I was disturbed recently by raw porn--full frontal nudity, dog collars etc. on the covers, huge display, taller than I am--in the village center, at the 'news stand,' situated right next to children's stores and other 'nice' places. It was right by the door, like an eight by six foot display. I started to cry--I have a new granddaughter and it just hit me so hard--and the owner or employee came over and told me to leave. This news stand is right next to two train stops, the El and the Metra both, right in the heart of town. It says something about what people silently put up with there, or at least it made me wonder what else they allow in their community. Also, you have to ride the Red Line to get to the Purple line to get from downtown Chicago to Evanston, and the Red Line is rough! I take the trip fairly often to go to a fabric store in Evanston.
Oak Park is where my own traditional Catholic church is (Washington and Ridgeland, 10:00 Sunday mass is a great one, authentic gregorian chant) and I ride the Green line to get to it several times a week. The Green line is not as bad as the Red line, in my opinion, riding them both. There are fewer really disturbed seeming people on the Green line, mainly good working people are the rule. The Green train stations are well maintained and light, not like the Red line.
These might be some things to watch out for, when you check it out for yourself.
Do you have to go for just those two choices? The Brown line is quite civilized. I live in Lincoln Square. You can get some nice house deals right now in Albany Park toward the end of the Brown line.
The train ride here is pretty important to the quality of life, especially if you're a kid and a non-driver. Good luck!!!