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How to live effeciently in Chicago?

 
 
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 05:54 pm
So I'm being sent by my company to Chicago to get training for a managerial position.

Do I need to bring my large gas guzzling jeep liberty? (is public transportation more efficient to drive throughout the city, cause I was advised that parking is a hassle.)

Is the train faster than the bus?


I'm going to be spending time in Chicago for a month, so any other tips would be helpful.
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Type: Question • Score: 7 • Views: 3,304 • Replies: 57

 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 06:19 pm
@Rorschach,
Lots of Chicagoans are here on a2k and will respond when they see this, although some of them are busy.

I lived there as a kid (thus not a driver) and met a bunch of a2kers there in 2006. I did fine with walking, with the El (which I remember from my childhood) and the very occasional taxi - that was once (I have night vision problems).

I didn't take the buses. The train was fast. I think RealJohnBoy took a lot of the train routes as a way to check out the city. If he doesn't answer here, you could pm him.


I'd not take the jeep. Aggravation.
Rorschach
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 06:31 pm
@ossobuco,
Thank you for the good tip.

The jeep has the fortune to slumber for a month's time in the garage, then.
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 06:41 pm
@Rorschach,
A city like Chicago, you really don't need your private vehicle, i.e. your Jeep. Public transportation, between the buses and the el, is excellent. When I lived in New York, a city somewhat similar to Chicago, I never found occasion where a car would have been a convenience for necessary daily travel. On weekends I'd sometimes rent a car just to get away and explore. Far more convenient than having constant worries about where to park your personal vehicle, and will it still be there in the morning.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  0  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 06:52 pm
@Rorschach,
Your mode of transportation in Chicago will depend on which part of the City you'll be living in. If you plan to travel to either the North or South sides, I'd take my own car or a taxi. Most of the Loop area is pretty safe due to the number of police officiers stationed there.

As far as the El is concerned, you're probably OK when you're traveling to the suburbs or the North side.

As far as the SouthSide is concerned, you might consider staying off the buses and the Els. I grew up on the SouthSide and know what I'm talking about. Best to watch your step on the SouthSide.

The El system in Chicago is far more dangerous than anything I ever encountered in NYCity, while living there. Most of the tension in Chicago seems to be of racial origin, while in NYCity, most of the trouble seems to be of mental origin. Queers everwhere on all trains and in all subway stations.

I'd also invest in a pair of good sneakers and be prepared to run like crazy, should some nut decide to attack and/or rob you.

Good luck! ~~~~~~OO
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 07:02 pm
@Miller,
Talk to the chicagoans here.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  5  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 07:27 pm
@Rorschach,
Is the company putting you up for a month or do you have to find your own housing. If they're putting you up and they already have a location then you won't have the hassle of finding a place that's convenient to work/groceries/fun/etc.

The trains and buses are both fine. Miller is right re not wanting to go through certain parts of town at certain times of day on public transit, but you should be fine without your car.

If you want to send me the location of the company by PM I can help you with some of the details of neighborhoods, etc.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  6  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2012 08:47 pm
@Rorschach,
Rorschach wrote:

So I'm being sent by my company to Chicago to get training for a managerial position.

First of all, welcome to Chicago. Secondly, ignore everything Miller says. She's a former Chicagoan for a reason -- we kicked her out because of her bad attitude.

Rorschach wrote:
Do I need to bring my large gas guzzling jeep liberty? (is public transportation more efficient to drive throughout the city, cause I was advised that parking is a hassle.)

Depends on where you live and where you're going. If you're being trained downtown or near where you're going to be living, then you probably won't need a car. Public transportation is easily accessible and safe. I've taken public transit in Chicago off and on my entire life, and I've never had to deal with anything worse than common rudeness. On the other hand, if you're training is in the suburbs, you may need a car (although suburban rail is also very good in the region).

One other point: if you're living in the city and don't have a dedicated off-street parking spot, don't even think about bringing your car. Finding on-street parking in most neighborhoods is an enormous hassle.

Rorschach wrote:
Is the train faster than the bus?

Yes, almost always. There are some express buses that travel on Lake Shore Drive and the Stevenson Expressway, but the "L" is really the way to go if you want to get anywhere in a hurry.
Rorschach
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2012 12:51 pm
I'll look into the Chicago 'L' and I also saw CTA red/ purple line, around where I'm going to live. I suppose CTA owns Chicago 'L.'
People from other forums suggested to expect the worse from CTA. To the north-west of where I live is the howard subway, and a bit south west is the morse subway with the red line. So a bit of a long way of commute from home to work in the traffic I suppose, but nothing to complain about.


The company has put me near the lakefront in Rogers field, while the company itself (vanguard corp) is in Ohio street close to where I think the Chicagoan call it the "loop."


From what I read around in other forums, rogers park, and chicago area itself has a lot of crime. So I'd imagine if I'm working way past afternoon, I'd be better of catching a taxi back home, as ossobuco suggested.

