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Registered Yooser
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For quite awhile, I've been contemplating moving overseas once I finish school. Weather it be for a few years or the rest of my life...I dunno, but I do know that I'd love to live in chitown for awhile. I'm jsut looking for a view from the actual people living here, what's it like? where would be the best place to move(relatively cheap, but not shitty)? etc. etc.

Responses would be much appreciated :D
 

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Formerly InTheLoop
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Coming from Brisbane, are you sure you are willing to handle the winter??? Actually, I grew up in Central California where it rarely goes below freezing, and before I moved here I was a bit nervous about just how cold it would get here. I can tell you that after six years, it get's cold has hell, but I figure that if more than 8 million people can live here and deal with it, so can it. It isn't pleasant, but you learn to live with it, and you would be quite surprised to learn what can be done in below freezing weather.

Weather aside, I don't know what the cost of living is when comparing Chicago to Brisbane, but I can tell you that dollar for dollar, Chicago can be quite reasonable when compared to other very large cities in the US. Certainly less expensive than NYC, Boston, or San Francisco. For me, Chicago has all the amenities required, at a price that I can handle. Not cheap, but manageble.

I have grown to love this city, and other than Chicago, I could only imagine myself living in NYC (but were it not for the money). Have you had any opportunity to visit? If not, I would strongly urge you to try to work that out before making a move here. Making the move here isn't that difficult, and housing is plentiful.

I will let other Chicago forumers continue this feedback.....
 

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I love Chicago. I'm not a native, but it's as good as it gets in the U.S. between the coasts, and you don't want for cultural amenities or urban zeitgeitst.

BUT I will say, Chicago taught me what cold is. In New York (my hometown), when it's 20 degrees, you stay home. In Chicago, when it's 20 degrees, you open your coat to welcome the heat wave. Two words: wool hat.
 

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Rumor has it real chicagoan turn on their heat if the temperature is below 0F. lol.

Cold in the winter humid in the summer. Tornados and Thunderstorms in the Spring.(most tornados are in the sububrs like Naperville). Thanks to Lake Michigan Chicago have way less tornados than the suburbs.
 

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Climate: people complain a lot but I don't think it's as bad as people make it out to seem (we have Gary, Indiana working with us to create a tropical climate with greenhouse gases :) )

Summer: quite warm with usually a few days above 100 F but normally around 80 F and somewhat humid. Of course if you live near Lake Michigan the temperature will change.
Autumn: September and October are actually very nice (well besides Oct having my birthday) as they have pleasant temperatures. November is when it can start getting cooler and below 50 F
Winter: every year is different, but temperature can vary from 30 F to below 0. There is normally a big snowstorm or two, with feet of snow. Sometimes icings of the roads as well. Again, I don't find it that bad with the right jacket and such.
Spring: usually starts late, sadly. But it's very nice temperature wise, low humidity, flowers are blooming, rain, etc.

Tornadoes- Illinois and the whole Midwest is pretty active in this category, but unless you plan on living in a rural setting where your neighbor is one mile away, don't worry about this. The last tornado I remember was in Plainfield. I think it was a F5 and sadly killed like 30 residents.
Earthquakes aren't a concern as well, at least right now.

Housing-wise depends on your money situation and if you want to live in the city proper or in the suburbs and an apartment/condo or house. I guess it would also depend on your job and how much you're willing to commute. If you give some updates on that I'm sure everyone can help you pick a place good for you.
 

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I'm considering Chicago for grad school, and I'm wondering if I can get through those winters... I've visited Chicago once during a winter "heat wave" when the high was 50 for January. That was in 2004, right after New Years.

I'm not worried about summer. There's nothing Chicago can throw that's worse than normal down here. And I'm used to tornadoes and inclement weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I'm not too concerned about the summers :p
and I think I can get used to the winter, I rarely feel the cold. Thanks for the feedback, does anyone have any reccomendations about neighbourhoods? I've learned a fair bit about Neighbourhoods on the 'L' because I've read a fair bit about it.
 

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^ Don't be too cavalier about the winter, man. I mean, I don't know what it's like in Brisbane. But in Chicago in the winter, 20 degrees Fahrenheit is considered balmy.

That being said, the snowplaying scene is terrific.
 

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Here are some good websites that'll help you make a list:
General information:
http://www.chicago-neighborhoods.net/neighborhoods.php
http://www.greatchicagorealestate.com/chicago_neighborhoods.htm

When you've looked at some of those, look at this for details:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/communities/chi-profile-townlist.htmlstory

Of course I'd stress taking some days and actually touring through places you'd like to live. Also, I wouldn't sell short the suburbs. Sure, there are a lot of cookie-cutter McMansion developments, but there are also a lot of historical cities that are tree-lined and slower paced (if that's the kind of thing you're into) yet still only a 30-40 minute drive from Chicago. Of course if you go too far it gets very isolated, but there are some magnificent places with cheap houses that are huge. But if your budget can afford it, I'd check out "the North Shore" and in DuPage County look at Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, some parts of Naperville possibly and maybe Oakbrook/ St. Charles.
 

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And when you're done with that:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/?track=cthomestab

Also, those last places I mentioned in my post above were said without knowing your spending limit and budget. Unless you want to live in an apartment (if available) in those places, you'll be spending in the half million to multi-millions for a home. That's the price for living at slower pace :) But Hinsdale and the like are great for natural beauty.
 

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The only thing I am going to add here is that winters are highly exaggerated in Chicago. Is it cold? Yep. Is it Alaska? No way. Does this place shut down in the winter? Absolutely not.
 

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nikko said:
and I think I can get used to the winter, I rarely feel the cold.
Whats the coldest you've expierenced?? Because if its cold, trust me you will feel it. There is nothing wrong with cold though, there is something to be said about the variety of cold winters and hot summers.
 

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Okay, guys, I just looked it up, and Brisbane's average winter temperature is 61 degrees.

I would say this guy is going to have a bit of an adjustment to make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
DrJoe said:
Whats the coldest you've expierenced?? Because if its cold, trust me you will feel it. There is nothing wrong with cold though, there is something to be said about the variety of cold winters and hot summers.
Probably the snow at Perisher (Victoria)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Anyway, what kind of a place is Skokie (just curious)

I know it's suburban, but has an L station.
 

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Skokie isn't too bad. Old Orchard Mall, good transportation, pretty nice homes, something like 60,000 population.
 

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Nikko -

It can be difficult to give advice on where to live to someone I don't know very well. It depends on your particular personality, your tastes, likes and dislikes, income level, etc. My advice is just keep reading about different neighborhoods and asking us about them (we're happy to answer) and try to narrow down your choices. Then schedule a visit long enough to allow you to dig the different hoods. No amount of pictures or internet synapses can be a proper substitute for actually coming here and getting a feel for the place.
 

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I would recommend against Skokie. It has (one) L station and decent bus service, but that's not really going to be that helpful. Plus, it's really not walkable and doesn't have the kind of street life that the city or suburbs like Evanston or Oak Park have.

On the other hand, if you REALLY like Jewish people--I mean just can't get enough--Skokie might be for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
oshkeoto said:
I would recommend against Skokie. It has (one) L station and decent bus service, but that's not really going to be that helpful. Plus, it's really not walkable and doesn't have the kind of street life that the city or suburbs like Evanston or Oak Park have.

On the other hand, if you REALLY like Jewish people--I mean just can't get enough--Skokie might be for you.
lol, I'll keep that in mind...

coincidently, I was having a look at Evanston too
 
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