means, it is certainly a great area.

For any area with so much wealth, it is important to have safety and stability, and Forest Glen does not disappoint. Many of the residents are government officials, and since some are higher up in the police, there is no doubt they will have the safest neighborhood in the city. This is definitely a neighborhood where you can walk around at night with essentially no worries.

The biggest drawbacks to Forest Glen are the distance to down town, as the area is a good drive from the Loop, and the lack of real attractions. There are some good restaurants, but it isn't a tourist attraction, so you won't find a lot of people visiting. It's really a place to live, not travel to.

Overall, without question Forest Glen is one of the nicest places to live in the city. I do not personally have the means at present, but if I ever do, I would certainly consider raising a family there. Highly recommended if you can afford it.
Pros
  • Very nice
  • Upscale
  • One of Chicago's safest neighborhoods
Cons
  • Far from downtown
  • Kinda snooty
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
Aug 16, 2010

"One of the most dangerous parts of the city"

Englewood is, unfortunately, one of the worst neighborhoods in the city. I can honestly say that I would avoid even driving through the neighborhood with a police escort.

I don't know the exact crime statistics, but I can say with confidence that you would be taking your life into your hands if you choose to visit.

Living here would be terribly dangerous. I realize the cost of living is pretty low, but it's like choosing to buy milk that's expired. Sure, it might still be good, but more than likely you'll be sorry.

There are no landmarks worth visiting. I can't see a tourist stopping by, unless they want to be mugged or shot in Chicago. Sorry, nothing good to say about Englewood. I've seen enough. I don't see improvements happening anytime soon. Steer clear.
Pros
  • No improvements on the horizon
Cons
  • Dangerous
Recommended for
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 13, 2010

"Good food and a safe, quiet neighborhood."

Edison Park is a primarily residential area that feels a lot more like a suburb than city neighborhood. Being one of the furthest neighborhoods from downtown, it is fairly quiet and safe in Edison Park.

It's also close to enough other areas that have more going on that if you lived here you wouldn't feel left out of the loop. Yeah, not all the best clubs are here, but you can get to Wrigleyville or other parts of the city quickly enough that it wouldn't be a terrible commute. You have the highway right nearby, so travel is mostly simple. Sometimes traffic gets a bit congested, but it isn't as bad as other areas.

Zia's Trattoria is one of the best Italian restaurants in the city, so you do have some excellent options available for dining if you want to stay within the neighborhood.

Overall, I wouldn't consider Edison Park a particularly exciting area, but it is a great place for families, with nice, quiet streets, and plenty of safety.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 11, 2010

"Quiet and residential, but mostly unmemorable"

East Side was once known for its steel mills, although today it's mostly a residential area with a more and more suburban feel, rather than the industrial tone that used to dominate.

As far as real estate goes, East Side isn't half bad. The cost is lower than average in Chicago, without being so bad as to attract the wrong crowd. I wouldn't call it dangerous, although it may not also be considered the safest part of the city. Overall though, the area is pretty safe and you can raise a family here without having a lot to worry about.

For food, there is, of course, a handful of good pizza places, although there's more Mexican food than Italian. There is a decently portion of the population that's Hispanic, so much of the food is authentic, which is welcome for me, as I grew up on Taco Bell, which isn't exactly true Mexican cuisine.

The nightlife isn't really great, which I attribute to the mostly residential nature of the neighborhood.

I think of East Side as a nice area, although I have to admit I don't go there all that much. It's a bit far from down town, and there aren't any tourist attractions that would give you reason to visit.
Pros
  • Very quiet
  • Pretty safe
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Kinda boring
  • No real nightlife
  • Kinda dirty from the years as an industrial center
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 10, 2010

"Nice and safe, and close enough to down town."

Dunning has a great atmosphere and is one of the safer neighborhoods in the city. It makes for an excellent place to live for people with a lot of different economic backgrounds to live.

There is some excellent food, and while there aren't the famous restaurants that you might find in other places. Of course, you'll find pizza (this is Chicago) and many of the other options are your basic but good Midwest style American cuisine.

I wouldn't come for the nightlife, as there isn't so much for a younger guy like me, but you can find a drink if you've had a long day.

The main thing I think of is the safety and good neighborhood atmosphere. You can get to know your neighbors and go for a walk without being afraid. It's nice to have that in the city, and it isn't like you're particularly far from downtown.
Pros
  • Great neighborhood spirit
  • Lots to do
  • Quiet
  • Good, affordably priced food
  • Very safe
Cons
  • Not the best bars or nightlife
  • A bit too low key for me
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 10, 2010

"Not safe enough for me to call home."

Douglas is a predominantly African American neighborhood whose residents make well below the average for Chicago. This makes for a neighborhood without as many retail or dining options. The low income also means that the average price for housing isn't too bad, but that is also because the area isn't the safest to be around.

I haven't spent a lot of time in Douglas primarily because of the crime. I wouldn't say it's the most dangerous part of the city, but there are certainly problems which would make an evening stroll hazardous. I'm a 25 year old guy, and I wouldn't feel comfortable there, and I hardly ever think about safety when I'm walking around, so for a younger woman, it could be terrifying to live there.

Like most of the run down areas of Chicago, there are always plans in place to make improvement, and while these could help, I think it'll be a while before any significant changes are made. One benefit would have to be the close proximity to downtown, so the changes could come sooner than some of the outlying areas.

Cross your fingers, but don't hold your breath.
Pros
  • Possible rejuvenation in the works
  • affordable
  • It isn't terribly busy
Cons
  • Not much for bars
  • Not the safest neighborhood in the city...
  • Somewhat poor
Recommended for
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Aug 08, 2010

"Awesome but really expensive"

If you look through many of my posts, you'll notice that I tend to prefer younger, more energetic neighborhoods. DePaul certainly ranks amongst my favorite parts of the city.

First things first. DePaul is obviously dominated by the university, so there are plenty of younger people around. It helps that they tend to be students, so I personally feel safe in the area, and while you can always have problems, it isn't very bad here at all. The young population makes eating out good for me, as many of the local restaurants can only stay in business if they cater to the college crowd. Nightlife is also very good. You'll always find a good time without having to look too hard.

The one problem I have with DePaul is how expensive it is. I can't imagine how any student could afford to live here without having rich parents. I haven't looked for apartments in some of the other expensive areas of Chicago, but I have here, and it is unbelievable. I seriously doubt I'll be able to live here for the next for years at least, and that's too bad, because I'd love to.

Overall, DePaul is a great place to visit if you want to have some fun. Tough on the bank account if you're going to stay, but great for a day.
Pros
  • Lots of fun
  • Great energy
  • Safe
  • Ideal for students
Cons
  • Not for families
  • Expensive
  • Noisy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 06, 2010

"Solid for families, not so great for the younger crowd looking for fun"

Craigin is a fairly limited area, and I can't claim to have a ton of experiences with the neighborhood. There aren't a lot of great restaurants and no nightlife that I can remember, but there are some good nearby dining locations and some good local bars for a drink. It won't satisfy the younger crowd looking for a fun clubbing experience, but you can at least get a drink.

The housing options tend to be older homes going back over 50 years, but most have been kept up fairly well, so it isn't a problem. There are a lot of families here, and it's pretty safe, so not a bad place to raise your kids. The homes aren't terribly expensive, but not cheap either, so it has that nice middle ground for a lot of younger families who need something affordable while not wanting to live in the projects. I'd give it a solid recommendation for a family, although it won't be considered terribly fun for visitors.
Pros
  • Some good restaurants
  • Safe
  • Quiet
  • Great for families
Cons
  • Kinda limited for fun
  • No shopping or nightlife
  • Not much appeal for younger people
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 06, 2010

"All the positives and negatives of close proximity to the airport."

I would describe Clearing as a decent neighborhood. It isn't great, but it isn't as bad as other nearby neighborhoods.

The first thing to mention would have to be Midway Airport. The airport really dominates the area. If you stop by Clearing you'll likely hear and see some planes going overhead, which could be really annoying if you live here. The upside is that it's a bit safer than some of the surrounding neighborhoods, and you are close to the airport if you need to travel a lot. I wish I was a more frequent flyer than I am, so if I was jet-setting a bit more I might have another look at Clearing.

Otherwise, I'd say that the neighborhood is reasonably safe, the home prices aren't half bad, and there are a fair number of local businesses that do well in part because of their proximity to the airport.
Pros
  • Close to transportation
  • Pretty safe
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Loud because of the airport
  • Not a lot of nightlife or activities for fun
  • Dirtier than average
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 05, 2010

"One of Chicago's best neighborhoods."

Chinatown is one of my favorite Chicago Neighborhoods. In fact, I would guess it's a favorite for many residents as well as tourists. My first memory of Chinatown was when my parents took me when I was little and my dad bought me a wooden samurai sword. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

Problems with Chinatown would have to do with real estate. It is incredibly difficult to find a place to live there. The prices are high for what you get, although the resale value is excellent. Most would be very lucky to find a nice place that's available. People move in and stay in Chinatown. That's a good thing, if you can get in.

The culture is, of course, the main draw for the neighborhood. You can get authentic Chinese food and goods here, and while I wouldn't say it's really like walking down a street in China, it is about as close as you'll get in America. My brother dated a girl from Hong Kong for a while, and it was cool to see her walk around from store to store and speak Mandarin or Cantonese to the many residents. It was also great to go with her because she knew all the different foods, and could help us find the best dish for our mostly American palates. My brother is a bit pickier eater than I am, so he always had to have the most 'normal' dish on the menu, but even he loved the new flavors and styles of food you could get. Without question, most people come to Chinatown for the food. And it is good.

I'd say Chinatown is also one of the safest neighborhoods in the city, mainly because it's such a tourist draw. No doubt the government doesn't want tourists coming through and saying how dangerous things were. It isn't exactly quiet, but it is safe.

Overall, Chinatown is a great place. I'm not sure I'd want to live there, although it is close to the loop, and has some much to culture to excite your imagination. I'd definitely recommend it.
Pros
  • Fun for a day of shopping or for tourists
  • Great food
  • Safe
Cons
  • Kinda loud
  • Not perfect for non-Chinese
  • Hard to find a good place to live
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 05, 2010

"Proud African American community with many locally owned businesses"

Chatham is a predominantly African American neighborhood with a strong base of families in the residences, with many locally owned businesses in the area. Home prices are at what I would consider the best range for the city, as it is an affordable area without being so cheap that it brings in the wrong crowd. The lowest priced areas of the city tend to also be the highest in crime, but Chatham doesn't have that problem. No doubt you could have a problem here with some relatively unsafe times, but not so bad that you really need to worry about it.

Dining tends to be American and laid back. There are a few good Barbeque places to have dinner, and I tend to like the atmosphere. I'm a big fan of good old-fashioned cooking, and you can find plenty of that in Chatham.

Nightlife isn't the best, but there are a few places to get a drink.

Retail is a bright spot for Chatham. While not a tourist destination, the shops are a nice mix of bigger chains like Target and smaller locally owned businesses. It certainly seems the residents take pride in their community and their commercial success.
Pros
  • Affordable housing
  • Welcoming atmosphere
  • A couple good restaurants
Cons
  • Not much nightlife
  • No good for parks
  • I've found a few nights to be loud
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 04, 2010

"Quiet, but with nothing to do"

Canaryville is a boring residential area on the south side of the city. I can't think of anything you'd really want to visit there for, and I wouldn't suggest living there because of the lack of interest and some crime. It isn't the most dangerous part of the city, and I'd say it's mostly quiet, although the quiet makes me feel uneasy at times because you wonder if any police are even in the area.

