GGChicago

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Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Growing and Hopeful"

The Brainerd community is much like the areas which surround it. In spite of tough times, the area is still holding its head high and trying to make improvements. Similar to neighboring Burnside, Brainerd is a South Side neighborhood that most certainly has a bright future. The low house prices have given many residents the opportunity to become homeowners. I wouldn’t say Brainerd has a lot to offer visitors, but I certainly do hope the community can bounce back after its run of bad luck.

The biggest source of problems in the area is the economy. The community has been hit hard by recent job loss, which has affected it as a whole. There is a deep sense of pride here, which is noticeable within the community. Largely populated by African Americans, it is primarily a residential area that is really quite safe.

All in all, Brainerd consists of a strong community. Its proximity to downtown makes it convenient for commuters and there are many transportation options here. In spite of some tough times in the past, the area is slowly making a comeback and could see a bright future ahead. I really like the charm of the area, although I rarely have a reason to visit.
Pros
  • Strong sense of community
  • Lots of potential
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
Jul 21, 2011

"An Active Community"

If you’re in search of a community that takes neighborhood watch seriously, Garfield Ridge is the place for you. This South Side neighborhood is found just west of the Midway area, which makes it convenient for commuting into and out of the suburbs. The area is noted for its safety, which is enforced by members of the community that have created a patrol to ensure the streets stay safe at night. Historically referred to as the Clearing neighborhood, this was originally the site of a railroad-clearing yard.

Today, Garfield Ridge is mostly residential and has nice homes with prices on the rise. There has been lots of new construction, which is nice for residents. If you’re thinking of visiting the area, there really isn’t much to see. Not great for singles, students, and certainly not the place for hipsters, Garfield Ridge is most definitely the place for families.

The area kind of has more of a suburban feel than anything else, which is why I can’t imagine calling it home. I do appreciate its appeal to families. With a degree of safety that other areas simply can’t compete with, Garfield Ridge is convenient and a great place to settle down.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Charming and Safe"

Mount Greenwood, which is neighbored by the charming Beverly neighborhood, is also known as a largely Irish area. Filled with Irish pubs and a jovial community, there is a lot to love about Mount Greenwood. Although it does have a strong residential feeling, it’s not just for locals. If you decide to visit Mount Greenwood, you’ll find a welcoming community that is happy to share their slice of paradise with you.

Lots of homes in the area are noted Frank Lloyd Wright homes, which are certainly worth touring. Mount Greenwood is also home to a large cemetery, which is also its namesake. Overall, I’d consider Mount Greenwood largely residential, very safe, and a nice escape from the skyscrapers and noise of downtown. Perfect for families, you can find plenty of areas to enjoy if you make this charming neighborhood your home.

The community feeling of Mount Greenwood certainly sets it apart from other Chicago neighborhoods. It’s always been one of my favorite areas and friends that live here certainly rave about it. It you’re a Sox fan, this is a great place to be. All in all, this is a great spot in Chicago that is not typical of other areas.
Pros
  • Very safe
  • Quiet
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
Jul 21, 2011

"It's Trying, but I Still Wouldn't Live There"

Burnside is a South Side neighborhood that has undergone many problems in recent years. Although there are attempts at new construction, which gives me hope for the future of the neighborhood, it still is a less than safe area. Affordable home prices attract many new residents, but the slightly high crime rate is enough to keep me away. The future of Burnside could be bright, but it will take quite a bit of effort for it to make a complete turnaround.

I really don’t have much to say about the area—I don’t hate it, but I also wouldn’t put it high on my list of places to visit. I am impressed with the attempts at improvements in the area and I think it will pay off eventually. The ultra-low house prices you’ll find here now might be a good investment if the improvements do take effect. It’s just not enough to encourage me to call it home.

Burnside, like many areas nearby, has seen better days in the past. The question is—are there better days ahead? I think so, but there’s no telling how long it will take to make the changes necessary to turn this neighborhood around.
Pros
  • Low house prices
  • Lots of potential
Cons
  • Not safe
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Pretty Area, But Not a Lot Going On"

Montclaire is a West Side neighborhood that is known as more of a family area. Filled with some impressive homes, there isn’t much to do here. If you’re house hunting, you may end up here, but I don’t ever have much reason to visit Montclaire. Even though it’s not my cup of tea, that doesn’t deter me from appreciating the neighborhood for its many attributes, not the least of which is how quiet it is here.

It is a very safe area with a strong community focus, which is noticeable in the various measures taken to keep residents safe. The homes are reasonably prices, but not the cheapest in the city, but residents here usually come to stay for many years. Montclaire is often associated with Galewood, which is similarly quiet and residential. The younger crowd would probably want to avoid Montclaire, but families just might fall in love with the neighborhood.

Transportation is pretty convenient here too, which is a plus for commuters. You can grab CTA trains on the blue line or the Metra commuter train with ease. There is even some shopping here, which makes it a pretty well rounded residential setting.
Pros
  • Nice homes
  • Quiet
  • Safe
Cons
  • A bit boring
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
Jul 21, 2011

"A Family Place"

Ashburn is a neighborhood on the western side of the South Side. Although a bit out of reach for city-lovers and those in need of a faster paced lifestyle, this is an idyllic setting for families. If you’re not quite ready to become a suburbanite, you can get the security and tranquility of the suburbs right here. The affordable home prices make it an easy place to call home even on a tight budget.

For me, this isn’t a place I’d look to call home and it’s probably not so great for visitors. That’s probably why it’s so perfect for families. There will be little to disturb the quality of life here, mostly because there is no cause for non-residents to visit. The neighborhood’s biggest growth spurt came in the mid-20th Century and most of the community seems content to keep it that way. The many charming homes and tree-lined streets give Ashburn a small-town feeling.

This is a truly great area. Perfect for families, retirees, and professionals that prefer a quieter neighborhood, Ashburn is a safe and secluded part of the city. If you’re looking for excitement, you won’t find it here. Safety, tranquility, and affordability—that’s what you’ll find in Ashburn.
Pros
  • Family neighborhood
  • Quiet
  • Safe
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
Jul 21, 2011

"South Side Delight"

Beverly is a real breath of fresh air. Located on the southwestern tip of the South Side, Beverly is a true residential area that as much to offer. Largely an Irish settlement originally, today its community includes a balance of African Americans, Irish Catholics, and a few other ethnicities. One of the biggest draws in the area is the Beverly Arts Center, which gives the community a creative spin you won’t find elsewhere. I really love this neighborhood.

