“Awesome crew they [Bernard Movers] sent out. They moved me from a third floor apartment to my storage. They were quick and handled all my things with care.”
“I recommend Bernard Movers for anyone. I was given only three weeks to move from Chicago to New York [to] start my new job and Bernard Movers took a lot of stress out of this relocation experience … I had my two-bedroom apartment packed and onto the truck within three hours, then everything moved and unpacked neatly into my new place in New York after two days.”
Comments Off on Neighborhood Highlight: Logan Square
Logan Square is one of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods, known for its artistic community. Photo: Katherine Leonard
Unlike other metropolitans, Chicago is a city of neighborhoods—unique areas with personality, community spirit and features that make it feel like home. Some of Chicago’s neighborhoods are well known throughout the city for their unique attributes, and even out-of-state visitors recognize some of them. Lincoln Park boasts fantastic shopping and nightlife. Hyde Park is known for its beautiful boulevards and culture. Bucktown is home to a creative, young crowd. Then there’s Logan Square—a relatively young neighborhood growing in popularity.
Besides Logan Square’s pulsing art community, the neighborhood also supports a burgeoning foodie movement. Already known for its Latin food, Michelin-rated Longman & Eagle and renowned Lula Cafe, Logan Square has added to its food and bar repertoire in recent years. Visitors from far and wide stop by the gin joint Scofflaw, the craft cocktail bar Billy Sunday and fried chicken sensation Parson’s Chicken and Fish. The neighborhood’s taste for craft cocktails and tasty eats continues as the food and drink rumors continue to spread about what’s next for the area.
In addition to a nightlife that rivals Wicker Park and Wrigleyville, Logan Square also has a neighborly, at-home feel. Every Sunday, families descend on the Farmers Market. Wednesdays you may catch young and old camped out in front of the Comfort Station for an evening movie. And The 606 park project is spurring new excitement as construction begins on the 2.7-mile, multi-use recreational trail that borders the south side of the neighborhood.
Interest in investing in neighborhood also extends to the business world. Entrepreneurs and business owners not only choose to invest in Logan Square, but invest in multiple businesses as well. Owner and executive chef Matthias Merges owns both yakitori-inspired Yusho and bar Billy Sunday; Ann Kienzle opened both the toy store Play and gift store Shop 1021 along Milwaukee Avenue; and Esam Hani has owned Logan Square businesses for more than 12 years, including Latin brunch sensation Cafe con Leche (dinner locale D’Noche Restaurant at night), Red Star Liquors and the upcoming The Harding Tavern.
Whether you’re looking for artistic inspiration, a quick bite to eat or a place to start a family, the Chicago neighborhood of Logan Square has something for everyone.
Comments Off on Moving to Chicago: A Transplant’s Checklist
Tips for the new college grad moving to Chicago
You’ve graduated from college and decided you’re going to be moving to Chicago. Maybe you found your dream job, maybe you didn’t. Don’t worry, there’s time for that, but the time is now for finding your new apartment.
Finding an apartment when you’re moving to Chicago takes a bit of smarts, wiggle room, and let’s be honest – luck. Moves are hard, but here are a few tips to make it a little easier from someone not far removed from finding her first city apartment.
Apartment Hunting Priorities for the Transplant
When you’re moving to Chicago, packing your boxes is the simple step.
1. Nail down your price range.
As a general rule rent should not exceed 30% of your income. Use a rent calculator to find an apartment budget that works for you.
Those gorgeous downtown apartments with floor-to-ceiling windows may seem tempting, and so will a lot of neighborhood charmers, but your checkbook comes first. Start there and keep the door shut on budget-busting temptation (the parking tickets will take care of that).
2. What do you need (I mean, what do you really need)?
Is a parking spot important to you? Do you hate doing dishes or hitting the Laundromat?
A fine line (or an obvious one) separates what we need from what we want. You might expect a parking spot, an in-unit washer and dryer, and an updated bathroom, but when you’re moving to Chicago, you’ll have to accept that those are luxuries (unless you nailed a great job!).
It’s not difficult to find an apartment with heat and electricity included (consider that standard), but gas, cable and Internet are usually billed separately. The city is full of quirky and charming “historical” buildings, but they can come with a cost in the hot summer months, so budget for an air conditioning unit if necessary (and trust us, it IS). Updated appliances or in-apartment washer and dryer can add a couple hundred dollars to your monthly tab.
Have a pet? That’s probably going to cost you – if you find a place that allows them.
So decide what you need before you start your search. For more detailed budgeting information look at these average Chicago utility price ranges. If you want to get more specific, ask the landlord (or current tenants if you’re real lucky) if you can see any previous bills.
3. Choose your location carefully.
Will you be commuting to work? Do you have a vehicle or will you be taking public transportation? Chicago has quite a few transportation options. Study the CTA maps while looking at apartments to know where the closest El and bus stops are located. Even if you plan to drive to work, it’s much easier to commute via train or bus for spontaneous trips into the heart of Chicago as parking can get expensive ($6.75/hour in the loop!). And that time adds up – if you have to hop the train daily, a few blocks can add up to an hour a week walking to the train in a hurry.
You’ll also want to do your neighborhood research (what, you thought Chicago was all the same?). The city’s neighborhoods are famously unique, and you can surely find one that fits your style, but you’ll want to read up. Here’s a good start from the folks at Dreamtown.
There’s a lot more to consider, but hopefully this gives you a start and makes moving to Chicago a bit more stress-free! Please share your tips in the comments below, or catch me on Twitter if you have questions.
About the Author
Jessica Funcannon is a Social Media Community Manager at Lightspan Digital, a Chicago social media company. Funcannon moved to the city in the summer of 2012, taking a crash course in apartment hunting that sent her to the Edgewater neighborhood she loves. You can follow her on Twitter @jfuncannon or connect with her on Google+.