Relocating from Los Angeles to Chicago

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    May 04, 2016 4:35 AM GMT
    So I have decided to move to Chicago from Los Angeles around the end of the year (I know, seems crazy) but interested in hearing about the city pros/cons and what are some great areas to live in. I work in Public Health and will be looking for work in the same field. Any feedback would be appreciated. Planning to visit in the summer.
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    May 04, 2016 5:26 PM GMT
    The area around U of I's Chicago Circle campus, aka "The IL Medical District," may suit you well, as it's an island of comparative sanity in an otherwise rough area, and home to several hospitals and health care providers. The Oak Park-River Forest area is similar, but I'd steer clear of anything south of the Eisenhower and between Western & Cicero. Anywhere north along the lakefront is great, if you can afford it. Same for Hyde Pk. and the U of C hospitals, but that area can get real dangerous, real fast. Scope out the 'hoods that have the hospitals, and then the best residential areas near them. Good luck from a native Chicagolander!
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14343

    May 04, 2016 5:53 PM GMT
    MGINSD saidThe area around U of I's Chicago Circle campus, aka "The IL Medical District," may suit you well, as it's an island of comparative sanity in an otherwise rough area, and home to several hospitals and health care providers. The Oak Park-River Forest area is similar, but I'd steer clear of anything south of the Eisenhower and between Western & Cicero. Anywhere north along the lakefront is great, if you can afford it. Same for Hyde Pk. and the U of C hospitals, but that area can get real dangerous, real fast. Scope out the 'hoods that have the hospitals, and then the best residential areas near them. Good luck from a native Chicagolander!
    How about Chicago's far north side, the neighborhoods bordering Evanstonicon_question.gif
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    May 04, 2016 6:20 PM GMT
    Just one hospital near there: Presence St. Francis. Northshore Hosp. is further north, but NU's med school is downtown, east of MI Ave., N&S of Superior. OTOH, public health admin centers and facilities are all over Chicagoland. Do it right, and you'll be able to do w/o a car, which in Chicago can be more trouble and expense that it's worth. Just rent one when you need it, and save a lot.
  • metta

    Posts: 39104

    May 04, 2016 8:09 PM GMT
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    May 04, 2016 9:25 PM GMT
    MGINSD saidThe area around U of I's Chicago Circle campus, aka "The IL Medical District," may suit you well, as it's an island of comparative sanity in an otherwise rough area, and home to several hospitals and health care providers. The Oak Park-River Forest area is similar, but I'd steer clear of anything south of the Eisenhower and between Western & Cicero. Anywhere north along the lakefront is great, if you can afford it. Same for Hyde Pk. and the U of C hospitals, but that area can get real dangerous, real fast. Scope out the 'hoods that have the hospitals, and then the best residential areas near them. Good luck from a native Chicagolander!



    Thanks for the advice, I think the north side will work if rents are comparable to LA. I have a car so driving isnt an issue...I think LA has the worst traffic imaginable minus the snow.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14343

    May 05, 2016 1:52 AM GMT
    unconventionalBlk said
    MGINSD saidThe area around U of I's Chicago Circle campus, aka "The IL Medical District," may suit you well, as it's an island of comparative sanity in an otherwise rough area, and home to several hospitals and health care providers. The Oak Park-River Forest area is similar, but I'd steer clear of anything south of the Eisenhower and between Western & Cicero. Anywhere north along the lakefront is great, if you can afford it. Same for Hyde Pk. and the U of C hospitals, but that area can get real dangerous, real fast. Scope out the 'hoods that have the hospitals, and then the best residential areas near them. Good luck from a native Chicagolander!



    Thanks for the advice, I think the north side will work if rents are comparable to LA. I have a car so driving isnt an issue...I think LA has the worst traffic imaginable minus the snow.
    Avoid the I-294 Tri State Tollway around Chicago. That highway is constantly under construction and the traffic congestion on it is very unbearable.
  • ChicagoSteve

    Posts: 1276

    May 05, 2016 3:49 AM GMT
    I grew up in Chicago and for the past 25 years have lived in the Old Town/Gold Coast neighborhood. I think it's the best area in the city, but it's very pricey. What I love about this area is that the lakefront and Lincoln Park are a short walk away. This is also very close to the Water Tower shopping district and downtown is only 10-15 minutes away by bus or subway. Be prepared to be taxed to the hilt in this city and state. Chicago is located in Cook County which has I believe, the highest tax rate in the U.S. A plus though is if you live and work in the city, you don't need a car. Our public transportation system is excellent.
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    May 05, 2016 4:21 AM GMT
    ChicagoSteve saidI grew up in Chicago and for the past 25 years have lived in the Old Town/Gold Coast neighborhood. I think it's the best area in the city, but it's very pricey. What I love about this area is that the lakefront and Lincoln Park are a short walk away. This is also very close to the Water Tower shopping district and downtown is only 10-15 minutes away by bus or subway. Be prepared to be taxed to the hilt in this city and state. Chicago is located in Cook County which has I believe, the highest tax rate in the U.S. A plus though is if you live and work in the city, you don't need a car. Our public transportation system is excellent.


