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View Poll Results: What do you think of Chicago?

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  • The Windy City is heaven on earth.

    16 43.24%
  • Could take it or leave it.

    8 21.62%
  • I f***ing hate this place. Get me out!

    5 13.51%
  • Never been.

    8 21.62%
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  1. #1
    Jewish Media Conspirator asherlighn's Avatar
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    Chicago, whats it like?

    I have never been to Chicago, but it looks like I'll be accepting a graduate position there. Any impressions of the city would be awesome. Explain why you like/dislike it.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    The fact is that most peoples sense of what rides well is easily overcome by their sense of what looks cool.

  2. #2
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    Never been, but a friend of mine is from their and has major raves for the place. Besides, someplace known for their pizza can't be bad.
    Last edited by wfin2004; 07-21-07 at 01:25 PM. Reason: duh

  3. #3
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    The place is huge. Not just big, but freaking huge.

    And very flat. I also hear the weather is pretty harsh both in the summer and the winter, but it's always been pretty moderate when I've been in town.

    The people I've met seem decent enough though.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  4. #4
    Up on the Down Side CyLowe97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
    And very flat. I also hear the weather is pretty harsh both in the summer and the winter, but it's always been pretty moderate when I've been in town.
    Summers in Chicago are awesome. If you live near Lake Michigan, it's always about 5-10 degrees cooler in the summertime.

    If you can live through a Chicago winter, the summers make it all worth while. Everyone is out and about, there are street festivals somewhere in a neighborhood throughout the summer, and it's just a wonderful time to live in the city.

    I lived in the city for 5 years and the sheer availability of concerts, shows, restaurants, bars, museums, sporting events, etc., made it worth the extra rent and hassles with parking a car. I'd have ditched the car, had I not worked out in the 'burbs.

    If you have a bike, Chicago is very ridable, given it's flat as a pancake, traffic goes about as fast as a bike anyway, and the lakefront path is there.

  5. #5
    Jewish Media Conspirator asherlighn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyLowe97 View Post
    Summers in Chicago are awesome. If you live near Lake Michigan, it's always about 5-10 degrees cooler in the summertime.

    If you can live through a Chicago winter, the summers make it all worth while. Everyone is out and about, there are street festivals somewhere in a neighborhood throughout the summer, and it's just a wonderful time to live in the city.

    I lived in the city for 5 years and the sheer availability of concerts, shows, restaurants, bars, museums, sporting events, etc., made it worth the extra rent and hassles with parking a car. I'd have ditched the car, had I not worked out in the 'burbs.

    If you have a bike, Chicago is very ridable, given it's flat as a pancake, traffic goes about as fast as a bike anyway, and the lakefront path is there.
    What are the winters like? I grew up in Maine where winter starts at the end of October and ends around April with lots of snow and ice storms and it is never above freezing. Is Chicago much better than that?
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    The fact is that most peoples sense of what rides well is easily overcome by their sense of what looks cool.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Chicago , been there 2-3 times. It's the home of the nation's comedy school . A major theater town. Home of America's major cuisine schools. Great museums. Yet, I'd hate to be there in january.

  7. #7
    Up on the Down Side CyLowe97's Avatar
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    If you can handle Maine, Chicago will be a piece of cake. Maybe two or three big snows in a winter in Chicago. It's cold from November until April, for sure, but nothing as bad as the Northeast.

    People head up to Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan to do their snowmobiling and ice fishing.

  8. #8
    commuter all star peregrine's Avatar
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    I've been there a few times as a teenager and really liked the architecture downtown. The cultural life was a lot richer than Portland's (museums, concerts, operas, festivals, plays, you name it) and I very much enjoyed lake Michigan.
    One thing that irritated me considerably was the traffic. If you travel from the suburbs, it can take forever! to get anywhere, and by the time we got there, all my enthusiasm had evaporated. That's just me, though, and as a graduate student I doubt you'll live too far from school.
    I've never been there in winter but I have heard it's brutal. Still, if you're from Maine, you could probably handle it

    Btw, out of curiosity, where would you be accepting a position, and in what field?
    Last edited by peregrine; 07-21-07 at 04:16 PM.