I wouldn't visit for a park, or for dining or going out for drinks, as there is essentially nothing there worth looking into. It isn't terribly expensive, but that's because of how much it lacks.

Overall, I just don't have as much to say about Canaryville. It just doesn't interest me as much as other parts of the city.
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Affordable Housing
Cons
  • Not terribly safe
  • Not a lot of dining options
  • Not welcoming
  • Not much to do
Recommended for
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 03, 2010

"Family friendly, but a little boring if you're looking for fun."

Calumet Heights is a lower class residential neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. Almost everything here is residential. I remember a handful of places to eat, mostly pizza joints (this is Chicago), but the houses were the main characteristic of the area.

I would say that Calumet Heights is reasonably safe, and it is a fairly diverse neighborhood, which I think helps the overall atmosphere. When any area of the city is dominated by a single group of people it detracts from the experience. I won't call it the best place, but you could certainly raise a family here, and have a lot of fun. The streets felt safe enough to me, and I think you could go for a nice walk without feeling unsafe.

It can be hard to find something to do here, and it certainly isn't a neighborhood for tourists, but I like Calumet Heights for the atmosphere it provides. Good for families, maybe a little boring for singles.
Pros
  • Family friendy
  • affordable
  • Pretty safe
Cons
  • Not a lot to do
  • Boring
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
Deena
Deena Calumet Heights includes a smaller section known as “Pill Hill” – so named in the 1970s because of the high concentration of affluent doctors who lived there and worked at the local hospital (South Chicago Community Hospital). Back in the 70s and into the 80s, I had many friends who lived in and around Pill Hill so I was in the area frequently. I always remembered it as an upper class neighborhood. I thought of it as the Beverly Hills of the East Side. I haven’t been to the area in many years but from what I’ve learned on the internet, this section is still a pretty nice residential neighborhood of middle class working folks and even some who are considered affluent. I’d consider it very unfortunate for the residents if their surrounding neighbors have become “the lower class”. It wouldn’t surprise me much. It’d make Pill Hill another one of those many “pockets” located all over the city that are very nice to be in once you get there, but you might have to pass through what looks like a battle zone on your way there.
Aug 09, 2010
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2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Aug 03, 2010

"Not much besides the higher than average crimerate"

Burnside is a residential area with above average crime and few landmarks to draw attention. I'm not that familiar with the area because it isn't the type of place I would want to spend a lot of time in. I've been through there a few times, and wouldn't suggest spending much time there alone. Always have someone with you. Maybe a Green Beret, or a superhero.

The home prices are low, which is a big plus, but don't forget that it's because the neighborhood isn't exactly desirable. I think there is potential in Burnside, or at least there will be once the housing situation gets straightened out. I can see a lot of developers moving in to attempt to gentrify the area and that could make Burnside more attractive. At present, I don't recommend it. Very little in terms of nightlife or dining, and the crime is higher than you would want. Only for the most street savvy would I recommend it, and only then if you have dire financial reasons.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • It can only get better
  • Not a lot of traffic
Cons
  • Unwelcoming
  • No dining or nightlife options for the most part
  • Not safe
Recommended for
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 02, 2010

"Authentic Mexican food and close proximity to Midway"

Brighton Park is a mostly Hispanic neighborhood, with some really good, and according to an ex-girlfriend, some of the most authentic Mexican food in the city. She used to take me to all the different Mexican restaurants, so I've been through Brighton Park a few times. I wouldn't know how authentic the food really is, but she had the heritage to say with authority that it was good. I'm more of an Americanized Mexican food lover myself, meaning Taco Bell, but there is still some great food in Brighton Park.

The neighborhood is close to Midway, which can be convenient if you travel a lot, which I wish I could, but I really haven't had the opportunity yet. I never noticed an abundance of noise or terrible traffic from the airport, but no doubt that could be a problem for a resident.

Outside of some dining experiences, I don't know as much about Brighton Park, but I felt relatively safe and I enjoyed the food, so it would be a nice place to live. I don't suggest it for tourists, as there aren't a lot of landmarks to see, but you can do worse for a place to live.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 02, 2010

"Good for a ball game and the Irish atmosphere"

Bridgeport is a great neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. It is still a mostly Irish neighborhood, with some influx of other cultures to give it a diverse feel. Still mostly blue collar, and it seems to be a favorite of Chicago Mayors, who I think see it as a good place to live if you want to look like 'one of the people.'

The thing most people think of is the ballpark for the White Sox. It's technically nearby and not within the neighborhood, but it's still an institution for those living here. I'd say a Cubs fan would have a hard time making friends, especially in one of the many irish bars in the area during baseball season. The Irish bars are the main attraction for me, and while I'm not a huge baseball fan, if I put on a White Sox jersey and go to a bar for a game, I almost always have someone buy me a few drinks. Not a bad way to have some fun and make a few friends.

There's a lot of good irish Chicagoan history in Bridgeport, and it isn't terribly expensive, so I'd certainly suggest giving it a look, even if it's just for a short visit.
Pros
  • Mayors have lived here
  • Safe
  • Great parks
  • Good for Irish White Sox Fans
Cons
  • Bad traffic on game days
  • Not good for Cubs fans
  • Not a ton of good restaurants
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jul 31, 2010

"A little far from downtown, but a proud community."

Brainerd is a primarily residential and African American Community. Home prices are generally pretty low, which is good, although there are a handful of empty lots. I'm always wary of neighborhoods with a fair number of empty lots in a big city. It always makes me nervous about the crime. I haven't had any problems personally in Brainerd, but then I have heard there's a higher crime rate than the average.

The African American community is very proud of their history in Brainerd. There's a whole section of the local library dedicated to African American literature and culture, which is pretty cool and certainly unique to Brainerd.

One more nice thing about Brainerd that I've noticed is that there are a handful of good golf courses nearby. I wouldn't call them world class, but it's certainly nice. I've golfed at a few of them, and friends of mine who are more avid golfers go there from time to time and enjoy it.

The biggest downfalls for Brainerd would have to be the potential for crime and that it's fairly far from downtown. I don't know exactly how far, but it would be a bit of a commute if you're driving, and traffic into the city can get rough. Home prices are good though, so you could make a decent home here.
Pros
  • Proud African American Community
  • Good nearby golf courses
  • Affordable
  • Lots of potential
Cons
  • Far from the heart of the city
  • Not much for shopping
  • No real nightlife
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 30, 2010

"Good for a family, if you want to still be in the city"

Ashburn is a nice, low key, residential neighborhood. It's a relatively quiet place to live, where you can raise a family. I wouldn't call it the best place to bring your friends when they're visiting, but it isn't bad for a quiet place to live.

The biggest problem I have is the nightlife. I'm a 25 year old guy, so not having a good bar scene can be difficult for me. I wouldn't want to live there at this point in my life, but in a few years, it could be nice if I have some kids. It's mostlty middle class, and pretty integrated, as far as it goes. I think it could use some gentrification, at least to bring in some more money. Otherwise, it's a nice neighborhood, especially for a family.
Pros
  • Low key, relaxing
  • Really nice parks
  • Family neighborhood
  • Quiet
  • Safe
Cons
  • Not a lot of nightlife
  • A bit of gentrification would make it an elite neighborhood
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 29, 2010

"Big enough to encompass multiple points of view"

First, Austin is a big neighborhood. This makes it somewhat hard to describe. There are great parts of Austin, and some not so great parts. As a whole, unfortunately, I'd have to describe it as a less than safe area. That said, there are parts of the neighborhood that I think are pretty nice and reasonably safe. It's too bad that the problem sections have to ruin the whole, but that's the way it is.

There has been some effort put in recently to revitalize the neighborhood, with many streets being repaved, and some other projects designed to improve the overall community. I wouldn't say there's been much success yet, but it gives me some hope. Maybe in a few years it'll be move up into one of the nicer areas of the city.

Home prices aren't too bad, and you can get a decent place for the money right now. If you're wary of the crime you should be fine, although I wouldn't recommend it for families. It's relatively close to the action, so you don't need to worry about being too far away. Traffic can get jammed on the Eisenhower expressway, but you're not so far that it would kill you.
Pros
  • Big neighborhood, lots to see.
  • Some revitalization has happened recently, which should help.
  • Affordable
  • Historic
Cons
  • Kinda unsafe
  • Bad traffic
  • Not the place I'd choose.
  • Lacking the urban feeling
Recommended for
  • Professionals
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 29, 2010

"Affordable, but not that exciting"

Avalon Park is a decent neighborhood, not great, but not terrible. You can find some good food here, especially the ribs at Leon's Bar B Que. I've eaten there a few times, and always enjoyed it. It is a takeout joint, so don't be expecting to sit down there and eat, but it's great if you have a ball game on TV that night and want to pick up something good to eat.

Homes are generally affordable, and it isn't a dangerous neighborhood, although I'd say it isn't the safest place in the city either. I did notice a fair number of fences, but I'd say that's more for privacy and not for security. Overall, you can do a lot worse than Avalon Park, but a lot better as well.

One really nice thing is there's essentially no traffic, at least the time I've been in Avalon Park there were few cars on the road.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Decent dining
Cons
  • Slightly unsafe, not terrible, but not great
  • Kinda boring
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 28, 2010

"Have hope, ye who enter here..."

I look at Avondale with a lot of hope in my eyes. I know it has a ways to go, but it's on the path toward a better tomorrow. Sounds like a line from a Superman movie.

The main reason I look at Avondale as having promise is that there are a lot of younger up and comers moving into the area. Some friends of mine, who make more money than I do, have moved there and really like it. They see it as the next Wicker Park. I wouldn't go that far, in fact, I'd say that's more than a bit of a stretch, but it could turn into a cool place for a younger crowd.

To me, there is one main downside to Avondale. Unfortunately, it still isn't the safest place in the city. More for singles and couples than for young families. As more money comes into the area and it becomes gentrified, I think the crime rate will have a sharp downturn, but it hasn't happened yet.

I'm thinking of moving to Avondale. I'd rather get a place in Wicker Park, but if nothing works out there, I think Avondale may end up my new home in about six months. I'm giving it a solid recommendation to younger, city savy singles and couples.
Pros
  • Constantly improving
  • Not too expensive
  • Young
Cons
  • Somewhat unsafe
  • A bit loud at times
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 28, 2010

"Welcome to the Jungle..."

Back of the Yards is a decent working class neighborhood. Crime is a bit of a problem, so I wouldn't give in a high recommendation for a family looking for a good home. That said, you can find a decent place that isn't too expensive here.

Yes, it is the Back of the Yard from “The Jungle.” No, it isn't that bad. Well, mostly. I've stopped by during the day, and I've felt safe enough. I don't know that I'd want to go for a walk at night, but then going for night walks is something you do in smaller towns anyways. If you live in the city and want to walk around late at night, you'll probably end up mugged at some point regardless of where you live.

