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Chicagoland people lend me your ear

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  • Chicagoland people lend me your ear

    I would like to know where near 'the loop?' is a good neighborhood. I pray no one takes this wrong, it just is what it is....
    I have a 20 year old son who wants to relocate to chicago. He has no job, no money saved, and is 10 feet tall and bulletproof I guess...In a nutshell, he is a pastie white kid from a small farm community in kansas. We really live a pretty 'sheltered' life out here. This kid has never been exposed to any kind of city living but wants to dive right into living in chicago...he was looking at Logan Square and Pilsin? Ok I looked these up on city data and I just dont think this is a good idea. He by no means has 1 iota of street smarts. I would be grateful if anyone can offer some advice/suggestions. I hope I do not sound predjudice or anything, we really do live in a quiet area, if a siren goes off around here folks freak out, the last murder (knock on wood) was about 7 years ago and it was only 1 for the year. We have mostly domestic, DUI, meth, and theft issues, again knock on wood, theft, not armed robbery. Seems like throwing the lamb to the lions. He is not even a student, just thinks he can waltz into Chicago and get a job....ugggghhhh.

  • #2
    If he is ten foot tall and bullet proof, tell him to join the Military. Heck, the Navy could get him right to Chicago at great lakes. Furthermore, he would get a chance to ease into life, culture and learn how to survive.


    • #3
      I wish he could join the Navy and he did check into it, but...they have some rule that if you have a child (and he does) he has to be married to enlist in Navy and AF, well that being said, they broke up-bet you cant guess why...-so no marriage, no Navy for him, sigh. Navy recruiter said Army or Marines would take him but he refuses to join either one of those...How do you make a flighty kid out of 2 boring job devoted parents, lol.


      • #4
        having gone thru this with two son's already and one to go, sometimes you just have to let them learn on their own. Sad to say, but experience is the best teacher and at 20 years old, he's still got a lot to learn. He's not, however, going to learn it by listening to you. Like you said, they think they know it all and the LAST thing they want to do is take orders from their parents (like they have been doing all their life).

        They are going to make bad decisions and ones that scare us to death, but that's part of becoming an independent adult. One of my son's took off at 18 and joined the traveling carnival, ugh, and I didn't hear from him for 8 or 9 months!!! While it might have been a terrible decision in my eyes, he did experience a lot (some good, some not so good) and taught him many lessons.

        All that stuff said, I'm sorry that your having to go thru this it's not easy when the lil birds want to spread their wings, but remember, the more you fight it, the harder they will try to do exactly what you don't want them to do. KIDS!!!


        • #5
          It's not so much the loop, it's anything below a certain street. I can't remember the name, but when my husband wakes up he can tell you. However, I don't have a clue how your son can afford to live in Chicago with no savings or a job.

          Since you live in Kansas, maybe you can take him to the outskirts of East Saint Louis and see how he does there. I tried one teaching job there at a local elementary school and found 2 bullet holes on the side of my nissan sentra plus missing tires. That job didn't last long.

          My brother did what your son is doing, and my dad said if he doesn't join the military, he's out on his own. He joined the Navy, but preferred paying for tattoo's instead of rent or car insurance, so my parents have completely stopped helping him. He's since turned himself around, but it took 2 years before he finally figured out what it means to be an adult. I'm sorry you're in your current situation, and hope things work out for your son.


          • #6
            I'm sure sorry you're going through this, but don't feel alone at all. Any parent with and adult offspring can relate. You can't tell a 20 something anything, they just do what they want. Just pray pray pray, he'll probably be okay. It may not end up that he goes there in the end or he may go and decide he likes Kansas a lot better. But it's tough I know. I'll be praying for ya.
            A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~


            • #7
              Originally posted by henrythe8th View Post
              I wish he could join the Navy and he did check into it, but...they have some rule that if you have a child (and he does) he has to be married to enlist in Navy and AF, well that being said, they broke up-bet you cant guess why...-so no marriage, no Navy for him, sigh. Navy recruiter said Army or Marines would take him but he refuses to join either one of those...How do you make a flighty kid out of 2 boring job devoted parents, lol.
              I know from being enlisted there used to be a sneaky way around that-PM me, I will explain. Also let him know that the Marines-especially air side, is not that bad. Anyhow, The sneaky think might be Marine Corps but he it worked for two females I knew with children


              • #8
                Unless you are going to sign the lease and pay for his rent, first month, last month, security add up to a few moving expenses, plus utilities, plus food, plus fun money, plus gas/travel, plus insurance...and I know I'm forgetting something. Who's going to be covering these bills?

                All apartment rentals do a credit check/background check. He may have to prove employment at this time too. Sounds like you need to let your kid know that he does need to save his money and then plan for his move. What kind of job is he looking for?

