Safe neighborhoods between Loyola and Fulton Market?
April 19, 2007 11:26 AM   Subscribe

Calling all Chicagoans: I will be working on Fulton Market, just west of I90/94. My roommate will be attending Loyola (Lake Shore campus). We both want easy commutes. Suggestions for fun, safe areas to live in that will be convenient for both of us?

I have read other related threads, but I am hoping for advice that is a bit more specific to our situation.
posted by christie to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How much are you looking to spend?
posted by MeetMegan at 11:55 AM on April 19, 2007

And how are you both commuting- car, bus, bike, el? Some people hate the bus but it could give you some good options
posted by cushie at 12:05 PM on April 19, 2007

Response by poster: Good questions. We are looking to spend around $1100-1200 a month ideally, or around $1700 max. The more public transportation options, the better, but I've pretty much resigned myself to driving because I'll be about as much off the beaten path as you can get near Chicago.
posted by christie at 12:14 PM on April 19, 2007

Well, your roommate has it easy. Loyola is off the red line and right off LSD. anywhere will be good for him/her. Your work location is bus/car, or a decent walk (perhaps from the UIC blueline?) from a downtown train.

So, that leaves you a lot of options. You can live on the northside near loyola cheaply and safely like in Rogers Park or Albany park. Uptown is cheap but not as safe. Lincoln Sq/Andersonville is decent. Just avoid going too far west of western. You dont want to live in humbolt park, although a little south of there is the Ukrainian Village which is pretty cheap and safe. Regardless of what others may tell you, I dont consider Logan Sq a safe place and isnt worth saving the money.

I think your price-point is doable. You might even be able to find some housing in the more posh Lincoln Park area too. That neighborhood or Wicker Park might be more 'fun' as it has more bars and restaurants, but if youre a driver you can live anywhere. Its not that big of a town. Personally, Id rather live in a quiet and safe residential zone and just walk/drive to restaurants/theaters than deal with the crowds, traffic, and noise of being in the middle of it.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:36 PM on April 19, 2007

Well, if your roommate's commute is more important (and if you've got a car, you can pretty much live anywhere) I suggest somewhere close to the Red Line, as Loyola's campuses are off the Loyola and Chicago stops on that line. For that money, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a place anywhere along the line (well, maybe not in the Gold Coast...) And other than Uptown, pretty much all the neighborhoods along there are "safe" (which is a pretty vague term, really -- what do you consider safe, the suburbs, or just a neighborhood where you'll be left alone walking down the street?) So, let's concentrate on what you consider "fun."

• If your idea of fun is drinking at the bars, look for something near Clark & Division
• If shopping is your bag, look for something close to North & Clybourn.
• If it's hanging out in college bars (albeit DePaul ones), try Fullerton.
• If you're more of an alternative lifestyle type, you might prefer Belmont.
• If you're into the Cubs and/or collegiate/post-collegiate nightlife (ie, meatmarket-ish bars), Lakeview's Addison stop is for you.
• Buena Park, by the Sheridan stop, is near enough to the Addison excitement to walk there, but is quieter and more laid back. (I liked living near this stop because I was just outside the action, but it was a short trip away.) It's also right next to Irving Park Road, which is a straight shot over to 90-94.
• I don't recommend the Wilson or Lawrence stops -- still a little rough for most people's tastes.
Argyle is fun if you're into Asian culture, or if you want to be close to Andersonville action.
• Andersonville's also close by for the Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stops.
• Not much near the Thorndale stop.
Granville is just south of the Loyola campus, and boasts an awesome coffee shop (Metropolis), but otherwise is kind of quiet.
Loyola is near campus, but otherwise has little to recommend it.
Lunt, Morse and Jarvis, north of Loyola, are all in Rogers Park, which varies from street to street on safety and is mostly residential.

Rents in Edgewater (Bryn Mawr to Granville, neighborhood-wise) are very affordable, but there's not much going on "fun"-wise. I'm a big fan of Buena Park, personally.
posted by me3dia at 12:45 PM on April 19, 2007

I live in the West Loop, which would be walking distance for you and a short bus ride for your roommate. I can't say enough about this neighborhood - I've lived in 5 or 6 in the city and I plan to stay here as long as possible. It's safe, lots of bars and restaurants nearby (Greektown and the Randolph strip), and it's very easy to get downtown.

You should be able to find a nice two-bedroom condo or apartment for $1700/month. When we moved last year, there were several nice 2BR condos for rent for around $1600-1700. You won't find anything as cheap as $1100-1200 here unless you're bunking together, but the location and neighborhood are more than worth it if it's in your price range.
posted by chundo at 1:06 PM on April 19, 2007

By the way, if you're not familiar with the city, West Loop is basically between Halsted on the east, Ashland on the west, Lake Street on the north and Van Buren on the south.
posted by chundo at 1:07 PM on April 19, 2007

Andersonville has an eclectic feel, is relatively close to Loyola (a major plus given the sad state of the El right now), and is relatively safe. If you're not opposed to being a little further away from the Red Line, Lincoln Square is a great neighborhood as well. I live a little north of Lincoln Square and love being able to come home to a more residential area after being in the Loop all day.
posted by Dalton at 8:51 PM on April 19, 2007

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