The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

So Where You Living Now?

By Scott Smith in News on Oct 23, 2006 7:00PM

Topics great and small are fodder for discussions here in the Chicagoist offices. In getting to know some of our new writers last week, we were having a discussion about neighborhoods. Surprisingly, we discovered that some of us didn’t actually hang out on the streets where we live. More than one person said something along the lines of “I like this about my neighborhood, but I don’t like that.”

This revelation naturally led us to ask: “Why do you live where you live?”

2006_10_chicagoapartment.jpgIn recent years, there’s been lots of talk about more people moving downtown and into the city proper instead of heading out to the ‘burbs. Though it won’t be long before we’re using this Rent vs. Buy Calculator, nearly all of us are childless and property-less right now, so the usual questions of schools and property taxes didn’t enter into our decision-making. In fact, our choice of an apartment had more to do with issues a bit lower on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We all need shelter, so rent was a big determiner –- the less, the better –- and since many of us don’t own cars, the proximity to a grocery store was important, too, since we’re all growing boys and girls.

Speaking of getting around, access to public transportation was another factor. We might complain about the CTA, but that’s only because we really notice when it’s not getting us where we need to go. For those of us who do drive, the commute was also an issue.

Still, there were those of us who preferred to live close to the places we socialize. Nearly everyone cited restaurants, bars, live music, places to chill and even parks as something they loved about their neighborhood, but they often didn’t find those until after they moved.

As some of us are looking to move, we’ve been checking out these Google mashups to locate various services around our new prospective places. And, of course, others have opinions as to how to find a good place.

But you tell us: where do you live, and why? Do you have a love-hate relationship with your ‘hood?

Image: Homemade Ravioli