Next Chapter: Chicago.

You may have noticed that I’ve been doing some interviewing and struggling with a few job decisions. I love a lot of things about my current job, but location sadly isn’t one of them, and it obviously isn’t something that can be fixed. I want to live in a city during this time in my life, and I really can’t do that from this northern-suburb job (without going back to the hour commute I used to have). I started job hunting pretty casually a few months ago, and this past week things finally fell into place. I had two offers to choose from—one that would’ve led me back to Milwaukee, and one that would lead to Chicago.

I went for the Chicagoland option, and I’m really excited about it. Even though I’m a Chicago suburb kid, I love Milwaukee, and I was tempted. But, in the end, it just seemed wiser to start over elsewhere, and Chicago life has been calling to me for quite awhile. This job is with my favorite age group (early childhood!) and with a program I am inspired by. It feels like things are coming together!

My current lease isn’t up for awhile, sadly, and I’m a bit undecided right now—may try to sublease my place, may hold out until November/December. In any case, I’m obviously spending every free moment browsing Chicago apartments online. Ah, fantasy real estate searches. Would love to hear from Chicagoans current/former: how did you find your place? Sites you recommend/would avoid? Did you prefer to walk around and look for signs? Neighborhoods you love/hate? I have friends in Lakeview/Lincoln Park and have always liked both neighborhoods…am intrigued by Bucktown/Wicker Park/Logan Square. Would be nice to be closer to the expressway/north for my commute, want to be near an eL stop. Anywho, any and all bits o’ wisdom would be appreciated!

Here’s to the next chapter: a new job, a new city. I can’t wait to be able to walk and take the L everywhere, to discover new favorite coffee shops, restaurants, bars. To be mere minutes away from friends from childhood, undergrad, graduate school. Things are looking up.


~ by Elena Marie on July 9, 2012.

17 Responses to “Next Chapter: Chicago.”

  1. first off – YAY! sounds like a great job match for you! congrats!

    i’ve always used craigslist for finding apts, but trulia is good for that, too, I believe (that’s where i do all my fantasy house shopping, ha! but they have rentals as well).

    another hood you may want to add to the list to check out is Ukrainian Village. it’s close to WP/Bucktown, but is a little quieter, close to everything and really cute. i lived there for 5 years and it was by far the safest hood i’ve lived in. i miss it every day!

    good luck on your search! i’m glad you’ll be close, soon! you can always email me if you need info or anything!!! xo

  2. How exciting! Good for you for taking charge of your life and making positive changes! Congratulations!

  3. YAY!!! I am thrilled about your decision and so happy for you! Craigslist and the Chicago Reader have helped me but I have found my last 2 places by walking the neighborhoods. I also like the Ravenswood area. Let me know if you need a buddy to look for places with you!

  4. Yay! Very exciting! I’ve never been to Chicago, but everyone tells me it’s a fabulous city. You strike me as a city girl and I hope everything goes well. Good luck with the apartment hunt!

  5. Congratulations! Although I do love Milwaukee obviously, Chicago is amazing. I’m happy for you that you get to get back to city life!

  6. That is great news!! Congratulations! Can’t wait to celebrate this with you.

  7. CONGRATS! i’m so excited for you! you should check out walkscore to compare apartments…it makes it really easy to see proximity to transit and rates pedestrian-friendliness.

  8. Hooray! (I’m a frequent reader and first time commenter.) I just wanted to say congratulations, and best wishes on this new adventure!

  9. Hey darlin! I’m a long-time lurker but wanted to pop out to say congratulations and hurray! I did my PhD work in the Chicago area (I lived and worked in Evanston) and loved the experience. I can understand your desire to live in the city now, and I think Chicago is a great place to do some more growing up (at least that’s how I felt when I lived there–I hope that doesn’t sound patronizing).

    Best of luck and have fun 🙂

    PS My favorite Chicago neighborhood is Andersonville, a fun and vibrant area but with a laid-back vibe and gorgeous streets. Lots of good shopping and eating there too!

  10. We just moved to Chicage a week ago and so far it has really been great.
    As for apartment hunting: we used Craigslist, but pretty quickly realized that the majority of apartments are put on the market by realtors (not the case in CA where we moved from), once we had contacted a realtor about a place we liked on Craigslist, he or she often offered to show similar places, as well. We now live in Lincoln Park, because it’s the easiest commute for the boyfriend (to Hyde Park), but we really liked Ukrainian Village/Wickerpark/Bucktown a lot and rents are cheaper. I would really make it depend on where you work to have an easy commute. Good luck with finding an apartment!

  11. HOORAY! You know my feelings toward Chicago (I miss it every day and can’t stop playing the “But in Chicago it’s like this” game while I live here in DC).

    I lived on the cusp of North Center and Lakeview near the Irving Park brown line. The location is wonderful: the beauty of Lakeview without the crazy rent or mass of Cubs fans and their traffic. Great food, super safe neighborhood. Of course, I don’t know how crazy it would be to get to 90 from Irving Park Road. I was always headed towards Lakeshore Drive.

    I found the place through Chicago Apartment Finders, but have also heard good things about CAF is great because they’ll shuttle you around to 15-20 apartments and they really get a handle of what you’re looking for after seeing a few places.

    Best of luck!

    Of course, C & I are trying to move back to Chicago starting in October, so we’ll be pretty much in the same boat. 🙂

  12. Welcome back! I noticed more Chicago posts, but just thought you were visiting. We’ll have to get together once you’re all settled in. Congrats on your new job too. 🙂

  13. Congratulations on this new chapter of your life (from a fellow speechie)! I hope that this move provides you with both fulfillment and excitement!

  14. Thank you so much, everyone! 🙂

  15. That’s exciting! When I was fresh out of college, I definitely wanted to live in a big city while I was young and single. So I moved to LA a month after I graduated. One of the best decisions in my life! Good luck to you!

  16. That is so exciting! Congratulations Elena!!!


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