5.4 out of 10

Brainerd

41.7187131051284 -87.6473109677166
Great for
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Cost of Living
  • Safe & Sound
  •  
Not great for
  • Shopping Options
  • Parking
  • Childcare
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Schools
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  •  

Reviews

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
2yrs+

"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
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
2yrs+

"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 3/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 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
2yrs+

"A changing landscape"

Originally, Brainerd was a community settled by immigrants drawn to railroad jobs. Now it is a primarily African American quiet residential area,

Of particular interest to me- individually- is the collections and exhibits at the Brainerd Branch of the Chicago Public Library that illustrate many aspects of African American life. While I will never be able to fully understand what life as an African American is like- this provides a valuable glimpse into a perspective often overlooked.

Also at this library is one of the largest collections of literature, journals and manuscripts relating to African American history. All free and open to everyone seven days a week.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids

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