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Safe sections?

Zephyrhills
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149 posts
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Safe sections?

Our trip to CHI is coming up, and now with there being shootings in Chicago on the news my fiance is freaking out wanting to know if we'll be in the safe area. We are staying near the 1000 block of West Grand Ave and most of our things to do are in the loop or lincoln park. I think there's 2 things we wanted to do that are in the west side like Devon ave and Our Lady of Sorrows and a game store on W. Armitage.

I found this map of the suburbs and it looks like the places to stay away from are most of the dark pink and orange shaded areas, is this right?

familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/d/d8/C…

pgo
Chicago
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1. Re: Safe sections?

That's a map of Chicago neighborhoods (not suburbs) and you are more or less right that the central and north sections are where most visitors would want to spend their time. Your rental is on the near West side, and that area has been gentrifying for 10-15 years and is considered safe. But things happen in all neighborhoods; it's a big city, and the police are stretched thin with the problems in the worst sections. So, your boyfriend is wise to be on guard.

Our lady of Sorrows is best visited on a Sunday (they only hold mass in the large section on that day). Devon Avenue is on the far north side - could you mean Damen Avenue, which is close to your area?

Zephyrhills
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2. Re: Safe sections?

I think it's Devon ave that we are thinking of, where the Indian markets are. We spent 3 weeks in India and always like to go to "little india"'s around the country here. I understand it's a big city but we just want to stay in the more touristy areas to be safe. We will not be there on a sunday, we come in on monday morning and leave friday early afternoon so I guess our lady of sorrows is out.

Chicago
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3. Re: Safe sections?

Devon Avenue is on the far north side and you shouldn't have any problems there. It's a bit of a hike by public transit, as it involves both the el and the bus, but otherwise no issues. I walk through there from my house once in a while just for fun.

Just so you understand, your rental is in an area that has been gentrifying, but it's not in a touristy area.

I wouldn't necessarily rule out Our Lady of Sorrows, was there a particular reason that you wanted to visit there?

Zephyrhills
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4. Re: Safe sections?

Our lady of sorrows is just pretty. Whenever we go to a new city we scope out the cathedrals and love to walk through them, the architecture and history is cool to learn.

We bought 7 day rail passes, but not CTA would we need that to get to Devon ave? Where is the nearest drop off, like how far of a walk is it from the nearest drop I should say.

I understand that our rental isn't in touristy, but the rest of the places we are going are (lincoln park, the loop, museums, the pier, etc) and it's not far from all of those. We are taking the amtrak in so we tried to pick somewhere close to the places we wanted to see and close to the amtrak since we wont have a car.

Maine
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5. Re: Safe sections?

Your original post makes it sound as though you (or your husband) are nervous about anyplace with "West" in the address. You shouldn't be. The game store on West Armitage, for example, I'm assuming is Cat N' Mouse at 2212 W. Armitage and that's super fine. Devon Avenue, likewise, is "West" simply because everything that far north is west of the east-west street axis. Heck, Wrigley Field is 1060 West Addison Street.

The gang violence on the South and West Sides is really more in parts of the south and west sides several miles from the Loop area. On the map you referenced, for example, it's really more the Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Englewood, South Shore and Austin/Lawndale areas where things have been very hot lately. To give you a sense of scale, it's about 7 miles from the Loop to the yellow Hyde Park neighborhood to the south along the shoreline.

Edited: 12 July 2014, 22:12
Zephyrhills
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6. Re: Safe sections?

Oh no! I didn't mean for it to sound like that. We've never been to Chicago but I personally have been to other large cities (NYC, LA, Orlando, etc.) and have never had a problem because I know where to stay and what to do before I go. Even in NYC when I went to Bronx I didn't really have much of a problem because I went during the day with someone who knew their way around.

I don't fear any one part of a city, I fear the people within the city that are the ones doing the crime, not necessarily that part. This is my fiance's first time out of the south (we are in FL near Tampa) and he's nervous because of this news article which focuses a lot on the west side: nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/twenty-one-sho…

Maine
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7. Re: Safe sections?

I've enjoyed Zephyrhills bottled water many times.

Yeah, everybody in Chicago is aware of what's going on. It's certainly frustrating and appalling. But as others have pointed out on these forums, and as you seem to appreciate, it's pretty much confined to certain areas of the city that most people simply know to avoid. Perhaps the best thing to say to your husband is to simply point out that once he gets to Chicago, and sees how many hundreds of thousands of people are peacefully enjoying themselves everywhere he goes, he'll recognize that the stuff that makes the news is not necessarily reflective of the day-to-day lives of most of the people in the city. It's a bit like asking whether it's safe to go to Disneyworld because of the Trayvon Martin thing or the guy who got shot in the movie theater for texting his babysitter.

Nobody can ever guarantee safety, of course, and there's obviously a risk inherent in pretty much anything. But, and I don't mean to be callous by saying this, the stuff reported in articles like that CNN story you linked has to do with a small sub-section of the population that is pretty much living in its own sealed-off world.

Zephyrhills
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149 posts
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8. Re: Safe sections?

Oh yes, I know it only reflects a small section. The news pops up on his phone and he happened to link it to me with concern.

Zephyrhills bottled water is actually crystal springs water, but zephyrhills bottles it. Very good water, one of the only waters I'll drink. And unfortunately that shooting in the theater was at the theater we always go it, it's one city over from us and new. It is sad.

Besides that, I understand where you're coming from and appreciate the reply. He's never been to a city this large and I think it has him nervous (Orlando is probably the largest city he's been to which is small compared to Chicago).

Chicago
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9. Re: Safe sections?

I love Our Lady of Sorrows--my uncle is a servite so he's there all the time when he's in Chicago. And it's absolutely beautiful and worth a trip but it is in a bad neighborhood. When you get there, call over there and ask them if you can come and see it. Do not just go there and get dropped off. Also, if you want to see a lovely church in a nice neighborhood, maybe St. Stan's Kostka--walking distance from the Division blue line. St.John Cantius is walking distance from Chicago blue line.

Zephyrhills
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149 posts
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10. Re: Safe sections?

It was one of many that struck our attention for it's beauty. There are other options to see obviously, but that one really stuck. I can try calling them and seeing if and when is a good time to come down, we will not be there on a sunday unfortunately.