One drawback of Beverly is the fact that it’s a little out of the way—or a lot out of the way if you prefer public transportation. If you don’t mind a bit of a trip, I think it’s worth it. The overall feeling of the neighborhood is friendly, energetic, and safe. It’s a great place for families, but is also well suited for young professionals, singles, and visitors.

There are a few pubs and eateries in the mix, making it a fun place to hang out and giving residents plenty to do. The prices here are pretty affordable, both in homes and apartments, and it’s a unique setting. Even though it’s a little out of reach, I’d list Beverly as one of my favorites in the city.
Pros
  • Clean
  • Family friendly
  • Safe
Cons
  • Hard to get to by public transportation
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Better Than Englewood, But Still Has a Ways to Go"

The South Side neighborhood of Woodlawn has made noticeable improvements in recent years, but it’s not quite there yet. Although it’s not as bad as Englewood (which is the worst of the worst in Chicago), it’s still not great. I don’t feel particularly safe in Woodlawn, but I also don’t feel as threatened as I would in Englewood. In spite of its checkered past, which includes being home to one of Chicago’s worst gangs, Woodlawn keeps trying to get better and is having some degree of success.

In that way, I have respect for the community leaders and residents of Woodlawn for refusing to give in to its past and continuing to strive for better. A focus on education is helping to improve schools slowly but surely, so I think the future of Woodlawn will certainly be better. Would I visit Woodlawn? Probably not because there really isn’t much going on for non-residents, but I do think there is a world of potential here.

I see Woodlawn as a neighborhood full of determination. Its spirit is undeniable, which is why I think it will eventually rise above its negative reputation and prove itself to be an important Chicago community. It just may take some time to get there.
Pros
  • Lots of potential
  • Major improvements recently
Cons
  • Still a long way to go
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Not Good--Really Really Really Not Good"

Englewood is one of the Chicago neighborhoods that I actually feel sorry for. It could be great—someday—just not today or in the near future. It would take a major overhaul to remove the innate criminal element and general bad energy you feel throughout the area. Found on the South Side, it is the neighborhood that gives the South Side a bad reputation. Don’t be fooled—the entire South Side isn’t bad, just Englewood.

Is there hope for Englewood? Sure, there’s always hope. But, if you made the mistake of moving there or going there at night, there wouldn’t be much hope for you. All I can really say about Englewood is stay away. Sure, it’s cheap. But that’s only because there’s a good chance you’ll have some contact with crime while living there. Is the low rent really worth risking your life? I think not. I’ll take higher rent and a feeling of security any day.

I honestly wouldn’t even recommend visiting Englewood. There are some good things about the neighborhood, but they are hard to appreciate while there. Until some major changes come, I will avoid Englewood like the plague. Sorry to say it, but Englewood is just not worth the risk.
Cons
  • Dangerous
  • Dangerous
  • Dangerous
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Reasonable Prices & Classically Chicago"

Although technically a part of the massive Austin neighborhood, Galewood is an entity all its own. Found in the city’s northwestern section, Galewood is a residential area and is home to several schools. The rich family feeling of the area is balanced by the presence of students attending Concordia University, Dominican University, Triton College, and Wright Junior College. Not necessarily the place for hipsters or the younger crowd, Galewood is a quiet locale well suited for families or retirees.

I rarely have occasion to visit Galewood, but when I do I enjoy the overall feeling of tranquility throughout the neighborhood. It has many impressive homes, many of which are representative of some of my favorite architectural styles. There really isn’t much for visitors here, which is how Galewood has maintained such a quiet family feeling throughout its history.

If you’re looking for a place to settle down, you can find stunning houses at reasonable rates. If you’re looking for something exciting to do, don’t bother coming here. Its overall look represents Chicago well, so it does appeal to natives that are ready to enjoy a quieter way of life. I’d say Galewood is certainly a Chicago staple, but there isn’t much going on for visitors.
Pros
  • Great houses
  • Ideal for families
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Not much going on
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Lots to See"

Hyde Park, which is perhaps most noted as being the former of President Barack Obama, has seen its share of famous people through the years. Don’t let that overshadow the plethora of other things this South Side neighborhood has going for it. Even though it seems like a lot of locals have a pre-conceived assumption that all South Side neighborhoods are bad news, Hyde Park is certainly a favorite of mine. Aside from its numerous activities, the rich ethnic energy of the neighborhood is easy to appreciate.

One of the biggest points of interest in Hyde Park is the University of Chicago. The presence of a large school brings an influx of younger residents and excitement. Hyde Park is also where you’ll find the Museum of Science and Industry and the famous Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. If you’re looking for culture, you will find it here!

After suffering a big decline in the mid-20th Century, Hyde Park has recovered nicely. Tons of restaurants, entertainment venues, and landmarks make Hyde Park a great place for visitors to Chicago and residents alike. Great for families, students, singles, and couples, this former suburb has a strong urban vibe and endless prominent cultural areas.
Pros
  • A lot to do
  • Great location
  • Transportation options
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Architecture, Parks, and Not Much Else"

The Cragin neighborhood, which is often referred to as Belmont Cragin, is found on the northwest side just outside Belmont Central. Like its many neighboring communities, Cragin is a mostly residential area that doesn’t have much appeal for visitors. It’s not a place a visit often unless I’m going to see a friend that lives there. The main points of interest in Cragin are the several parks found here, which include Cragin Park, Blackhawk Park, and Riis Park.

The parks make Cragin a great place for families, dog-lovers, and anyone that likes being able to enjoy the outdoors. Residentially, it’s a great place to live, but not so much of a place for visitors. There really aren’t any restaurants worth mentioning and not much to do in the way of entertainment. It is a charming area and one with several great schools, making it perfect for families or couples that are ready to start a family.

