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Chicago area residents: Please chime in

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by iplaybass, Oct 7, 2002.


  1. iplaybass

    iplaybass Guest

    Feb 13, 2000
    Germantown, TN
    Hi again all. I am in my senior year of high school, and I now face the challenge of choosing a good college to go to. I hope to go into the sciences, probably engineering. One of my choices for schools is Northwestern, in Evanston. I love the school, and I'm fairly certain I can get in, but I'm not quite sold on Chicago. I've lived in a medium sized city(Memphis) all my life where the only way to get around was by car, where I knew where everything was, and where the population of the entire county was only around 1 million. Now, I am looking at attending a school outside the third largest city in the nation! So, the prospect of living in so large a city, especially one that feels so unfamiliar, is intimidating. Can any Chicago residents tell me about the city? Anything I should know? Would it be a hard adjustment? This is all new territory for me, and I appreciate any comments you guys have.
     
  2. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Well, Northwestern is in Evanston, which is right outside of Chicago. It's just your basic suburb town. The area around Northwestern is very nice; I drive down there all the time for my lessons. As you get braver you can venture into the city via bus. Find a schedule and realize that they run regularly until late at night. If you're really nervous about being in the city, (which you shouldn't be) just stay off the streets at night. Northwestern is a very nice school, with a nice campus. You'll be fine. :)
     
  3. jguitarj

    jguitarj

    Oct 4, 2002
    Chicago
    Chicago is a great town. I like the people. There are many diverse cultural fascets present in the city. The Music Scene here is great because you can gig at any bar with a good press kit. Also, the music scene is diverse, you can play with jazz ensembles at "quenchers" Sunday night, Blues at the "Fantasy Lounge" on thursdays, and metal at the "Mutiny" any given night. Its not as expensive as New York but its not cheap either. Hope that helps!

    my website
     
  4. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Chicago is my home, and may always be. I've been to a few other cities and find Chicago keeps winning me back! Culturally, it's an incredibly diverse population. It's got an amazing restaurant scene, tons and tons of bars and clubs with music that runs the gammut, and quite well!

    It's also a very safe city, relatively speaking. For a city that's 2nd or 3rd in the Nation in population, the crime rate isn't even in the top 5 (if my memory recalls the right stats, NY, LA, DC, Detroit, and Miami all have higher crime rates). The nicest thing about it is that anybody with a little common sense can usually avoid trouble. I've lived in Chicago my entire life (or the surrounding suburbs) and only been attacked once: in a small town outside Fort Wayne, IN.

    Evanston is a beautiful town just north of Chicago, and is a mini-urban experience. My thoughts are that you'd love it, though I admit I don't know what you're like. Still, I say go for it. Northwestern is one of the finest schools in the country (supported by the fact I didn't get in).

    Good luck in your decision!
     
  5. iplaybass

    iplaybass Guest

    Feb 13, 2000
    Germantown, TN
    How hard is it to get around in town? I have next to no experience with public transportation, and I don't know if I should bring the car or not.
     
  6. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    It depends...most areas in Evanston you could probably walk to. The residential areas, where you probably wouldn't go too often, are spread out, whereas the commercial district is pretty centralized near the Northwestern campus. Evanston can be easily driven, and public transportation around Evanston is weak.

    However, there is some public transportation in Evanston that will take you into the city (Chicago). I'd recommend using it where possible, except late at night. Some of the stops on the 'El' are a little dicey...not horrible, though...

    Chicago itself can be driven, but you have to learn a lot of patience. Busses, taxis, and the 'El' will help you immensely! Once you learn the system, which should take an average person a week to learn, it becomes a breeze!

    I'd say cars are okay if you're generally dependent on them at home, but you may have less uses in Evanston and Chicago then you would as you get farther out.
     
  7. jguitarj

    jguitarj

    Oct 4, 2002
    Chicago
    The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) provides round-the-clock subway/train service. It is easy to use and very convenient as it branches off to most of the neghborhoods in the Chicagoland Area. They usually have security folk with attack dogs patrolling the platforms and inside the train. The key areas to be aware that might have a more dangerous surrounding are:

    1) Humboldt Park (Puerto Rican gang Controlled: Disciples)

    2) Logan Square (Mexican Gang Controlled: Spanish Cobras)

    3) Cabrini Green (Black Gang Controlled: ViceLords)

    5) Thompson Homes (Black Gang Controlled: BGD's)

    There is also boy's town and wicker park where all the freakey Dickies hang out.

    Hope that helps
    my personal website
     
  8. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    That's all great info, and maybe helpful to a certain extent for someone coming to Chicago for the first time.

    I highly doubt he'd have any reason to go to any of those neighborhoods, since there's really nothing there that's interesting. Wicker Park and Lakeview (aka Boys Town), being the exceptions. But, those are harmless neighborhoods.
     
  9. all i can say after living in the chicago area for 38 years is. it's my kind of town!
     
  10. farboozle

    farboozle

    Apr 18, 2000
    Fairfax VA
    I'm working on a graduate degree in Engineering at Northwestern. If you want some more information about the school, Evanston email me at j-schwille@northwestern.edu. I went here for a year as an undergrad and know a bunch of people who got their undergrad degrees here, so I can talk a little about the undergrad experience as well.
     
  11. jguitarj

    jguitarj

    Oct 4, 2002
    Chicago
    Cool, Im a guitarist...lets jam!
     
  12. iplaybass

    iplaybass Guest

    Feb 13, 2000
    Germantown, TN
    It's sounding really good... what are some interesting sights in town? What is there to do for fun? Plenty, I assume, but how about some specifics?
     
  13. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Fun, in Chicago? If you want specifics, you have to first tell us what kind of fun you're into. I can guarantee it can pretty much all be done in Chicago, unless you're into mountain climbing...;)
     
  14. iplaybass

    iplaybass Guest

    Feb 13, 2000
    Germantown, TN
    Haha... well, how's downtown? The food? The music? Nightlife? Bass stores?