Living at Chicago

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
User avatar
tintin
Posts: 952
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:26 am

Living at Chicago

Postby tintin » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:33 pm

hi all. I'm wondering if anyone can give me an idea of what living in chicago is like. I'm leaning towards chicago (at the moment anyway) but I have a lot of questions about the living situations.

-what is the gym like there? busy / crowded / old? do you have to pay extra to use it or is that included in student fees? how close is it to the law school?

-if anyone can give me info about chicago's student housing apartments this would be fantastic. i'm not referring to the new grad building, but the apartment buildings that are scattered around hyde park. they seem pretty cheap, and some have parking and allow pets and are furnished, all of which would be great for me. some of them seem fairly close (walking distance) to the law school. i imagine some are older / grosser than others, but ANY info about these would be super helpful!

-if i bring my car, is getting a street parking permit feasible and a good plan? can i just leave my car on the street in the winter? im not sure how things work with the snow since i'm from CA. is it even safe to park long-term on the street in hyde park?

thanks to anyone who can help enlighten me about these things...

User avatar
lilybbloom
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:19 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby lilybbloom » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:50 pm

the gym is about 4 blocks from the law school (and it's on the bus route that goes to the law school from Regents)- it doesn't cost extra, it's pretty new, and it's never overly crowded.

there is a lot of inexpensive housing in Hyde Park- but personally I would advise you to find something that is along the 172 or 171 bus route, and nothing south of the law school or west of Drexel.

street parking can be difficult around the law school unless you get there before 8 am. I know at least one person whose car was broken into while it was parked on the street. I wouldn't advise street parking. plus, if you don't have covered parking, digging out from snow can be a real pain in the ass.

i know saving money is a plus, but honestly there are a lot of perks to living in more expensive housing (Regents, or similar like the Algonquin, or New Grad, etc.) and compared to other areas in the city, even those options are not that bad. I pay about $800/month for the master bed/bath in a 2 bedroom apartment in Regents.

Regents allows cats and smallish dogs.

User avatar
AngryAvocado
Posts: 776
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:22 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby AngryAvocado » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:03 pm

lilybbloom wrote:the gym is about 4 blocks from the law school (and it's on the bus route that goes to the law school from Regents)- it doesn't cost extra, it's pretty new, and it's never overly crowded.

there is a lot of inexpensive housing in Hyde Park- but personally I would advise you to find something that is along the 172 or 171 bus route, and nothing south of the law school or west of Drexel.

street parking can be difficult around the law school unless you get there before 8 am. I know at least one person whose car was broken into while it was parked on the street. I wouldn't advise street parking. plus, if you don't have covered parking, digging out from snow can be a real pain in the ass.

i know saving money is a plus, but honestly there are a lot of perks to living in more expensive housing (Regents, or similar like the Algonquin, or New Grad, etc.) and compared to other areas in the city, even those options are not that bad. I pay about $800/month for the master bed/bath in a 2 bedroom apartment in Regents.

Regents allows cats and smallish dogs.


Nice info, thanks. I didn't study much in UG (and my GPA reflected it) but when I did, I found I was much more productive studying in the library. Being in Regents, do you study primarily in the library or back in your room? Would you be comfortable studying late in the library and riding a later bus back to Regents, or would you say New Grad is TCR for someone who prefers to study on campus?

Scales of Justice
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:53 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby Scales of Justice » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:06 pm

I'm an undergrad at Chicago, but I take a lot of classes across the Midway at the law school and know a number of law students well.

So the gym. Ratner. It's nice and new and has a fairly underwhelming number of cardio machines, but it's only a few blocks away. Big pool, nice locker rooms. Henry Crown Field House, the old fitness facility, has some more cardio equipment and, thankfully, some heavy bags for those long, cold, grating days at the U of C. This is all included for U of C students, but if you're hardcore about working out (like when I was training for the marathon) beware of the 45 minute limits on machines. :shock:

The grad students apartments are pretty bare-bones and not that pleasant. You can find much nicer housing in non-University buildings, oftentimes for significantly cheaper. Parking is a good thing, I guess, but definitely think hard about whether or not you want to live in a building that is a) overpriced and b) not so nice. One great thing about Hyde Park is that nice apartments are pretty darn cheap, especially compared to what I'm used to at home in Boston. Look into these in addition to the University's offerings. I recommend Regents Park (where a lot of my friends live) or the Windermere (where I live). I live alone in a huge studio for $850 a month, but if you are willing to procure a nice roomie, you could live in a giant two bedroom for like, $600 a month. Much nicer digs than the University would put you in, and parking isn't terrible. Not easy, but a lot of buildings will rent you parking spaces too, for cheap.

