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I'm choosing between Park Evanston, and AMLI Evanston. AMLI Evanston is definitely cheaper but I'm afraid the area is less safe than downtown Evanston. Can anyone shed any light on this?

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Hi HKsai,

I just signed my lease at amli last week! I lived in park Evanston my senior year (I did both undergrad and am doing my grad at NU). The area around amli is safe as long as you don't go further south. My roommate and I wanted a change from downtown Evanston, which is mostly undergrad so we picked amli instead. You can PM me if you have questions.

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I guess it somewhat depends on your age, whether you have lived in a large city, and if you are a sensitive person. (I am not being facetious here.) If you live in one of the dangerous areas, such as Uptown, South Side, or Western Chicago (some areas of Humboldt Park and anywhere west of that border), the daily grind could really affect your mental wellbeing. I moved from out of state and I am now on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to the extreme poverty/misery, and degenerates I'm surrounded by every day.

 

Sorry! To (try to) answer your question: I am not super familiar with the UIC area, but I just did some research and it seems Pilsen is close to that area. I have heard it's hip there, and I'm not aware of it being too dangerous. I would also recommend Edgewater and Rogers Park for very affordable rent, but those two areas are about an hour away by CTA to your school. (However, such a commute is relatively common here.) I'm sorry. I'm probably not being very helpful. I guess it would be best to hear from a UIC student. Feel free to PM about specific questions.

 

I don't mean to sound like a downer. I know UIC is an excellent school, so the move here would be worth it to attend that U. However, no one should ever move to Chicago to attend just a medicore university, in my opion.

 

Sorry i have to COMPLETELY disagree. Yes, there are areas that have homeless and are a little run down, but this is a HUGE city. you have to be street smart and be able to live in an urban area like Chicago, NYC, LA, etc.

I moved from a small town in Wisconsin to Evanston, then Evanston to the edge of wicker park/humbolt park and i LOVED the area. Wicker Park/Bucktown is a great hipster area with a lot of great restaurants.

i'm now headed down to Hyde Park and I honestly couldn't be more excited. today I went to look around the area and found some really nice places around UChicago campus.

 

I have friends at UIC, UChicago, NU, Columbia, etc. They live in uptown, wrigley, belmont, streeterville, lincoln park, south loop, hyde park, chinatown, jesus you name it - I've loved every area and have felt completely safe in every one of these areas. Chicago is a big city and like any big city there is going to be homeless. but I really think you have to be smart about where you live and the crime around that area. if you find yourself in a bad area, of course its going to be mentally tough. but each of the neighborhoods has a totally different feel so i think it really depends on where you feel most comfortable. you have to be smart about where you end up living. do your research on the different neighborhoods because like any big city there's going to be rougher areas. but i dont even know where to begin on how amazing of a city Chicago is!

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Luxe 2BR/2BA SUMMER SUBLET AVAILABLE IN PRIME EVANSTON LOCATION!!

 

This 2 Bedroom apartment features:

  • Plush, stain resistant wall-to-wall carpeting,
  • Individually controlled heating and central air conditioning,
  • Abundant closet space,
  • Ceramic-tiled bathroom with cultured marble sink
  • Floor to ceiling windows allow plenty of natural lighting and breathe taking views

Enjoy your fully equipped modern and open kitchen with dishwasher, microwave, stainless steel sink, and Granite countertops & porcelain floors. Additional Features:

  • Swedish manufactured Asko stackable washer & dryer
  • Full sprinkler system with smoke detectors
  • Multiple phone lines for data & high-speed Internet access
  • New beautiful corridors
  • Tinted & insulated glass
  • An outdoor rooftop swimming pool and sun deck
  • A 24-hour fitness center, including a spacious sauna and showers.
  • Utilize the convenience of a 24-hour business center, with a private conference room.

The building is nestled between Peet's Coffee Shop and Whole Foods and within blocks of great restaurants, movie theaters, shopping and a bookstore. The CTA, Metra and Northwestern University are also within walking distance.Nearby public transportation.

 

Rent is $2500/month for the 2BR/2BA (utilities included). Available beginning June 15. Dates flexible...

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I will be going to NU for a PhD in MechE starting fall (maybe even July). I'm looking to live in Evanston. Any other females looking for apartments/roommates?

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Hi guys!

I wanted to share some information with any interested parties, pending decisions and commitments to the Chicago area. I have been living/working in the Chicago area for the past 5 years or so, and I figured my advice could be useful if you're planning to move here for school, and haven't spent any time here, either. All of this posting comes at the encouragement and sharp thinking courtesy of @fencergirl, so thank her for suggesting I share it. The advice is definitely more oriented for grad students planning on attending school up on the northside/Evanston, however I've added some notes for those thinking of attending UChicago, UIC, or many of the other great schools that are mid-to-south.