  9. #9
    Up on the Down Side CyLowe97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peregrine View Post
    One thing that irritated me considerably was the traffic. If you travel from the suburbs, it can take forever! to get anywhere, and by the time we got there, all my enthusiasm had evaporated.
    Yes. Traffic can be obnoxious, especially getting stuck on an expressway or tollway when it's not even rush hour.

    Live as close to your work/school as you possibly can to preserve your sanity and get 2-3 hours a day of your life back.

  10. #10
    Up on the Down Side CyLowe97's Avatar
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    Almost forgot the most important thing about Chicago: The Chicago-style Hot Dog. Check out this thread in the Great Lake sub-forum.

    It's vital to know this information!

  11. #11
    Jewish Media Conspirator asherlighn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peregrine View Post
    I've been there a few times as a teenager and really liked the architecture downtown. The cultural life was a lot richer than Portland's (museums, concerts, operas, festivals, plays, you name it) and I very much enjoyed lake Michigan.
    One thing that irritated me considerably was the traffic. If you travel from the suburbs, it can take forever! to get anywhere, and by the time we got there, all my enthusiasm had evaporated. That's just me, though, and as a graduate student I doubt you'll live too far from school.
    I've never been there in winter but I have heard it's brutal. Still, if you're from Maine, you could probably handle it

    Btw, out of curiosity, where would you be accepting a position, and in what field?
    Economics at U of Chicago. Im not sure if I want to jump right into grad school after getting my bach. The other option is a stint in the Peace Corps then grad school.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    The fact is that most peoples sense of what rides well is easily overcome by their sense of what looks cool.

  12. #12
    Member patachenca412's Avatar
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    i just got back from chicago last week. i went for a weekend with my wife. we hung out at the beach all day sunday, and it was incredible. i probably saw at least 100 triathletes training, and hundreds and hundreds of cyclists. don't know if i could stand the winter weather, but i will definitely go next summer! i loved it!
    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead.

  13. #13
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I like Chicago, for the most part....

    There are some areas I don't, but that's life in the big city!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  14. #14
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Fun town - and you don't have to drop major cash to have fun.
    1. Excellent blues bars.
    2. Bars stay open to 4 or 5am.
    3. Outstanding restaurant scene both for haute cuisine and joe sixpack stuff.
    4. Lake Michigan is perfect for sailing.
    5. Living in town won't break the bank / you don't need a car.
    6. Laughing at Cubs fans.
    7. Diverse economy (good for getting jobs once you're out of school)
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

  15. #15
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    What SpongeDad said +1000. Chicago, Chicago... it's a great city.

  16. #16
    Chief Slacking Officer ms.gio's Avatar
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    How could I not love my city.

    Chicago:
    the best pizza on the planet.
    beautiful lake.
    beautiful skyline.
    the supreme melting pot of cultures.

    For tourists:
    Great museum campus especially the Art Institute and the Shedd Aquarium
    Millennium/Grant Park
    Zoos (Lincoln Park and Brookfield)
    Awesome lake front path
    The Sears Tower and Hancock Observatory
    North Ave. beach
    Blues clubs on the north side such as the Green Mill
    Music Venues
    Water Tower
    The Magnificent Mile (Michigan Ave.)
    A great bike friendly city
    Not one but two ball parks.
    Summer and Winter Festivals

    What can I say, Chicago is an amazing city. I would recommend anyone to come to Chicago.
    Last edited by ms.gio; 07-23-07 at 11:40 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by x136 View Post
    Giolander: There can be only one.
    Giodome: Several impostors enter, only the real one leaves?

  17. #17
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ms.gio View Post
    I would recommend anyone to come to Chicago.
    I'll have to think about doing that one of these days...


  18. #18
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ms.gio View Post
    How could I not love my city.

    Chicago:
    the best pizza on the planet.
    beautiful lake.
    beautiful skyline.
    the supreme melting pot of cultures.