Next year I am moving downtown, and a lot of law students live downtown or up north because Hyde Park is not so fun. Definitely something to consider from a quality of life standpoint, especially if you like city life. Hyde Park feels like a suburb, but with a lot more crime, and it's much more pleasant to live somewhere where you can enjoy city life in Chicago! There's a lot to do - just not down here. There's a lot of public transit that can get you to Hyde Park for school, and I know that the benefits will far outweigh the inconvenience of living downtown next year. Old Town, Lincoln Park, the West Loop, and the South Loop are all popular places to shack up. Look around at http://www.chicagoapartmentfinders.com.

If you do want to live in Hyde Park, there are lots of shuttles that get you around Hyde Park which come in very handy. Overall, I spend a lot of time at the law school because I like the atmosphere. The students are much more pleasant and attractive than the undergrads, and I've loved the professors I've had. Even though the South Side can be a drag, the U of C is a great school in a great city, and I hope I'll have the same results when I apply in a couple of years! Good luck!

User avatar
tintin
Posts: 952
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:26 am

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby tintin » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:26 pm

wow thanks for the great info guys! it sounds like finding an apartment with a dedicated and hopefully covered parking lot is a good idea.

i've looked at the regents site and it seems pretty overpriced since you have to pay a hefty fee for both the gym and parking. it would be nice to live with a built-in social scene there, but i don't think i want to be paying quite that much. i will check out the other private apartments listed on chicago's site.

i plan on either walking / busing to and from school, so hopefully i won't be parking at the school ever...

again, thanks for the info, super helpful!!

one other thing, the chicago law library is only open till like 9 or something most nights. do those who study late just do so in the school's main library?

User avatar
lilybbloom
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:19 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby lilybbloom » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:40 am

I study at home. But if you want to study in a library, I believe Regenstein and Harper are open late.

User avatar
cranberry
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:33 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby cranberry » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:57 pm

Scales of Justice wrote:The grad students apartments are pretty bare-bones and not that pleasant. You can find much nicer housing in non-University buildings, oftentimes for significantly cheaper.



what do you mean by this? what's unpleasant about them?

Scales of Justice
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:53 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby Scales of Justice » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:03 pm

cranberry wrote:
Scales of Justice wrote:The grad students apartments are pretty bare-bones and not that pleasant. You can find much nicer housing in non-University buildings, oftentimes for significantly cheaper.



what do you mean by this? what's unpleasant about them?



The University housing is just not nice. The buildings are like dorms. The undergrad dorms are similar - just not nice and not a good value. This is particularly unpalatable for students in the professional schools. Very few live in University housing - none that I know, in fact. Stunningly, only 1/3 of the undergrads do. If you want to invest a little extra effort to find housing it's definitely worth it.

User avatar
echoi
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:15 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby echoi » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:12 pm

Any opinion on the International House?

Scales of Justice
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:53 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby Scales of Justice » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:21 pm

echoi wrote:Any opinion on the International House?


I met a girl yesterday from California in the MAPSS program and she's not such a fan of living there. I have a friend who lives there and she says it's okay, but again, I don't think that many law students live there. Larger percentage of academic grad students and undergrads, so that's something to consider.

User avatar
tintin
Posts: 952
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:26 am

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby tintin » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:31 am

Scales of Justice wrote:
cranberry wrote:
Scales of Justice wrote:The grad students apartments are pretty bare-bones and not that pleasant. You can find much nicer housing in non-University buildings, oftentimes for significantly cheaper.



what do you mean by this? what's unpleasant about them?



The University housing is just not nice. The buildings are like dorms. The undergrad dorms are similar - just not nice and not a good value. This is particularly unpalatable for students in the professional schools. Very few live in University housing - none that I know, in fact. Stunningly, only 1/3 of the undergrads do. If you want to invest a little extra effort to find housing it's definitely worth it.



hm, they seemed pretty cheap to me (though I'm not really sure what the market is like in hyde park so i could def be wrong!) and would save the hassle of coming out to find a place and possibly buying furniture. are the buildings just generally old and run-down?

Scales of Justice
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:53 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby Scales of Justice » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:58 am

Hyde Park is very, very cheap :) Big perk.

User avatar
lilybbloom
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:19 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby lilybbloom » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:53 am

I would really suggest that you don't rent a place sight unseen (unless you know someone who lives in that building and can vouch for it, or if it's a high rise like Regents where there are a lot of pictures/testimonials online)- you want to make sure it's in a safe area, that the neighbors seem all right, the place isn't run-down, etc. Your first year is super stressful, and I really think it's worth it to find a place you'll feel comfortable in and that won't cause any unnecessary extra stress on top of everything else.

User avatar
agentzer0
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby agentzer0 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:03 am

thanks all for the good info. i'm a library-junkie for studying. I think the law library closes at midnight, are the other libraries open longer hours? Also is taking the bus back to Regents at midnight pretty easy/safe?