    Wow that tax rate is pretty high in LA its 9.75%
  • MarvelBoy23

    Posts: 279

    May 05, 2016 1:42 PM GMT
    unconventionalBlk said
    MGINSD saidThe area around U of I's Chicago Circle campus, aka "The IL Medical District," may suit you well, as it's an island of comparative sanity in an otherwise rough area, and home to several hospitals and health care providers. The Oak Park-River Forest area is similar, but I'd steer clear of anything south of the Eisenhower and between Western & Cicero. Anywhere north along the lakefront is great, if you can afford it. Same for Hyde Pk. and the U of C hospitals, but that area can get real dangerous, real fast. Scope out the 'hoods that have the hospitals, and then the best residential areas near them. Good luck from a native Chicagolander!



    Thanks for the advice, I think the north side will work if rents are comparable to LA. I have a car so driving isnt an issue...I think LA has the worst traffic imaginable minus the snow.



    I work for a property management company (I'm a Realtor) on the North Shore (Evanston) where there is St Francis and Evanston Hospital. So there are 2 here. Let me know when you want to move, I can help you find a place, if you'd like!
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14343

    May 05, 2016 5:52 PM GMT
    ChicagoSteve saidI grew up in Chicago and for the past 25 years have lived in the Old Town/Gold Coast neighborhood. I think it's the best area in the city, but it's very pricey. What I love about this area is that the lakefront and Lincoln Park are a short walk away. This is also very close to the Water Tower shopping district and downtown is only 10-15 minutes away by bus or subway. Be prepared to be taxed to the hilt in this city and state. Chicago is located in Cook County which has I believe, the highest tax rate in the U.S. A plus though is if you live and work in the city, you don't need a car. Our public transportation system is excellent.
    You are taxed to the hilt in Chicago and in Illinois because you keep reelecting those crooked, entrenched, establishment democrats. Oh well when are people in the City of Chicago and its Cook County suburbs going to learn their harsh lesson about the donkey dork democrats and start throwing them out of office and replace them with either moderate republicans or independents. You keep voting democrat and your taxes and fees will just keep going up and up to a point where nobody except the wealthiest can afford to live there.
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    May 05, 2016 6:42 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    ChicagoSteve saidI grew up in Chicago and for the past 25 years have lived in the Old Town/Gold Coast neighborhood. I think it's the best area in the city, but it's very pricey. What I love about this area is that the lakefront and Lincoln Park are a short walk away. This is also very close to the Water Tower shopping district and downtown is only 10-15 minutes away by bus or subway. Be prepared to be taxed to the hilt in this city and state. Chicago is located in Cook County which has I believe, the highest tax rate in the U.S. A plus though is if you live and work in the city, you don't need a car. Our public transportation system is excellent.
    You are taxed to the hilt in Chicago and in Illinois because you keep reelecting those crooked, entrenched, establishment democrats. Oh well when are people in the City of Chicago and its Cook County suburbs going to learn their harsh lesson about the donkey dork democrats and start throwing them out of office and replace them with either moderate republicans or independents. You keep voting democrat and your taxes and fees will just keep going up and up to a point where nobody except the wealthiest can afford to live there.

    Agree, RBB, except that it won't be just the wealthy living in Chicago and Cook, but the recipients of all those taxes the wealthy and not-so-wealthy will be paying. Welcome to the new plantation everybody!
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    May 05, 2016 6:45 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    unconventionalBlk said
    MGINSD saidThe area around U of I's Chicago Circle campus, aka "The IL Medical District," may suit you well, as it's an island of comparative sanity in an otherwise rough area, and home to several hospitals and health care providers. The Oak Park-River Forest area is similar, but I'd steer clear of anything south of the Eisenhower and between Western & Cicero. Anywhere north along the lakefront is great, if you can afford it. Same for Hyde Pk. and the U of C hospitals, but that area can get real dangerous, real fast. Scope out the 'hoods that have the hospitals, and then the best residential areas near them. Good luck from a native Chicagolander!

    Thanks for the advice, I think the north side will work if rents are comparable to LA. I have a car so driving isnt an issue...I think LA has the worst traffic imaginable minus the snow.
    Avoid the I-294 Tri State Tollway around Chicago. That highway is constantly under construction and the traffic congestion on it is very unbearable.