Back of the Yards is mostly Hispanic, and the food isn't anything worth mentioning, and the same goes for nightlife and shopping. Still, you can find a home, and if the price is of particular importance, then I'd say you can do a whole lot worse. Not for tourists unless they're fans of Sinclair.
Pros
  • Pretty cheap housing
  • Making a comeback
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Not a lot to do
  • Really bad history and still somewhat unsafe
  • No good food
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 27, 2010

"Solid neighborhood for a family"

This neighborhood is definitely made for families. Being one of the safest communities in Chicago as well as having some of the best schools in the city make it a perfect place to raise a family. The cost of living continues to rise, here and elsewhere, but you can still get a place without breaking the bank. You might stress the bank a bit, but it should still be intact.

Beverly has one of the stronger Irish populations in the city, and the hard working, good people tend to stay in their community. Many families stay here for more than a generation, and that's because they love it, not because they can't escape.

The biggest downside to Beverly would have to be the nightlife. It isn't a place to visit unless you're looking to go for a walk. It's not bad for walking, but it wouldn't exactly be a tourist destination.

Again, the safety lends itself to certain activities, and many of them are outdoor-based, but if you're looking to go club hopping, you might want to try elsewhere. You can have a beer at a local Irish bar, and that has its charm, but it isn't for everyone.

Overall, I'd give Beverly a solid recommendation for anyone looking to raise a family. You'll get some great neighbors, and a good community to feel your kids are safe.
Pros
  • Great atmosphere
  • Family friendly
  • Safe
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No nightlife for the most part
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 27, 2010

"Residential, low key, but solid"

Belmont Central is a mostly residential neighborhood with a population mostly dominated by Hispanics. It is fairly affordable, and safe. Not a bad place to raise a family, although I'd say you may feel out of your element if you're not Hispanic. They're still welcoming, and there is still a portion of the population that's Polish.

Eating out is also good, but unmemorable. I doubt very many people are going to be coming here for the food, but if you lived here, you'd have some options. The remaining Polish restaurants would be the best reason to visit for food. At least it's something relatively unique, although there are other Polish restaurants in the city.

Nightlife is similarly unremarkable, but you can still find a drink. This is a residential neighborhood that's mostly occupied by families.

The main things to remember about Belmont Central are the affordability and safety. It's not a big destination for many people, and you won't find as many exciting things to do, but even in the areas where there are a number of things to do, you get used to them and just want a quiet, nice place to live. That can be Belmont Central.
Pros
  • Very welcoming community
  • Low key
  • Quiet
  • Great for families
Cons
  • No nightlife
  • No real fine dining restaurants, but there are some decent places...
  • Not much happening
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 26, 2010

"It has potential, but most of that potential is currently unrealized"

Lawndale has some potential as an up and coming neighborhood in Chicago. Unfortunately, it still has a ways to go before I'd call it a great neighborhood.

First thing to note in Lawndale is all the history. The area was a base of operations in Chicago for the civil rights movement in the 60's, and after Martin Luther King Jr. was killed the neighborhood was all but destroyed in the ensuing race riots. Many businesses left the area, and this is still affecting the neighborhood all these many years later. There have been some attempts to revitalize in the last 10 to 20 years, but so far it hasn't had a dramatic enough effect to make Lawndale terribly attractive to prospective buyers.

Home prices are relatively low, but there are some empty lots and a bit more crime than your average Chicago neighborhood. I wouldn't feel all that comfortable walking down the street at night.

Dining is relatively sparse as well. Most dining locales are low key. Mostly pizza and burger joints. Nightlife is also next to nothing, but I'm sure there are a few bars if you are desperate for a drink.
Travel isn't too bad, much like most of Chicago, it has good public transportation, and there's plenty of parking. The negative to the parking is that there are a number of meters. Just bring some change and you'll be fine.

Overall, the main thing I think of when I look at Lawndale is potential. If some of the attempts to revitalize take hold, the neighborhood could become a great place to live. It isn't that far from the Loop, and if you got rid of some of the empty lots and put in high quality homes, it could be nice. For them moment though, it isn't a place I visit much and wouldn't consider living there for the time being.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Some neighborhood rebuilding has occurred
  • Residential
Cons
  • Hasn't yet realized its potential
  • Little for shopping
  • Not terribly safe
Recommended for
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 24, 2010

"A nice little Polish community, residential and unexciting."

Archer Heights is a solid, blue collar neighborhood with a strong Polish community.

I'm not the biggest fan of Polish food, but that doesn't mean there isn't some good food on the table if you're so inclined. There are non-Polish restaurants, but the main descriptive feature in terms of dining is the Polish experience.

The neighborhood atmosphere is also very welcoming and there are a number of families who have been born, raised, and spent their adult lives in Archer Heights. That kind of community loyalty is pretty rare, whether in Chicago or not, so you know there's definitely something here worth preserving.

The biggest downsides to the neighborhood would be the relatively small and modest homes. They're not expensive, but they're also not particularly noteworthy. Just solid, middle-class homes that you can raise a family in.

Not much of a tourist destination, and you have to like the food to love the dining, but it's a solid, safe neighborhood just the same.
Pros
  • Nice, welcoming community
  • A couple good restaurants
  • Reasonably priced housing
Cons
  • Really boring nightlife
  • Small homes
  • Good restaurants, but not very many options
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Jul 23, 2010

"Expensive, but fantastic energy and nightlife."

Lincoln Park is one of the more popular areas in Chicago, especially amongst younger people interested in good nightlife.

To get the cons out of the way first, Lincoln Park is expensive. It isn't the most expensive part of the city, but it ranks up there. It also has some decent shopping, but I personally don't feel that's one of the neighborhood's strengths.

With the negatives out of the way, let me say that Lincoln Park is one of the safest areas of the city. I suppose the high cost means that it's an upper class area, which doesn't bring much crime.

Walking the streets of Lincoln Park is a great way to spend the day. There's a great youthful feeling, due mostly to nearby Depaul, which works great for men, being a 25 year old guy. Hot summer days with girls in shorts is a great day.

There are some excellent restaurants and nightclubs here too. In fact, I'd say that Lincoln Park's greatest strength is the nightlife. You can always find a good time.

I will also say that the area isn't just for the young, single crowd. There are more and more families moving into the area. I think the safety really plays a big role in people wanting to raise a family here.

Overall, without question, Lincoln Park is one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago. The price may be a bit high, but it is certainly worth it for those who can afford it.

EDITED: So I recently spent a weekend dog sitting for a friend with an amazing condo in Lincoln Park, and I wanted to give just a few updated thoughts. First, it's still an awesome place, and still expensive, so I have no intention of living there anytime soon, since it'd make me go bankrupt, but it is super nice, and there's plenty to do. Pequod's Pizza (one of the best pizza places in the city) is there, and there's Toast, a breakfast place that's incredible, so the two of those are exceptional for sure. And the place is super safe, as I said before. I was walking the two dogs at night, and I never felt even the slightest bit unsafe. There are gyms around, plenty of bars, and it's a nice area, so I'd definitely recommend it.

It's close to downtown too, and the zoo is a great bit of fun, both in the summer with the animals and in the winter with the zoo lights and ice skating. Very cool place indeed.
Pros
  • Access to the Park and Lake Michigan
  • Lots of bars, restaurants, and shops
  • Quick commutes to other areas
Recommended for
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Jul 22, 2010

"Great German food in a mostly residential neighborhood"

Lincoln Square is a great little German neighborhood. It may not be as German as it once was, but it still has a bit of an old world feel to it. The houses and streets aren't as densely packed as some other areas, which is nice and makes for a good walk on a cool summer night. This atmosphere does have the drawback of higher home prices, but I'd still say it's worth it.
Food is my favorite part of Lincoln Square. There's some German in my family, and the Chicago Brauhaus is one of my favorite city restaurants. You can get all your German favorites here, and the atmosphere is wonderful for a meal with family. Whenever my extended family comes to town, we always go there. I've never been to Germany, so I can't say if it's all that authentic, but it sure is good.
One other thing I think of when I think Lincoln Square is The Book Cellar. It's a small independent bookstore with a really cool vibe. I'd visit there any time just to peruse their selection and enjoy the feel. I usually go to closer bookstores like Barnes and Noble, and while I love it there too, The Book Cellar is unique. You can't get that feel in a chain store.
Overall, Lincoln Square would be a great place to live, if you can afford it. It isn't the most expensive part of the city, but it is above average. Fortunately, there's good reason. You have a wonderful, friendly neighborhood with some good food and shopping destinations. Definitely recommended.
Pros
  • Cool neighborhood atmosphere
  • Quiet
  • Authentic German food
  • Safe
Cons
  • I've had traffic problems, although that may be just a few isolated instances
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 21, 2010

"A great Hispanic neighborhood for young families"

Little Village is becoming a favorite destination for younger families looking for an affordable home. I wouldn't say it's the best neighborhood, and there are certainly some limitations, but it has it's moments.
Food is going to be mostly dominated by Mexican food. The population is mostly dominated by Hispanics, so there's a lot of Mexican pride. It's pretty fun, actually. I've never been here for it, but I know they celebrate Mexico Independence Day in September. For food, I don't mind Mexican from time to time, although I wouldn't want it everyday. Still, if you're in the mood, you'll find what you're looking for.
Nightlife is pretty abysmal if you ask me. I can't think of a single place to have a drink. I'm sure there are a few bars, but I'd rather go elsewhere.
There is some good shopping the area, so you wouldn't suffer from any retail withdrawal. You can stop by 26th St. and find some pretty nice stores. Not the best in the city, but still solid.
Overall, I wouldn't give Little Village a glowing recommendation, but it is a good location for younger families on a budget. Not high marks, but not low.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Lots of restaurants
  • Strong community
Cons
  • I found Little Village to be a little on the dirty side
  • Slow nightlife
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 21, 2010

"A really cool, young neighborhood"

Logan Square is one of my favorite neighborhoods. I'm a young guy, so the overall atmosphere of youth and energy really appeals to me. I love going for walks down one of the Logan Square Boulevards. These Boulevards have actually become historic landmarks, and for good reason: they're beautiful. There are big homes with lots of grass and flowers in the spring and summer. It is certainly one of the more picturesque areas in the city.

I should also mention that a walk is also nice because of the safety of the neighborhood. I never feel nervous going for a walk.

I dated a bit of a foodie for a while, and she loved the Farmer's Market in Logan Square. I know it isn't exactly a dining destination, but it really offers some amazing food. There are some other really good restaurants, so you'll never go hungry.

Nightlife is also pretty good. Bars here aren't quite the loud party destinations in other areas, but there are plenty to choose from and you can have a good drink and conversation.

Homes aren't too bad in terms of price, and there are a lot of younger professionals in the area, so you can trust that you'll enjoy living here. I'd love to be able to move here at some point. Highly recommended.
Pros
  • Mostly reasonable priced housing
  • Currently home prices aren't too bad and are a good investment
  • Fun Nightlife.
Cons
  • Kinda busy
  • It can be a bit loud at times
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 20, 2010

"Still recovering from some past crime, but it's come a long way..."

First thing to note about Marquette Park is that in the past it was not a particularly safe neighborhood. A lot has been done in recent years to correct this, and while I wouldn't say it's been entirely successful, it is definitely a lot better than it used to be.

