Jump to content
enoksrd

Madison, WI

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone,

Planning on going to UW-Madison next year, and am currently looking online for apartments. I'm going for the Chemistry Ph.D. program, and see a lot of people suggesting the Old University area for science people; but I'm not really sure what street area's this entails. Also, I'm finding a lot of promising-looking options in Middleton, is this a bikable/busable area to get to campus? Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey everyone,

Planning on going to UW-Madison next year, and am currently looking online for apartments. I'm going for the Chemistry Ph.D. program, and see a lot of people suggesting the Old University area for science people; but I'm not really sure what street area's this entails. Also, I'm finding a lot of promising-looking options in Middleton, is this a bikable/busable area to get to campus? Thanks!

Middleton is SO much cheaper, but it's less convenient/cool. all of madison is bikeable and you can check out bus routes between potential apartments and your science building at: http://www.cityofmadison.com/metro/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey everyone,

Planning on going to UW-Madison next year, and am currently looking online for apartments. I'm going for the Chemistry Ph.D. program, and see a lot of people suggesting the Old University area for science people; but I'm not really sure what street area's this entails. Also, I'm finding a lot of promising-looking options in Middleton, is this a bikable/busable area to get to campus? Thanks!

I really urge you to avoid living in Middleton. It's cheap, but it's suburbia. Boring, few walkable areas, car-centered, and just like every other suburb in this country. The commute would be easy by bus or bike, but the quality of life would be poor. You'd lose out on everything good that Madison has to offer.

I'd recommend the following areas. University Heights and Vilas are closer to campus, but don't the restaurants/bars/grocery stores that the east side does. James Madison Park is close to campus but teeming with undergraduates.

1. University Heights/Old University

2. Vilas

3. Williamson/Marquette

4. Schenk-Atwood

5. James Madison Park

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got back from a two-day trip to Madison and it was great. I met my future lab, dealt with administrative issues, saw the city and most importantly of all, I found my home!

The reason I was able to do this so quickly is because I did quite a bit of prep work beforehand. I spent way too much time on craigslist (whatever I could do to avoid this thesis it seems) and found places that seemed good. I only inquired about places that already had roommates as this was my preference. I wrote a pretty detailed description of myself to the potential roommates and I tried to make sure I showed my personality. After all, I want to make sure I get along with people I live with.

The ads I replied to varied in their levels of detail. I made sure to ask questions and to get pictures of the place if they were not already included. I facebooked everyone and even skyped with some roommates. This way I was able to narrow my search down to three places. I already had a good idea of where I wanted to move before I went. If I had not visited I would have felt comfortable signing the lease remotely. The key is to have substantial contact with the people.

While there, I made back-to-back appointments and the potential roommates actually offered to give me rides to the next viewings. It was awesome! People in Madison are sooo nice :)

So what did I think of the areas of the city? Most of my labmates live in the West, Vilas area. It is quiet and overall void of undergrads. But it also seems far away from the action that you will find in the capitol. The 3 places I ended up looking were all on the Isthmus.

First was a place near Monona Bay. I was concerned about undergrad presence but was assured that it was not a problem. There is even a seniors home across the street so it's nice and quiet but blocks from the capitol.

Second was in the heart of Willy Street. The apartment was awesome and the neighborhood was even better. It's no State Street but it is a lively area.

Finally, I made it to the far east of the Isthmus. The place was great (huge kitchen and a roommate that would bake fore me) but it was just too far from campus. In fact, trying to get back to my hotel I had to switch buses and then I got lost and didn't get back until midnight.

All of the potential roommates were really great. I trusted my instincts when doing my search and communicating with them and I was not disappointed. There are a lot of living options in Madison and different areas that will definitely suit your taste. Just make sure you prioritize what features matter to you and if you're not sure, ask the people who posted the ad! And don't respond to ads posted by undergrads (unless that's your style).

I don't know if this was useful for anyone but I hope it was. Lemme know if you have any questions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey all. I am seriously considering apartments south of campus, I think the neighborhood is called Burr Oaks. I have heard Badger Road is the "bad" part of town, but coming from low income neighborhoods in Chicago this does not deter me much. Can anyone shed some light on this? Is it really that bad? Are we talking shootings and stabbings, or more like graffiti and burglary?

