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Old 05-06-2009, 10:45 PM   #1
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Chicago (city proper) Mamas, Help!

hey there mamas,

my dh is getting laid off and we are hoping to move to chicago assuming we can find employment. i know the market is bad, but it's bad here too and here there are so few jobs, even fewer that pay enough for us to get by and have health insurance. i went to grad school at saic, so i lived in the city for about 4 years and loved it. it's my favorite place and i am so looking forward to being back there.

difference is, this time i'll have a baby in tow. so i am hoping you all can offer some feedback on what it's like to live in the city (not in the 'burbs) with one or more kiddos.

we have a car right now, and are torn on whether or not we'd sell it before moving. when i lived there before, i didn't have a car and i liked it that way. but with a baby it may be easier to have a car for occasional use only? is there a city fee / permit you have to pay if you have a car in the city at all, and if so, what is it $? do you have to have a permit for most street parking?

we would definitely be living right near public transport, one way or another. what do you do if you have a stroller? i can wear my baby some of the time, but is it possible to take a stroller onto the train? how do you get it down the steps / back up if there is no elevator? what do you do in the winter when it's icy / slushy / snowy and not plowed? and what do you do if you have two--say, a toddler and an infant? if you can go through this blow-by-blow for me i'd appreciate it. obviously i would avoid rush hour on either train or bus. what kind of stroller do you use for city living?

i lived in the gold coast when i first moved to the city and didn't know any better, then moved into an apartment that cost less than my closet-sized apt on dearborn and had about 5x more space in noble square / river west. i LOVED that neighborhood. in terms of cost, does anyone know which neighborhoods are less expensive but still safe, near public transport and have most amenities within walking distance? and are family friendly? i spend a lot of time in coffee shops, we love art galleries, music, clothing boutiques, etc.

we don't know whether we can afford an inexpensive condo, or will rent. if you have a place without an in-unit w/d, how is it to do diaper laundry? do you have trouble with the other residents?

for some reason, at least from what i am seeing online, i am drawn to pilsen, though i never spent any time there really, noble square / ukrainian village, humboldt park, and maybe lincoln square? logan square seems really neat too. i want to be someplace 'happening,' but not so 'happening' that it's too crazy at night, if you kwim.

tell me the little things i might not think of on my own, about what it's like to live in the city with kids. would it be better to be on the top floor of an apt / condo or in the middle (assuming there is no elevator)? anything to look for when trying to rent or buy? how do i find out which schools are good, or should i worry about that yet? i am planning to only work part time, hopefully at opposite hours as DH, so hopefully we won't need day care, but if we do, any suggestions?

are there any family resources i should know about? i want to know the good bad and the ugly. i know i'm asking a lot of questions so if you don't have time for them all i totally understand. you can PM me if you'd rather. i really appreciate any insight you all can give. thanks!

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Last edited by growgrowgrow; 05-06-2009 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:30 PM   #2
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Re: Chicago (city proper) Mamas, Help!

anybody?
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:42 PM   #3
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Re: Chicago (city proper) Mamas, Help!

well I used to live in rogers park. close to loyola. nice area kid friendly close to transport it was in the northside no way in hell you could pay me to live on the south side. lots of parks and loads of grocery stores and public transportation. I love it there and would go back if i could. I didnt cloth diaper though. But it seems skokie is cheap as far as rent. its soooo close to the city. in chicago you do have to have a city permit for your car to park on the street not sure about cost im sure it went up though. also some streets are permit parking only. you can get some nice places if you look and dont have a huge list of requirements. also there are so many laundry places if you dont get a washer and dryer in your unit. stroller isnt a problem get a nice heavy duty umbrella stroller. easy to fold up to get up the platform and down etc. and that is light weight winter would be like anywhere I dont neccasrily think you need a car there. but winter might be kind of hectic. also if you wanted to go out of the city for shopping or anything you would be at the mercy of a taxi or public transportation. although they have the best mass transit i have ever seen. good luck and take me with ya LOOOOL!
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:21 PM   #4
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Re: Chicago (city proper) Mamas, Help!

hey, thanks for the info! i used to hang out in roger's park sometimes; i like the feel of the neighborhood. i guess i spent time mainly in the othodox jewish / indian part, which i think is west roger's park, right? it did seem like it took forever to get there from downtown. i assume you were nearer the lake?

i guess i just wonder how friendly communal laundry is to cding. like, would the other tenants put up a stink about it? if i took it to a laundromat (pita! every day?!?!) would they give me a hard time? guess there may be posts about this someplace.

did you find an umbrella stroller worked ok in the winter?

i am so excited at the prospect of moving back. :-)
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Old 05-30-2009, 04:38 PM   #5
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Re: Chicago (city proper) Mamas, Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by growgrowgrow View Post
would it be better to be on the top floor of an apt / condo or in the middle (assuming there is no elevator)?
I always liked first floor apartment living...No stairs to lug groceries up and no worries about stomping too loud for downstairs neighbors.
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:08 PM   #6
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Re: Chicago (city proper) Mamas, Help!

you should post this in "great lakes" that's where the chicago gals are.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:51 AM   #7
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Re: Chicago (city proper) Mamas, Help!

Hi, just real quick cause I have to put dd down for a nap. Any updates? I'm a native chicagoan, currently living in the far south burbs, but spent 34 years in various neighborhoods in the city. Would love to help you on this one. SO just curious where you stand right now, literally and figuratively

Melissa
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