Saturday, December 08, 2007

On Hyde Park

Just enjoyed my first real free day (free of newborn caretaking, cross-country moving angst, homework or recruiting) since Baby Y was born and thought I'd post my thoughts on living in Hyde Park which I've been meaning to write about. It's been so great to have a family day and spend time with Baby Y without worrying about what I wasn't accomplishing.

Many students prefer to live up north, even more so in the second year, but I have absolutely no regrets about choosing Hyde Park and would encourage any students with families to think about doing the same.

The Good

  • My commute = 5 minutes on bike (preferred mode), 20-30 walking. Beat that!
  • My commute = 2-4 miles exercise a day. Good for me, good for the environment ...
  • Or you can take a free university shuttle
  • Metra will get you to Millennium Station (downtown) in 15 minutes for $2.15.
  • Or you can take one of the express buses which will get you downtown in 20-30 minutes.
  • And on good days, the Lake Shore bike path will get you to Indiana (going south) or downtown by bike or foot
  • Speaking of exercise, students can use the very excellent Ratner Gym, spouses can join for $105/year.
  • You can take ballet at Hyde Park School of Ballet at student prices - $85 for 8
  • But even better, ballet classes are FREE at Ida Noyes with UBallet
  • Great old buildings and trees and neighborhood feel
  • $5 movies at Doc Films
  • For the cost of a closet sized one bedroom downtown we rent a 2 bed, 2.5 bath, 1000 sq ft, two story, hardwood floor, skylighted, in unit W/D, DW, stainless steel appliance equipped apartment on a quiet, leafy street down here. Works for me.
  • For food: Hyde Park Produce, Hyde Park Wines, Pizza Capri, Medici (prefer the restaurant to the bakery), University Market, Salonica, Istria Cafe, still discovering ...
  • On campus: Rockefeller Chapel, Robie House (tour is over priced but they need the money!), Smart Museum, Oriental Museum, university libraries, interesting speakers such as Pinker or Dawkins
  • Diverse, well-educated and interesting population

The Bad

  • While I have always felt safe in the neighborhood, the recent shootings don't really help disprove the idea that it's not a safe area. I've never had a problem and the university police are very visible, but one does need to be careful.
  • Lack of commerce. I can live without hip bars or entertainment but I do really miss having a good upscale grocery around. We do some shopping at the poor beleaguered Co-Op, buy whatever we can at Hyde Park Produce which is expanding soon, make twice monthly trips up north to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and augment all that with

We found our apartment on Craig's List. There are a few high rises down here (Regent's Park is a favorite, especially for internationals since they make leasing from afar pretty easy) but we're not high rise sort of people and happily found a retro, low-rise to call home. We tried using an agent with Colfax Realties (MBA Properties) but she was a disaster. I don't recommend them at all. There is university grad housing which some MBA students use, especially internationals, but we weren't sure that the quality would be to our liking and you don't really get to pick your unit. Our apartment is actually located right next to many of the grad housing buildings. We park on the street which isn't ideal but I hate paying for parking.

Hope that helps any of you future GSBers.

No comments: