Knock wrote:Any safety tips for someone who has never lived in a big city? Is it safe to take the L (El?) to and from Hyde Park?
How cold is it really, and what cold-weather gear is a must have?
What's your thoughts on Hyde Park?
Hyde Park, imo, is a pretty neighborhood and pleasant to walk around. There's a lot of nice older houses plus a lot of open space - the Midway, the Point and other parks. Aesthetically, I really enjoyed living in Hyde Park - it was my first experience living in a city and personally, I found the environment pretty ideal. But it left a lot to be desired practically.
My biggest pet peeve, representative of Hyde Park in general, was the food. The restaurants are okay, not really good, and limited in number. The restaurants I went to semi-frequently were Salonica, Noodles, Harolds, Sammy's, Rajun Cajun, the Med, Vallois and Thai 55/the Snail. I didn't strongly dislike any of them at first, but really grew tired of going to the same places over and over. Hutch, the university run food court, is horrible. Bad, overpriced food and unpleasant service. I hated going there so much, but often had no time to go elsewhere when I had morning and afternoon classes. The grocery stores are similarly lacking. Treasure Island has the worst layout of any store I've been in and is over-priced. Hyde Park Produce is nicer, particularly for the deli, but is small. Because of these alternatives I ended up eating at Subway or Potbelly's probably 4-5 times a week.
In theory, you could leave Hyde Park and go somewhere nicer to eat, but as people have said above, public transportation out of there is kind of a hassle. When you factor in how much work you have, it becomes really tough to leave. I found that even when I did have free time, I was so burnt out from working that I didn't feel like going out.
On safety, the same things that make the neighborhood nice to walk around during the day, make it dangerous at night. A lot of the streets aren't well-lit, the parks aren't at all, so there are a lot of places that are difficult to police. Plus, a lot of families live in Hyde Park, so the streets generally become pretty empty by 9 or 10. All of this makes it slightly dangerous to walk alone at night (I was mugged on time).
Overall, I loved the school though. Hyde Park has many faults, but it is, for better or worse, a part of the school's rigor.