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Joliet/Plainfield area
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Author:  ismloveyoubobbybrown [ Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:20 am ]
Post subject:  Joliet/Plainfield area

My husband is getting out of the military, and we're moving from the East Coast back to the Midwest. We're waiting to here back from a job in the Joliet/Plainfield area (I think it is very likely he'll get the job). We're originally from Northern WI (me)/the UP (him) and do not know much about the area.

Anyone familiar? I am wondering what people think of the area. I read Joliet used to be pretty crime ridden but the stats show that in the past 10 years crime has dropped dramatically (from well above average to very average). We've got two young kids. I'd like to raise them somewhere "safe," but I'd appreciate a little more density and character than the suburbs usually have to offer.

Author:  mrsbadmouth [ Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

jessilikewhoa lives in Joliet! If she doesn't see this you can maybe PM her?

My general advice for house/rental looking is to always take the address and go to google and look at the street view, you can look at the state of the road, sidewalks, people's driveways, to get an idea of the neighborhood. I have looked at some houses in other towns that seemed awesome, but the neighborhood was scary. and vice versa. I don't know what Joliet is like (beyond the crime reputation), but any city will still have some nice areas to live in.

Author:  ismloveyoubobbybrown [ Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

Thanks! Checking street view is solid advice I will definitely be using!

Author:  chiveggie [ Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

I know several people that live out in the Plainfield area. They all really like Plainfield. Lots of corn fields turned new construction. I believe the schools there are pretty good as well. At least the people that I know that live there are teachers and they tend to double check that. Naperville is also close by which has most of the same stores and restaurants as downtown Chicago. They also have a good Children's museum, and a metra station to get downtown, which I don't think Plainfield or Joliet have (might not be important if you are working out there anyways) I don't know much about Joliet, other than what you mentioned about old impressions of it having more crime and such. That whole area down interstate 55 has gotten much more populated in recent years so it is a different world.

Good luck with your home search!

Author:  ismloveyoubobbybrown [ Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

chiveggie wrote:
Lots of corn fields turned new construction.


Ha! This is my exact impression of Plainfield. I am glad to hear good reviews. I have read good things about the school district, too. Naperville looked appealing to me, but it is a bit too far North (the job is actually in Braidwood, but I have no interest in living there) and pricey. Plainfield seems like it's on the way to Naperville-lite status, though.

Author:  ifer [ Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

I also have a friend who lives in Plainfield who is a teacher (small world!) and have been out there several times. The downtown area is pretty cute with some older houses, and there is a nice nature preserve of sorts with a nice hiking trail. Otherwise, yes, it is basically houses & chain stores/restaurants in the middle of cornfields, but in my opinion the low cost of living plus great schools would make it worth it over Naperville. I don't know much about Joliet - when I grew up it wasn't that nice but I've heard it's better now. That said, a lot of places that were up and coming a few years ago aren't so much now.

The only downside to Plainfield is that there isn't a train station, so you'd have to drive to Naperville or Joliet to take the train into Chicago. Not sure about vegan options in the area, but Naperville does have some and you'd be closer to that in Plainfield.

Also, Plainfield is a very apt name for a city in the middle of a bunch of cornfields. Oh, I love Illinois!

Author:  Invictus [ Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

My brother lives in Plainfield! He works in a nuclear power plant nearby

Author:  ismloveyoubobbybrown [ Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

ifer wrote:
in my opinion the low cost of living plus great schools would make it worth it over Naperville


That was my thought as well.

ifer wrote:
Also, Plainfield is a very apt name for a city in the middle of a bunch of cornfields.


I also thought that!


invictus wrote:
My brother lives in Plainfield! He works in a nuclear power plant nearby


My husband would be working at one as well (if he gets the job).

Author:  Invictus [ Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

I guessed so. I grew up in the suburbs (though not as far out as Plainfield). I liked it, but I can ask my brother what he thinks of that specific area. He's a single 30 year old guy, though, so your mileage may vary

Author:  ismloveyoubobbybrown [ Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

Thanks to everyone who gave input! Even hearing that other people's friends like living there gives me more confidence in the area. My husband was offered the job! So, now I finally get to start calling people about all the listings I have been lurking for the past 3 weeks.

