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ali, Renter in Chicago, IL

Best Chicago neighborhood for a single professional female in mid 30's?

Asked by ali, Chicago, IL Wed Aug 15, 2012

Best Chicago neighborhood for a single professional female in mid 30's?
Hello,I am relocating to Chicago from Boston. I am a fun, friendly city gal looking to mingle with other singles. I am looking for something on the high end. Proximity to airport is a plus as I travel a lot for fun. My job is located in Carol Stream (near wheaton). I am trying to have the best of both worlds - live in (or close to) the city and commute easily to work. Not sure if renting 2 different apartments maybe the way to go ? I welcome any other suggestions . Any suggestions on finding a short term rental to start with ?
Perhaps looking for a more "manhattan" feel. I love NYC BTW
A rocking dating and social scene are a must have ! ;)

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I am a 30 something female who just moved to Chicago from NYC. This is a young city, and by young, I mean lots of people in their 20's. I would say that the Gold Coast is where you are going to want to be if you want a more NYC feel. However, traffic is going to be hell going to work. The West Loop is also an option - more people our age, but it is quieter there. Rent prices are high in Chicago and the parking situation is horrible. Unlike NYC, you must pay for parking everywhere.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2012
GOLD COAST. Walk to everything, people are everywhere at all times of the day. Literally right next to the lake. Amazing shopping and dining. Has been and always will be at the top of the list when it comes to Chicago neighborhoods. Property values are always stable, lots of rental options (plenty of high end) everywhere. It doesn't get better than the GC! And, you will feel fabulous in your 30s in the Gold Coast. It is age absolutely appropriate. You will LOVE it...Check out The Pump Room.

Oh My God...DO NOT go West like these people are recommending. The neighborhoods mentioned in several posts were "up and coming" in 2007 which in this economy is translating into " backsliding." As a single female, you will be MUCH better off in the Gold Coast. You are not going to feel or be safe anywhere on the West side. It is absolutely not "high end." It would be best to get something cheap and cheerful in the suburbs by work and then something fabulous for the weekends in the city. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
I LOVE Wicker Park, I would take a trip and definitely check the area out. I am a Boston fan but if I had to live in another city, it would be Chicago hands down, and Wicker Park is a great area in Chicago.

Good luck on the move!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
If you work downtown or even reverse commute you best opportunity is to look for a condo downtown, South Loop (701 South Wells) or West Loop..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
Wicker Park/Bucktown has kind of a New York (but maybe more Brooklyn) feel and is along the blue line, which will get you to the airport quickly. But if you want to go high end feeling and you like high density then I would try these:

For chic urban lofts & interesting high rises try: West Loop, South Loop or River North

For something going on outside your door every second try: Streeterville or the Gold Coast

For a high end, lower density approach try: Lincoln Park
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2012
If you like NYC and you work in Carol Stream, it is best to commute everyday with a blindfold to prevent uncontrollable vomiting. Have some soothing music to comfort you while you suffer daily journeys into the purgatorial depths of suburban Blah.

To comfort you upon your return, there is really only one area that will give you the ease of commuting (290) access and the slightest feel of NYC, and that is River North or the West Loop. West of Wells to the River, between Chicago and Kinzie, or West of Halsted, between Lake and the 290, east of Racine.

I can't believe people recommended anywhere outside of Chicago for being a "manhattan feel". Those answers alone may want you to reconsider your move to Chicago. You'll see. Wait until your first commute to your new cubicle. Have the blindfold ready.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 19, 2012
Hi Ali,

A good compromise for you might be the Oakbrook/Hinsdale area. World-class shopping, dining, and extremely easy access to public transportation and the expressways. It's located close to the halfway point between Carol Stream and the city, somewhat closer to Carol Stream.

Another option is Naperville, IL. This city has a lively downtown center, with lots of bars, shopping, and restaurants. There are multiple train stations, and fairly easy access into the city.

If you ultimately choose to live IN Chicago, I would definetly recommend a short-term rental. You might find that A. the commute to Carol Stream isn't worth the hassle, and B. Chicago is "made up" of a bunch of different neighborhoods, each with its own character & charm. The caveat is - it's very expensive and parking is a nightmare.

