Winter and its Quarter are here, along with some somewhat sinister trappings (aka -50 degree windchill!). I sincerely hope that everyone is in an apartment under at least one blanket right now. » Read the rest of this entry «
So, a couple of weeks ago we suggested that you visit other Chicago neighborhoods before Colloquium starts on September 15. If you’ve since arrived, you may now be wondering what the best way to physically get to those neighborhoods may be. We assume that most of you are all familiar with (and perhaps reliant on) Google Maps, which is obviously a great resource. However, when heading to and from Hyde Park on the CTA, Google Maps does not always lead you down the most convenient path. Nor does the site contain all the information that drivers need, especially in terms of parking. Hopefully this post will help fill in some of those gaps.
If you’re getting there using public transit…
Those of you who have already arrived in Chicago have probably noticed a preponderance of bikers. While there are plenty of other transportation methods available, many Chicagoans find that the easiest and fastest way to get around the city is on two wheels. Here are some resources that I’ve found useful while living here: » Read the rest of this entry «
So, you’ve settled into Hyde Park. It’s quiet and luscious and quaint. You’ve already decided whether you’re Team Jimmy’s or Team Cove and have picked your favorite Z&H sandwich. Now, how the heck do you get out of here? There are a few options for traveling to and from Hyde Park, and we thought it’d be good to give you a brief rundown of how best to navigate your way to the Loop and beyond.
The CTA Buses are probably your most consistent and convenient modes of transportation to and from this lovely little Hyde Park bubble, but there are some things to know about each. If riding the bus instills a sense of terror in you (for fear that something like this might happen on your first jaunt into the Loop) see the CTA’s helpful “How-to” guide for conquering the steel beast:
6: Jackson Park Express – The 6 runs along the east side of Hyde Park, making stops along Stony Island Ave, South Hyde Park Blvd and Lake Park. It is the only bus with Hyde Park Service that runs all day and on the weekends (service generally stops around 12:30am). The 6 runs express between 47th Street and Museum Campus, which makes it one of the fastest ways to get downtown. It makes several stops along Michigan Avenue, which gives you easy access to most L lines. » Read the rest of this entry «
With MAPH starting in a few weeks and the colloquium reading assignments just around the corner, I don’t think we’ve stressed enough how important it is to get out of Hyde Park while you still have the time to do it. Last year, my plan was to explore a different area or attraction of Chicago every weekend during the program but, even with the best intentions, it gets harder and harder to make the trek into the city once you have papers and thesis topic proposals looming over you. Needless to say, I’m now having fun, post-MAPH exploring Chicago because of my poorly executed plan. So, those of you who are here now…take advantage of this time!
A-J already posted his important annual exhortation stressing the need to get out of Hyde Park, but you still might be wondering how you actually go about doing that. There are a plethora of options to get into the city and up north from Hyde Park, but there are really only three viable ones if you want to get there within a reasonable time frame and feel safe doing it. (More on the three options after the jump…)
Before we start recommending stuff that is beyond the confines of our beloved hamlet, perhaps a little info on how to get out of HP would be welcome. Believe it or not, Hyde Park can get a little, well, nightmarishly claustrophobic.
Getting away to the North Side and farther afield will do wonders for your mental health. And who knows? You might actually meet someone not from the University of Chicago if you practice looking mysterious at the Bourgeois Pig, Art Institute, Green City Market, or Letizia Bakery every now and then.
Bear in mind, late night service to Hyde Park is limited to the Red and Green Lines (see below reasons not to take the Red and Green Lines) Other than that, you can take a cab. If you have four people, cabs from the North Side back to the neighborhood cost around $25–roughly the same cost as public transit. If you’re farther away in Wrigleyville or Logan Square, you’re looking at $30-$35. Splittable, but a big time bummer if you’re on your own. The point here: cabs with a group of fellow MAPHers are more affordable than you would expect, and definitely worth it as an alternative to the oft-scary late night El ride.
To find the easiest route use Google Transit. CTA and Metra systems link up nicely. But here is some info to start with:
During rush hours, there are several delightfully convenient ways to get up north. The #2, 6 express, 10, and 28X all service various parts of HP. Check out CTA’s incredibly accurate Bus Tracker, which provides useful information about where the 6 has broken down, the cause of the maintenance problem, and how many hours you’re going to have to wait for the next bus. There’s even an iPhone ap!
Positives: Buses run often and from more places in Hyde Park than you can shake a stick at. There is service from the Loop to HP until midnight or a little after. As Phil likes to point out, transfers are only 25 cents once you get up north: ”You can get anywhere in the city for $5 round trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Negatives: Buses just kind of suck categorically. Traffic can *sometimes* be miserable, especially in the afternoon when you’re trying to, totally hypothetically, get to your happy hour date at The Wit. The express buses take longer than the train, even with clear traffic. » Read the rest of this entry «
For those of you joining MAPH from warmer climes, a few tips on dressing to handle the Chicago weather. As you can see above, it gets COLD. And with the cold comes wind and snow and the need for serious winter clothes. Some of you already know how to deal with this, but for those of you who don’t, here are some pointers:
HATS are awesome. My mom would give some sort of statistic on the percentage of body heat you’ll save just by wearing one, but I’ll just point out that they’re nice and warm and you’re going to want one with earflaps, because that wind can be vicious. Some days you’ll even put on a hat under your hood.
SCARVES are key, too. Not just for hipsters anymore, they’ll do a great job of ensuring that any skin between your coat and your hat stays covered.
COATS are obvious. Even if you’re from Florida, you probably know what to do here. The warmer the better.
MITTENS are warmer than gloves.
BOOTS should be waterproof.
LONG UNDERWEAR is probably overkill, but potentially nice.
But if you show up with this outfit, in an appropriate size, you will be the most popular person in MAPH, guaranteed.
Driving Without a Car (huh?)
There are many reasons NOT to have a car in the city of Chicago. There is ample public transportation, Chicago has the highest gas prices in the nation currently, parking is a hassle, parking tickets are an even bigger hassle (they sometimes lead to boots, towing, and further legal matters), cars contribute to the pollution and congestion in the city, cars are expensive to insure, keep up, keep safe, etc. The list goes on.
BUT…..sometimes you just want a car to go grocery shopping, drive to the outlet malls, pick your friend up from the airport, take a trip to IKEA, drive around and listen to music cranked up, singing with the windows rolled down, etc. So, how do you access a car without having one, worrying about borrowing one, or committing grand theft auto? One option is taking part in a car-sharing program.
» Read the rest of this entry «