If public transport gets me too aggravated after the first week, I might as well rent a small compact car for a month, and cough up money to an expensive parking garage.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2012 01:17 pm
@Rorschach,
The Jarvis stop is between the Morse and Howard stops. You may be pretty close to that one. Not the best neighborhood in the city but there are many worse. I like it there, especially near the beach!

Edit: and you definitely don't want to pay for daily parking in the Loop every day. You'll be fine with the L and the bus.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2012 01:21 pm
@Rorschach,
Quote:
Chicago 'L' and I also saw CTA red/ purple line, around where I'm going to live. I suppose CTA owns Chicago 'L.


same thing...
0 Replies
 
Rorschach
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2012 01:54 pm
@JPB,
I'll roll with the flow and see how it goes.

During my downtime I'm planning on visiting Wrigley field and catch a cubs game, visit the Sears tower, and maybe visit Millennium Park.

And, do you, or anyone, know where I can find the best Chicago style pizza in Chicago?
Any other attractions in Chicago recommended as a must-see?
cicerone imposter
 
  3  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2012 01:57 pm
@joefromchicago,
I traveled alone in South Chicago without any problems whether riding on public transportation or walking. However, I never walked at night in South Chicago, but did so within the LOOP and north side.

I never felt threatened or in danger in South Chicago; I've lived there three times during my life, and still visit occasionally to visit with Wandel, joefromchicago, JPB, and others - usually out of towners.

Chicago has amazing architecture, restaurants, and venues with different feels to them such as the jazz and blues clubs.

Chicago is a great town; enjoy it while you're working, because that's part of the attraction of being in the Windy City.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2012 01:58 pm
@Rorschach,
Also do the Hancock building and the architecture tours.

0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2012 02:02 pm
@Rorschach,
Rorschach wrote:

I'll roll with the flow and see how it goes.


good idea

Quote:
During my downtime I'm planning on visiting Wrigley field and catch a cubs game, visit the Sears tower, and maybe visit Millennium Park.


all easily accessible via the red line

Quote:
And, do you, or anyone, know where I can find the best Chicago style pizza in Chicago?


http://able2know.org/topic/192503-1

Any other attractions in Chicago recommended as a must-see?

Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2012 02:09 pm
@JPB,
on my very first visit to Chicago, a friend recommended visiting the museum of science and industry.

it's still my favorite place in the big windy city...
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2012 02:18 pm
I notice it is now, and probably has been for a long time, called the L. Not sure if Andy repeated my calling it the El or if he remembers it that way too. We're equally 'older'. I always liked the El as a child, and thought it was zippy when I visited in 2006 - met JPB and JoefromChicago then, and a bunch of other a2k folks - that was a long planned event. Their difference on what is a scary ride may or may not be because one is a man and the other is a woman. (Guess!) Or different experiences.

Anyway, I took the L (that doesn't look right) in 'o6 to meet a childhood friend in Evanston (cripes, it changed, even the library). Our neighborhood streets looked the same though. The L was fine in daylight and early evening. That's anecdotal, but as an older woman with vision stuff, I could give off a victim vibe - and nothing like that wasn't going on.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2012 02:21 pm
@Rockhead,
I second that; with the proviso that he allows at least a full day there.
Rorschach
 
  2  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2012 02:21 pm
@Rockhead,
That looks pretty close to the "loop" on the map. I'll make time to spend a whole Saturday there.
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2012 02:22 pm
@Rorschach,
Rorschach wrote:

I'll look into the Chicago 'L' and I also saw CTA red/ purple line, around where I'm going to live. I suppose CTA owns Chicago 'L.'

CTA = Chicago Transit Authority.

Rorschach wrote:
People from other forums suggested to expect the worse from CTA.

Like what? That you'll be murdered by gangs of hooligans? Thousands of passengers ride the CTA every single day without incident. There have been some thefts of iPhones recently, but as long as you take simple precautions, you shouldn't have any problems.

Rorschach wrote:
To the north-west of where I live is the howard subway, and a bit south west is the morse subway with the red line. So a bit of a long way of commute from home to work in the traffic I suppose, but nothing to complain about.

If you're expecting to catch the L at the Morse stop, you're in for an unpleasant surprise. The Morse stop is closed until Aug. 10 for repairs.

Rorschach wrote:
From what I read around in other forums, rogers park, and chicago area itself has a lot of crime. So I'd imagine if I'm working way past afternoon, I'd be better of catching a taxi back home, as ossobuco suggested.

Rogers Park is probably low-to-moderate in relation to other areas of the city with regard to crime. I live in the neighborhood -- I have no qualms whatsoever about taking the CTA home late at night, and I've never encountered any problems. A taxi ride to Rogers Park from the Loop, on the other hand, will cost you in excess of $30.

Rorschach wrote:
If public transport gets me too aggravated after the first week, I might as well rent a small compact car for a month, and cough up money to an expensive parking garage.

Your choice.
 

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