The architecture of Cragin is my favorite part of the neighborhood. When I do have occasion to visit the area, I like to check out the unique homes. If you’re looking for a quiet area that is affordable, Cragin is worth a look, otherwise there’s just not much to see here.
Pros
  • Great for families
Cons
  • Not much appeal for younger people
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Hog Butcher to the World?"

The Back of the Yards neighborhood earned its name because it was home to the Union Stock Yards, which made the city the meatpacking capital of the world. Dubbed the “hog butcher to the world” by poet Carl Sandburg, Back of the Yards has evolved into quite a vibrant area since its meatpacking days ended many years ago. Located on the South Side, this largely Hispanic area has a family-oriented energy and has undergone quite a lot of urban renewal.

The area has become known for its retail businesses, many of which are found along Ashland Avenue/47th Street. Commuters will appreciate easy access to I-90/94. For Chicagoans, there isn’t much reason to visit the Back of the Yards. It is a mostly residential area and, although it has come a long way, I don’t see much to rave about here. I wouldn’t say I hate the area, but it is a bit forgettable in the grand scheme of things.

I admire the Back of the Yards for the strides the area has made in turning around its once-dwindling economy, but it’s not enough to make it a place I frequently visit. It’s a nice area for families in search of an ethnically diverse place to call home, but there really isn’t much else of note in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Pros
  • Making a comeback
  • Quiet
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Residential and Diverse"

Originally a largely Polish community, Belmont Central has become known for its ethnic diversity. Its location on the city’s northwest side puts it a little out of reach for many city-dwellers, but if you’re in search of an affordable residential area, this is one worth considering. Locals won’t find much of interest here unless you’re looking for a place to settle down. Belmont Central isn’t so much a place for visitors, but is more of an area to escape from the big city.

My favorite thing about the neighborhood is the fact that it is filled with charming homes, many of which are unique and historic. The affordable home prices make it a popular choice for young families, couples, and anyone on a tight budget in search of a quiet area. Not much of note in the way of entertainment, dining, or shopping, Belmont Central is a place to go when house hunting away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

For me, there isn’t much that makes me want to visit Belmont Central. I’m not in search of a place to settle down and there isn’t much else here. It’s a nice area, but not much of note for anyone that likes being close to the action.
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Great for families
Cons
  • Not much happening
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Not so Welcoming"

Canaryville, which is found just outside the Back of the Yards neighborhood, is a largely Irish area. Not known as being the most welcoming of all areas, most locals know it’s best to avoid Canaryville. The boundaries of Canaryville are Canal, Halsted, 39th, and 49th. A small neighborhood, there really isn’t much to see in Canaryville and I have never enjoyed visiting the area (especially since I'm not a Sox fan).

The biggest thing I notice when in Canaryville is the feeling of being an outsider. The predominantly Irish population doesn’t seem interested in having visitors, giving the area the feeling of eras of the past. Territorialism is one of the many things that make me not want to go back to the area. Really, there just isn’t much to take note of here other than the hostile energy you’re overwhelmed with as soon as you set foot in the area.

Other than corner stores and rather boring restaurants, Canaryville doesn’t have a lot to offer. If you’re Irish and looking for a place to live, you might be welcome here—otherwise, I’d stay away. Visitors beware; Canaryville residents probably don’t want you there. I don’t plan to visit the area again unless there are significant changes, which I don’t see as a possibility.
Cons
  • Not welcoming
  • Not much to do
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Far West, But Lots to Do"

If you don’t mind traveling to the far Northwest Side, there is plenty to see in Dunning. A larger neighborhood, which encompasses Belmont Heights, Irving Woods, Schorsch Village, and The Villa, Dunning is mostly a residential area that has undergone much growth. Historically the area has been a Polish and Italian community, but the presence of Wright College has created an influx of younger residents and has added a much-needed dose of diversity.

Visitors to Dunning might be inclined to come here for one of the many restaurants, parks, golf courses, or other points of interest. Merrimac Park, Shabonna Park, and the Galos Caves are perhaps the most noted outdoor areas found here, attracting quite a few visitors. Also of note are the many eateries, which include the famous Eli’s Cheesecake Factory. Dunning also has shopping and many nice homes or apartments.

Its far removed location makes it an unlikely trip for me, but there is still plenty to see and do in Dunning. If you appreciate the outdoors, this neighborhood feels like quite an escape from the city. True urbanites wouldn’t want to call Dunning home, but it’s a nice option when you’ve grown tired of the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Pros
  • Lots to do
  • Short commute to/from downtown
  • Quiet
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Average, but Worth a Visit"

Originally called Kelvyn Grove, Hermosa is known as the boyhood home of Walt Disney. Aside from this claim to fame, this Northwest neighborhood has a few other things of interest. It was originally a Swedish settlement, but has evolved to include various ethnic backgrounds. The area is primarily residential, like most neighborhoods around here, so there isn’t much appeal for visitors.

If you do happen to drive through Hermosa, you’ll notice several parks, a few restaurants, and a couple of entertainment venues. Mostly local haunts, I wouldn’t say there is anything that exciting about the neighborhood. If you’re a huge Disney fan, you can drive past his boyhood home on N Tripp Avenue. The neighboring areas are notoriously diverse, so it may be worth the trip if you’d like to visit ethnic shops and restaurants in the area.

All in all, Hermosa isn’t a bad area, but it’s nothing to get excited about either. Like the other neighborhoods nearby, it feels a little out of the way for my liking, but I can’t say it’s out of the realm of possibilities for me to visit the area once in a while. Hermosa has a few interesting places to visit and it’s a pretty quiet residential area.
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Family area
  • Lots of parks
Cons
  • Not a lot to do
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Near West Side Outdoor Oasis"

Known largely for the park of the same name, Humboldt Park boasts one of the city’s largest outdoor areas. The 200-plus acre Humboldt Park includes beach access, swimming pool, tennis courts, baseball park, playgrounds, bike paths, walking paths, ice-skating, picnic areas, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Enjoying the outdoors in this neighborhood is pretty effortless, but there are a few other things about Humboldt Park worth mentioning.

