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enoksrd

Madison, WI

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Thanks for your reply. I looked at the McPride Point website but it seems too expensive for me (+$1000 for a 1bd).

Neighborhoods wise, what are the areas that are either 1) walking distance away from campus or 2) a short bus ride (5-10 mins) and in a vibrant area (good restaurants, good transportation to different parts of town and quiet)?

Also, do you know how good the university apartments (Eagle Heights and Harvey St.) are? They seem to be the cheapest options and I was hoping that since they belong to the school, there won't be any major problems or inconveniences.

Thanks again :)

Edited by Christa

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I've heard good things from people that live in Eagle Heights. It's cheap, on a busline, quiet, family oriented, etc. The downside is that it's a ways from bars, restaurants, etc. Also the Willy (Williamson) St (northeast of campus on the isthmus) and vilas neighborhood (south of campus) are nice. Willy st. is a trendy neighborhood with great bars/restaurants/coffee shops and a lot of grad students live out there.

This link is helpful (it's what I used to find my place): http://housing.civc.wisc.edu/search_guided.asp

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Dornos, thanks for the response. So Eagle Heights and Harvey St. aren't at a walkable distance to the restaurants and bars?

and how much should I expect to pay for a room with housemates in the Willy St. area or the Villas? and as I'm international I'm not very familiar with all the utilities that I should watch out for, so what are they? Also, what's a reasonable estimate for the internet+electricity bill and during the winter, the heating bill?

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Hi Christa! I would say definitely go with Near East (on or off East Johnson Street) or James Madison Park area (same area as McBride but it's really the only expensive building around there)! You can find something affordable there and there are lots of cafes, bars, restaurants, coffeeshops in the immediate vicinity. It's walking distance to campus, on a park and a lake as well as three blocks from the capital (the center of downtown.) You're also only about five blocks away from State Street, the main street in Madison which runs between the university campus and the capitol. Plus, in Near East/East Johnson and in the James Madison Park/Capitol Hill area neighborhood it's quiet enough to study, away from the heart of undergraduate residential areas. Near East is also closer than Willy and, depending on whether your classes are on the East or West side, than Vilas, to campus, yet still residential.

Edited by what lies ahead

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I noticed that a few people have asked for information about Eagle Heights - I just moved into an apartment there this week.

My two-bedroom apartment is about $770 a month, which is a good $100 cheaper than the next cheapest comparable apartment I looked at when I was seeking housing, and all utilities other than electricity are paid. Free internet access, free laundry, and a free parking spot for my car made the deal pretty attractive.

The apartment I have isn't super large - it's probably only about 700 square feet, which is way smaller than most of the other places I looked. However, it's much cleaner and more well-maintained than I was expecting. The laundry and storage in the basement is a tad sketchy, but your mileage might vary.

The community is large, but very secluded. It's situated on a peninsula that extends into Lake Mendota, and is surrounded by a nature preserve with lots of hiking/bike trails/gardens on the east and a quiet (but expensive) residential neighborhood on the west. The closest facility on campus to the apartments is the hospital, about a mile to the south, but the free 80 bus runs around the Eagle Heights complex all day. It's easy to catch a ride and be on central campus in about 15 minutes, but I come from a place where Walgreens was a block away, so this is a little jarring.

My neighbors are really friendly and for the most part quiet, but they are all married with young children and bikes and toys litter the grounds. If you're young and unmarried like I am, it might be weird for you, but if you're looking for a place to raise a family, I get the feeling that this would be ideal. Childcare and preschool are available on-site, and there are lots of playgrounds. A lot of people here are international students, so it's very diverse.

It's definitely not where the action is, but if you're looking for someplace quiet, friendly, and low-hassle, I think it would be appropriate. Just know that there's a waiting list - there is an online application to fill out, and I've heard that they prefer to reserve spots for foreign students. I'm pretty sure the only reason I was actually able to get an apartment there is because I spoke to the manager in person.