Feel free to call/email me directly with ANY questions you might have. I've lived in the Chicagoland area my entire life - both in Chicago, and it's suburbs, and know all the different "scenes" very well. Also, you can search for rental properties in different areas on my website Wishing you all the best in your move and career!

Terry Farnsworth
Prospect Equities Premier
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 17, 2012
a few other things to consider.

1) Would you prefer parking, taking the cab, or train to the airport?
2) Would you be most likely traveling from the city or from Carol Stream?
3) Do you prefer short cab rides to party spots in the city or within walking distance?
4) Do you get frustrated in traffic?
5) How far is the job form Wheaton Train station?

Not sure how familiar you are with the area. We have 2 different train systems. 1) which can take you from Chicago to Wheaton. and another from Chicago to O'Hare. So, I would recommend finding a place in the city with close access to both train systems.

Being close to the airport (O'Hare) , you would be just about in the middle (the City and Work) (+/- 40 min drive to work and +/- 40 min drive to the city (with little traffic). (longer when the snow hits and summer construction)

If you live in Carol Stream and want to party in the city after work, you are looking at least a 2 drive (or more, Friday rush hour starts right after lunch). Or can do a train ride from Wheaton to Chicago (less then an hour).

You do have several options. Really depends on the social scene you want. Is there another planned visit before moving out, to figure out the where to settle?

All the best!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 17, 2012
I would suggest a condo rental out in the burbs. Depending if your stay is more permanent having a condo on LSD (Lake Shore Drive) around the gold coast area. check out
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2012
I've got the perfect place for you and would love to meet you and talk about sharing my 4 bedroom condo. Give me a call at 773 273 7078 and let's chat. Thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2012
I can tell you that Wicker Park maybe your best bet. I grew up in that area, and it has definitely changed for the better. The night life is nice. You have a variety of places you can go. During August I believe they have what they call the Coyote fest. It's around Damen/North Ave/Milwaukee area. On Milwaukee avenue they have a place called Double Doors. Belileve it or not Mick Jaggar and his band played there. ( now I'm really showing my age!!) Great restaurants, art work and of course live bands. You are close to the Blue Line. Which will take you to O'hare or Midway Airports. Close to downtown the whole works. The only thing you will have to deal with is the parking. Best of luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2012
Looks like you will be spending plenty of time in your car. With traffic, your commute will be about 1 hr. If you are Ok with that then find a place close to the lake and live it up! South Loop in the south to Lincon Park/Lake View to the north. The closer you are to I-290 (the Eisenhower) the faster you wil lgo to and from work. From Lake View, it will take you about 20 minutes just to get to the highway.

Work with a Realtor - it will make your search much more efficient. Enjoy Chicago, I''m sure you will love it. Should you need any help, contact me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
The loop may be too congested and Lincoln park further away from Carol Stream.
Do your research.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
I would team up with a realtor and check out different areas. Go to different areas at different times of the day and night. Check out the bars and restaurants in different parts of downtown and see what fits your needs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
plan on 2000 w/ parkingnow that I think about it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
May I suggest downtown or the loop. The only problem you will have is there is train station in Wheaton but there are no trains near Carol Stream. The closest station would be Hanover Park or Wheaton. You would need to get a ride its at least 10-15min from there area. I would love to help you in your search in either area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
This is interesting. It definitely sounds like you need a good Realtor. Why dont you interview two or three that are also young and enjoy the same social scenes you do. Remember, they cant point you in the right direction if they aren't living it. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Funny! The downtown area is the only place for you.....River North/Gold Coast. The commute to the airports are just about like going from NYC to Kennedy. Carol Stream is in the boring Burbs, but you can take the Metra or drive. Driving is a hassle depending on when you need to be there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
new job as soon as you move here is Number a Groupon or something in river for free for 4 months and they will hire you if your smart as you seem.. then plan on spending 1200 a month for a 1 bed in river north or river west.. there is nothing short of this that is even moderately acceptable
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
she HAS a job - that's why she is relocating!!
Reread the question!
Flag Mon Oct 8, 2012
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