Monday, July 28, 2008

South Side Envy

So I went to a friend's housewarming this weekend and they have a 1500 square foot apartment, 2 br, 2 ba with hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, a huge island counter in the kitchen, walk-in closet in the master br, basically just ballin' out of control.

They're paying about double what I pay for a studio and I'm thinking 1) Do I need to get a roommate and 2) Do I need to move to the south side to get more [space] for my money?

Everyone knows that in Chicago you get space on the south side and location on the north side. A good location for me means a place where you don't necessarily need a car. There's a plethora of Starbucks, bookstores, shops and drug stores. It's close to various methods of public transportation and cabs are plentiful in the neighborhood. It's also safe (enough) to walk solo late at night without really worrying about watching your back.

There's a place on the south side where you can get space AND location for a reasonable price: Hyde Park.

RedEye just reported that a local study named Hyde Park the #3 most diverse neighborhood in the Chi. That's what's up! [Lakeview didn't make the top 20... oh well] I just re-signed my Lakeview lease, but on one hand should I get an offer good enough, I may sublet this piece, so I can walk around my house without knocking stuff over (yeah, it's that small).

On the other hand, I didn't see any Argo Tea Cafes, American Apparel, Bobtail Ice Cream Shop, the one price cleaners, Jewel & Treasure Island within walking distance. LVAC ('cause I refuse to go to club Bally on 48th), I'm sure I could find a new nail shop, but oh how I'd miss Pink Polish.

I didn't see all the outdoor seating at my favorite restaurants, but maybe I wasn't looking too hard. I know Rainbow Beach or 63rd street beach is within walking distance of Hyde Park (right, southsiders?) and I'd always have a ride home because it seems everyone else lives on the south side. I dunno what I'm going to do. I LOVE my neighborhood, but I'm also longing for more space in my abode. I guess we'll find out where I really keep my treasure (space or location) when I make that purchase next fall.

So what's the most important for you? When choosing a place to live, if you had to choose between a lot of space or a more walker-friendly location, what'd you choose? And don't say you'd choose both, you have to pick!


Reese Johnson said...

honestly, im ready to trade and have a little more walker friendly surroundings, but i have always been out south, so i need the change personally. i would say check out some neighborhoods, dont walk around in bronzeville or hyde park for that matter at night, its just a lil diff out here

kay* said...

i'm in the same position right now - looking for my first apartment and having the most difficult time! as it seems i cant find one apartment that meets my requirements - and i'm not THAT choosy...well, not really...

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

I love this post!! I've missed my Tea & Such!! :-)

If I lived at home, I'd want to live in Hyde Park. It seems like you get the diversity, transportation, shops, stores, etc.

To answer your question, I'd pick a place with less space, but more walker-friendly!

Paris said...

I know I'm late on this one, but I have to say that I'd go wtih a more walker-friendly neighborhood.

When I used to live up north, I drove, however, I did realize the cute boutiques (Nevermind), consignment shops, salons and the variety of restaurants it had to offer. Hyde Park is lacking, there are a few good restaurants and a couple of cool lounges, but I like options (especially in walking distance). Space is cool but only when and if you're entertaining a lot of company, which I rarely do, so I'm currently thinking if I will be resigning my lease.