Also, the manager told me that the faculty housing division (University Houses) are getting remodeled sometime in the next year, which means that everyone who lives there now will have to move out. A lot of those people will probably attempt to get spots in Eagle Heights, since they're in the same neighborhood. I gather that competition for an apartment here might get pretty fierce.

Edited by englewood

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Madison is a very veg-friendly city. As a liberal, environmentally conscious city with one of the biggest and best Farmer's Markets in the country, Madison is a great place to buy and eat fresh vegetables! Many local restaurants consistently use fresh, local ingredients. And if you eat dairy, you could come to no better place. The dairy in Wisconsin is like none other.

A great, exclusively-vegetarian restaurant I've been to is Green Owl Cafe, http://thegreenowlcafe.com/, which has delicious vegetarian and vegan versions of everything you can eat with meat, from spaghetti and "meatballs" to the their vegan bloody mary. Their menu includes American, Mediterranean, German, Indian, and Mexican-style food, with no meat in sight. It is on Atwood Ave, in the Near East, which is an approx 10 to 15-min bus ride from downtown/campus.

Another exclusively-vegetarian spot to grab a bite is Mother Fool's Coffee House, an artsy cafe also in the Near East on Williamson Street. Probably a 10-min bus ride.

http://www.motherfools.com/. I've never been there myself, but it's a local favorite.

Another great option is Monty's Blue Plate Diner. A local favorite, it is a traditional diner-style restaurant with a wide variety of traditional American and unique dishes that provides a vegetarian and vegan option for almost every item on the menu. It is also on Atwood Ave, near Green Owl. http://www.montysblueplatediner.com/

Here is a list of vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants and grocery stores in and near downtown:

http://www.vegmadiso...estaurants.html

Of these, Alchemy's, Bunky's, Dobhan, (all on Atwood, and delicious!) and Bandung are Near East.

If you are in the campus/downtown area (campus and downtown are adjacent to one another), there is a plethora of restaurants on State Street and near the capitol, many of which are veg-friendly. Look for East Asian restaurants like Rising Suns (delicious thai restaurant on state), Tibetan food like Himal Chuli, and Ethiopian restaurant Buraka for great vegetarian options. State Street Teahouse Dobra Tea is vegetarian-only. Although ethnic, especially Asian, restaurants are likely to offer many vegetarian options, most Western food restaurants in the area are vegetarian-sensitive and offer plenty of veg options.

Madison also has several delicious Indian restaurants, which are of course great for vegetarians. In the downtown/capital area, Mirch Masala

(haven't eaten there myself) is on the Capitol Square, and the absolutely delicious Maharani (one of my all-time Madison favorites) http://www.maharanimadison.com/ is on W Wash just two blocks from the Capitol Square.

As far as cleanliness goes, you don't have to worry. Madison has an excellent, diverse, and reputable restaurant scene, and the restaurants in the central area are all clean and well-maintained.

Now as far as living west of the Capitol, that is a good location. It's on Lake Monona, which is beautiful. Many students live there, but it is not rowdy like some student areas. Anything near the Capitol is an excellent place to live, since you have access to campus, downtown, Capitol Square, restaurants, shops, and all events and festivals going on downtown.

I'm not sure if I understood you correctly, but I gather you would be at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. You're not going to be able to walk there from Near East or W of the Capitol to there in less than 1/2 an hour, probably. However, it is totally easy to take the bus! Both inter and intra-campus buses come regularly and many different buses go between campus and the more central downtown area, as well as to the Near East.

Here is the bus website: http://www.cityofmadison.com/metro/ (or you can use Google Maps to plan your bus trip). As a student, you'll get a free bus pass which you'll have to renew about every semester.

You'll be able to take the bus from west of the Capitol in about 10 mins, and from the Near East in maybe 20 mins, depending on where in the Near East you live (closer to Campus like on E Johnson, or further away like Willy St or Atwood Ave.)

Also, you should consider a bike, if you enjoy biking. Madison is a great biking city.

