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ATTN: People Who Know the Chicago Area Very Well

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Coloradohockey, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. Coloradohockey

    5+ Year Member

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    I was recently accepted to Loyola, and am curious as to where the best areas to live would be? I am looking for something preferrably between the campus and downtown because I want to be close to both. At my interview, some of the students mentioned Oak Park as an area of interest for many students. Two of the third years also said they live downtown and love it there.

    What other areas close to campus and downtown offer a safe environment, great night life, reasonable rates, and an overall appealing location? And where is the best place to search for apartments to rent? Online, newspapers, elsewhere??? Any specific suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
     
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  3. jbrice1639

    jbrice1639 Cub Fan, Bud Man
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    i grew up in oak park and live on the north side of chicago now. i'm going to be starting at loyola in the fall myself.

    for convenience, i would also recommend oak park as a good place to live. there isn't much night life as the laws prohibit bars in oak park. forest park is another suburb very close to loyola (also between maywood and the city limits like oak park is). forest park is significantly cheaper and there are a good number of bars and restaurants along madison ave in forest park.

    if you're interested in a more exciting nightlife scene, you'll probably have to skip the convenience of living in the suburbs near the med school and get an apartment somewhere in the city. unfortunately, the west side of chicago, the area closest to the med school, is not really a terribly desirable place to live. you'll most likely be looking in neighborhoods like the west loop or river north, which will probably be a 30+ minute commute to the school in typical chicago traffic...or, you would want to move up further north (towards where i live) in wrigleyville, lakeview or lincoln park...and then your commute will probably be anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on weather/traffic, but you will probably enjoy the neighborhood the most. i, for one, am happy where i live and don't plan on moving, but at the same time, the commute time might have made me think twice if i were looking to move into my neighborhood now.

    if you have other questions about rent or commuting or any neighborhoods, feel free to PM me...i've lived in oak park or chicago my entire life, so i should be able to answer anything you need to know.
     
  4. jbrice1639

    jbrice1639 Cub Fan, Bud Man
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    as far as finding a place, check this site out...this is probably the best resource:
    http://www.chicagoreader.com/spacefinder

    craig's list is also good, but i think the reader tends to have the best listings.
     
  5. ucjames

    ucjames Junior Member
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    Another Oak Parker here - pretty much lifelong, other than a stint in Hyde Park for a few years. As mentioned, there really isn't too much in the way of nightlife in the western burbs. There is a strip of bars on Madison in Forest Park that would be in between Oak Park and Loyola, but they're nothing special. There are some slightly more interesting bars/clubs further west (getting out to Lombard or Schaumburg) but those areas are not as nice as Oak Park in pretty much every respect other than nightlife. And if you'd be driving to go out (which you'd have to in those burbs), well, they're both somewhat reasonable drives from Oak Park. For true nightlife though, you would need to look for something on the north side of the city. Even downtown doesn't really have much of a nightlife in most areas.

    As far as Oak Park goes, I pay $975 a month to rent a decent-sized 2 bedroom condo. I'm one block away from "downtown Oak Park" which means I'm one block from a movie theater, Borders/Gap/Old Navy/Whole Foods/many smaller specialty shops, a CTA el train and the Metra West line between downtown and Geneva, and at least half a dozen very good restaurants. And Mickey's, the greatest Greek-run fast food joint ever. Ever.

    The Reader and Craigslist are indeed good sources for apartment listings. I'd also recommend the Oak Leaves though - that was the only paper where my current abode was listed, and it is the most popular local paper for the near Oak Park area so the classifieds get heavier traffic for this area than the other two sources. http://www.pioneerlocal.com/cgi-bin/ppo-newsstand?paper2=op

    Oh, as far as safety, you can't go wrong with most of the western burbs, other than those immediately around Loyola ;) Definitely pass on Maywood, Melrose Park and Bellwood. Westchester/Riverside/Brookfield have less in the way of safety concerns, but also much less to offer than Oak Park/Forest Park or the further western burbs. For living in the city, well, can't really give you any good general safety tips, other than avoid the west side. You'd have to check out each specific potential neighborhood individually, really.
     
  6. medicomel

    medicomel Purveyor of short posts.
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  7. brats800

    brats800 cheesehead
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    you could also ask some of the current loyola students (such as myself)...i live in forest park (1 mile from school). its great for school and convenient to 290 or the train to go downtown. depending on when you wanted to move in, there might even be students looking for roomates which could be nice...
     

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