My little disclaimer out of the way, I should mention that Marquette Park's main attractions would be some of the outdoor activities you can enjoy. First, you have the namesake park. The main area that was rehabilitated a few years back, it's a very large park with plenty of space to go for a walk, run, or afternoon bike ride. It wasn't that safe a few years back, but it has come a long way. No more of the drugs and prostitution that you used to see. At least during the day. I haven't visit the park at night, although I would be wary of visiting very many parks at night anyways.
The other outdoor activity worth mention is the Marquette Park Golf Course. It's one of the best the city has to offer. My uncle's a big golf fan, and while he mostly visits private clubs, he will from time to time enjoy a round of golf in Marquette Park.

Dining in Marquette Park is mostly characterized by Lithuanian food. There are other options available, but none of the others gives the neighborhood anything unique. I especially like the Lithuanian Plaza Bakery & Deli. I'm a big fan of delis and bakeries, and this one is pretty good. You can get some regular bakery goods as well as some specifically Lithuanian baked goods.

By far my favorite thing to do in Marquette Park is listen to some blues at Natasha's Rome. It's a cool club, and while I prefer Buddy Guy's Legends, it is still a great club with good blues played live every week. If you're a blues fan, definitely give it a look.

Overall, I'd recommend Marquette Park for a visit, although I'd be wary of advising anyone to live there. Not to say that you couldn't make a good home there, it's just that I don't entirely trust the safety yet. In a few years though, it could make for a prime destination for a home.
Recommended for
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 20, 2010

"Good living, bad nightlife"

McKinley Park is a really good residential type neighborhood with nice homes that for the quality of the house and the neighborhood, are reasonably priced. I say for what you get because the homes aren't really cheap, but similar accommodations would be priced higher in other parts of the city.
McKinley Park is fairly safe and the main park in the Neighborhood, named (you guessed it) McKinley Park, is one of the better parks in the city. There's a fair amount of space, lots of greenery, and a swimming pool in the summer and ice skating rink in the winter. I'd say the park is one of the main attractions in the area.
Dining is not exactly great, but that doesn't mean it's terrible. There are some decent places to grab a bite to eat. My dad's a big fan of chili, and he really likes Lindy's Chili. I'm not as big a fan of chili, but even I like eating there. You can also get some good ice cream. Most of the options for dining are affordable, which is nice, and I'd say that much like the real estate, it's a steal for what you get.
The biggest drawback to McKinley Park would be the nightlife, which is virtually nonexistent, and the traffic can be really bad. Outside of the purely residential streets, you'll have a very hard time finding parking, and you can get utterly gridlocked in traffic as well. It is close to the Loop, so you can take the train for a short trip, but if you want to drive it can be a real pain.
Dependent on what you're looking for, McKinley Park might be perfectly suited for you. I'm giving it 3 stars because it doesn't have the nightlife or finer dining options that I'd like in a neighborhood. But it could be a nice place to raise a family.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Jul 19, 2010

"Not much in the neighborhood but the homes"

Montclaire is similar to Morgan Park, in that both are mostly residential areas, fairly nice and safe with good homes, but at the same time without a lot of the bells and whistles that Chicago is known for. I've heard some people say that it's a wonderful place for younger families, as they can still be in the city, while also having the type of place they can raise a family in. I'm not so sure. To me it seems like the type of place people who don't want to admit they should be in the suburbs would live. That said, it's a nice place. Good sized homes with yards for a reasonable price. The people are friendly, and you can walk around with the feeling that you're in the suburbs.
As far as nightlife goes, it's pretty quiet here. I actually had to check google to find anywhere to get a drink, and the best option available was a bowling alley. Again, the type of place that's good for a family, and where you can have some of that kind of wholesome fun that's necessary for the younger families.
Dining is a similar experience. Family friendly, normal, good but boring food. Don't get me wrong, I like Applebee's, but it isn't special to this neighborhood.
There is the Brickyard Mall for shopping, and it's not half bad, so if you live here you wouldn't be out of options for some retail, but it still doesn't feel special.
All in all, Montclaire is a nice place, and certainly the type of place you can raise a family. I wouldn't go there for excitement, but just because it lacks in excitement doesn't mean it's horrible.
Pros
  • No nightlife to speak of
  • Quiet
  • Safe
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 18, 2010

"A little less urban, a bit more suburban"

Morgan Park is a residential area on the south side of Chicago that doesn't really feel like it's part of the city. At a certain point the city just bleeds into the suburbs, and Morgan Park feels like it's almost just part of the surrounding suburbs than the city. This serves to both make it better and in a way worse.
It's better in that the area is relatively safe, and while there are some rough nearby neighborhoods that would make me think twice about living there, it's pretty nice for the most part. A lot of nice houses with good sized yards, and streets that feel walkable. I can't say that for some of the surrounding areas.
The downside, for me, is that if you want to live in Chicago, then I think you should live somewhere more urban. There are suburbs further from the city that are nicer, safer, and cheaper, and while you're further from the city, you can always take a train downtown. I realize that it may not seem ideal, but really, you'll be taking the train from Morgan Park, or driving a fair distance, to get to the main parts of the city. I grew up in the suburbs and my dad took the train downtown every day, just like thousands of others. There are better schools and safer neighborhoods if you get away from the city.
This isn't to say that I'm against the city. I love the city. But I like it for the hustle and bustle, which you don't get in Morgan Park. If you want to raise a family, live on the south side, then Morgan Park may end up an ideal choice. But it's not like we're riding horse drawn carriages anymore. You can commute too.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Jul 16, 2010

"Safe and secure amongst all the police and firefighters"

The first thing to mention about Mount Greenwood is that it’s a safe area. Many policemen and firefighters live in the area, so there’s a great community feeling, where if you got into trouble you know someone would help you. I’ve seen areas where there are good people too scared to act. Not so amongst the brave men and women who’ve chosen to protect and serve.
I mentioned community, and I’d say that’s a very important aspect of Mount Greenwood. In fact, I’d say it may have one of the more tightly knit communities in the city. There are many families who’ve lived there for more than one generation, which speaks well of the good atmosphere.
Schools are certainly a hightlight, as Mount Greenwood is said to be one of the best school districts in Chicago. I personally didn’t go to school there, and I don’t have any children yet, so I can’t say if it’s true, but it certainly looks attractive when you consider where to live.
Dining is relatively laid back, and while you can get some good food, it’ll be a mostly casual affair. The nightlife is similar, although I’d say it’s dominated by all the Irish pubs. I’m not much of a baseball fan, but I know you should at least act like you’re a fan of the White Sox if you want to make friends. I’m Irish too, so that doesn’t hurt.
Overall, Mount Greenwood ranks really high for me if I’m recommending a middle class neighborhood to raise a family in. Safe and friendly, it scores high.
Pros
  • Good atmosphere, the safety really makes it feel welcoming
  • Very safe
  • Quiet
  • History of supporting families
Cons
  • No shopping for the most part
  • A bit on the boring side
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 15, 2010

"For those who like to be in the midst of it all"

One of the most expensive and sought after neighborhoods in town, the Near North Side is without question one of the biggest tourists draws in the city, as well as being one of the most fun.
I've never lived there, mainly because it is a very expensive part of the city, but I'd love to if I had the money. I don't mind noise, but if you do, it would be a place to stay away from. Something is always going on. That said, the busy nature and the fact that it's a tourist destination make it one of the safer neighborhoods. Chicago isn't going to let all those tourists go home with tales of woe after visiting the big city.
Do you want to shop? You can shop. I personally like to go to bookstores, and there are a ton of them here, as well as just about any other type of store you're looking for. Be forewarned though, these are upscale shops. It can get pretty expensive during a short shopping trip.
Restaurants are a similar story. It's fantastic if you can afford it. Morton's is one of the best steakhouses in the city. Probably in the world. You'll pay through the nose for it, but it's one of those meals that no matter how good you are in the kitchen, you can never recreate it.
There are a lot of great bars in the Near North Side too. And these tend to be the places with the prettiest girls. Of course, most of the time they're looking for guys with the biggest bank account, but you can still try your luck.
Transportation is a breeze, so no worries there. Just enjoy it. It'll cost you, but if you have means, you'll find what you need in the Near North Side.
Pros
  • Highly sought after, exclusive
  • Trendy and safe
  • Exciting, with things always happening
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Tends to be a lot of traffic
  • It can get loud
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 15, 2010

"Affordable and close to the real action."

The Near South Side is really close to the Loop (only a few miles) and it has a moderately nice feel, while at the same time being affordable. I wouldn't say that any of the residences are especially nice, which accounts for the lower prices, but you could fix up a loft and have a great place to live that's really close to more interesting neighborhoods.
Shopping is very scarce, so I doubt anyone would come here for retail, but it is close enough to better shopping destinations that you wouldn't suffer if you lived here.
It's a similar theme when it comes to food. Nothing special, and everything that's okay here is better elsewhere, but there are some decent Chinese restaurants if you don't want to travel. Again, you're close enough to neighborhoods with better dining that you wouldn't suffer.
The only park I can think of to help you with your exercise is Dunbar Park, but yet again, there are better parks in other nearby areas.
To me, the best thing about the Near South Side is that you can find an affordable place to live while being able to get to other areas without a hassle. Take it for what it is.
Pros
  • Close to the Loop
  • Safe
  • Good atmosphere
Cons
  • Not much shopping
  • Expensive
  • Not much for dining
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 14, 2010

"Nice, but lacking in interest"

North Center is a nice, safe area that's close to the more happening areas while still removed enough to be a quieter neighborhood. I feel like you could really raise a family there, and I know a lot of the younger professional crowd as started to flock there, although I wouldn't say it has that much to hold my interest.
One place I would recommend for dinner is Sola, which is a nicer restaurant with some great food. I've visited North Center more than once just to eat there, so it is certainly a highlight.
Walking around, you'll see a number of stores that seem interesting, but for me, they just don't seem like the places you'll want to see all the time. Some art galleries and furniture stores where you can find something unique, but really, after you furnish your place, do you really need a furniture store nearby? I don't. Art galleries are nice, and certainly add an air of class to the area, but again, not terribly helpful if you ask me.
Transportation is good, with access to the Kennedy and the El stops here, but that can be said of most neighborhoods, so it's nothing special.
Overall, I don't think North Center would be a half bad place to live. It's safe and pretty quiet, and you're close enough to the more exciting areas to make it a good resting place.
Pros
  • Safe
  • Some Good Restaurants
  • Quiet
  • great for families
Cons
  • Not exactly exciting
  • I feel North Center is a bit stale, like it's been bleached
  • Not much shopping
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 14, 2010

"A good area for families and students"

North Park is dominated by Northeastern University, in that the whole area is flooded by students regularly. This in by no means a bad thing, as for the most part it is an academic crowd. Like any area with a lot of students, there is a special energy in North Park. I love to walk around the neighborhood, just to see people and enjoy myself. It’s with out a doubt one of my favorite places to take a walk in the city. There’s a fair number of pretty girls to meet.
Housing is affordable, with a decent resale value, although with today’s housing market that’s based more in comparison to other places, since it’s hard to sell your place anywhere. You’ll see a lot of families in the area, which adds to the younger energy, which I would think would be a huge selling point for most couples looking to buy.
North Park is close to downtown, and while the commute can be slow during rush hour, you can always take the El and be downtown in no time. It doesn’t feel like you’re that close to the heart of the city, but the close physical proximity is nice.
There aren’t a lot of places to eat in North Park, and what there is seems to be mostly geared toward the college population, meaning good but not terribly expensive. But again, the relative closeness to the Loop means you can always get somewhere nearby for a good meal.
Shopping is also dominated by the University atmosphere, so there will be some interesting stores, but not necessarily the higher end shopping you can find in other parts of the city.
For the most part, North Park is a fantastic place. As far as living in the city goes, it is definitely above average. The only real downside is the relative lack of activities if you’re not a student. Still, for families or those looking for a younger neighborhood, North Park could be for you.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 13, 2010

"Go ahead, call it a comeback."