I think that if you want a truly walkable distance to the west side of campus, where it seems like you will be, I would look for apartments in the Regent Street/ Camp Randall Stadium area. It is not a bad area for students to live; it is right next to the Monroe St/ Vilas neighborhood area, which is a charming and quiet residental neighborhood with lots of shops and cafes, a nice lake, and a Trader Joe's grocery store.

Let me know if you have any more questions I can answer!

Hope that helps.

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The "near East" side of Madison is very affordable as well as being a safe, vibrant neighborhood. I would definitely reccomend looking for apartments in this neighborhood. It's a bit of a hike to walk to the campus from here, but it's on the bus line and if you're into bicycling that would work,as well. It's a very bike-friendly neighborhood with several bike paths and lanes. The restaurant/bar scene here is great-I especially love the ones on Willy Street. As far as reasonable utility prices go, that will really vary depending on the size and age of your apartment. I have a (very) small studio and the average electricity bill (which includes my heat and A/C) is $40 a month. I have paid as much as $50 in the winter, which I think is still really cheap. In older buildings your bill might be higher. As far as the internet goes, Charter is the most popular service provider here and they offer internet starting at $25 a month. If you want "faster" internet you pay more, but honestly I have never had issues with the $25 one being too slow. Hope this info helps. Let me know if you have any more questions!

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Hi, I'm an incoming Sociology PhD student at UW Madison. When is the best time to begin looking for apartments for the academic year? I'm moving the last week of August.

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Hi, I'm an incoming Sociology PhD student at UW Madison. When is the best time to begin looking for apartments for the academic year? I'm moving the last week of August.

Many apartments in the campus area here at UW-Madison have a move-in date on August 15th. It's rather epic and known as Hippie Christmas due to the massive amounts of stuff that is left on the sidewalks for people to pick over. That said, there are also plenty of apartments that don't run on that schedule, but I would start looking around on the Internet now to try and get something organized by the end of this month at the very latest.

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Oh my goodness-you need to start looking NOW. Apartment hunting in downtown Madison is unusual in that most people look for places months ahead of time (sometimes as early as a year ahead of time!) By the time people in most cities start looking for apartments, downtown Madisonians have had their apartments picked out for months. I'm sure there are still some place left, but they're probably pretty well picked over by now. I'm not trying to scare you here-just giving you a really honest answer to your question! If you don't have much luck downtown, try the East or West sides. They run on a more normal timetable.

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Heyy!

Thanks for the reply "what lies ahes" and "butter fingers". It was very complete. :)

Could you also please help me in two other things?

I want to know which is the most reliable and cheapest mobile service provider in Madison. I hear Spring and US Cellular are good, whar are your ideas guys?

And I want a very good guide to winter clothes. I have never been in winter. The lowest that I have been exposed to is say about 14 Celcius. So I don't know what to wear and where to buy? I have read something about north face jackets. Are they for harsh winter?

Can some one please guide me?

Thanks in advance

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Congratulations on coming to UW-Madison! Now for the advice, when I lived in Madison, I just kept my cell phone service from home in Atlanta which is T-Mobile. However, I heard that US Cellular is fine for the locals. For the winter clothes, the North Face is popular with the undergraduates, but I had a North Face jacket. You should go to their website and look at the jackets and boots. REI is good too. Also, I would recommend Columbia outerwear. Also want to tell you that they salt the roads and clear the sidewalks on a regular basis, but if you want to stay warm and not get precipitation on you, get a good waterproof jacket, gloves, scarf and waterproof shoes. They also have shops in Madison where you can get the items you need. I stayed in Madison for two years working on my masters degree, graduated in 2010, and I never got a cold or flu because I dressed warmly.

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bump for 2014 peep

 

Hey all, I am wondering if it's worth it to consider bringing my car. I have never been to Madison and wonder about living in the downtown...and where is that? This is the beginning of my search, I read throught the thread but there is only 8 pages after all.

Edited by iampheng

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Does anyone know about the co-ops in Madison? I currently live in one that's affiliated with my university and love the lifestyle and community there and would like to live in one as a grad student as well. I've heard that Madison also has many co-ops and was wondering if anyone had any general information or insights on them.