Thanks folks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey all. I am seriously considering apartments south of campus, I think the neighborhood is called Burr Oaks. I have heard Badger Road is the "bad" part of town, but coming from low income neighborhoods in Chicago this does not deter me much. Can anyone shed some light on this? Is it really that bad? Are we talking shootings and stabbings, or more like graffiti and burglary?

Thanks folks.

I did not check out that neighborhood but I think that nowhere in Madison is very bad. One of my labmates warned me about my neighborhood (Doty St.) because there had been a murder there 3-4 years ago but it's actually a totally safe place.

Burr Oaks might be worse, I really don't know. But what I say is that when you hear bad things about a place, take it with a grain of salt. I wonder if anyone living in Madison could further enlighten us on this issue.

Edited by ogopo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did not check out that neighborhood but I think that nowhere in Madison is very bad. One of my labmates warned me about my neighborhood (Doty St.) because there had been a murder there 3-4 years ago but it's actually a totally safe place.

Burr Oaks might be worse, I really don't know. But what I say is that when you hear bad things about a place, take it with a grain of salt. I wonder if anyone living in Madison could further enlighten us on this issue.

Okay, that helps a bit. I am going to visit apartments West, South, and East of campus and see how things look.

I found this site informational : http://www.crimereports.com/ , just search for Madison, WI. Crime report data was provided by the Madison police department. According to this map, the West side looks the safest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, that helps a bit. I am going to visit apartments West, South, and East of campus and see how things look.

I found this site informational : http://www.crimereports.com/ , just search for Madison, WI. Crime report data was provided by the Madison police department. According to this map, the West side looks the safest.

Holy shit. I have never seen a map like this before. I'm shocked at the number of registered sex offenders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy shit. I have never seen a map like this before. I'm shocked at the number of registered sex offenders.

Me too!! :ph34r: "Registered" means that they have already been in jail and now they are out but the community is wathcing them, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me too!! :ph34r: "Registered" means that they have already been in jail and now they are out but the community is wathcing them, right?

Yes. I don't consider myself an alarmist but this is shocking and worrisome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. I don't consider myself an alarmist but this is shocking and worrisome.

I've just talked about that with my friends and they told me that it's not as bad as it seems. Many of these sex offenders did not commit any serious crimes. Many did bad or mildly bad things long ago. And many of them are (ex) child molesters. Of course they are all sex offenders who have done bad things at some point in their lives. But it's not like each and every one of them is a maniac that dreams about finding his next victim in the dark street. Some are just miserable people repenting their crimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oof, I am really sorry. I wasn't trying to freak people out, nor be an alarmist.

My intent was just to share the information, which I think is from an accurate source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oof, I am really sorry. I wasn't trying to freak people out, nor be an alarmist.

My intent was just to share the information, which I think is from an accurate source.

No, no, no.. I wasn't saying anything negative towards you. I actually just finding shocking that there are so many registered sex offenders. And it's not even about Madison. I'm sure that other cities are the same or worse. What terrifies me is our society. Why are there so many sex offenders? And what would constitute a minor sex offense??

Please forgive my off-topic rant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oof, I am really sorry. I wasn't trying to freak people out, nor be an alarmist.

My intent was just to share the information, which I think is from an accurate source.

No problem, actually I am very grateful to you for posting this link! I've heard about this site before but I have never seen it. I think it's a very useful sourse of information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/3/2011 at 11:26 PM, ogopo said:

No, no, no.. I wasn't saying anything negative towards you. I actually just finding shocking that there are so many registered sex offenders. And it's not even about Madison. I'm sure that other cities are the same or worse. What terrifies me is our society. Why are there so many sex offenders? And what would constitute a minor sex offense??

Please forgive my off-topic rant.

Yes, it's even worse in bigger cities! Type in Philadelphia on this website (that's where I am heading) and you will see a sex offender symbol on every street! It's so creepy. But when I talked to my friends, they told me what I have written in another comment here and it calmed me down a bit.

What consitutes a minor sex offense? Oh, I am so not an expert here.