Humboldt Park is also noted for its ethnic diversity, which includes a great balance of many cultures. Full of charming older brick homes, courtyard apartment buildings, and a general feeling of community, this is a good choice for families in search of lower-cost homes and plenty of activities. There is still much work being done to continuously improve Humboldt Park, which gives the impression of a bright future for this working-class neighborhood.

Culturally, one of the most important activities in Humboldt Park is the Puerto Rican Peoples Parade and Fiesta Boricua (Puerto Rican Pride festival), which occur annually in June. With a showing of over 150,000 people every year, it is one of the city’s most noted festivals. Visiting Humboldt Park puts you in touch with some of the best parkland in the city, although its west side locale makes it a little out of reach for many locals.
Cons
  • Hasn't quite met its potential
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Family Area a Bit Off the Beaten Path"

The Irving Park neighborhood is located on the city’s Northwest side. Its boundaries are Montrose Avenue, Irving Park Road, and the Chicago River. The community is inclusive of the smaller neighborhoods of Old Irving Park, The Triangle, The Villa, Independence Park, Mayfair, Addison Park, and West Walker. Although somewhat far removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown, it is close to some of my favorite parts of the city and my home neighborhood of Roscoe Village.

The history of Irving Park is probably the first thing that stands out to me. Noted by many for its historic homes, I love strolling the streets of Irving Park to admire its architecture. As a lover of bungalow-style houses and all things historic, I have a soft spot for Irving Park, even though many locals aren’t that fond of the area. If you’re interested in Chicago for skyscrapers and urban energy, Irving Park isn’t for you. If you’re like me and you are no longer enamored with the downtown area, you can probably find a few things to enjoy here.

The area also has loads of transportation, which makes it easy to come here for the day or commute in/out if you make this your home. The cost of living is relatively low and there are a few noteworthy restaurants in the area. Overall, if you love historic homes and quiet charm, Irving Park is worth a visit.
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Family-oriented
  • safe
Cons
  • Removed from the city
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Old Industry Meets New Growth"

The former home of Sears headquarters, the Lawndale neighborhood saw a lot of growth in the early 1900s. In the years since many of the industries departed, the area has struggled to recover economically. The growth throughout the 1990s and in recent years has breathed new life into this once-desolate area. Its West Side location makes Lawndale a popular family area, but there are a few other things of note here.

Locals flock to the neighborhood in the summer for what is arguably the best farmer’s market in the city. The Lawndale Chicago Farmers Market is found on South Homan and runs from June to October. Within the Lawndale neighborhood are the smaller communities of Homan Square and K-Town, so named for the many north-south streets that begin with “K”. The area has seen its share of ups and downs in the past, but today it is the midst of revitalization and has much potential for the future.

Aside from the Farmers Market, Lawndale has a few eateries, theaters, and some shopping. Nothing to write home about, this is a pretty quiet neighborhood with a diverse culture. Lawndale is set to keep growing into the future, so I’m curious to see what its future holds.
Pros
  • Residential
Cons
  • Hasn't yet realized its potential
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Vibrant Culture on the West Side"

The Little Village neighborhood is often referred to as La Villita because of its strong Hispanic influence. As the setting of the massive 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade, Little Village is full of ethnic pride and cultural activities. Found on the city’s West Side, this vibrant neighborhood is home to tons of shopping areas, restaurants, and an overall community-conscious energy.

Visitors to the Little Village are often overwhelmed with the number of businesses in this neighborhood. There are dozens of restaurants the feature ethnic dining at its best and tons of boutiques, craft shops, and stores of all kinds. It’s hard to pinpoint one thing that makes Little Village so exciting because there are so many things around each corner. When I visit the area, I am struck by the sense of community in the area and how alive the entire neighborhood feels.

If you’re in the mood for some real Mexican food, this is the place to find it. When you visit Little Village, you will find it to be easily accessible from CTA and Metra trains, which makes it a convenient place for residents of the neighborhood as well. Simply put, when you’re after a strong cultural energy in a completely unique neighborhood, it’s time to check out La Villita.
Pros
  • Exciting
  • Lots of restaurants
  • Strong community
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Residential with Potential"

Found on the city’s southwest side, McKinley Park is a distinctly residential area with an ethnic population and strong community feeling. One of the best things about the neighborhood is the park of the same name, which is almost 70 acres of wooded areas, including a swimming pool, walking paths, and a lagoon. With much in the way of community improvements over the past few years, McKinley Park is becoming a more desirable area.

The ethnic diversity of the area can certainly be felt through its many eateries and festivals. Making the trek here in the summer is not uncommon for me because of the well-known and fun food-based festivals held here. If you like diversity, McKinley Park is worth a visit. Many city-dwellers might find the area to be a little too residential, but families in search of a quiet place to call home should consider this affordable neighborhood with a lot of potential for the future.

Travel to the area is easy via the orange line or I-55. For me, McKinley Park is certainly a place to visit, but not a place to live. It has a strong working-class energy, which makes it a great place for retirees, families, and couples ready to settle down a bit.
Pros
  • Parks
  • Summer festivals
  • Quiet and residential
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Suburban Feeling in the City"

Sauganash, which is a part of the Forest Glen neighborhood, is found on the far West Side of Chicago. Noted for its forest preserves, community feeling, and distinctly non-urban vibe, Sauganash is quite an escape from the big city. The neighborhood is well suited for families and is overall a rather affluent area. Definitely not ideal for singles, young professionals, students, or hipsters, I can appreciate the beauty of the area but it’s not a place I’d like to call home.

Its many block parties, its family-focus, and its general safety support the community energy of Sauganash. Because it is more of a “settling down” kind of place, most people go there and stay for many years, so there isn’t a lot of turnover with homes. For commuters, easy access to I-90, Metra commuter trains, and CTA buses make it the perfect quiet retreat from a hectic life.

Overall, I’d give Sauganash a fairly high rating for those in search of a place to raise a family, retire, or enjoy a quiet suburban life without actually leaving the city. It’s not for me, but its beauty makes it worth a visit once in a while. Not the place to go when you’re looking for excitement, but a nice contrast from the rest of Chicago.
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Safe
  • Lots of outdoor areas
Cons
  • Far removed from the city
  • Too surburban for city-dwellers
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
wmhart
wmhart You 're a realtor
Nov 01, 2012
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2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Affordable, but Too Far North"

Encompassed by the Rogers Park neighborhood, West Rogers Park is the northernmost neighborhood in Chicago. Found just south of the Evanston border, the area is known for its quiet charm and community feeling. Although I can appreciate the various charming homes and the neighborhoods attempts at boosting its appeal, the area is just too far north for me—it feels more like you’re in the suburbs than the city.