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It is going to be difficult to live off of that amount of stipend, but not impossible. I had a roommate who only got about $9000 and she said that she was able to survive without dipping into her savings. She really didn't so anything except stay in her room and read and write all day everyday, and as far as I'm concerned, that's no way to live a life. There are options for cheap living, like living in a co-op or living further from downtown/campus.

 

Several of my labmates bike. Some of them stop biking when it gets really cold but others just keep going by dressing warmly and using winter bike tires. Also, the main bike paths are plowed when it snows. Otherwise, the bus system is pretty good and you get a bus pass as part of your segregated fees.

 

Overall, I enjoy Madison and I'm happy to be here. The lack of diversity is a bit of a problem for me but I think it's ok for now.

I am considering U Wisconsin. I would be interested to hear anything people have to say about the city, and in particular, I would be interested to know what the cost of living is like. I have been offered TA support, which will be about $11,200 or $12,500, depending on whether or not the TAA nogotiate a raise. According to the grad school web site, this is a few thousand less than the estimated cost of living. What is the cost of living for grad students living there now? If you aren't picky, is there reasonably priced housing near campus? Also, I have been told it is a great bike city, but how does that work in the winter when its 10F and there is snow everywhere?

Thanks!

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Hey Spinach,

 

There are a ton of co-ops in Madison. I have never lived in one but I have several friends that have. Everything I have heard from my friends has been positive. The one seeming drawback is that it is hard to find privacy but I imagine that would be a problem in a co-op in any city.

 

Does anyone know about the co-ops in Madison? I currently live in one that's affiliated with my university and love the lifestyle and community there and would like to live in one as a grad student as well. I've heard that Madison also has many co-ops and was wondering if anyone had any general information or insights on them.

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If you already have a car, I would bring it. I don't have a car and I often feel either trapped or like a mooch, always asking my friends for rides. If all you're doing is going between campus, downtown and home it's not a big deal but if you play sports, want to go into the wilderness or want to find cheaper grocery stores, having a car to get out to those places would be useful.

 

If you want to live downtown, parking can be expensive or a hassle. Make sure that when you are looking for homes, that you figure out what the parking situation is. There are a few diamonds in the rough that have free off-street parking. Street parking is possible but can be a pain, especially in the winter when there is alternate street parking to accommodate snow plowing.

 

bump for 2014 peep

 

Hey all, I am wondering if it's worth it to consider bringing my car. I have never been to Madison and wonder about living in the downtown...and where is that? This is the beginning of my search, I read throught the thread but there is only 8 pages after all.

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How would you kind folks characterize the cost of living in Madison? I'm currently in Toronto, paying about 1100/mth for a one bedroom apartment. I suspect I'll be able to find the same for slightly less, but you never know w/ a college town. Thoughts?

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How would you kind folks characterize the cost of living in Madison? I'm currently in Toronto, paying about 1100/mth for a one bedroom apartment. I suspect I'll be able to find the same for slightly less, but you never know w/ a college town. Thoughts?

 

Hi Dknows,

 

For $1100 a month you can live just about anywhere in Madison - you could probably even live in a beautiful 1 bedroom right on the Capitol for less than $1100. I'd say $900 would be the upper end for most one bedroom apartments, and probably closer to $750-$800.  I'd take a look at Padmapper and see what you can find; it helps to un-check the require address box. The UW also has a great housing search available at http://campusareahousing.wisc.edu/.  If you want to avoid undergraduates I would recommend living northeast of the Capitol building. Most undergrads tend to live in a sort of square bounded by N. Breese Terrace on the west, Lake Mendota to the north, Regent Street to the south, and the Capitol to the east. The further up the isthmus you go (zones 3 and 6 on the UW's search site) away from campus the fewer undergrads you will find. I'd recommend looking around James Madison Park or the Williamson ("Willy") Street area. Living around the Capitol is nice, too, especially if you're into eating a drinking. If you want to live on the other side of town look at apartments along Old University past Breese Terrace or down around Vilas Park / Monroe Street. These are further from the Humanities building where the History Dept. is located, though.

