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Chicago-Naperville-Elgin Metro Area
Review of Chicago, Illinois
Nice Place To Visit But Not To Live
Nice city to visit but you really don't want to live there. I did for many years and it has lots of problem and is a very stressful place to live. First of all, it cost like hell to live there. If you aren't making lots of money by either being a professional or having a union gig, the rent or mortgage there will eat up most of what you make. Real estate taxes are likely the highest in the nation. If you want to own a car there, your insurance cost will be SKY high too. Even for liability. The roads there are in horrible shape and potholes damage cars all the time- especially small ones like a Corolla. And there is no place to park in most neighbourhoods on the street so you'll have to rent a private space for more than a little money. Oh, and you have to pay the city for a "city sticker" too. If you don't have a car, the CTA provides decent bus and subway service 24/7. For the most part, it is quality service and safe though I wouldn't advise riding it anywhere south of 35th street after dusk. Speaking of crime, the crime thing is overblown by the national media. Chicago is not anymore dangerous than most any big cities. There are bad neighbourhoods like Lawndale and Englewood where you'd be stupid to go into but there are also neighbourhoods like Edison Park and Jefferson Park where you can leave your car or front door unlocked and not worry. It's really a question of not hanging around the bad neighbourhoods. The lakefront neighbourhoods are not really too dangerous although there are some dicey areas in Uptown and East Rogers Park. West Rogers Park is very safe. The Chicago Public Schools really suck. Horrible, terrible and awful. You will have to pay Catholic school tuition if you live in the city. Most Chicago teachers do NOT send their own children to CPS. You might apply your kids to one of the CPS magnet schools. If you get really lucky and they get in, those are great schools. Walter Payton and Northside Prep are 2 of the best schools in the USA but your chances of getting in are probably around 5 percent. There are some other good schools that are not ranked but good such as Lane Tech that you would have a better chance getting admitted to but they are competitive too. Apply to all and save yourself having to pay Catholic school tuition if you can. Another thing you will hate about Chicago is the winter. It is cold as a well diggers ass in the Klondike there
And you can't put on enough layers to stay warm when the wind chill is minus 25 degrees for days on end. And the winters are dark. Dark at 4 PM because Chicago sits on the eastern boundary of the Central Time Zone. That makes it get dark an hour earlier than next door in Indiana which is in the Eastern Time Zone. Another good thing however is that Chicago has some of the BEST cultural offerings in the world! It has a world class Art Museum, the Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry is great! It also has a great City College system. I graduated from Truman College and then from Northwestern University. So all in all the city has some good things to offer but it is a very costly and stressful place to live. Move to Kenosha Wisconsin. It's a METRA train ride to The Loop. All of the benefits and none of the bullshet.
Powder Springs, GA
Reply to this Comment
Was Chicago the first big city you lived in bubba? Talking about schools... it’s true CPS needs a lot of work & has big challenges. As you point out there are some great schools but too many that don’t come close to the quality what we all want. But you’re from GA a state that just made huge cuts to its education system, it’s a state that does not value education overall. Move to Kenosha? Wow! Why? To save money? The reason Kenosha has cheap housing is because it sucks and WI doesn’t have cheap real estate taxes either. Also the price of everything in Kenosha is based on the Chicago market not Milwaukee so savings are not as great. Kenosha might be fun to live in if your favorite pastime is bowling or watching tv while getting sloppy drunk.
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