In my 20s, wanderlust hit me hard. New York, San Francisco, Florida, you name it. I wanted to visit. Part of feeding that beast was staying connected with friends–even if years had passed since I last physically saw them–just in case the opportunity to couch surf came up. The fools never said no. Lucky me.
This Chicago midrise condo reminds me of where I might have stayed back in the day.
Maybe you’re a student on a tight budget or high school junior checking out Loyola University for undergrad, or a couple relocating to Chicago who wants to sniff around the city from the inside. Forget the fancy hotels downtown–choose this base to explore Rogers Park, the beauty by the lake with miles of beaches, cafes and restaurants.
The rooms are pretty small and spartan (Think bed, kitchenette and blinds or shades) but the vintage building boasts an enviable location: It’s steps from the beach, close to the El and Evanston.
Unlike North Avenue and Oak Street beaches to the South, which are popular singles’ cruising and ogling zones, the sand between Pratt and Touhy feels like “the people’s beach.” You’re as likely to see big Mexican families barbecuing and playing soccer as Little Leaguers practicing after school.
Parents, if Loyola happens to be your son’s top choice, this eight-story brick building will likely be similar
to places he might eventually rent off campus. Like this one, a lot of the older buildings have been renovated for condo dwellers with refurbished hardwood floors and new appliances, while still maintaining vintage charm. At $60 for weekdays and $80 for weekend nights, it’s a fraction of what you would pay on Michigan Avenue.