Oakland is an up and coming Chicago neighborhood. Not too long ago it was dominated by housing projects, and while there are still a fair number in the area, many have been torn down, and there are more nice condos and homes being built all the time.

I wouldn’t say that Oakland is the best neighborhood, but I see an upward trend for the most part. Still, there is some crime in the area, and you may find some people who worry about being mugged. At present, I’d say there’s still too much danger for most families. Too much can still go wrong.

That said, I like the potential Oakland has. There isn’t much in the way of restaurants. In fact, I can’t think of any place I’d recommend if you’re hungry. Not that the options are bad, it’s just that there’s next to nothing there. You certainly wouldn’t go to Oakland looking for restaurants.
Mandrake Park is definitely a highlight. There’s a good amount of room to participate in most fun activities, and the Movies in the Park event is a lot of fun. I had the pleasure of going a while back while on a date, and it was a night very well spent. There aren’t enough of these types of venues in Chicago, and I really wish there were more, so if for nothing else specifically, I do recommend Oakland for Movies in the Park.
Pros
  • Its coming back from some bad times
  • Mandrake Park is nice
  • Affordable
Cons
  • The bad times aren't over yet
  • Still a bit unsafe
  • Few restaurants/locations of interest
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jul 12, 2010

"For the loud, artistic type looking for atmosphere…"

Pilson is quickly becoming the new Wicker Park. I have some friends who used to live in Wicker Park, and they hated the gentrification going on, so they decided to move to Pilsen, which I would describe as a half artistic neighborhood, half Hispanic neighborhood. The population may be more on the Hispanic side, but the influx of artists and the whole bohemian vibe has given Pilsen a new life.
The housing prices are affordable, and Pilsen isn’t too far from the Loop, which makes it a prime location for many. There are a lot of art galleries in the area, which I really like, even though I never feel terribly comfortable going in. I just like walking by and seeing all the art. It makes the street feel a little classier, I guess.
For food, you’re mostly going to find Mexican food, and very fortunately it’s mostly very good. Try out Nueva Leon, it’s a really popular place, and there’s a reason, it is excellent. I haven’t been to a lot of restaurants in Pilsen, but Nueva Leon is one place worth multiple visits.
For shopping, there are a fair number of specialty stores, with a lot of stuff you won’t find elsewhere. I’m not a big retail guy, but you can find some gems if you walk around for an afternoon and give it a good look.
The nightlife is not exactly great. The one nice thing is you can get some cheap drinks, and many places aren’t that busy.
The only problem I’ve seen with Pilsen is the noise, and to a lesser extent, the trash. I haven’t lived there, but I’ve seen some loud parties out on the street, and I have no doubt it could drive some people off. I don’t know that I’d recommend the area for a families, but I’d say it’s safe, and has a great atmosphere for the artistic type, and maybe just for that artistic side of you.
Pros
  • Youthful energy
  • Decent location
  • Affordable, good places to live
  • artsy
Cons
  • Loud, definitely loud
  • Not gentrified enough for Pilson to become primo real estate
  • Nightlife isn't what you'd expect in such a young area
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 12, 2010

"A good mix for a nice neighborhood"

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Portage Park is the Six Corners. It’s the intersection of Irving Park Road, Cicero, and Milwaukee Avenues, and there are a number of really good shopping destinations if you’re so inclined. There’s a really cool costume shop in the neighborhood, which comes in handy when Halloween comes around. You can always find the right look. You’ll find some good, and unique shops if you stop by in Portage Park.
The nightlife tends to be a nice mix. There are some really packed clubs in the area, but there are also some casual, laid back places. Regardless of the mood you’re in, you can find a drink to suit it.
There’s some great places to eat in Portage Park too. My favorite is the Addison Steak House, which has a wonderful atmosphere, and while it isn’t cheap, it also isn’t terribly expensive, and you’ll get some good food.
The real estate in the area is mostly affordable, and while some places are small and need some work, the neighborhood in general is very nice and safe. You can certainly raise a family here, and I know it’s a very Polish area, so if you’re Polish, you’ll feel especially at home.
Pros
  • Safe
  • Great neighborhood spirit-cool block parties
  • Pretty affordable
  • quiet
Cons
  • Not the best nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 10, 2010

"Historic and affordable"

Pullman is one of the more famous Chicago Neighborhoods. It started as a planned community for factory workers, and has since developed into a mostly residential area with a lot of history and some very nice homes that won’t break the bank.

There are a number of tours through Pullman, one of which I had to go on when I was in school. I don’t remember being all that thrilled at the time, but I was in middle school, so I wouldn’t have been thrilled with any historical tour. Not a big fan of them now, either, but it is interesting and does give an idea to the type of atmosphere you’ll find in Pullman. A number of buildings are historically valuable to the city, and it’s pretty cool to walk the streets and see sites that have been around for such a long time. At least it’s more interesting than another Starbucks on every corner.

One place definitely worth visiting is the Greenstone Church, which has been in the neighborhood since the beginning. My dad used to tell me about the organ, which is one of the few of its kind left in the US. Certainly not something you’ll get elsewhere.

Outside of the history, there isn’t a lot of really interesting things in Pullman, there are a few nice places to eat, like the Cal Harbor Restaurant and Lounge, where you can get good diner style food. I wouldn’t recommend Pullman for the nightlife, which outside of a few bars isn’t anything special.

There isn’t much shopping either, but I don’t think that’s why people come to Pullman. Obviously, the history is here, but the houses are also fairly affordable, and many look pretty nice. I wouldn’t say it’s an upscale neighborhood, but you could do a lot worse if you were looking for a place to live. Who knows? Maybe all the history will inspire you to make some yourself.
Pros
  • Famous for it's history
  • Affordable, but still nice
  • Safe
  • interesting architecture
Cons
  • Touristy
  • Kinda boring
  • No nightlife for the most part, and shopping and dining are similar
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 09, 2010

"Some great food and shopping, maybe a little expensive though…"

Ravenswood is definitely a nice neighborhood. I’ve been through there quite a few times, and I’ve always found it to be energetic and fun. The food and shopping is excellent although neither is the best in Chicago.
For food, my favorite is the Bistro Campagne, which is a French restaurant with really high quality. My girlfriend loves going there because they have a great selection of wine, and between you and me (and the whole world since this is the internet) the girl likes her wine. We’ve sat outside on the patio more than once and had a great time.
Speaking of patios, if you want some nightlife, check out the Long Room, which has a good sized patio made for having a few beers on a nice summer night. It’s a pretty casual place, which suits me fine, and most people seem to really appreciate the atmosphere.
Shopping is good in Ravenswood as well. As I love my dogs to no end, my favorite place to shop is the Ruff Haus Pets, which isn’t too busy, and you can get your dog groomed (I only have their nails trimmed) and buy some good healthy food. I can’t say if they like the food any better than regular Dog Chow, since they’d eat anything, but I like to think for the 5 seconds that they eat it’s a more enjoyable experience.
I haven’t lived in Ravenswood, but it seems like a fairly upscale area. I don’t think it’s the most expensive neighborhood in Chicago, but it isn’t cheap. Some of the houses look really nice, and a lot of places have nice yards. Crime is pretty low, and everything is pretty clean. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone looking to visit or stay.
Pros
  • Safe
  • Some great parks and good people to meet in them
  • Great Shopping and dining
  • Quiet
  • Great dining
Cons
  • A bit expensive
  • For all the nice options, it can be a bit dull
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 08, 2010

"Just shy of the top, but give it a few years…"

Rogers Park is a nice area where I see a lot of growth coming over the next few years, which could push if from a nice neighborhood to a great neighborhood. It may take some time before it ranks with the best of the city such as Wicker Park, Bucktown, or the Loop, but it has some nice attractions for those looking to live or just visit.

First, Rogers Park is right on Lake Michigan. There are good beaches, such as the North Shore Avenue Park and Beach, which has a lot going for it besides the lake and the view of the city. North Shore has some volleyball courts and fitness areas for the more active. A really nice day can be spent there with family and friends.

Another thing that can be a big attraction is Loyola University. Of course, students will be around Rogers Park, which I feel is great for more than just the students themselves. I like to be in an area with other young people. I’ve lived in areas where I’d swear I’m the youngest guy by 20 years, and it can get lonely. You don’t have this problem in Rogers Park. It isn’t quite Wicker Park in this respect, but it definitely helps.

The area can be a little expensive, but it’s not that much pricier than other neighborhoods, and I like a well-off area. They tend to be safer, and you can still get a decent place without selling your soul. I wouldn’t say Rogers Park is the safest place, but I’d feel safe enough walking at night. I wouldn’t suggest any of my female friends do it though.

There is some good dining in the area, specifically Speakeasy. It’s a nice restaurant where you can get some of the best scallops I’ve ever had. I can’t recall the name of the dish, but it was really good. Without question, it’s a reason to visit.

There are some good bars and clubs in the area, which I attribute to the University. You can hear some good live music at the Red Line Tap, which, as its name suggests, is right next to the Red Line of the El.

Overall, Rogers Park is a good place to visit, and I suspect a good place to live. I might end up living there for a while, if I can’t find a place in Wicker Park or Bucktown.

EDITED: I wanted to update my review of Rogers Park, but that's not to say I totally disagree with what I wrote before, just that I want to be sure I give some new thoughts as I've been visiting a lot lately. I have two buddies who share an apartment on Sheridan Rd, and after hanging out with them and at a few local bars and restaurants, I'm a bigger fan of Rogers Park than before. I always liked it well enough, but it's evolved for me. The beaches are gorgeous, at least on the nicer late-summer Saturdays, and some streets are actually quite pretty. That said, I think the neighborhood is a bit hit or miss when it comes to crime, with it being darn near block by block in terms of safety. I'd say it's overall quite safe, but there are parts where I wouldn't want to live or even visit alone, but then there are streets where I'd be totally comfortable having my girlfriend walk to her car alone at night (though I'm never allowed to let her walk alone, and generally don't complain since I know the one time I don't walk her is the time something will happen).

The CTA Red Line is right there as well, with a few stops in the neighborhood, and it's not hard to get to from most parts of the area, so that's nice. The Red Line goes all the way downtown, though I don't like taking it since it makes a ton of stops and can be so busy it's like a sardine can on occasion. If you're on the Northern edge of Rogers Park you can take the Purple Line at the Howard stop, and that's way faster downtown and is generally less busy. Plus, the Red Line gets a lot of Wrigley fans (I'm a Cubs fan, but the drunk fans are a pain), so something crazy always seems to happen. Still, Rogers Park in general has some quality public transportation options, and I've never struggled to much to find parking, though I suspect that's due to where my friends live (they're right near the beach where there's a good parking lot).

