I'm moving to Chicago! Any advice?
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ssrock64

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After a few years in Alabama, my studies are taking me back to my cold original home in the Midwest. This time, the destination is Chicago. I move in a couple months, and I'd like to get an idea of what to expect before getting there. I've spent a few brief stints in Hamburg and NYC in the past, but haven't lived within a large city permanently before. In preparation for moving and downsizing my living space to a small apartment, I'm selling off my car, my vinyl rig, and other large unnecessary items locally.
 
I'll be living on the near south side, but I plan to spend most of my free time in the Loop. I would live in the Loop if it were entirely up to me, but money dictates where I'm able to comfortably afford housing with enough space for my belongings. I'm interested in finding audio shops and record stores in and around downtown, with a focus on headphone audio and CDs since I'm forgoing speakers and vinyl in my new living situation. If anyone wants to recommend a shop within the Loop or in other easy-to-get-to neighborhoods, I'm open to any suggestion. I also prefer record stores with a significant selection of used albums, and perhaps a focus on independent labels. I'm always trying to discover new artists to enjoy.
 
I don't have an interest in bar culture, but I would enjoy some recommendations of cafes at which I can sit down, have a sip of coffee or tea, and work on my laptop in relative peace. Locations in the Loop or the near south side are preferred, but it's possible that I could get attached to a specific location somewhere completely different.
 
In the first few weeks after moving, I plan on traveling north to Kenosha to see a friend of mine. So far the rough plan is for me to take the L as far north as it goes and have her pick me up in her car there, but if the northernmost stop is still deep within an urban area or a bad neighborhood, I may need to get further north into the suburbs. I don't want her to have to drive too far into the city to pick me up and bring me to Kenosha, if possible.
 
Finally, any general tips about life in Chicago are greatly appreciated.
 
Thanks! I look forward to seeing some of you at meets over the coming years.
 
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billybob_jcv

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My advice: Buy a warm coat. :wink:
 
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ssrock64

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My advice: Buy a warm coat.

I've still got a couple coats left from before my last move (when I lived in Green Bay), but I'm stocking up on long pants and fall jackets right now. Winter coats will come later, once I'm settled in.
 
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kh600rr

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Watch out for the South Side. Very bad area
 
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ssrock64

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Watch out for the South Side. Very bad area
I wouldn't generalize about the entire South Side, but there's definitely areas to avoid. From what I've gathered, Bridgeport is pretty safe and the neighborhood immediately in the vicinity of UChicago is alright, but going past 18th on your own at night isn't advised unless you know the area. It's a shame, too, since there's some great restaurants scattered between 25th and 40th.
 
My apartment is just south of the Loop, but still fairly close to downtown. It doesn't quite quality as the sort of "South Side" you're referring to.
 
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kh600rr

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Nope, that's a good area. Good luck!! You will get to learn the area's
 
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Ishcabible

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  I wouldn't generalize about the entire South Side, but there's definitely areas to avoid. From what I've gathered, Bridgeport is pretty safe and the neighborhood immediately in the vicinity of UChicago is alright, but going past 18th on your own at night isn't advised unless you know the area. It's a shame, too, since there's some great restaurants scattered between 25th and 40th.
 
That's pretty accurate. One of my closest friends that goes to UChicago has given me the same advice.
 
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ssrock64

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That's pretty accurate. One of my closest friends that goes to UChicago has given me the same advice.

When I visited to look at some apartments, I ended up around 26th and Stewart at Ricobene's, and that neighborhood (is it technically in Bronzeville?) seemed safe enough, if mostly residential and not much worth going to.
 
So, does anybody have record stores or audio shops to recommend?
 
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