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Added Sep 18 2017

Hi! My family of 4 is relocating to the Avondale area and would love some area feedback! We are relocating for the Indianapolis area.

Here are a few things I am interested in :
-art scene (My husband is an artist so I'd like to connect with the art orgs.)
-schools (I have two children in elementary school and are currently homeschooling.)
-dining options/recommendations
-general area/community, and any feedback relating to relocating to the area.

Thank you in advance! :)

  • I just moved from Avondale...i found the Avondale parents group on Facebook very helpful

  • Where in Avondale are you moving (major cross streets?). That actually makes a huge difference in recommendations!

  • N Harding and George St.

  • We are still looking for places though. So any area recommendations would be amazing.

  • Disclaimer, I live a little bit further east and don't have kids, but here is some stuff I can point out for you!

    Ok, so near Koz park are a handful of things I like really well (beyond the park, which is great! Field house with activities, indoor pool with open swim and kids lessons, really tops!).

    Right across from Koz Park is Brew Brew a little coffee shop with sandwhiches, but beyond that I don't know anything that is right by that intersection.

    In general, you'll be just a few blocks away from Milwaukee Ave. which has a TON of good restaurants (some favorites include Staropolska, Tacos Tequilas and Chiya Chai). And if you go a little south on Milwaukee you're in the heart of Logan Square which has basically everything (bookstores, restaurants, green space, a farmers market, Play toy store). You also won't be too far from the newly opened Dill Pickle Food Coop Grocery Store which is at Milwaukee and Spaulding.

    A little further north on Milwaukee (at belmont and at pulaski) is a lot of stuff too, although I have less experience up there.

    As far as schools, Monroe is near Koz Park. It's a Level 2+ school, where Level 1 is the best rating.

  • Tomorrow is another day New resident in North Park Village

    BBounds: Since Whitney is moving here from Indianapolis, these places could be anywhere as far as she is concerned. Please be more specific for her, so at least she could look at the places on a map.

  • Parking is limited all over the neighborhood so don't count on finding free space with any rental unit. Seems to me the "art scene" in Avondale is still in its infancy. If you want a storefront, we have plenty of those!

  • Deb R 60641 resident 40 + yrs.

    Definite gang presence, not much street parking, stay inside after dark. These are the hard facts some like to pretend don't exist, but they do. Personally, I'd find out what police district you'll be in and do a lot of research and see if this is the right neighborhood for your family. The Chicago Public School System (CPS) will be quite a culture shock for home schooled children.

  • Eric Pepeson An Irving Park Deplorable

    Deb is right, stay in after dark if possible, there are weekly robberies and occasional shootings. The shootings are gang related but a stray bullet can change it all. Being a sanctuary city doesn't show a strong message to these sh-t heads.

  • tkb Logan Square

    The arts and music scene in Chicago is amazing and it's quite robust in the Avondale/ Logan Square area. You've got Hairpin Arts at Diversey and Milwaukee, as well as Elastic Arts on Diversey. The Logan Square neighborhood organization sets up plenty of music and art festivals in the summertime, and the Comfort Station, also Logan Square, has a series of events. Of course Art Institute, MCA, dozens of photography museums, the most theaters in any US city, live music, etc etc etc.... what do you like and what do you want more information on?

    The restaurants in Avondale are getting lots of notice. Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Parachute, and Kumas Corner are well known. Theres some ethnic polish restaurants and a handful of other ethnic places all over the neighborhood. Again - whatcha lookin for? The Beer Temple at Elston and California is just that. Plenty more in the Logan Square area.

    CPS is a circus, that is a challenge, but my friends recently transitioned their then 11 year old into CPS 6th grade after a lifetime of homeschooling; that was 4 years ago and he was just accepted into the double honors and music program at Lincoln Park High school, so proof positive a transition from homeschool to CPS is possible.

  • Whitney, if you need me to be more specific about my recommendations please let me know. I've named everywhere I can by name so they should be easy googling, but I'm happy to provide more details.