If you’re in search of a truly quiet area that gives you an escape from the city, give West Rogers Park a try. For true city-dwellers, I’m afraid this neighborhood will make you feel too much like a suburbanite. There is a lot of rehabbing going on throughout the area and the affordable housing prices make it easy to find a nice place at a steal. Ethically, the area is pretty diverse, which is another plus in my book.

West Rogers Park is easy for commuters—with access to the CTA, red line, and Metra train. There are plenty of interesting restaurants to check out here and the area truly is trying to make a comeback. I could see it having major improvements in the future, but for me it’s just too far away.
Pros
  • Residential
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Too far away from major attractions
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 21, 2011

"Large and Interesting Area"

Talk about a unique and booming area! Austin is the largest neighborhood in Chicago and is considered a separate area by many because of its booming population. Filled with historic areas, a unique history, and an eclectic collection of attractions, this West Side gem is often overlooked. It was once a part of the Cicero community, but growth in the area forced it to be annexed in 1899 into Chicago.

One of the most prominent attributes of Austin (and one that makes me visit frequently) is the fact that it is home to several Frank Lloyd Wright homes. Additionally, visitors and residents marvel at the former town hall, which is modeled after the famous Independence Hall, located in Philadelphia. The Historic District found here is quite impressive, and is enough to attract many visitors to the area.

Austin is, above all, a residential area that is a charming place to raise a family or escape from the demanding energy of the city. With much to enjoy in and around Austin, I’d include it as a great daytrip if you appreciate history. It’s not the place to go if you’re looking for excitement, but a true Chicago native would certainly include this as one of the most important neighborhoods in the city.
Pros
  • Architecture
  • Residential
  • Historic
Cons
  • Lacking the urban feeling
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Northwest Tranquility"

Jefferson Park is noted for its large Polish population and its well-known festival, which is called Taste of Polonia. One of the most ethnically rich areas in the city, Jefferson Park also includes access to beautiful parks, restaurants, and a large Irish population. Whether visiting or calling Jefferson Park home, the tons of transportation options make it easy to get in and out of the community. As one of the 77 official Chicago communities, Jefferson Park is appreciated for its historic and cultural contributions to the city.

My favorite part about Jefferson Park is the endless dining options. From taverns to barbeque joints, you’ll find it all here. There are also many cultural areas to explore, including several theaters. Jefferson Park is appreciated for its many areas of outdoor recreation, which includes the 7-acre park of the same name. The Gateway Theater, which was once a movie palace, is one of the area’s most beloved historic structures.

All in all, Jefferson
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Young Community With Much to Offer"

Neighbored by Little Italy, University Village is just west of the Loop. For those in search of a youthful area close to downtown, this is the place. Recent growth in the area has created a diverse community, which is centered on the University of Chicago at Illinois. The ethnic diversity of University Village is matched only by its youthful charm.

The community that makes up University Village is influenced by its proximity to Little Italy. The area around the University is vibrant and exciting, making it the perfect place for students and young professionals. There is plenty to do in this happening area, although it is not the ideal choice when in search of tranquility. Although there are plenty of residential streets, the innately college-age feeling of University Village makes it a bit too noisy for the older crowd.

If it’s fun you’re looking for, you’ll find it here. With easy access Little Italy, the Loop, and most other noted Chicago neighborhoods, University Vill
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Location is Everything"

If you’re in love with the idea of living in the Loop, but can’t quite afford it, the Near South Side is the best choice. Found just minutes from the heart of downtown, the Near South Side boasts some of the city’s most prominent attractions. Easily commutable to downtown, suburbs, and other parts of the city, this area is noted as being a vibrant and exciting mixture of parks, museums, restaurants, and historic structures.

Chicago sports fans will know the Near South Side as the home of Soldier Field, where their beloved Bears play. Tourists will certainly spend time in this neighborhood because it is where you’ll find some of the most popular tourist attractions. Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, McCormick Place, and many other hot spots are found in the heart of the Near South Side.

Chicago residents and visitors often come to the area to tour the Prairie Avenue Historic District, which includes some of the city’s most important landmarks. The developme
Pros
  • Location
  • Interesting housing
  • Attractions
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5
Jul 20, 2011

"A Neighborhood With Lots of Ups and Downs"

The East Side of Chicago has historically been noted for its industrial contributions. Once the home of the US Steel Works and Wisconsin Steel, the economy of the area took a dive after the companies closed in the 1990s and 1980s, respectively. Originally part of Hyde Park, the East Side established itself through both industry and ethnic diversity over the years since it was established in the 1880s.

As the steel industry grew, so did the East Side. Today, the neighborhood has much potential in spite of its recent economic woes. Its location along Lake Michigan gives the East Side access to some of the city’s most tranquil lakefront parks as well as many other outdoor areas. Many believe the area could have a bright future and it does offer many affordable housing opportunities. The many smaller homes found here can be the ideal choice for small families or couples on a tight budget.

The East Side is a unique South Chicago neighborhood with a lot of potential. Although it
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Quiet and Authentically European"

If you’re in search of an area in Chicago that has an authentic European feeling and appearance, the Ukrainian Village is a must. The boundaries of this community are Division Street to the north, Western Avenue to the west, Chicago Avenue to the south, and Damen Avenue to the east. The Ukrainian Village is one of the neighborhoods found within the West Town community.

Part of the reason the area is able to maintain its authentic Easter European energy is that thousands of Ukrainians still call the area home. There are many stunning churches found here, noted for their architecture as much as their cultural significance. A visit to the area should include a tour of the Ukrainian Village District, which runs along Haddon Avenue and is home to many landmarks.