A little about myself first: I will be studying biomedical engineering at Northwestern, starting out in the master's program but going to attempt to transfer into the PhD. I actually grew up in the suburbs outside of Chicago, went to Johns Hopkins for undergrad, and came back. I now work in a startup pharmaceutical on the north side in a town called Skokie (borders the west side of Evanston). I commute to work via the L (the public train system) from the West Loop (it's about an hour ride, not the best, but I have a nice apartment!). I do not see myself staying where I am, because I'm not crazy and don't want to pay living expenses of $1000+/month as a grad student. Anyways!

I do have suggestions! It depends on a few of your personal preferences, though, so I'll give you a rundown of how I'm approaching it, knowing what I know about the city and Evanston.

There are three general areas the Northwestern graduate students habitate in: Evanston (duh), Rogers Park/Edgewater, and Lakeview (near the purple line express stops, I'll get to this).

In Evanston the pricing of apartments tends to float between fairly cheap or somewhat pricey. There isn't much of a middle ground. I anticipate shooting toward the cheap end, especially with a roommate (or two!). I've been looking at pricing the past few days, and for two people I've seen stuff in the neighborhood of $600-1000/month (per person). There may even be a few places that dip under $600. Right now the listings aren't super plentiful, but when the quarter ends and graduation comes, a fair number of people will vacate and there will be increased options, possibly even better pricing (a coworker of mine who recently graduated paid $400/month for 2 years!!!) so it's worth waiting a bit to see what becomes available.

Evanston obviously offers convenience for proximity, and is a fairly nice place. The areas around NU are safe and pleasant, with many good food options (try Bat 17 for a mean sandwich) and a few bars to choose from. There is also easy access to the city for the very few weekends that one does get to explore Chicago proper. The main streets of residence tend to be those that line up with campus east-west (Noyes, Davis, Foster, Church) but Chicago Ave also is good, as there is a bus (#205) that runs up to campus along that road, additionally, there is the #201 bus which is Central/Ridge Rd. Both routes are north-south, though the #205 will take you west to Old Orchard Mall. Several of the east-west streets in Evanston have L stops. I know some people will live down near South Boulevard (I think it's a little cheaper down here, too) and do a very short commute to campus.

Rogers Park/Edgewater are two of the neighborhoods on the southern border of Evanston with easy L access to campus. The apartments there tend to be slightly cheaper, and occasionally more spacious. The area used to be pretty rough with crime, but over the past decade or so it has become much nicer. If you are looking for a little more of a city feel or don't want to constantly be in the suburban atmosphere of Evanston, this area will do that job. Additionally, it is slightly closer to the city, but honestly not by a huge margin. Main L stations for these areas would include Granville, Loyola, Morse, Thorndale. These are all Red Line stops, and you would have to transfer over to the Purple Line at Howard (which is nearby). Commute time from this area would probably average 20-30 mins, depending on how smooth the transfer is. Currently, I've seen apartment pricing in the $500-1000 (per student) range here, but for all I know there could be better deals lurking. This is also the general area in which Loyola students live, and an obvious choice for many soon-to-be Loyola students considering their housing situation.

Lakeview is much further south, however during rush hour commuting periods, the Purple Line (which services Evanston) runs express from Belmont (central/south Lakeview) up to Howard. The current average run time is about 15-16 minutes between these stops (I'm super nerdy and started keeping track when I was trying to figure out the best way to get to work). Anyways, it would take about 25-30 minutes to get to the campus Purple Line stops. Another 5-10 minutes walking from there. So conservatively speaking you're looking at something like 35-40 minutes of commute if you live further south. The only reason one would ever live down here is if they wanted more of a Chicago city-feel. It's generally more expensive, and only tends to be competitively priced with the prior-mentioned areas when you have at least 4 people living together or if you're a lucky son of a gun. Not a whole lot of students live this far south, but they DO exist. A lot of Depaul students live throughout this region, so clearly there must be some level of affordability, though they have a bit more flexibility as their campus is based out of the Fullerton L stop (Lincoln Park), and can probably live a bit further away from the L and use buses instead. If I were going to Depaul, I would consider living somewhere further north or possibly on the Brown Line between Lakeview/Lincoln Park and Lincoln Square. If you don't mind a 30+ minute train ride, you can live beyond Lincoln Square, but some of the real estate up there can get kind of dicey as far as personal security goes.