    As far as being outside at night, I do live about 1/2 mile east of the cross streets you gave, but I don't fear going outside at night. I regularly walk by myself or with my husband or friends after dinnertime. If the above commenters are giving you pause I would highly recommend coming just a smidge east. I live just off Kimball avenue 1/2 mile east of George, and feel very safe. Lots of families and kids on my block.

  • Oh, how could I forget about Hairpin! tkb thanks for mentioning!

    I've been to several excellent arts events there over the years as it is right by my house and not far from old apartments. Here's the website: http://hairpinartscenter.org/

  • At Pulaski and Diversey is Cermak Fresh Market which is a huge shiny grocery store. There are significantly less shootings in that area than the above poster would have you believe. See here: https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150707/downtown/where-shootings-have-occurred-chicago-since-2010-map

    Stay in after dark? That's a bit extreme.

  • Wow, thank you all for the wealth of info. I am happy to hear from so many residents! Glad to hear there is an arts scene!

    I don't like what I'm hearing about the gang activity/crime in the area. I was aware of the CPS. I am still considering homeschooling depending on what we think of schools.

    I would love to find a block with kids. Anyone know of any specific areas I should target. My kids are 7 and 10 years old.

  • Thank you Discordian for the stats!

  • I live in East Avondale, generally within the borders of Sacramento and Elston to the east and west, and Belmont and Diversey to the north and south and my neighborhood has a lot of kids playing outside after school. Carlos Fuentes is on Francisco so the sound of children playing is common. While you aren't going to find anywhere in Avondale or Logan completely absent of gang activity I personally have not witnessed anything after living in my house for 2 years. It's one of the safest areas I've lived in in my 10 years of living in this city for sure. I don't really walk alone after 10, but many do take their dogs on walks. Everyone is generally very nice and says hi. Super close to Brands park for your kids to play/run around there. I love it!

  • Take what these people say with a grain of salt. I lived in Avondale for 14 years and never experienced any problems. I lived by Nelson and California. Like any Chicago neighborhood it’s important to be aware of your surroundings.

  • I suggest using clearmap which is from the Actual police department. That area has changed within the past few years but still, I agree with other people that there is a definite gang presence and gang related shootings.

  • DTD

    Hello!
    We bought a home at George & Harding 3 years ago. The neighborhood has changed a lot in that time, for the better. There are several families with kids on our block and Koz park is always bustling with strollers and soccer games. It's a very family-friendly section of Avondale. I feel safe walking my dog at night. However, I have witnessed shootings, drug deals and gang activity. There are resident homeless that live in the area nearly year-round. I have cleaned up human feces off our property. The litter bothers me. Rats are a serious problem. Our garage was broken into. Things are getting better, and you'll get more for your money over here, but I would spend some time walking around and sitting in the park. We are happy here but it's not for everyone. Message me directly if you'd like. Best of luck.

  • I recently moved to Diversey and Rockwell (SE corner of Avondale) after living 60+ years in the now trendier (and more expensive) Ukrainian Village, but my best friend has lived in Avondale for 25+ years (down the street from SandyR), so I'm familiar with that area.

    History of Avondale:https://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avondale,_Chicago

    Practical matters:

    Get a map!

    The street numbering system is very easy to understand and use. Ground zero starts at State and Madison downtown, with few diagonal streets (Milwaukee, Elston, Clybourn, Ogden, and Archer) based on old Indian trails. 8 blocks = 1 mile, so 2400 west is 3 miles west of State Street.

    Shopping - there are 2 Targets on the area, the one on Addison west of California is less crowded, and prices can be cheaper. There's a Costco at Diversey and Clybourn, well worth the membership fee for the gas prices alone (cheaper than just about any place else in the city, except for another Costco on the near south side). Mariano's (trendier) and Jewel are the local supermarkets, they're side by side on Western north of Belmont. There's another Jewel on Clybourn south of Costco. And if you're a fan of Trader Joe's, there's one on Lincoln north of Addison. Not in Avondale but close by is Bill the Fish Guy for fresh seafood, at 4423 N. Elston (north of Montrose).