Younger people will also find a few things to explore in the Ukrainian Village. There are several trendy pubs, burger joints, and restaurants worth visiting. There are also several authentic Ukrainian eateries still arou
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
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
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Lots of Potential Not Yet Met"

Encompassed by the Southeast side, South Chicago has working-class roots and loads of potential. Filled with affordable housing that might need a little work, this neighborhood is nestled along the southern tip of Lake Michigan. Although not necessarily the most popular of neighborhoods, giving it a try might change your opinion on this underappreciated area.

The bulk of the South Chicago population is made up of African Americans, but recent years have seen an influx of other ethnicities. The rich ethnic vibe of the area is one of its best attributes and lends itself to some of the city’s most popular eateries. South Chicago is known as being a leader in the green energy movement, with several eco-friendly communities. The rapid growth in the area makes it a popular option for growing families in search of an affordable neighborhood with potential.

Although many people have a pre-judgment of any part of Chicago with South in the name, it’s unfair to assume South Chicago isn
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Quiet
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Vibrant Polish Heritage"

Like many Chicago neighborhoods, Avondale has a history that includes close ties to a specific culture. The city of Chicago as a whole is notorious for being one of the most culturally rich in the city and Avondale certainly contributes to that energy. Its location on the Northwest Side offers convenience to many other areas. Its rich Polish heritage is what Avondale is best known for—with many business, architectural elements, churches, and other areas dedicated to its Polish history.

Within Avondale is an area known as the Polish Village. Here you’ll find Polish food, churches, bakeries, and a general feeling of Polish pride. There are generations of families still calling the area home, making this one of the most historically rich parts of the city. If you’re interested in taking a step back in time and visiting one of the most untouched areas of the city, Avondale’s Polish Village has much to offer.

Not exactly the most “happening” part of the city, the population of
Pros
  • Rich culture
  • Next big neighborhood
  • Young
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5
Jul 20, 2011

"O'Hare Airport & a Thriving Community"

If you’ve flown to Chicago, chances are you’ve at least been to the O’Hare neighborhood. Even though most people think the only thing you’ll find in this neighborhood is the O’Hare International Airport, it certainly has a lot more to offer. Found on the far northwest side of the city, this neighborhood is ethnically diverse and is home to many of the city’s most prominent businesses.

O’Hare is one of the 77 official communities in Chicago. In addition to being a major residential area, it is also where you’ll find headquarters of many large corporations. For commuters to or from O’Hare, you can’t beat the easy access to major roadways and public transportation. Even though it’s a bit of a distance from downtown, many locals prefer the seclusion of the neighborhood as compared to some of the areas closer to downtown.

The O’Hare neighborhood does have a lot to offer, but it isn’t for everyone. The major drawbacks of the area would be its distance from the popular Chicago att
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Easy commutes to suburbs or downtown
Cons
  • Far removed from the center of the city
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
Jul 20, 2011

"The Magnificent Near North"

The Near North Side—what’s not to love? Just outside of the Loop, the Near North Side is one of the city’s most popular areas. Within the boundaries of the Near North, you’ll find the Magnificent Mile, Gold Coast, Cabrini Green, Goose Island, Streeterville, Washington Square, and SoNo. A visit to this community gives you access to the best shopping district in Chicago, which is found along the Magnificent Mile.

Even if shopping isn’t your thing, you must include the Near North in a trip to Chicago. The Gold Coast is one of the historic districts in the city and is home to some of the most luxurious high-rise apartments in Chicago. You’ll also find many high-end boutiques from luxury brands, which makes the Gold Coast the preferred locale for some of the city’s most affluent residents. Cabrini-Green was once the home of the city’s most renowned housing projects, which have since been demolished in attempts at gentrification.

I’d list the Near North as a must for tourists a
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Charming Old World Feeling"

As a European-inspired area, Ravenswood has a distinctly “Old World” vibe. Known as a quiet area with a charm all its own, Ravenswood is on Chicago’s North Side and is within the confines of Lincoln Square. Thought by many to be an area whose best days are yet to come, many people are migrating to Ravenswood in anticipation of upcoming growth.

For history-lovers, the large historic areas in Ravenswood are a big draw. The neighborhood is noted for its focus on preserving the distinct European flare of the buildings without giving up modern amenities. Ravenswood has many charming cafés and affordable boutiques, making it a great setting for a fun day in the city. I enjoy Ravenswood because it is a quiet area that almost feels like an escape from the busier neighborhoods in Chicago.

Many families call Ravenswood home because of its many schools, parks, and quiet streets. Today’s Ravenswood residents include a diverse mix of families, young couples, and retirees. Cultural dive
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Unique Architecture
  • Great dining
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Busy Urban Oasis"

After having called Chicago home for a number of years, I can’t say the Loop is my favorite neighborhood, but it’s certainly not my least favorite. I’ve never wanted to live in this busy commercial district, but I certainly would consider it a must for some of the best architecture and exciting happenings in the city. A must for tourists, the Loop is located in the heart of Chicago. Many people commute to the Loop for work, as it is the center of commerce in the city.

Skyscrapers are probably the most noted part of the Loop. Everywhere you look you’ll find some of the most famous skyscrapers in the world. Historic skyscrapers include the Chicago Board of Trade Building and Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). If you’re into the hustle and bustle of city life, the Loop is the area to find it.

Simply put, this neighborhood is a must for visitors to Chicago and a staple for locals. The heart of many of the city’s theaters, galleries, and other prominent points of interest
Pros
  • Lots of activities
  • Great for tourists
  • The heart of the city
Cons
  • Busy, busy, busy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Diverse and Quaint"

Albany Park is known for being one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the city. Located on the city’s Northwest side, Albany Park includes residents from a variety of cultures. One of the best things about the area is the eclectic mix of dining opportunities, most of which reflect an authentic taste of a specific culture.

Within Albany Park you can explore the area known as Koreatown, which is filled with Korean restaurants, shops, and an exciting energy. If you enjoy the outdoors, you can visit one of the dozen or so parks in the community, which makes this a great place for families and dog-lovers. The Albany Park area is not considered one of the most exciting areas for the younger generation, but is certainly the perfect spot for retirees, couples, families, and singles in search of a quiet retreat from busy city life.