    For tourists:
    Great museum campus especially the Art Institute and the Shedd Aquarium
    Millennium/Grant Park
    Zoos (Lincoln Park and Brookfield)
    Awesome lake front path
    The Sears Tower and Hancock Observatory
    North Ave. beach
    Blues clubs on the north side such as the Green Mill
    Music Venues
    Water Tower
    The Magnificent Mile (Michigan Ave.)
    A great bike friendly city
    Not one but two ball parks.
    Summer ad Winter Festivals

    What can I say, Chicago is an amazing city. I would recommend anyone to come to Chicago.
    You forgot one MAJOR excellent thing that Chicago has.........

    Ms. Gio
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  19. #19
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asherlighn View Post
    Economics at U of Chicago. Im not sure if I want to jump right into grad school after getting my bach. The other option is a stint in the Peace Corps then grad school.
    This is not first-hand knowledge, but just what I have heard: U of C and the immediately surrounding few blocks is a very pleasant oasis in the middle of a sea of sh*t, as in a pretty nasty area in all directions. If what I heard was true, there are two viable housing options in terms of safety: live right in Hyde Park (I thinks that's the name of the U of C neighborhood) or live a pretty good distance away and run the gauntlet to and from campus.

    Can anyone out there confirm/refute this for the OP? I'd be delighted to be proven wrong about this, but it seems to me this is pretty important info to have.
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  20. #20
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ms.gio View Post
    Not one but two ball parks.
    This is the first time I have ever heard a Chicagoan acknowledge that there are two ballparks, let alone two actual teams, in Chicagoland. More so even than Yankee and Met fans, Cub and White Sox fans I have known detest each other's team and would no more set foot willingly in each other's home park (except in the last few years for ChiN vs. ChiA inter-league games) than they would shove a red hot poker up their bungholes. In fact, I've known one or two who would go for the poker over the enemy's stadium without a second thought.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Sledbikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpongeDad View Post
    Fun town - and you don't have to drop major cash to have fun.

    6. Laughing at Cubs fans.
    if anything theyre laughing at you
    riding and pimpin again

  22. #22
    Pax
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    Agree with CyLowe97 and ms. gio 100% ...I adore Chicago! I'm living 130 miles south of there now and get to the city as often as possible, but man o man do I miss living there!!

  23. #23
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
    This is not first-hand knowledge, but just what I have heard: U of C and the immediately surrounding few blocks is a very pleasant oasis in the middle of a sea of sh*t, as in a pretty nasty area in all directions. If what I heard was true, there are two viable housing options in terms of safety: live right in Hyde Park (I thinks that's the name of the U of C neighborhood) or live a pretty good distance away and run the gauntlet to and from campus.

    Can anyone out there confirm/refute this for the OP? I'd be delighted to be proven wrong about this, but it seems to me this is pretty important info to have.
    Certainly true through the late '90s. Hyde Park (said oasis) has improved in recent years and the livable housing stock is broader but you're still surrounded by some pretty grinding poverty and crime on 3 sides (lake is on the 4th). I lived on the border back in '92 (goyz in the hood, as it were) and my downstairs neighbor was murdered while we slept.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

  24. #24
    Bring May Flowers aprilm's Avatar
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    I love Chicago, to visit... not sure I'd want to live there, though.

  25. #25
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asherlighn View Post
    Economics at U of Chicago. Im not sure if I want to jump right into grad school after getting my bach. The other option is a stint in the Peace Corps then grad school.
    Things have changed. Never would have expected a UofC econ grad to also think of the peace corp.

    FYI- the doctoral program is really tough - not fake tough like professional school (JD,MD,MBA). The program is extremely focused on turning out the very best, prize winning young economists. Decades long PhD projects aren't rare and no one will care if you drop out. I wish I could show you pictures of the econ grads at the ceremony - they looked like they had been beaten on. But if you want to say you're the best of the best, it's a place where you can prove that claim against tough competition.

    The terminal masters program is survivable if that's what you're interested in. Also, if you've got a poverty bent, the school of social work is pretty good on policy matters, so you might be able to take courses over there as well.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

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