    Plus, it's a total ripoff. Same for the $kyway and IN Toll Rd. Lots of free alternatives exist that will be fun to discover and explore.
  • ChicagoSteve

    Posts: 1276

    May 05, 2016 10:01 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    ChicagoSteve saidI grew up in Chicago and for the past 25 years have lived in the Old Town/Gold Coast neighborhood. I think it's the best area in the city, but it's very pricey. What I love about this area is that the lakefront and Lincoln Park are a short walk away. This is also very close to the Water Tower shopping district and downtown is only 10-15 minutes away by bus or subway. Be prepared to be taxed to the hilt in this city and state. Chicago is located in Cook County which has I believe, the highest tax rate in the U.S. A plus though is if you live and work in the city, you don't need a car. Our public transportation system is excellent.
    You are taxed to the hilt in Chicago and in Illinois because you keep reelecting those crooked, entrenched, establishment democrats. Oh well when are people in the City of Chicago and its Cook County suburbs going to learn their harsh lesson about the donkey dork democrats and start throwing them out of office and replace them with either moderate republicans or independents. You keep voting democrat and your taxes and fees will just keep going up and up to a point where nobody except the wealthiest can afford to live there.


    Well, Illinois does now have a Republican governor. When I voted in the mayoral runoff election because I wanted to see Rahm Emmanuel OUT, I believe my only other choice was Jesus Chuy Garcia. So I voted for Garcia. The problem is we have very few political alternatives presented to us at election time. Also, now because our governor is Republican, while everyone else is a Democrat, it's presented an even bigger issue. Nothing can get done. This state still doesn't have a budget approved after 11 months because the two sides are bickering back and forth!
  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Jun 11, 2016 10:23 PM GMT
    MGINSD was right about the Near West Side, which is home to a few hospitals and universities and their hospitals, as well as a very short distance from downtown. I'm not sold on the housing there for single folks (t's fine if you have a family or are in school around there but the area is pretty dead on weekends, at night. I lived there right after college and I moved north because there was nothing going on there for me.) But very nearby there is the whole West Loop area, which is a very loft-heavy strip of about a mile leading west from the Loop. But there are so many good, and interesting areas to live in our city. Don't rule out everything that ins't Lakefront North Side, either. The South Loop is very popular and walking distance to downtown, and the hot, hip neighborhoods of Logan Square, BUcktown and Wicker Park are worth exploring.
    Yes, the historic 'gay' area is part of Lakeview, and it's great place, close to the lake, easy to get downtown from, loads of eating, shopping, social options, but parking is a nightmare unless you have your own spot. If you want to be in or around that area but you want a little breathing room, somewhat easier parking, and just as good public transportation options, I'd recommend checking out the area around the Music Box Theatre, between Belmont and Montrose Ave., as far west as maybe Ashland Ave. Also check out the Andersonville area, which is about two miles north of that Lakeview gayborhood, but it's the area in the city with the highest number of married gays and lesbians - the crowd there is older, but they still have lots of cool restaurants, shops, a few gay bars, and much easier parking (can you tell I have a car?) In fact this weekend there's a neighborhood fest in Andersonville that's supposedly Swedish - the area was once heavily Swedish - but these days it's really really gay, with booths featuring groups such as HRC, Equality IL, etc., and a lot of guys (mostly couples and groups though) walking shirtless icon_lol.gif

    Don't pay much attention to the politically-motivated rants about taxes and Democrats. It's a great city to live in, in spite of the many faults. There is so much theatre here - from the Goodman and Steppenwolf to the Second City and Chicago Shakespeare, to dozens upon dozens of storefront and small theatre companies. If you like sports, Chicagoans are very passionate about every sport - yes, football, basketball, hockey, and baseball, but this weekend we are hosting an international soccer tournament (Argentina played last night) and it was pretty cool to see so many people from out of town, out of state, and other countries, walking around with their country's jerseys. Also, if you like food, there seriously is no better place in the country, because we have everything from ultra high-end places to local specialties like the Chicago hot dog and Chicago pizza (not just that gooey deep dish thing for the tourists, but the thin crust, cut into little squares pizza that most of us here grew up on).

    There's a lot here. You really should take a couple/few days to explore the different areas...Welcome to Chicago!
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    Jun 11, 2016 10:56 PM GMT
    unconventionalBlk saidSo I have decided to move to Chicago from Los Angeles around the end of the year (I know, seems crazy) but interested in hearing about the city pros/cons and what are some great areas to live in. I work in Public Health and will be looking for work in the same field. Any feedback would be appreciated. Planning to visit in the summer.


    Have you ever been through a northern state winter? Don't underestimate this ... winter will seem never ending.