When you visit Albany Park, you can dine in one of the many interesting authentic Korean spots or stroll its quiet streets. I like Albany P
Pros
  • Affordable housing
  • Good food
  • Very little traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Art-Lover's Paradise"

Considered by many to be at the core of the arts movement in Chicago, Wicker Park is a neighborhood thriving with creativity and energy. Its array of galleries and shops make Wicker Park an attractive area for both residents and visitors alike. The history of the area dates back to the 19th Century, when the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed many buildings.

Today, Wicker Park has small-town appeal along with its rich urban vigor. Art lovers mingle with fashion lovers as the area offers a diverse an array of boutiques along with its many art-centric businesses. Many hipsters call Wicker Park home, as it is second only to neighboring Bucktown in hipster appeal. The area is also home to some of the city’s most prominent buildings, including the famed Flatiron Arts Building.

John Cusack fans know Wicker Park as the setting of his well-known film “High Fidelity”. Overall, this is a trendy and safe neighborhood with many activities to explore. Rich with a creative spirit, t
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Music and Much More"

Home to many of Chicago’s most renowned and historic entertainment venues, Uptown is an exciting and vibrant area. Its location on the city’s North Side makes Uptown convenient to suburbs as well as the downtown area. Bound by Lake Michigan to the east, Edgewater to the north, Lincoln Square to the west, and Lakeview to the south, this popular neighborhood is great for visitors and residents alike.

Music lovers will find much to explore in this culturally rich neighborhood. The Green Mill, which is one of the most popular Jazz clubs in the city, is found here. Once the hangout of many notorious people, the Green Mill has a lengthy history and is still a popular haunt for locals today. Other entertainment hot spots in the Uptown neighborhood include the Aragon Ballroom and the Riviera Theater, both of which are popular music venues. The Aragon has hosted such greats as U2, the Grateful Dead, and B.B. King.

If you want to enjoy the lake, you’ll find Montrose Beach within the
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Suburban Charm in the Heart of the City"

Found on the North Side of Chicago just north of Ravenswood, Lincoln Square is a largely residential setting. Its quiet charm makes it an ideal setting for families and those in search of a secluded area. The entire community of Lincoln Square encompasses the Lincoln Square neighborhood along with Ravenswood, Andersonville, Ravenswood Gardens, and Bowmanville.

The Lincoln Square neighborhood was originally a German settlement and that influence is still strong today. Home to the German-American fest, May Fest, and several other popular events, the neighborhood is considered a safe family-friendly area. There are numerous schools in the area along with several historic points of interest. Scattered throughout Lincoln Square are several murals, statues, and other examples of art, giving the area a unique charm.

If you want to taste some authentic German food, this is certainly the place to find it. The Chicago Brauhaus is perhaps the most well known of all German establishm
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Authentic German food
  • Convenient location
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 20, 2011

"A Place for Students to Call Home"

If you go to DePaul or you're in that age group, the DePaul neighborhood might be the perfect place to live. Its location in the Lincoln Park neighborhood certainly puts the DePaul area as one of the most sought after locales in the city. Like the rest of Lincoln Park, living in this area comes at a price. For those going to this popular University, the cost of living is balanced by convenience to the city’s most exciting areas.

The main drawback of the DePaul area is for those past college age. If you aren’t a student, this neighborhood becomes annoying pretty fast. Late night noise, parties, and generally feeling overrun by students make it difficult for anyone of career age or beyond to live here.

The pluses of DePaul include proximity to the Lincoln Park neighborhood, including the park itself and Lake Michigan. You’ll find plenty of fun bars and eateries that cater to students and the younger generation. The area is generally safe because there are always plenty of pe
Pros
  • Ideal for students
Cons
  • Noisy
Recommended for
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
Jul 20, 2011

"A Northwest Gem"

With a rich history, cultural diversity, and a hip vibe, Logan Square is certainly a popular Chicago neighborhood. Located in the city’s northwest, Logan Square is bound by the Chicago River to the east, Diversey Avenue to the north, Bloomingdale Avenue to the south, and the Metra/Milwaukee line to the west. Within the boundaries of Logan Square are the neighborhoods of Bucktown and Palmer Square.

Originally founded as a Norwegian-American area, Logan Square is one of the city’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods today. Residents of the area include a large Latin-American population, numerous Eastern-Europeans, and many African-Americans. Whether passing through or making this area your home, you’ll find plenty of landmarks, interesting homes, and places of interest to explore.

Bucktown is one of my favorite Logan Square areas. Known for its hipster population, Bucktown is one of the best shopping areas in the city for anyone in search of unique finds. You can also enj
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Hipster Heaven"

If you’re a hipster or a wannabe hipster, you’ve at least been to Bucktown. Considered one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the entire city, Bucktown is located in Chicago’s northwest side within the confines of Logan Square. The boundaries of Bucktown are Western Avenue to the west, the Chicago River to the east, Fullerton Avenue to the north, and Bloomingdale Avenue to the south.

Originally a Polish settlement, Bucktown has evolved through the years to become an area filled with creative-minded people, families, and the hipster crowd. The area is known for its trendy boutiques, eclectic cafés, fun pubs, and summer festivals. For me, a trip to Bucktown means the opportunity to visit some of the city’s best thrift stores and one-of-a-kind local clothing boutiques.

For residents, convenience is an important aspect of Bucktown. Easily accessible from the Kennedy Expressway, which is a major roadway for commuters, Bucktown is also convenient to public transportation via bus
Pros
  • Good restaurants
  • Great nightlife - bars, clubs, they've got it!
  • Young, welcoming community
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Culturally Rich and Vibrant"

I can’t say enough about how much I love Chinatown. It is most certainly one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago and a must see for anyone in the area. Located on the South Side, Chinatown is easily accessible by train from all other areas of the city or by car. Its rich history and exciting landmarks make Chinatown a favorite for almost all Chicago natives and visitors.

A worthwhile daytrip, a visit to Chinatown brings you in touch with a rich culture and an array of authentic Chinese eateries, shops, and stunning architecture. There are many landmarks in Chinatown—as soon as you step off the train, you’ll be taken aback by the bright colors and amazing sculpture throughout the area. Chinatown is simply a one of a kind neighborhood with a charm all its own.