Regardless, Rogers Park is one of my favorite Chicago neighborhoods now, and I think if you hunt for a nice place you'll be happy with what you find!
Pros
  • Pretty good bars
  • Definitely showing some improvement
  • Safe
  • Quiet
  • Affordable
  • Beach access
  • lots to do
Cons
  • Kinda expensive
  • It gets a bit noisy
  • Too far from downtown
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 08, 2010

"One of the best areas of the city"

Bucktown, much like nearby Wicker Park and the Ukrainian Village, is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago. Not to repeat what I said in those reviews, but the atmosphere in Bucktown is the main reason it is so amazing. Like Wicker Park, Bucktown is a fun, very young part of town. It shares a good portion of the artistic community in the city, and that excited energy permeates just about every corner of the neighborhood.

Because of the youth in the area, as well as the generally well off status of many of the residents, crime is low, and the neighborhood is friendly. There’s plenty of the modern amenities such as good cell reception and access to internet and cable TV. I’m 25, and I would never live in an area without good cell reception. My cell is my only phone. I couldn’t abide having dropped calls constantly. This makes Bucktown especially attractive to me.

Also much like Wicker Park, with which it shares a border, Bucktown is full of good bars and restaurants. There is certainly a great nightlife here. I think it could get a bit noisy during the summer if you want to sleep with your window open, but I don’t think it would be terrible.

You don’t have to worry about being far from downtown, the people are friendly, and there are a lot of places to eat, shop, or have a drink. Definitely highly recommended. I hope to someday soon be living either in Bucktown or Wicker Park, so you might even see me.
Pros
  • Really great people
  • Awesome atmosphere - Really fun
  • Good restaurants
Cons
  • It can get loud
  • I've struggled at times to find good parking
  • A little expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Jul 07, 2010

"You can bring your dog! Just not everywhere..."

I've had a handful of experiences in Roscoe Village, and for the most part they have been good. The area is really nice, although it does seem a bit expensive, and I doubt I'd be able to live there any time soon. That said, the neighborhood is very safe, clean, and friendly. I saw families on the streets and at the parks. Oh, the parks.
My main memory of Roscoe Village is a trip I made about a year or so ago, when I had been told there was a great place to buy dog treats and toys called Sam and Willy's, which to be sure, was great. I bought a few really good treats which my two puggles proceeded to devour. I was having a great time, and as I drove around, I noticed Fellger Park, where I saw some kid's playing. My dogs are absolutely in love with kids, and they're relatively small and gentle, so I stopped by. I didn't realize that you can't have dogs in the park. I received some painful glares that day. For the most part, I'd say the people are friendly, but don't bring your dogs to the park.
Most of the restaurants are good, and there are a lot of breakfast and lunch type places. I haven't been to them all, but there are certainly some worth visiting.
The Nightlife is a little slow, which I attribute to the neighborhood being mostly family oriented. You'll see some younger dads having a beer, but not a lot of crowds, so don't expect the hottest club to pop up anytime soon. Still, a laid back atmosphere can be a lot more enjoyable than a loud, sweaty club.
Overall, Roscoe Village is very nice. Safe, clean, but expensive, if you have the means and are looking to raise a family, this may be the place for you.
Pros
  • Real safe
  • Great schools in the area
  • Good for families
  • Lots of dining opportunities
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Slow nightlife
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jul 07, 2010

"Not everything comes up roses…"

Roseland is on the far South Side of Chicago, and I’d have to say that it’s on the lower end of neighborhoods in the city. There are too many boarded up houses for my tastes. There are a fair number of houses that aren’t boarded up, but really, one or two on a street make the whole row of houses look bad.
Crime is pretty high in the area, and while I don’t know that it’s the worst in Chicago, Roseland has it’s share of problems. There are some nice looking parks in the area, but you get a little closer, and start thinking about going for a walk, and you get a bad feeling.
The prices on many of the homes are very reasonable, and maybe if you want a home to clean up and make livable, it’s the area for you. There are some really cheap places to live, but then there’s a reason. I wouldn’t want to live next to a house that’s boarded up. You never know what might be in there. There could easily be something illegal going on.
There are a handful of decent places to eat, all of them being fairly casual affairs. You won’t find any of the upscale restaurants, or even great specialty places that Chicago is known for.
Nightlife is similarly sparse, without any fun bars or clubs that you’d want to have some fun at. There are some low key bars where you might be happy to be a regular just looking for a drink and to get out of the house, but I wouldn’t bring a date.
You can go shopping on Michigan Ave., and while the really good shopping is North of Roseland, there are stores to be had for those so inclined.
I mostly think of Roseland as a place where if I was driving through the neighborhood with my mom, she’d put her purse on the floor of the car just in case. I don’t think it’s that bad, but it has that affect on people.
Pros
  • Cheap
  • Some fixer uppers
  • Good casual dining
Cons
  • Dangerous
  • Boarded up homes
  • Scary place to visit
Recommended for
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 06, 2010

"Good for living, so-so for visiting"

Sauganash is a nice residential neighborhood. The homes are generally on the expensive side, but nice, and it seems like a nice place to raise a family. I wouldn't say there's a whole lot to do there, but you can find some good, mid level dining experiences. I wouldn't say there's anything great as far as upscale dining, but you can certainly do worse.
There are a few malls in the area for shopping, but nothing famous like a tourist would look for. Mostly just the types of malls that are solid for someone living in the area. Old Orchard is only a few miles away, and you can find most of what you need. It isn't like some of the areas downtown where people come to have a shopping holiday, but for most people it'll satisfy.
The overall atmosphere is really nice, which is part of why I think the home prices tend to be expensive. There's a lot of green in the area, lots of trees, grass, etc. This makes it fairly unique in Chicago. Without question, the number one reason to move to Sauganash is for the greenery.
I can't say that Sauganash is my favorite part of the city, but that's mainly because it doesn't hold a lot of attraction for a visit. Living there would be nice though, and I could definitely see raising a family there, provided I can afford it.
Pros
  • Great parks
  • Decent restaurants
  • Quiet
  • Safe
Cons
  • Farther from city than I'd like
  • Not a lot of attractions/things to do
  • A bit expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 06, 2010

"A little suburban, a little urban, a little noisy"

Scottsdale is an interesting neighborhood in Chicago. On the one hand, it looks at times like the suburbs. There are a number of homes on cul-de-sacs, a number of good sidewalks that provide one of the better modes of transportation, since there are few cabs, and plenty of parking. Oddly, for all the parking, there's a lot of traffic, at least on some of the streets that border other neighborhoods.

Food

I didn't find much outside of a few chain type restaurants(like Applebee's) although I do enjoy Mattson's Steak House once in a while. It isn't one of the higher end steak joints in Chicago, but you can get a pretty decent meal there.

Retail

Shopping in the neighborhood is okay. There is the Scottsdale Shopping Center, although if I was in the area with a car, I'd go just north to the Ford City Mall, which is a lot bigger. If you lived in the area, you wouldn't be starved for a day of shopping.

Nightlife

No nightlife to speak of. I don't personally go out drinking at Applebee's. There are a few local bars, but you can find better elsewhere.
Rainey Park is halfway decent also, but again, there are better places to go for a walk or run in Chicago. I mention it if you're thinking of moving to the area. At least there would be something nearby for you to use.
Pros
  • Affordable housing
  • Decent parks
  • Nice mix of various types of neighborhoods
Cons
  • Boring, no nightlife
  • Kinda suburban
  • Lots of traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Jul 05, 2010

"Great if youre looking for a fixer upper"

South Chicago is a decent area of Chicago, with a lot of affordable homes that could be nice if some (at times extensive) repairs were done. I used to visit the area often with an ex-girlfriend, who loved the Mexican restaurant Pepe's. The food was really good, and, according to her (she was Hispanic, so she'd know), the food was fairly authentic. You could get some really good spicy food there. Outside of Pepe's, I didn't find much as far as dining is concerned. There was a fair number of Mexican restaurants, but nothing really upscale, and outside of the occasional craving for Mexican, I would visit for the food.
Retail was similarly sparse. A few chain stores, like Payless, but nothing that would separate South Chicago from other neighborhoods.
There is a nice Farmer's Market, which I do like to visit from time to time, although I usually frequent one closer to where I live.
Bessamer Park is nice, and if you lived in the area, would provide a great location for fun and exercise. There's a pool, and you can take lessons. I don't live nearby, so I've never taken a lesson there, but I suspect it would be pretty decent.
I've already mentioned that the homes are in need of repair, but they are affordable, and if you're so inclined, you could fix a place up and have a decent home for a good price.
All in all, not much for a tourist, but if you have a more limited budget, South Chicago could work out for you.
Pros
  • Good Mexican food
  • Halfway decent park
  • Affordable
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Outside of Mexican food, there isn't much to eat
  • No shopping,
  • needs development
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Jul 05, 2010

"It sure seems nice…"

South Shore is a bit of a two faced neighborhood. In some ways, it seems very nice, but at the same time, crime can be a bit of a problem and there isn’t all that much to speak of in the area.
When you walk down some of the streets, you start to think that South Shore is pretty nice. There can be a lot of trees along the sidewalks, and you would be tempted to take a nice stroll. I’ve never personally had a problem there, but I have heard a number of reports that crime is high in the area. It also doesn’t seem to be going through any big improvements either. I don’t see gentrification sweeping through the area and fixing some of the problems.
That said, it is the home (or former home) of First Lady Michelle Obama and rapper Kanye West. It is certainly possible that Mrs. Obama could make the neighborhood a pet project and help generate interest, making for some improvements. I wouldn’t rule it out, but I haven’t really heard or seen anything as of yet that would indicate it happening any time soon.
Food and shopping is relatively sparse in South Shore. I can’t say there are any special restaurants in the area, and while there’s a Starbucks and a few halfway decent places, I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone looking for a night on the town.
One bright spot in South Shore is the South Shore Community Center. There is a ton to do there, and I would definitely recommend it to a visitor of the city. As the neighborhood name implies, you can get right onto the beach, and while Lake Michigan is a really cold lake, on a warm day (as I right this it’s over 90 degrees outside) you might end up very happy jumping in the lake to cool off. There’s a golf course, lots of trails to walk on, and a lot of activities for the community to enjoy. Without question, if you were looking to live in South Shore, the Community Center is the reason to do so.
Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Great park
  • Nice for a walk, pretty area, for the most part
Cons
  • Abysmal nightlife
  • Not terribly safe
  • I don't see a lot of improvements on the horizon
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 04, 2010

"Little Italy, the food, the atmosphere, benissimo!"

The Near West Side, which contains Chicago's famous Little Italy, is one of my favorites. I've been coming here since I was little. The food, which I will go a little more in depth on later, is excellent, and it's one of the nicer communities in the city.

The Food
You can't come here and not eat. There are some of the best Italian restaurants in the city in Little Italy, some of which have become presences outside the neighborhood, though they originated in the area. First, you have Rosebud. There are a few more Rosebud's out there, but this is the original. Obviously, if it was successful enough to expand, it has to be good. I like the atmosphere and the food is great. You should also give Tuscany a try. I don't know how many there are now, but there's actually one right near where I live in the suburb of Oak Brook, and I know there are more. It's an upscale restaurant, but still comfortable, and the food is incredible. I would suggest the original first, even though the other locations are outstanding.

