GGChicago

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Reviews

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
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
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
  • 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

"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
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
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
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 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

Answers