When spending a day in Chinatown, you’ll be able to explore dozens of shops, eateries, and areas of interest. It’s easy to lose track of time while strolling the streets of the area with numerous places of interest t
Pros
  • Great food
  • Safe
  • Very welcoming
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Family Friendly & Convenient"

North Center is a popular area, which also encompasses Roscoe Village and St. Bens. Its location in the North Side makes it convenient to all of Chicago’s hot spots, many of which are found right here. The boundaries of North Center are Ravenswood Avenue on the east, the Chicago River on the west, Montrose Avenue on the north, and Diversey Parkway on the south.

My favorite area of North Center is Roscoe Village, which is where I live. All of North Center is filled with fun eateries, bars, and tons of family-friendly areas. Just a hop, skip, and a jump from Wrigley Field, Lincoln Park, and many other points of interest, North Center is far enough away from the hectic life of the city without giving up the convenience many people crave.

Families will find North Center and all of its sub-neighborhoods to be quite family-friendly. There are many prominent schools in the area for all ages. You’ll also find a few boutiques that cater to families, including Be By Baby, which fea
Pros
  • Location
  • Quiet
  • Easy access to El lines
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 20, 2011

"Affordable & Quiet"

Found on the far North Side of the city just south of Evanston, Rogers Park is a little off the beaten path. Rich with history and diversity, the neighborhood is nestled along Lake Michigan and offers many areas of secluded access to the lake. Residents of Rogers Park include families, couples, singles, and retirees that are in search of a calm area of the city to call home.

In recent years, Rogers Park has made a comeback from its early roots and is slowly becoming one of Chicago’s trendier areas. Within the boundaries of this community, you’ll find a growing number of boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, and quaint cafés. The popular Loyola University is also found here and prominent Northwestern University is just north in the city of Evanston.

As the area grows, many expect it to rise to the top of the chain of hot spots in Chicago. Once an area that was avoided by some, today Rogers Park has evolved into a quiet and charming area that attracts everyone from retirees
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Affordable
  • Beach access
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
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 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 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 19, 2011

"My Favorite Neighborhood"

Found in the confines of the North Center neighborhood, Roscoe Village is full of charm. I love the neighborhood so much I call it home! All of my favorite bars, restaurants, and shops are found in the area. Its many festivals, dog-friendly areas, and vintage shops make Roscoe Village the perfect place to visit or call home.

Conveniently located in the core of the city’s most popular areas, Roscoe Village is bound on the north by Addison Street, on the south by Belmont Avenue, on the east by Ravenswood Avenue, and on the west by the Chicago River. Just a short trip to Wrigley Field, downtown, and numerous other exciting spots; this is one of the city’s hidden gems.

By far, the most prominent part of the Village is Roscoe Street. Whether on foot, in a car, or by bicycle, traveling along Roscoe allows you to visit thrift stores, restaurants, parks, and pubs. Perfect for families, singles, couples, and just about anyone that wants to live in an affordable area that is wholly
Pros
  • Lots of dining opportunities
  • Dog friendly
  • Quiet
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 19, 2011

"Fun for All!"

The Lakeview neighborhood is one of the city’s most diverse and exciting areas. Known as being the home of Wrigley Field, where the beloved Chicago Cubs play, Lakeview includes the neighborhoods of East Lakeview, West Lakeview, and Wrigleyville within its boundaries. This fun area is ideal for sports fans, shopaholics, and just about anyone that loves the beauty of the Windy City.

Aside from the area surrounding Wrigley Field, which is found on the corner of Clark Street and Addison Street, Lakeview is also known as being the home of the exciting Boystown neighborhood. Located along Halsted between Diversey Parkway and Grace Street in the East Lakeview area, this vibrant area is home to nearly 300,000 of Chicago’s LGBT residents. This exciting village is one of the many parts of Lakeview that make this one of the most unique areas in the city.

Lakeview residents also enjoy a wide variety of shopping opportunities. From local boutiques for children and adults to popular depar
Pros
  • Easy commutes to all other areas of the city
  • An eclectic mix of areas within the neighborhood
  • Fun shops, salons, and restaurants
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Jul 19, 2011

"Best Location!"

A trip to the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago creates the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful outdoor areas, an eclectic mixture of dining opportunities, and some stunning architecture. Lincoln Park is known for its convenient location and access to some of the city’s most important attractions.

For residents in this North Side neighborhood, there is a diverse mixture of historic row homes, courtyard apartment buildings, and upscale condominiums. Although it is notoriously pricey when compared to some other areas, you certainly do get what you pay for in Lincoln Park.

With proximity to the stunning area of Lincoln Park Zoo and the 1200-acre park that surrounds it, the area is also a common stop for tourists. Suburbanites and out-of-towners commonly include a trip to this trendy neighborhood while visiting the Windy City. It has everything from shopping to Lake Michigan access, which makes it the perfect part of a visit to Chicago.

The Lincoln Park
Pros
  • Access to the Park and Lake Michigan
  • Lots of bars, restaurants, and shops
  • Quick commutes to other areas
Cons
  • Busy at all hours
  • Traffic
  • Cost of apartments/houses
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 19, 2011

"Eclectic and Refreshing"

As one of my favorite Chicago neighborhoods, Edgewater is a quaint area with a little bit of everything. Its location on the North Side of the city puts Edgewater just a stone’s throw from the Lincoln Square, Uptown, and Ravenswood neighborhoods. Within the boundaries of Edgewater you’ll find popular neighborhoods like Andersonville, Broadway, and Edgewater Glen.

Whether you’re just passing through or you call Edgewater home, it’s easy to be captivated by the many charming shops, cafés, restaurants, pubs, and historic houses found here. The diversity of the area includes a large international community, many LGBT residents, and a multiplicity of religions. Enjoying Edgewater is easy—just stroll down Clark or Broadway and visit any of its many interesting bookstores, thrift stores, or pubs. My two favorite Edgewater spots are the Brown Elephant thrift store and the Hopleaf Bar, both of which are found on North Clark Street.

Another thing to enjoy in Edgewater is access to Fos
Pros
  • charming environment
  • plenty of shopping
  • safe
Cons
  • distance from downtown
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers

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