The community is safe and clean. The cost of a house in the area isn't too bad, and as I understand it there are quite a few cops and firemen living there, which makes for very low crime. My dad tells me a number of the Italian gangsters live there, but they never commit any crimes there since it's home. I'm not sure if it's true, but I think it's perfectly safe to walk around there at night.

I don't see the Near West Side being much of a shopper's destination, but no doubt there are some nice, smaller places where you can find something. Fortunately, it's only a short cab ride from the Loop, so if you find yourself either visiting or living there, you won't have to worry about finding some shops.

Without question, I highly recommend the Near West Side. If you come to Chicago and miss it, I would have to say, "Shame on you." High marks.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 02, 2010

"Less Ukranian these days, but still lots to see"

The Ukrainian Village area of Chicago is a very nice, clean, and friendly place. My favorite parts have to be the Holy Trinity Cathedral, A Tavola, and The Empty Bottle.

Holy Trinity Cathedral is one of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen. It has amazing architecture, and like many parts of the neighborhood, there's a wonderful old country vibe. I know a lot of tourists come to see it, and for very good reason.

A Tavola is one of my favorite Chicago restaurants. It's a little (very little) Italian restaurant famous for their gnocchi. I've taken a few girls on dates there and it's the perfect spot for a quiet, romantic evening.

The Empty Bottle is also small, but has a big reputation. You can always find someone to tell stories about a show they saw there, or an evening that didn't go as planned, but was fun nonetheless. A lot of smaller bands get to play there, so if you're looking for a new band to listen follow, you'll definitely want to stop by.

Overall, the Ukrainian Village is very clean and friendly. Many of the homes have well kept yards, and the streets are some of the cleanest in the city. The neighborhood isn't overly commercialized, so there are a lot of smaller, independently owned restaurants and shops. I know the population, as the name implies, used to be mostly Ukrainian, but it seems much more diverse now. It's really close to Wicker Park, and not far from the Loop, so living there would be a lot of fun, and you'd be close to other really nice areas as well.
Pros
  • Clean
  • Very welcoming atmosphere
  • Beautiful landmarks
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not a lot of shopping options
  • Not terribly diverse
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
SteveNike
SteveNike One great benefits of the Ukrainian Village is the active community participation. There are over 700 neighbors talking about what’s going on in the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Watch and on the sister page about the community. http://www.facebook.com/groups/UKVillageWatch/
Jun 07, 2012
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 01, 2010

"Youthful Spirit and a nice, clean, environment"

First, I'm 25 years old, I didn't go to school in Chicago, but my age does bias me in favor of areas with a lot of pretty girls. With a name like University Village, you might expect a school, and you'd be right. The University is a real god send for the area. The increased number of young women (besides being easy on the eyes) has forced the police to up their game. I went to school at the University of Iowa, and even out in Iowa they had to be vigilant or young women would be attacked. In the city the danger is that much greater, as a result, the police have a greater presence, which provides a much safer place to visit or live.

I've heard people talk about the gentrification in the area before, but I think that's a good thing. Yeah, there are more chain coffee shops like Starbucks around, but I like Starbucks! I'd say anything that brings more money into the area is a good thing.

The extra money has done a lot, too. Many of the buildings have, over the last few years, been renovated. Some old buildings that were looking rundown have had facelifts, both inside and out. While I'm sure the area isn't immune to the housing crisis happening right now, I'd still say if you're looking, University Village may be for you.

Transportation is exceptional, and walking around is more fun in the area. It's good to see a lot of young people. Reminds me of college. And again, pretty girls. Give it a look.
Pros
  • Youthful energy
  • Very Safe
  • Great bars and clubs
Cons
  • Not for everyone
  • It might be getting a bit commercial
  • A bit expensive, although not too bad
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jun 30, 2010

"For when you feel like slumming..."

Washington Park has, in the last few years, gone through some ups and downs. For a long time, the place has been dangerous, with drugs and gang activity, but a few years ago, when hope that the 2016 Olympics would come to town, a lot of interest was shown by developers, who saw the poor area possibly becoming center stage for a world wide event. Then came the down, Chicago is not going to be getting the Olympics any time soon. Most of the money and the developers have moved on, and while there is some hope that the few remaining, meaning those who have probably already put up some money, will continue to push to neighborhood forward and make it much more habitable.

As it stands, Washington Park is one of the most dangerous places in Chicago. If you aren't used to the city, I wouldn't suggest living there. And if you have the means to go elsewhere, please do. I don't want to write the review that convinces anyone to live in a place that is definitely not safe at night, and only moderately so during the day.

The University of Chicago is nearby, and some think of living in Washington Park for it's proximity to the school, but the U of C police force does not patrol in the area, meaning that it isn't anywhere near as safe as the area immediately around the school.

Not much for nightlife, and I'd be nervous going to any of the bars in the area. The restaurants are nothing special. Transportation, like most of Chicago, is decent, but nothing to write home about.

I will say you can get a decent place at a bargain. But remember why it's cheap. You don't find cheap in safer, cleaner, nicer neighborhoods. Check back in 15 years. Maybe some of the renovations will work. Maybe not.
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 29, 2010

"A little below average, and not the safest place in town"

West Elsdon has in recent years become a bit more dangerous place to live. It isn't so much the neighborhood itself, so much as the surrounding areas. Gage Park and Brighton Park are both right nearby, and their influence has not been great. I don't know the crime statistics, but most of what I hear is not very good. This is really unfortunate, because West Elsdon used to be a pretty nice place.

The food is still a bright spot. There is more than one place that claims to have the best pizza in Chicago, and while I may not totally agree, you can do a lot worse then West Elsdon if you're looking for a slice. Try out Positanos, you'll be happy.

I don't remember there being many decent bars, and again, for a white guy at night, it's not the safest place to be.

I know there is some modestly priced housing available, but I don't see the resale value being very high at all. I don't want to say stay away, but you may want to keep your distance. There are better places to be.

I'd say the shopping is pretty poor, mainly because it was entirely forgettable.

I've had friends tell me that the area is getting worse. It does seem like most of the news I hear is about crime, but then many times that is the case. Still, with other bad neighborhoods in the area, I'm afraid that West Elsdon may continue on the downward slope. You may find a reasonably priced place to live, but I wouldn't suggest the investment.
Pros
  • Better than some of the surrounding neighborhoods
  • Good food, especially some good Chicago pizza
  • Reasonably affordable
Cons
  • Dangerous
  • I'd avoid the nightlife
  • West Elsdon is getting worse, not good for an investment
Recommended for
  • Singles
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jun 28, 2010

"A Diverse neighborhood with excellent food"

Westlawn is not amongst my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad place to live, and you can certainly do worse, but it’s far from the best. One thing Westlawn does have going for it is some really good Mexican restaurants.

Talking to my dad, I know that Westlawn used to be a largely Lithuanian community, and in fact it still has a Lithuanian museum, which is very unique in a city known for its museums. I can’t claim to have an insatiable curiosity for all things Lithuanian, but it is an interesting place to visit, and outside of the food, probably the only reason you would really want to stop by for a day of fun.

The food, while not exactly upscale, is really good. I won’t speak for any of the Lithuanian restaurants, of which there are some, but I will say that there is some great Mexican food in the neighborhood. Definitely check out Taquiera El Pastor, which even my brother, a picky eater, thinks has some of the best food in the city. There are a bunch of really good Mexican joints in the area, due to the largely Hispanic population, and I would definitely give it a look if you’re hungry.

Shopping isn’t exactly outstanding, but there is a nearby mall, the Ford City Mall, so if you live in the area it isn’t like you’ll be lacking in some degree of retail fun. It isn’t a mall to come see, but it should satisfy if you need to pick something up.

The nightlife is relatively relaxed, with some decent local bars, but again, nothing to write home about. They seem like the kind of places where you can become a regular, which for me, is nice, but not exciting the same way some of the places in Wicker Park can be.

Housing is also adequate, but nothing special. Maybe a little on the poor side, but there are worse places in Chicago.

I know it seems like I’m down on Westlawn, and to some degree I am, but it isn’t a bad place to spend a few hours, and while “you could do worse” isn’t exactly a stellar recommendation, I’m also not saying stay away.
Pros
  • Affordable housing
  • Good restaurants
Cons
  • Not very safe
  • Kinda boring nightlifez
  • Kinda poor
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 28, 2010

"Not exactly a tourist location..."

West Pullman is a South side neighborhood of Chicago with little going on. I've been through the area a few times, and I was never particularly impressed. I'm just going to jump right into my main bullet points for the area, because there is so little that is memorable.

Residence
The homes in West Pullman are mostly old, and many looked in need of serious renovation. I noticed a mix of houses with some yard/land area, and then homes just shoved right next to each other to save on space. I know that the average price of a home in West Pullman is reasonable, but I suspect that the resale value will also be fairly low. It isn't particularly close to the Loop, but it isn't that far either.

Transportation
Like most of Chicago, public transportation is pretty good, and the trains in particular will serve you well. I'd say it's about a half hour train ride into the Loop. Not bad, but not exactly walking distance. Parking was fairly scarce during my visits, and most homes had no garages, so their cars were on the street.

Dining/Shopping
Nothing memorable whatsoever. I actually did a Google search because I couldn't remember a single place as fair as retail shopping goes. The best available option was a Radio Shack. No one is going to West Pullman for the shopping. Dining is a similar experience, and while there are a few bars, they are pretty low key, and won't provide much of a nightlife.

I'm ranking West Pullman fairly low. The one thing I'll say for the area is that I didn't feel particularly unsafe for the lower income housing available. Usually, these areas of Chicago are a 'no go' for me, and West Pullman didn't exactly fit in with that. Of course, it ended up being a no go because there was nothing for me to visit for.
Pros
  • Really cheap housing
  • Good public transpo, so you can get away
Cons
  • Boring nightlife
  • Not terribly welcoming
  • Dirty
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 26, 2010

"A Neighborhood determined to be it's own..."

West Rogers Park is a decent area about 10 miles north of the Loop. It's relatively close to the heart of Chicago, and you can find a nice mix of different cultures there.
I wouldn't say the population is dominated by any one ethnic group, but walking down some of the streets, you'll definitely feel the Indian vibe. There are a lot of Indian restaurants and stores in West Rogers Park. I'm not a big fan of Indian food, but I have gone to an Indian bookstore in the area called India Bookhouse and Journals, which I found to be a really cool, different bookstore. I mostly go to bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Borders, so finding something a little different is always welcome.
For food, there's a Pakistani bakery called King Sweets, which is the only Pakistani bakery I've every been to, and while I don't have a frame of referance as far as other similar establishments, I really like King Sweets, it is definitely recommended.
Being more of a traditional American style food connoisseur, a good place for a hot dog or hamburger is U Lucky Dawg. My dad loves their Italian beef, so give it a look.
If you plan on spending a lot of time in West Rogers Park, or might live there, you'll end up from time to time going to one of the parks. A few years back I went to the Indian Boundary Park with some of my cousin's little kids, and they had a great time in the small zoo, and had plenty of room to run around. If you like to have some place to walk, you could definitely do worse than West Rogers Park.
Overall, I'd say West Rogers Park is a decent place to live. It's relatively quiet, there's plenty to do if you like to get outside, and the eating is unique. It's close enough to the center of the city to be accessible, and the parking and traffic is fairly light. Give her a look.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 25, 2010

"Where Art and Trade Collide…"

Wicker Park is one of the youngest neighborhoods in Chicago. For a time it was the designated area of the city for artists, a description it still holds today. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best description. While it is true that Wicker Park is still home to many young artists, it has become developed into an area with more young families and businessmen and that is, to an extent, part of its charm.