  • Part II:

    Dining - it's nice to dine out at restaurants, but those should be limited to occasional visits - save your money for your kids. Honey Butter Fried Chicken is good, but overpriced. $24 for 4 pieces of chicken plus 2 sides and 3 little biscuits? I miss Feed in my old neighborhood - same meal (well, almost, rotisserie instead of fried), minus the biscuits, for half the price. Good Chinese food at Lee's on Diversey and Western. Chop Society (formerly Niko's) on Diversey and Western has a varied menu, including gyros and good burgers. Pete's on Addison and Western has good pizza and other Italian food, I've only had delivery, not dine in. (I used to dine out quite a bit, but now I wish that I had put that money into my retirement fund.)

    Schooling - consider sending your kids to a Catholic school, even if you're not religious. Parochial schools offer a better education, The public school system has had a lot of financial problems lately because of underfunding the teachers' pensions.

    Other stuff: Make sure that the house has a water meter, as the flat rate the city charges for unmetered homes can be $200+ a month!

    The county recently established a "soda tax" of a penny an ounce, but it applies to other sweetened beverages too (this may be repealed next month). 5¢ tax (each) on bottled water. Retailers charge 5¢ a bag, but will give you a credit if you bring your own.

    When buying a house, be sure that your mortgage payment is several hundred dollars less than what you can afford, as increases in assessed value and/or tax rates can severely impact the escrow part of your mortgage. Mine went up $400 a month one year because the county raised the rate! The county reassesses your home's value every 3 years, you can appeal, and you don't need a lawyer to do it.

    South of Avondale is Humboldt Park, which has the city's only inland beach: http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks/humboldtpark/

    Let's see...did I forget anything?

  • Wow!! Thank you so much for the info! This has been extremely helpful!!!! You covered quite a bit.! Thanks!! :)

  • You're welcome! Always glad to help!

  • Deb R 60641 resident 40 + yrs.

    There's good and bad in many neighborhoods. You should know both sides before making a decision. Good luck on your move.

  • Oh, forgot to mention...medical care.

    When choosing a doctor, check to see which hospital they're affiliated with. Northwestern has a good reputation, but I know a couple of people who have had bad experiences with them. Rush is better. I recommend Jennifer Goldfarb at Rush Primary Care, 1300 W Bemont, located east of Avondale. Nice seafood restaurant/market across the street too. Don't know any pediatricians, but I'm sure that she does. http://myrush.rush.edu/PhysicianPractices/PrimaryCareWH/Pages/default.aspx

    Not in the neighborhood, but Miswak Dentistry on Chicago just east of Western is where I go. https://www.miswakdentistry.com/

    And if you don't have a real estate agent, Crystal Riley is outstanding. She sold my 3-flat and found me a condo,...within 1 month. https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/il/chicago/agent/crystal-riley/aid_1950/

  • I moved to Harding & George a year and a half ago, and couldn't be happier with the neighborhood. I scoured the police maps before moving as I wasn't familiar with the neighborhood, and found little activity (particularly compared to areas further south and east). While I seldom walk anywhere late at night, I've never felt unsafe after dark (as a single woman in my 30s). I wouldn't say parking is terrible, but it fills up at night.

    Cermak, Binnys, and Aldi within walking distance will make your life 100x easier than you realize. Express cafe at the end of the street makes a tasty Jibarito, and my vegetarian mother loves El Muchacho Allegre on Pulaski. Staropolska has amazing polish food, and Kurowskis is a gem for meats to grill. The ice cream truck will make you a soft serve sundae for $1.75. Brew Brew is great, and Hopewell and Harding Tavern are casual, easy places for a beer (although a slight hike). I'd characterize the neighborhood as quiet, diverse, and with a lot of families.

  • You might like the building where this studio is located at 4200 W Diversey. Really cool studio spaces for creative people. It sounds like they'll have social events once a month soon: http://www.theblackcouchstudio.com

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