                Chicago is a great city..and really expensive.


                • #9
                  I'm not familiar with Chicago at all, so I'm no help there. I avoid it at all costs because I'm terrified to drive there. I DO know the cost of living is very high there. My brother bought a "condo" (what WE would refer to as a third floor apartment here... lol) just outside of Chicago and I think he paid somewhere around $250 grand for it. Didn't even have an elevator and the laundry was in the basement. My parents bought a 4 yr. old 3000 sq. ft. home with a second heated garage/workshop on 5 acres of land with 500 feet of creek frontage for $300 grand here in WI. Even has a security system which they have no idea how to work. I think we're about 55 miles north of Chicago and that's the difference in the cost of living. And THAT is probably why most of the nice summer/vacation homes you see on our big WI lakes are owned by people from Chicago.

                  I do think you have to be careful when it comes to "location" and I'm willing to bet a 20 yr. old kid with no money isn't going to find housing in the best neighborhood. Which is a scary thought, but if he has a good head on his shoulders I'm sure he will do fine. Some "kids" are just meant to be in the bigger cities. This I know...... I have a 21 (1/2) year old daughter who moved to Denver CO 6 days before her 18th birthday. From the time she was 5 I knew she would someday want to get out of this 25mph city and move somewhere "busier". She loves that big city life. I was hoping for something more along the lines of Madison WI though. **sigh** But she's doing just fine out there...... 900 miles away from ME. **cries**


                  • #10
                    Okay, talked to hubby.

                    Northside is considered good. Southside Chicago is considered bad. Things have changed over the past couple of years, but if you look on a map, anything north of the river/I-290 is a good estimate of safe living.


                    • #11
                      I grew up in Chicago, and I really loved the city. For a first big city experience, I would definitely recommend Chicago above anywhere else. Folks are very friendly and generally willing to help. If he ends up renting an apartment in a house, don't be surprised if the folks downstairs "adopt" him.
                      There are many colleges and universities around, he should check them out for jobs. It would be a nice way to get into a ready-made community.
                      For a pasty white 20 year old from Kansas I would avoid the loop (real chicagoans don't live in the loop) and everything south of it altogether with the notable exception of the area around the University of Chicago, but he would not be able to afford that area anyway. I would go for a neighborhood with more transplants and/or college students, logan square is actually good for that. North side is good, and generally speaking the closer you are to the lake the better the neighborhood, but that also means more pricey. Lincoln park is also a nice area, but it too has gotten pricey.
                      Has he really looked into what rents are in the areas he is interested in? I think it may come as a bit of a shock to him... the cost of living in Chicago is reasonable when compared to Boston, NYC, or SF, but is outrageous when compared to smaller cities. Also he should keep in mind the sales tax is up to 10.25%. So when you are sticker shocked by how much you are paying for your groceries, keep in mind you need to tack on 10%.
                      Chicago is a great city, I wish him luck.


                      • #12
                        A great place to get info is You can click on Illinois, and then Chicago, and you will find a forum there. Lots of good info on a forum, so you are getting real current info. I would say anything on the North Side would be good, or Northwest side. Cant help with pricing but look on craigslist to get an idea too.
                        What does a dog do on it's day off?


                        • #13
                          Lincoln Park is home to DePaul University and one of my favorite areas of Chicago (besides Lakeview)...I also went to DePaul. It's a great neighborhood, but did have issues with a crime spree earlier this year...still, with the University security presence it's generally a nice area. Close to the lake, has a free zoo, nice architecture, etc. Wrigleyville is close to LP and also a really nice area, and home to Wrigley Field & the Chicago Cubs!

                          Unless things have changed in the past few years, Pilsen is not the best neighborhood for who you're describing. There are some really good ethnic restaurants, but safety wise I"m not so sure it's the best (unless, like I said, things have changed in the 5 years since I've been @ DePaul).

                          Cook County has the highest sales tax of the nation as I believe someone else mentioned, to the point where if you live near the county border streets, you usually shop in other counties. I live in Wheeling, which is a northwest suburb (and in CC) but I work in Highland Park (which is in Lake County and about 25 min away) and I always do my grocery shopping right after I leave work, b/c CC tax is 10.25% while LC is I believe 8%.

                          I don't ever see myself leaving the Chicago area. That's how much I love the city and surrounding areas. I suggest staying on the north/northwest side tho. But hey, around St Patty's Day we dye our river green! Who else can say THAT? (now watch, probably a lot of people will).


                          • #14
                            I would suggest Rockford. It's a town outside of the city (30 minutes North) with a small town feel, ie low crime rate, and its super close to the city. I have several friends that live there and I visit often.
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