Author:  Invictus [ Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

That's so exciting!

Author:  jessilikewhoa [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

I missed this thread before, but hi! I don't live in Joliet proper, I'm actually in between Joliet and Braidwood, but Joliet is the nearest place that people might have heard of. Did you move here? Do you like it? I'm not actually a huge fan, but it's not awful either, I'd love to be somewhere more urban with more culture (and tasty food), but right now I'm in school as is my husband (non-trad adult students) and we're living in an apartment attached to my parents house until we're done with school. While there aren't really any options for eating out besides chain places except in Naperville, Joliet has a couple health food stores with tasty vegan food stuffs, and one of them in pretty cheap (Fruitful Yield, a Chicago suburb chain). Plus when you order from Vegan Essentials stuff gets here like the next day. So there are pluses, and Chicago isn't very far at all, and there are fantastic restaurants there.

Anyway, if you need anything PM me, and I'll try to help you out.

Author:  ismloveyoubobbybrown [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

Hey! I like it better than I first expected to. We found a house to rent in the historic part of downtown Plainfield, and the houses are cute, all our neighbors are uber friendly and I can easily walk around with my kids. It only takes 20-30 minutes to drive to TJs, WFs, and the Metra. I do wish we could have lived somewhere more urban (like, straight up Chicago), but I am still just very happy to be in the Midwest again.

Author:  jessilikewhoa [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

Downtown Plainfield is super cute. I like Joliet's historic district as well, but I don't know that I would live in Joliet if I had kids, the schools aren't good, Plainfield's are much much better. If you ever don't feel like heading up to Naperville do check out Fruitful Yield, their nooch prices are pretty fantastic, and they sell Wayfare cheese, and the Tofutti ice cream bars that are like vegan drumsticks, and awesome fake tasting Tofutti pizza.

It's also a hike to the east, but in Tinley Park there is the best grocery store ever. It has all your standard US brands and generics, but it also has soooooo much international food for super good prices, especially Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods. I like going there for spices, tea, big cheap metal tins of olive oil, locally baked pita bread, chickpea flour, and a really big variety of dried beans and dried pasta. If you're into grocery shopping as an exciting hobby, and not just a mandatory chore you should check it out. Eurofresh Market right off of 159th in Tinley, not too far from route 45. There's a great comic book shop in the same strip mall, if that's your thing at all. If not you're not far down 45 from the Orland Park Trader Joe's and Half Price Books.

Last, the Meijer in Plainfield is pretty cool too, they have an international foods aisle, various organic/natural sections tucked among the aisles that have vegan tasties, the prices aren't awful either, and they have tons of store brand versions of products which I enjoy because I'm very cheap. In the cosmetics section they have Elf, and it's usually far less picked over than Target's Elf selection, they also have Wet n Wild who have a decent selection of vegan products, and they sell their own store branded nail polish under the Studio M label that is just repackaged Color Club who are Leaping Bunny certified and vegan.

Can you tell I really enjoy grocery shopping?

Author:  ismloveyoubobbybrown [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

Wow. Thanks. This will be a great reference. I don't have a car during the day (we didn't need a second car at our last place, and I will need to get drivers license again... boooo), but I will probs make my husband go on some weekend shopping adventures.

I really loved the Cathedral area of Joliet, but the schools did sound so much better in Plainfield. It's weird to me how everything is very small town with the exception of the wild amounts of car traffic. We're probably here for the long haul so I guess I'll just be getting used to it.

Author:  jessilikewhoa [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

Plainfield is super weird, all these areas around here are a little weird with that mix of rural small town and urban sprawl new development suburbs, but Plainfield is probably the most blatant example, because a large part of historic Plainfield was leveled by a major tornado in 1990, so the town had a lot of rebuilding to do. Then the entire Will and Dupage county area was one of the fastest growing in the whole country during the housing boom of the aughts. I think the area will likely keep changing and becoming more and more suburban as time goes on, despite the housing bust.

The Cathedral area of Joliet tries to woo me into staying in this area every time I drive through. It's so pretty there, and you can get a lot of (gorgeous, old) house there for not much money. But I can't do this area forever. If we decide to stay in Illinois we're looking to move to Evanston (where I lived when I was a little kid, and near my husband's family who all live in North Shore suburbs) or Oak Park. City adjacent, artsy, but still have their own individual character.