For those planning on attending schools that are further south:

From what I gather, a large majority of UChicago students, particularly in the first year, tend to live in and very near to Hyde Park. The campus is reachable via L, bus, and Metra (local commuter train). My best friend currently attends Booth full time, and lives up near Grant/Millennium Park. He takes the Metra from the Millennium station every day he has class. If you were considering living somewhere in the South Loop or Near South Side, you'd probably have to stick to one of the L lines (Green or Red) to make your commute worthwhile. IIT students also find housing somewhere in this south-side jumble, though obviously not as far as UChicago. I would not be surprised to hear of IIT students living near Hyde Park and commuting north, though. I believe IIT is fairly accessible via Red Line.

For UIC, it's fairly straightforward. Many students live in University Village/Little Italy, as well as across Route 290 in a few pockets on the Near West Side. Additionally many students commute via the L, and live somewhere on the Blue Line or one of the many other lines that connect to it. The UIC-Halsted stop puts you right at the main campus, and the Racine and Illinois Medical District stops will bring you to some of the other components of the University as well. I actually live very near the UIC-Halsted stop right now, and it's super convenient.

Let me know if/what your questions are! Also, anyone else in Chicago please feel free to adjust what I've got with comments and other input!

(Shameless/shameful self-advertisement- I am looking for roommates and am flexible between Evanston and North Side Chicago. I am a male 27-year old who is looking to rock the bologna out of my first year of grad school. My only limitation is that I own approximately 300 books and ~200 National Geographics that, needless to say, will either be located in my bedroom (if it's a tiny apartment) or in the shared living space. Because I am a poor MS student without a stipend, I prefer to live in as cheap (but good!) of a place as possible. I will also have a fairly well stocked set of kitchen appliances, dining room table, and a nice L-shaped couch assuming there is enough living space. I also own a semi-realistic looking cat pillow who will probably live on said couch. See: profile pic.)

Last of all- if any of you would like a comprehensive eating guide to the city of Chicago, I am more than happy to provide one.

Edited by katpillow

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Great post! I've been living/working in Chicago for a few years now but will be moving out of the city this summer to attend grad school. I have lived at the Edgewater/RP border and currently live in Andersonville, a bit south of Edgewater. My current neighborhood is more family-oriented and there are few students, but it's easy to get to the red line and Ravenswood Metra station (the Union Pacific line stops in Evanston). It's slightly nicer but more expensive than Edgewater/Rogers Park but more affordable than Lakeview (For now. Rent is rapidly increasing). If anyone has any questions about Edgewater/RP/Andersonville/Uptown, I can try to answer them for you! 

Edited by Citizen of Night Vale

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@katpillow Dallas. Chicago has really grown on me and I'll be sad to leave it, but I'm very excited to have a lower cost of living for a few years.  Congrats on your acceptance into Northwestern! I really love Evanston. I'm not sure I would want to live there among a ton of students, but I frequent the town a lot, mostly to watch movies and eat Edzo's and Hoosier Mama Pie. 

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@Citizen of Night Valethanks! And that's awesome, you'll definitely enjoy Dallas. Though personally I'm not sure I'd survive the summer there- I'm a bit heat adverse. I have the same hesitation with living in Evanston, especially considering that it's been a few years since I have lived amongst students- but naturally I'm open to it anyways. Might be helpful for me getting back in the swing of school.

@talkingscop no problem! I'm happy if it's able to help!

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Thank you for this post! This doesn't have to do with housing, but I will be attending UChicago and will most likely be bringing a car from California. I heard you need a special sticker to park in Chicago? Is that true?

On another note, coming from SoCal I haven't really experienced "seasons" before.. What are some necessities I should buy to survive in Chicago?

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6 hours ago, Aequorea said:

Thank you for this post! This doesn't have to do with housing, but I will be attending UChicago and will most likely be bringing a car from California. I heard you need a special sticker to park in Chicago? Is that true?

On another note, coming from SoCal I haven't really experienced "seasons" before.. What are some necessities I should buy to survive in Chicago?

Chicago requires each car to have a city sticker that has to be renewed every year. I think I paid about $86 for mine. When I first moved, I didn't change my license plate to an Illinois one and had my own parking spot in a parking garage so I didn't bother getting one. When I moved to another apartment, got an Illinois license plate, and started parking on the street, I got ticketed around $200 for not having a city sticker. After I paid the ticket and bought a city sticker, I had to pay extra for not having one in the first place.

The city sticker thing is robbery but it's safer just to buy a city sticker than to get ticketed. I also think I read somewhere that they can ticket cars without Illinois license plates for not having a city sticker. I work in Hyde Park and constantly see Chicago city workers walk up and down the streets ready to ticket people's cars!

I suggest buying a shovel to keep in your car for winter. You never know when you have to shovel your car out. Also, invest in a good pair of snow boots and coat. 

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@Citizen of Night Vale has it all right. They won't ticket you if they see your car once or twice, but they will can you if they see it over a prolonged period. Better safe than sorry, though.