I love to visit Wicker Park, and along with the Loop, it is one of the Chicago neighborhoods I would most like to live in. There are a number of great shops, bars, and restaurants, and the people are mostly around my age(25).

Location
Wicker Park is only a few miles from the Loop, and nothing in Chicago seems more than a few steps away. The ‘El’ runs right through the neighborhood, making it that much easier to get around, and cabs and busses are plentiful. Parking I don’t suggest unless you know the area. It isn’t as bad as some other neighborhoods, but you might end up with a ticket if you’re not careful.

Dining
Tons on the menu if you’re hungry. I’m not a big fan of Sushi, but even I like Blu Coral Sushi. I didn’t find it to be all that reasonably priced, but the standards aren’t too pricy, and the expensive stuff is worth it. The Bongo Room is also really popular, and a friend of mine who lives in the area swears by their pancakes. Expect a bit of a wait if you’re there on a weekend morning, though.

Nightlife
I’d say it’s the best part of Chicago if you’re looking to go out. There’s a lot of young people, bars and clubs that stay open forever, and if you live in the neighborhood you can walk most places. If you find yourself incapable of walking, don’t worry, there’ll be plenty cabs, especially if you’re at the intersection of North, Milwaukee, and Damen, which is where a lot of great bars are anyways.
One place that has to be mentioned in terms of Nightlife is the Double Door, which has seen some great musical acts over the years, including the Rolling Stones.

Personally, I don’t think you can do much better than Wicker Park. It can be a bit noisy at night because of so many active people, but it has so much to do, from great little and big stores, restaurants, and bars, that you’ll be happy you visited, and I suspect even happier if you stay.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jun 24, 2010

"Not the first neighborhood I’d pick to trick or treat in…"

Alright, first things first. I’m not a big fan of Woodlawn. I know what you’re thinking, and just because it’s the Southside of Chicago and the University of Chicago campus is there does not mean I’m going to like it. This isn’t a Southside Irish neighborhood. It’s a ‘Once home to one of the biggest gangs in Chicago’ neighborhood. That said, I know there have been some efforts to make improvements, but still, at this point, outside of the University there isn’t a whole lot for me here.
Food
Let’s start with food. If you live here, you’re going to go somewhere else to get something to eat. You can try out the Marina Café in the summer, and that’s only decent because it has a nice view of the lake, but otherwise, if you find yourself hungry in Woodlawn, go North to Hyde Park and find something better.
Travel
Actually, because this is part of Chicago, it’s not half bad. Public transportation is yet again a good option, and if you want to get downtown, take the Green line, you’ll be in the Loop and have a lot more opportunity soon. I know there’s busses but I’ve never taken one in Woodlawn, but I’ve generally been happy with the CTA, so it’s not a bad choice. I don’t park, or almost ever drive my car through the area, so I can’t speak for the parking, but I’m sure you’ll find a place to have your car stolen.
Residence
The price for a home in Woodlawn is pretty reasonable, but again, this is due to the fact that it is a rough neighborhood. Even with the improvements that have taken place in the last few years, I don’t plan on living there any time soon. No doubt there are some nice homes, and it is close to the University of Chicago, so if that holds some interest for you, by all means.

I know I’m pretty negative about Woodlawn. There has been some effort, especially in recent years, to make improvements to the community and I have no doubt that things will continue to improve. But of everything that has affected the community, the University is by far the best. There have been expansions, which so far has proved to clean up those parts of the neighborhood converted to use for the school. In a few more years time, Woodlawn may not be such a bad place to visit, but I’d still suggest finding another place to live if you’re looking.
Pros
  • Cheap
  • Close to University of Chicago
  • Major improvements recently
Cons
  • No dining
  • Unsafe
  • No nightlife
Recommended for
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 24, 2010

"O’hare, Great for Arrivals"

O’hare is more than just an airport, it’s actually one of the nicer places to live around Chicago. Normally, I’d start out with a bit about the culture and a few of the cool things you can do in a particular neighborhood, but it seems more fitting to start with the travel conditions.
Travel
I realize that Chicago O’hare International Airport is not actually within the boundaries of the neighborhood, but it is right nearby and can provide one of the more attractive qualities if you want to live here. I like to travel, and this kind of close proximity to the airport is definitely a selling point for any potential residents. The airport doesn’t really negatively affect the residents (it isn’t like you’re going to have a lot of plane crashes in your backyard) and you will have easy access to the main international hub in the Midwest. If you like to jump a plane from time to time for an impromptu vacation, or are a business traveler, O’hare might end up being an ideal location.
Included with the travel would be a decent public transportation system (admittedly, my experiences here are limited) with a fair amount of bus rides available, and the great Blue Line train, which runs right into the Loop. I know the Blue line is a big attraction to anyone who will work downtown, and from the Loop you can get anywhere fairly easily.
Location
O’hare is located about 14 miles from the Loop, which doesn’t exactly make it the heart of the city. If you’re looking for something closer, you may want to look elsewhere. However, if you want someplace accessible to the heart of the city while still enjoying a more spacious environment, then come visit. The first thing I noticed in O’hare was that there were a lot of lawns. I usually think of the city as having either no yard, or a crappy little yard that looks half dead. I like to do some (just some) work in my yard from time to time, and O’hare definitely would provide that for you. Many of the homes are not only nice and reasonably priced, but will have yards that your kids can play in. From my visits to the area, it seemed safe and clean as well, and while it may not quite be the suburbs, it had a charm that I can see raising a family in.
Food
There are only two places I remember eating at in O’hare. Mac’s Restaurant, which is a breakfast and lunch diner with really good breakfast options. I’m a huge waffle guy, and anyplace that has decent waffles works for me. Definitely give it a shot if you’re hungry one morning or early afternoon.
The other restaurant I ate at was Gino’s East Pizza. There’s a claim that they have the best Chicago-style pizza. While I wouldn’t go that far, it was pretty darn good. Now, if only there was a place to get a slice of pizza and a waffle together…
Shopping
I wouldn’t recommend coming to O’hare to shop. I can’t recall a single place that really impressed me. But, if you’re considering moving to O’hare, there is some shopping close by. The Woodfield Mall is right nearby in Schaumburg, and there’s about a billion stores there, since it’s one of the bigger malls around. Parking is plentiful, so you needn’t worry about that. If you live in O’hare, you’ll still have some good retail close enough by to satisfy.

I’d say that O’hare is one of my favorite Chicago neighborhoods. It may not have the distinct characteristics of some of the other areas, but it was really nice and made me feel safe and welcome. I have no doubt I could make a happy home there for myself, and maybe one day for my children. Definitely give it a look, I think you be glad you did.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 23, 2010

"A great day trip if you're looking for culture"

The first thing I noticed when I visited Albany Park is the culture. For a time it was called "Koreatown," although the increased Hispanic population has changed the demographics to the point where this no longer applies.
If you're planning on visiting the area, my suggestion would be to do it for the food. You can find some very unique restaurants in the area. A few years back, my older brother was dating a girl from Hong Kong, and after going through the Chinatown area, we decided to give Albany Park a shot, to see if there was anything she would like there. Little did we know that relations between Koreans and the Chinese are at best a bit strained at present. Anyways, she didn't end up liking the area, but I really enjoyed the food. We went to the Chicago Kalbi Restaurant, which as I understand is a Japanese version of Korean Barbecue. If you like spicy meat wrapped in lettuce leaves, then it is highly recommended.
As far as atmosphere, I'll admit to feeling a bit out of place. It is one of the more diverse areas in Chicago, and my being a pale Irishman didn't exactly mesh well with the neighborhood. That said, the people were friendly and there was something in the culture, seeing all these different ethnic groups coming together, that is worth experiencing. I don't know that I would want to live there, but I certainly liked the food, and would visit again.
I was looking for an apartment about two years ago, and I know that rent in the area is some of the lowest in Chicago, and parking seemed really good in the area, and traffic was fairly light.
Shopping is going to be mostly a cultural experience. If you're looking for something Asian or Hispanic, then it would be well worth it to visit.
I know there is a very highly ranked high school in the area as well, so if you're looking with that in mind, take a look.
Pros
  • Good public transportation
  • Affordable housing
  • Good food
Cons
  • Not very safe
  • Few shopping options
  • Not great for nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jun 23, 2010

"If you're feeling Blue, The Loop is for You"

I love the Loop, and though I’ve never lived there, it is a dream location for me.

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and I would get to go downtown from time to time visiting my dad, who is a lawyer who works just north of the Loop on Lasalle St. Between my freshman and sophomore year in college I worked as an assistant for my dad, and I walked through the Loop everyday, and I fell in love. The first few weeks were intimidating, with so many confident businesspeople walking past me on their daily route to work, but after only a few days I was one of them, and I got to know some of the ins and outs of the area.

First, the Loop is still mostly a business area, although there are an increasing number of residential locations that are reasonably affordable, if you’re so inclined to move there. During the business hours Monday through Friday, most streets will be busy with business traffic, although at night and on weekends it isn’t quite so populated. The completion of Millennium Park has opened the area up more to tourists, and the cultural sites bring in a more casual visitors.

And oh, the culture. The obvious first: Harold Washington Library , the Art Institute of Chicago , Chicago Architecture Foundation and the Chicago Cultural Center. If you want art and class, it’s here. There are a number of tours for the those not acquainted with the area. For me (which doesn’t mean uncultured), the best you’ll do for culture is Buddy Guy’s Legends. Buddy Guy is one of the greatest bluesmen of all time. He studied under Muddy Waters, and inspired such guitar greats as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Clapton even calls him the world’s best blues guitarist. I visited Buddy’s old club, which just moved to a new location still in the loop, a few times, once to see Buddy play a show, and if you like live music, there is no better place in Chicago. Special guests show up from time to time, like Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and others, for impromptu performances. You can get good food, of which I will personally recommend the ribs and the Blues burger, and take in a great show. Most nights the cover is only about $10 to $15, although when a special guest is performing, or during January when Buddy plays a few nights a week, entry will cost you about $40. I haven’t been to the new location yet, but I plan to go in the next few weeks, maybe around the same time that the Crossroads Guitar Festival comes to town, since special guests would be in town and might show up.

For my tastes, the Loop is outstanding. I like to going out and enjoying myself, but I like it quiet from time to time. The Loop is relatively safe, and I while some consider it dead at night, I think it’s just a matter of knowing where you want to go. There are plenty of options for travel, since the Loop refers to the train that surrounds the area, and during the day there’s so much going on that you can get a nice balance between hectic and relaxed. If you’re like me, and like a little blues with your burger and drink, the Loop is highly recommended.
Pros
  • Exciting and fast paced!
  • Pretty safe, especially during the day
  • Great for tourists
  • The heart of the city
Cons
  • Loud during the day
  • Kinda slow at night.
  • Expensive to live there
  • Busy, busy, busy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles

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Upcoming Entertainment
Oct 28, 2010
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Oct 28, 2010
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Walmarts in Chicago?
Oct 13, 2010
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Ferris Bueller Tour
Oct 03, 2010
1 Comment
Buddy Guy's Legends
Sep 21, 2010
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