 

Feel free to ask here or PM any more questions.

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Are there any grad students who live in Lucky? 

 

Do not live in Lucky.  It is a majority of Freshman and Sophomores and the walls are paper thin.  If you know your math you can see thats an equation for many a loud and sleepless night.

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Do not live in Lucky.  It is a majority of Freshman and Sophomores and the walls are paper thin.  If you know your math you can see thats an equation for many a loud and sleepless night.

 

Yep, will echo this. Really, almost all of the big apartment buildings on campus are full of undergrads ... Grand Central, the Aberdeen, Spring Street ("Sophomore Dorms"), the Embassy, etc.

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I'm thinking about making the move to UW-Madison, but I really have no idea where to even live. I read about the Harvey Street Apartments. Is that a good place to live?

 

Also, I live in a furiously tropical Island: 80 degrees in "Winter" and the coldest I've ever experienced here has been about 58 degrees. Any advice as to how to confront the harsh cold winter weather?

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I don't know anything about those particular apartments, yellow.wallpaper, but if were back in Madison I'd prefer to be closer to the downtown area where there is more to do (coffee shops, restaurants, bars, etc.). I'd look for places northeast of the Capitol or near Williamson ("Willy" as locals call it) Street. These areas tend to have lower concentration of undergraduates as well. The UW has a good apartment search that they host. Check it out at http://campusareahousing.wisc.edu/. The area I recommended above would be zones 3 and 6 on the map you will get to several steps in. 1, 2, 4, and parts of 5 are mostly undergrads.

 

As for the cold weather ... make sure you buy a nice coat. Make a good investment and don't skimp. The same thing goes for boots. I buy high quality for those, too. You will also want to own scarves (winter ones, not floofy fashion ones), hat, and mittens. Several pairs of wool socks. I think you will find that you quickly become used to the winter weather. Obviously don't plan to walk far on very cold days. Watch the weather report and become familiar with the bus system (which is quite good and free for UW students). If you are planning to have a car and drive be very careful. Many drivers who haven't experienced snow don't realize just how much of a change in mindset winter driving demands. And just remember, if it snows you can always get to class with a pair of skis or snowshoes! (Kind of kidding there ... but you could.)

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I don't know anything about those particular apartments, yellow.wallpaper, but if were back in Madison I'd prefer to be closer to the downtown area where there is more to do (coffee shops, restaurants, bars, etc.). I'd look for places northeast of the Capitol or near Williamson ("Willy" as locals call it) Street. These areas tend to have lower concentration of undergraduates as well. The UW has a good apartment search that they host. Check it out at http://campusareahousing.wisc.edu/. The area I recommended above would be zones 3 and 6 on the map you will get to several steps in. 1, 2, 4, and parts of 5 are mostly undergrads.

 

As for the cold weather ... make sure you buy a nice coat. Make a good investment and don't skimp. The same thing goes for boots. I buy high quality for those, too. You will also want to own scarves (winter ones, not floofy fashion ones), hat, and mittens. Several pairs of wool socks. I think you will find that you quickly become used to the winter weather. Obviously don't plan to walk far on very cold days. Watch the weather report and become familiar with the bus system (which is quite good and free for UW students). If you are planning to have a car and drive be very careful. Many drivers who haven't experienced snow don't realize just how much of a change in mindset winter driving demands. And just remember, if it snows you can always get to class with a pair of skis or snowshoes! (Kind of kidding there ... but you could.)

This was incredibly helpful! Thank you so much!

 

I agree about the cold weather clothing. I only have a few coats I used during a trip to New York and they pretty much suck. I probably won't buy a car there. I read through earlier posts that this was a bike-friendly city. Any true to that? And, is the bus system reliable?

 

Thanks!

 

I would upvote you, but I'm out of upvotes for today. :(

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