User avatar
ellewoods110
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:39 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby ellewoods110 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:19 am

I am planning to live in the western suburbs (with my mom) and commuting to the school everyday so I can save some money to get a condo in Lakeview before 2L begins. Am I going to really miss out on a lot of opportunities by not living on campus?

User avatar
neimanmarxist
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:41 am

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby neimanmarxist » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:21 pm

echoi wrote:Any opinion on the International House?


don't do it. just don't. I speak from experience.

agentzer0 wrote:Also is taking the bus back to Regents at midnight pretty easy/safe?


I believe that the 6 leaves you close to the door of regents. one of the 170 buses (free for chicago students) also goes very close. I don't think that Regents is really in the greatest area of Hyde Park, but it is definitely the fanciest housing available.

When I lived there, I lived a little closer to the University in a very nice brownstone complex. I paid $850 a month for a 700 sq. ft. one-bedroom with two doors to the outside (safer.) The place had hardwood floors, ceiling fans, heat included, and a new kitchen and a new bathroom. There are lots of quite decent apartments around Hyde Park that are not Regents, which is where I feel the B-School and Law School students blindly go because it's easy and quick and decent if you don't need to look.

Especially if you plan to live in Hyde Park for all three years, I would show up at some point, stay with a friend or in the I-house ($50/night) , and walk around Hyde Park. Alternately you could just contact the landlord that has bought virtually every single property in Hyde Park , MAC property management, and ask to see some apartments with your specifications. you'll save some cash over Regents, live in a nicer place, etc. this is their website: --LinkRemoved-- . People say they're a bad landlord but they were landlords to several of my friends who did just fine.

plus, show me a landlord that doesn't suck. I mean, really.

Best of luck. Atmosphere at the U of C is genuinely special.

User avatar
ontologyfail
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:53 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby ontologyfail » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:36 pm

Can anyone comment on apartment availability if you can't go look at places or sign a lease until late May? At my UG most of the good housing near the school was rented out for the next year before spring break.

Scales of Justice
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:53 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby Scales of Justice » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:38 pm

Not so with the vast majority of places in HP. Mac, one manager, will even hold one for a couple of months for you.

User avatar
neimanmarxist
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:41 am

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby neimanmarxist » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:43 pm

ontologyfail wrote:Can anyone comment on apartment availability if you can't go look at places or sign a lease until late May? At my UG most of the good housing near the school was rented out for the next year before spring break.


I showed up in August before School started, waltzed around Hyde Park and looked at apartments. All the managers were desperate to rent out another unit- it's not that tight a housing market at all. I had my pick of apartments, I even negotiated prices with the landlords. If you come at spring break you'll be fine.

User avatar
Fancy Pants
Posts: 231
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:32 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby Fancy Pants » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:48 pm

neimanmarxist wrote:
ontologyfail wrote:Can anyone comment on apartment availability if you can't go look at places or sign a lease until late May? At my UG most of the good housing near the school was rented out for the next year before spring break.


I showed up in August before School started, waltzed around Hyde Park and looked at apartments. All the managers were desperate to rent out another unit- it's not that tight a housing market at all. I had my pick of apartments, I even negotiated prices with the landlords. If you come at spring break you'll be fine.


Will you meet me in Chicago end of the month and walk around with me? :D

User avatar
tintin
Posts: 952
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:26 am

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby tintin » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:56 pm

that sounds pretty great. in my UG town too most of the good places were gone by early summer. if i go here sounds like it'll be a nice / cheap change!!

on a totally unrelated note, is anyone else afraid that they will be surrounded by people way way smarter, or is it just me??

User avatar
neimanmarxist
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:41 am

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby neimanmarxist » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:59 pm

fancy pants : aw! I'd like nothing more :)

User avatar
ontologyfail
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:53 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby ontologyfail » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:05 pm

tintin wrote: on a totally unrelated note, is anyone else afraid that they will be surrounded by people way way smarter, or is it just me??


Being surrounded by smart people sounds great; being graded on a curve with smart/er people, yeah, not so nice. This may well change, but at the moment, Chicago's bizarre grading scale sounds pretty nice.

redes
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:20 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby redes » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:12 pm

i heard from former students that regents is worth the price for 1Ls just because of the atmosphere. anyone care to agree or disagree?

User avatar
cranberry
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:33 pm

Re: Living at Chicago

Postby cranberry » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:33 pm

when i called regents they told me a whole section of the north tower was entirely law students. that might be good for some people, but it's way too much for me... also, regardless of the cap, not having heat included in the rent in chicago seems kind of ridiculous.

i spoke to someone in grad housing who likes it a lot; they said their building was well kept. maybe some buildings are better than others. it's interesting to read good things about MAC on here because i heard only negative things about mac management when i visited last year.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bourbon Democrat, Google Adsense [Bot], lymenheimer and 3 guests