Welcome to the Windy City

September 3, 2012

Okay, so we drove up to Chicago yesterday.  What a day.  We left at 1:30 in the morning; I drove the first 6 hours through NC, TN, and KY, then my folks took over and drove the last 6 hours through Indiana up to IL while I drifted in and out of sleep.  We arrived sooner than expected but decided to stop in at the hospital, since that’s where I’ll be spending most of my time.  Luckily a classmate of mine is there completing rotations currently and was able to meet us.  He took me on a brief tour of the hospital and I was surprised.  It seems like it is lost in time, like someone plucked it out of the late 60s/early 70s and froze it.  There are parts of it that were new, but overall I was amazed.  I think I would like to study it more than work there, but I suppose I’ll be able to make it work.

We were able to check into our hotel early.  We’re staying up by O’Hare in the Northern part of the city, however our apartment search takes place in the South side of the city, approximately a 40-minute drive away.  We decided to use the extra time to drive back down to the South side and look at the apartments we’re scheduled to tour.  What an eye-opener!  We immediately decided that a couple of apartments we were interested in which were close to the hospital should be struck from our list.  The neighborhood around the hospital was unsettling in the daylight; many people loitering around.  We tried to think of all possible ways that I would be able to get to the hospital safely but were unable to come up with a solution, even if I kept a car up here.  Parking isn’t a problem at the hospital but the traffic and aggressive drivers were a huge turn-off.

Feeling a bit crestfallen, we kept driving around to look at other apartments and were pleasantly surprised when we got to the lakeside areas we had been contemplating.  The atmosphere is completely different–the lake looks almost beachy, is a beautiful blue-green color, and there are massive parks and greenspaces around it.  We continued North to the Hyde Park area of the city and it only got better from there–picturesque tree-lined streets with majestic, ancient-looking apartment buildings.  Can’t wait to go touring up there, would love to live there but am apprehensive about the commute down to the hospital.

Ended up coming back to the hotel, walking down to the local pub for dinner.  We were all exhausted and hadn’t eaten since breakfast in KY.  Had some beers, french onion soup and salads before coming back to bed early.  Not surprisingly, Mom and I woke up early this morning and tried to condense and simplify our apartment lists based on what we’d seen yesterday.  There were a few places we saw from the road and were interested in adding to our search, but the continual theme seems to be that the nice buildings with curb-appeal are usually condo-buildings.  Bummer.

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