I’m trying to find a place to live

Preferably someplace which will provide me shelter from the hot Mexican sun.

(yes, those are photos of my TV.  But only after searching for screenshots online for THE BETTER PART OF AN HOUR.  You see what I do for a cheap laugh?  Oh yeah…and I had to hunt down batteries for the remote.  AND I had to find my camera cable.  AND I had to walk uphill to school both ways, with two broken legs, in a snowstorm, with Jeff on my back.  Neer doubt my dedication to The Blog.  NEVER!)

But anyway…the point of this post…

Oh, first I have to preface this:  Jeff and I have not decided for sure to go to Northwestern.  We have not decided for sure to move to Chicago.  St. Louis and Nashville are still in the mix.  But just like those icky slimy grapes in the fruit cocktail, we don’t really want them   Ya follow?

However, the fact that we don’t know where we’re moving has NOT stopped me from scouting out apartments and neighborhoods.

Problem is, I know next to nothing about the neighborhoods surrounding Chicago.  Jeff knows a bit more, as he’s been quite active in the discussion on some of his law school forums.  I have no law school forums   I have no law school.  But I have kittens!

Aah, I digress again.  From our preliminary discussions, and my even more preliminary research, it’s looking like Jeff and I might start our apartment search in either Streeterville (nearest the law school), Lincoln Park, Logan Square, or, um…I think there was one more.

Anyway, this goes out to all my Chicagoland readers:  what can you tell me about how these neighborhoods really are? 

Here’s our checklist-in-progress of needs:
1)Safe, non-ghetto (preferably with a lot of students like ourselves–doesn’t have to be ritzy at all, just not dangerous)
2)We’d like to be able to keep one car.  Both might be nice, but at least one.  But even that’s not a hard-and-fast, if we end up someplace close enough to the El and to shopping, work, school, etc.
Which brings me to 3) Close to the El.  I’m very gung-ho and enthusiastic about public transportation and am already comfortable with the El.  I’d much rather use it, than drive, an day.
4)Hopefully a neighborhood where rent isn’t exorbitant.  We’re willing to live farther away from campus in exchange for the possibility of a 2-bedroom or larger one-bedroom place.
5)I really like trees.  And grass.  Even if they’re stubby city trees and brown city grass.  But I’ve gotta have ’em.  I also really dislike those big shiny high-rise apartments.  A building that’s smaller and more friendly-looking would be preferable.  And old.  I like old buildings.  Mm-hmm.
6)Cats!  The cats will move with us.  This is not up for debate.  Pet-friendly is an absolute must-have!

Jeff and I will “really” figure this out when we make our apartment-hunting trip in April, but I’m hoping some of you lovely ladies can give us a leg up.  Are there any neighborhoods/communities that sound right up our alley?  Are any of the ones I listed above pretty bad?  I’ve heard Lincoln Park can be dangerous, but that sounds more like a case of “be aware and you’ll be fine” rather than “stay the hell away from here if you want to leave with your wallet and body intact”.  Right?

I’m also starting to get really excited about that big apartment hunting trip…assuming we decide on Northwestern, that is!   I love house/apartment hunting.  I don’t think we can afford to work with a broker, so it’ll be a lot of work on our ends!

Thanks for your advice, ladies–I appreciate it, as always!


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