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    Jun 14, 2016 6:33 PM GMT
    desertmuscl said
    unconventionalBlk saidSo I have decided to move to Chicago from Los Angeles around the end of the year (I know, seems crazy) but interested in hearing about the city pros/cons and what are some great areas to live in. I work in Public Health and will be looking for work in the same field. Any feedback would be appreciated. Planning to visit in the summer.


    Have you ever been through a northern state winter? Don't underestimate this ... winter will seem never ending.


    I think you are exaggerating. It rarely gets colder than 20 degrees below zero. And all the years I lived there, I can't remember having a blizzard later than about May 7.

    And at the other extreme, there are not too many days in August when the temperature exceeds 100 degrees. But there is always the lake to go swimming in when it's hot - that is until Labor Day, after which they close the beaches and post "no swimming" signs. (like in Camelot, the temperature is commanded not to be high after Labor day.)
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    Jun 14, 2016 7:55 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    unconventionalBlk said
    MGINSD saidThe area around U of I's Chicago Circle campus, aka "The IL Medical District," may suit you well, as it's an island of comparative sanity in an otherwise rough area, and home to several hospitals and health care providers. The Oak Park-River Forest area is similar, but I'd steer clear of anything south of the Eisenhower and between Western & Cicero. Anywhere north along the lakefront is great, if you can afford it. Same for Hyde Pk. and the U of C hospitals, but that area can get real dangerous, real fast. Scope out the 'hoods that have the hospitals, and then the best residential areas near them. Good luck from a native Chicagolander!



    Thanks for the advice, I think the north side will work if rents are comparable to LA. I have a car so driving isnt an issue...I think LA has the worst traffic imaginable minus the snow.
    Avoid the I-294 Tri State Tollway around Chicago. That highway is constantly under construction and the traffic congestion on it is very unbearable.


    Good thing is that on I-294 heading up toward to O'hara is that the flow of traffic can approach 100 mph (at least on the recent Friday I did it). Had it not been for stopping for toll booths every 7-10 miles, it would have been a pretty fast trip.
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    Jul 18, 2016 12:05 AM GMT
    shoelessj saidMGINSD was right about the Near West Side, which is home to a few hospitals and universities and their hospitals, as well as a very short distance from downtown. I'm not sold on the housing there for single folks (t's fine if you have a family or are in school around there but the area is pretty dead on weekends, at night. I lived there right after college and I moved north because there was nothing going on there for me.) But very nearby there is the whole West Loop area, which is a very loft-heavy strip of about a mile leading west from the Loop. But there are so many good, and interesting areas to live in our city. Don't rule out everything that ins't Lakefront North Side, either. The South Loop is very popular and walking distance to downtown, and the hot, hip neighborhoods of Logan Square, BUcktown and Wicker Park are worth exploring.
    Yes, the historic 'gay' area is part of Lakeview, and it's great place, close to the lake, easy to get downtown from, loads of eating, shopping, social options, but parking is a nightmare unless you have your own spot. If you want to be in or around that area but you want a little breathing room, somewhat easier parking, and just as good public transportation options, I'd recommend checking out the area around the Music Box Theatre, between Belmont and Montrose Ave., as far west as maybe Ashland Ave. Also check out the Andersonville area, which is about two miles north of that Lakeview gayborhood, but it's the area in the city with the highest number of married gays and lesbians - the crowd there is older, but they still have lots of cool restaurants, shops, a few gay bars, and much easier parking (can you tell I have a car?) In fact this weekend there's a neighborhood fest in Andersonville that's supposedly Swedish - the area was once heavily Swedish - but these days it's really really gay, with booths featuring groups such as HRC, Equality IL, etc., and a lot of guys (mostly couples and groups though) walking shirtless icon_lol.gif

    Don't pay much attention to the politically-motivated rants about taxes and Democrats. It's a great city to live in, in spite of the many faults. There is so much theatre here - from the Goodman and Steppenwolf to the Second City and Chicago Shakespeare, to dozens upon dozens of storefront and small theatre companies. If you like sports, Chicagoans are very passionate about every sport - yes, football, basketball, hockey, and baseball, but this weekend we are hosting an international soccer tournament (Argentina played last night) and it was pretty cool to see so many people from out of town, out of state, and other countries, walking around with their country's jerseys. Also, if you like food, there seriously is no better place in the country, because we have everything from ultra high-end places to local specialties like the Chicago hot dog and Chicago pizza (not just that gooey deep dish thing for the tourists, but the thin crust, cut into little squares pizza that most of us here grew up on).

    There's a lot here. You really should take a couple/few days to explore the different areas...Welcome to Chicago!



    Thanks! I think your post has been most helpful, as the rants about taxes and politics had me a little discouraged. I wont mind the col or weather as I will adjust. Parking is important to me and Id like to find a place that comes with parking.icon_biggrin.gif