But yes, minor or major, I find it shocking anyway :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely, it is worse in big cities. I am glad no one was offended. What scares me too is how unfazed I was by the number of crimes and sex offenders on the map compared to what I know about my current and former neighborhood. I was using the time filter on the map, thinking, "oh, only one assault and three burglaries in one day in neighborhood, X, that is pretty good!" It truly is all relative.

Not too sure what a minor sex offense is, either... grr society.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some questions for people who are living in Madison now:

1) Is UW-Madison's stipend something you can live on comfortably given the cost of living in the area? (I hear your health insurance is outstanding and you get dental?)

2) Will I be able to find a studio for less than $800/month? I know roommates are cheaper, but I tend to be a night owl and, being a little older, I'm used to having my own space.

3) I personally didn't apply to programs in NYC because I don't want to be distracted by the endless possibilities and the proximity of my extended group of friends. I'm imagining Madison is one of those charming college cities with plenty of cute bistros and pubs, but not a whole lot of distracting nightlife. I'd rather not be tempted, to be honest... Will I be able to focus on school without withering away socially and culturally?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What consitutes a minor sex offense? Oh, I am so not an expert here.

But yes, minor or major, I find it shocking anyway sad.gif

I don't know if it's true or not, but I've heard of things like public urination / indecent exposure getting people put on the sex offender's registry, even if the intent was (supposedly) not exposure e.g. a jogger ducking behind tree in a park to relieve himself.

I think it depends on how many people witness the event and whether children are present.

Apologies for the unpleasant conversation regarding a (sort of) old question, I just think it's an interesting case!

Edited by Pitangus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Madisonians,

Looks like this has been a topic of discussion already--but under the heading of non-auto transportation--it seems like Madison is very bikeable and pretty walkable, but how extensive and convenient is the bus system? I'm (likely) moving there over the summer but my partner and I share a car and prefer not to drive it if we have other options. I'm particularly interested in the bus system because I'm terrified of riding my bike in the bitter, bitter cold. Ah!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Madisonians,

Looks like this has been a topic of discussion already--but under the heading of non-auto transportation--it seems like Madison is very bikeable and pretty walkable, but how extensive and convenient is the bus system? I'm (likely) moving there over the summer but my partner and I share a car and prefer not to drive it if we have other options. I'm particularly interested in the bus system because I'm terrified of riding my bike in the bitter, bitter cold. Ah!

I'm not going to UW for grad school, but that's where I did my undergrad. The bus system is very reliable and a great way to get around. There's really no need for a car in Madison--it's a bigger pain than it's worth. My significant other paid $110 a month for parking at our apartment to have his car around, especially when you get a free bus pass; it was pointless. Bikes are also another great way to get around too. There's a few crazy folk that bike in the winter, but it is one of the most bike-friendly towns in the country too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My partner and I are moving to Madison this summer (me= phd student, she= physical therapist) and I'm finding the apartment hunt to be an absolute pain. I have friends there who suggest steering clear of the west side of downtown, since that's where the undergrads live. I tried to find a nice place on the so-called "near east" side of downtown but everything that isn't more than $1600/month looks quite outdated.

I'm not all that concerned about living in the hottest spot downtown but I don't want to miss out on the parks, farmers market, nightlife, etc.

Should we suck it up and over-pay to live downtown for the first year? Or get more bang for our buck 15 minutes away from campus? Any input would be appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/14/2012 at 12:47 AM, isobel_a said:

Some questions for people who are living in Madison now:

1) Is UW-Madison's stipend something you can live on comfortably given the cost of living in the area? (I hear your health insurance is outstanding and you get dental?)

2) Will I be able to find a studio for less than $800/month? I know roommates are cheaper, but I tend to be a night owl and, being a little older, I'm used to having my own space.

3) I personally didn't apply to programs in NYC because I don't want to be distracted by the endless possibilities and the proximity of my extended group of friends. I'm imagining Madison is one of those charming college cities with plenty of cute bistros and pubs, but not a whole lot of distracting nightlife. I'd rather not be tempted, to be honest... Will I be able to focus on school without withering away socially and culturally?

I second this! Anyone have any insight? I'm deciding between here and GSK in NYC. Madison seems like a great place to study, but is it a city that you can outgrow? Also, rent seems pretty pricey for a 24k/yr stipend =(, or does that go a little farther in Madison than I think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some questions for people who are living in Madison now:

1) Is UW-Madison's stipend something you can live on comfortably given the cost of living in the area? (I hear your health insurance is outstanding and you get dental?)