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@Aequorea I would also like to add - when you drive, pay attention to the street signs. When you see a sign for a speed camera or red light camera, slow down or stop at the light.  I think these cameras aren't as active as they used to be and some may have even stopped since they've been quiet controversial here, but you never know which ones are working.

This city wants any excuse to ticket people, so it's best to just follow the rules.

 

 

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@katpillow , @Citizen of Night Vale What about areas north/west of evanston? Skokie, Wilmette, Winnetka etc ?(these seem to be connected to evanston by metra, wonder how that compares with the 'L' ; everybody only seems to be giving advice on living south of NU, was wondering how the north would be like)

Edited by Sajid

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@Sajid I really can't say much about those suburbs. I've been to Skokie and Wilmette but not as frequently as Evanston. Both towns are nice but are very residential.  I don't recall seeing apartment buildings in Wilmette, mostly houses. Skokie and Wilmette seem more car-dependent and I doubt public transportation is as good as it is in Chicago and Evanston. Personally, I would not want to live there if I didn't have a car. 

Edited by Citizen of Night Vale

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On 4/14/2016 at 7:12 AM, Sajid said:

@katpillow , @Citizen of Night Vale What about areas north/west of evanston? Skokie, Wilmette, Winnetka etc ?(these seem to be connected to evanston by metra, wonder how that compares with the 'L' ; everybody only seems to be giving advice on living south of NU, was wondering how the north would be like)

Everything from Wilmette to Lake Bluff is made up of affluent, primarily single-family houses where properties of $1,000,000 are considered normal. (Though you might find the occasional apartment.) Unless you're independently wealthy, you're better off in Evanston/Rogers Park.

Edited by rococo_realism

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On April 14, 2016 at 6:12 AM, Sajid said:

@katpillow , @Citizen of Night Vale What about areas north/west of evanston? Skokie, Wilmette, Winnetka etc ?(these seem to be connected to evanston by metra, wonder how that compares with the 'L' ; everybody only seems to be giving advice on living south of NU, was wondering how the north would be like)

Building off of what @rococo_realism said, I would add that Skokie has some affordable living spaces, but you would have to live near a bus stop for the 205, or near the yellow line L stops. But those commutes would likely take longer than desired in either case. I currently work in Skokie, but live downtown. As was mentioned by Citizen, one would probably want to have a car if living there.

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2 hours ago, qt_dnvr said:

Reviving this thread for the 2017 season!

I'm planning my move from Denver and am having a whole lotta nonsense with the UChicago Grad housing people. It appears they're using two systems right now to determine apartments. <_<

If we don't get university housing we're planning on flying out end of June for showings for an end of July move date. Are apartments typically on a 30/sub30day cycle here? I know in more "college towns" it can be way more seasonal to college schedules. 

Hey there! So I live in Evanston (fancy pants suburb north of Chicago) and we moved in last year. You can't really plan too far ahead for these places because most of the time they put a place up and who knows when it will be gone. So if you look at apartments in June to move in July, you should be good. Just be ready to fill out all the paperwork and stuff either when you're there or soon after you get back cause those leasing agents will be pressuring you! Also! Leasing agents are free to work with here, so you can reach out to a few leasing companies and the agents will set up all the showings for you! We ended up having to do a last minute change of apartments and couldn't fly up to look, but our agent went over and took pics and a video for us! You'll love Chicago! Just be ready for the wind. O.O

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Hey, everyone! I'm a Southerner considering attending Northwestern (Evanston campus, but I'd like to live in North Chicago). Just wondering what life in the city is like in the winter. Do people just sort of hole up inside and try to bear it, or are there fun parts to the cold months?

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There is definitely less motivation to go outside, but the city itself is comparatively active in the winter. I see people running along the lake all year long, even with strollers and wind guards/fleece shields covering the babies. People still go out to parties, clubs, public transit it solid (even from Evanston down to the city). Winter doesn’t stop people, but you are more likely to choose destinations specifically and less likely to go on a pub crawl. It really is up to you. The city is still there in the winter with all it has to offer (it’s just inside instead of on the patio or in the park, etc).

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Hi!  I'm thinking about going to school at Northwestern.  Is anyone willing to give me a good rundown of how parking works in Evanston and the surrounding areas?  Is it guaranteed to be able to get a street parking permit, or would some areas/apartments only have the option to buy a parking spot in a lot by month/year?  How reasonable/useful is car ownership in Evanston?  I like the freedom to drive around to random places in the suburbs, and I would still take the L train downtown, and walk/bus to campus, so I'm mostly looking for a car to use once or twice a week, and occasionally on road trips to surrounding areas.

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