2) Will I be able to find a studio for less than $800/month? I know roommates are cheaper, but I tend to be a night owl and, being a little older, I'm used to having my own space.

3) I personally didn't apply to programs in NYC because I don't want to be distracted by the endless possibilities and the proximity of my extended group of friends. I'm imagining Madison is one of those charming college cities with plenty of cute bistros and pubs, but not a whole lot of distracting nightlife. I'd rather not be tempted, to be honest... Will I be able to focus on school without withering away socially and culturally?

1. Yes, you can live comfortably on the UW stipend. You won't be saving much, but you can live comfortably. You also get great insurance.

2. You should be able to find a 1bd for $500-600/month, no problem. You'll pay a little more closer to campus and a little less 2-3 miles away. The benefits of living a little further away is that you get away from the undergrad neighborhoods. It's also a short bike or bus ride. Madison is very bike AND bus friendly, so transportation is no problem.

3. The social and academic scenes are great -- there is always plenty to do in terms arts, music, culture, etc. The music scene can be a little sparse, but there is a good amount of diversity (ranging from college bands to bluegrass/folk to orchestras). State street has great food/pub options. The campus is located right on a lake and has extended lakeside trails that make commuting a pleasure. The undergrads definately party a lot, but you can easily avoid it (I barely notice it). The academics are great -- you can waste a lot of time attending seminars in various departments. It's usually time well wasted though, because we get top researchers from around the nation (in addition to the top researchers housed locally!). Finally, the UW is a great place to form a PhD committee. The campus is huge, so it's easy to create a super-star committee. Same goes for the grad students -- it's easy to connect with grad students with similar interests from around campus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Christa, if you are flexible with your price range (or are ok with having a roomie) McBride Companies, whose apartment building, the beautiful, modern McBride Point on James Madison Park http://mcbridepoint.com/ I have lived in for a year, are consistent, communicate effectively, polite, professional, and respond very quickly to maintenance requests. They have someone clean the entire apartment building common areas twice a week. The only thing about them is that they are very strict about their rules. No posters on the window (which can be difficult in the political climate here in Madison, especially when everyone else has signs!) and no candles in the apartment (lit or not), etc. The other problems with them is that the garage parking is not included-- off-street parking is pricey in Madison, thousands of dollars a year-- and that the materials in the apartment are not as quality as they make them out to be. For instance, sound travels more easily through the walls than the management claims, resulting in conflict between neighbors who each think it's the others fault. The window shade broke really easily, the walls are often not sturdy enough to mount anything, and the kitchen cabinets were designed poorly (tall, narrow, and deep) for an under 5' person such as myself. But if you're looking for a quiet, mature building with great maintenance, respectful landlords and a great little grocery store attached to the building, on a great park and lake, with coffee shops, the capitol, downtown, State Street, and campus at a moment's reach, go with this building.

Also: absolutely under no circumstances should you rent with the Embassy Apartments. Their management company is particularly nasty and genuinely seems like it's out to get the students, and the apartments are not of particular quality, either. My boyfriend lived there and during his year and a half there they seemed to intentionally spy on him and try to find things to charge him for. One time, when something I ordered online accidentally got delivered to their address (his old address,) the company pretended they didn't have the package until we sent the police in there, who confirmed that they did indeed have it but had sent it back to the original sender, despite my e-mail asking them to let me come and get it from them. They cost my boyfriend and I lots of money and my dress for New Year's Eve (the contents of that package.)

Other companies I've rented with have been Mullins (won't bother you, but might show up unannounced to show your apartment, and their kitchens appliances tend to break down easily), and the management company at La Ciel (nice enough apartments, I never had any trouble with them, if you don't mind living in the heart of a busy undergrad area-- but it's very close to campus, and it's a highrise so if you get a higher floor you'll be fine. We were in the penthouse, which had low ceilings but no noise at all.)

Good luck! Let me know if you'd like any input on which neighborhoods to live in (for grad students I generally recommend the East Side or James Madison Park area, Monroe, or near west near UW Hospital if you don't mind a 15 min commute.)

Edited by what lies ahead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.