If you guys someday decide to look at any other suburbs in the area Lookport is really cute and has a great high school. They have a tiny raw cafe, but I haven't tried it yet. It's run by some religious group. http://www.rawvegancafe.org/

Oh, and if you haven't heard Naperville has a veg fest every summer. I haven't gone because it inevitably happens on a weekend when I'm busy (same as Chicago Veganmania, I have a wedding to go to that day this year, sadness) but it's supposed to be pretty decent. http://www.veggiefestchicago.org/

Author:  mrsbadmouth [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

jessilikewhoa wrote:

Last, the Meijer in Plainfield is pretty cool too, they have an international foods aisle, various organic/natural sections tucked among the aisles that have vegan tasties, the prices aren't awful either, and they have tons of store brand versions of products which I enjoy because I'm very cheap. In the cosmetics section they have Elf, and it's usually far less picked over than Target's Elf selection, they also have Wet n Wild who have a decent selection of vegan products, and they sell their own store branded nail polish under the Studio M label that is just repackaged Color Club who are Leaping Bunny certified and vegan.



Brian and I are moving to a part of the state that has no Meijer and I am seriously bummed about it!

Author:  ismloveyoubobbybrown [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

The tornado/development boom is crazy. Our landlords explained it to us, and you really can see it when you drive around the town (gigantic, recent developments everywhere). I wish massive, new construction built right on top of each other was what I was into...

And, seriously, what is Meijer? Because it looked just like Walmart to me so I kind of wrote it off.

jessilikewhoa wrote:
If we decide to stay in Illinois we're looking to move to Evanston (where I lived when I was a little kid, and near my husband's family who all live in North Shore suburbs) or Oak Park. City adjacent, artsy, but still have their own individual character.


Yeah, those close suburbs are way more my speed, and I'd be there in a heartbeat if it wouldn't be a ridiculous commute for my husband. Honestly, as a Wisconsinite I have been bred with no love for Illinois and would have much rather ended up back in WI or MN. But, this is where the hubs got a job. I am just glad we're as close to Chicago as we are because it is the only part of the state I feel really excited about (and where we actually have friends and family). Long term, I'm not sure we'll stay in Plainfield, but we can only move so far North of Braidwood for the sake of my husband's commute. No matter what, it is better than being stuck on the East Coast (I hate you, Connecticut! HATE!) and impossibly far from family.

Thank you for all of the info. It's really given me a lot of insight into the area!

Author:  jessilikewhoa [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

Meijer is like Walmart if Walmart was awesome. They're midwest only, just expanded to Illinois within the last decade, based out of Michigan. The major thing I like about Meijer besides the better selection is that the majority of their stores (I want to say all locations except the Illinois locations) are unionized. The thing I don't like about Meijer is that there's a lot of Christian paraphernalia scattered for sale throughout the store, the owners are pretty effing religious. Also, and this is where my guilt kicks in, they score pretty bad on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, like the highest score they've gotten has been a 20%, and that year was an exception.

And I've lived in Illinois my entire life and don't much care for the state. The husband and I really want to move to Minneapolis, or PDX, but family is here so it's hard, my mom is my best friend and I hate the idea of living far from her, especially because she's getting older and I wouldn't want to be away if something happened, but yeah, I completely understand making the best of it.

Author:  mrsbadmouth [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

Huh, I never notice Christian stuff at our store. We had a Meijer before we had a Super Walmart but I didn't fully appreciate it until I went vegan. It opened when I was 19 so it was like, "Holy shiiiiit we can buy pizza at 2 am!" They also carry a clothing brand that I used to buy at the PX when Brian was in the army that I haven't seen at any other stores (I can't remember the name but it's, of course, a teen brand). They also have a lot of items on clearance. Mine doesn't have ELF but they recently revamped their health food selections and County Market tore out their health food section, so I know do my grocery shopping there.

I've also lived here my whole life, minus the army stint. I'm actually living about six blocks away from my childhood home, and while this is the side of town I would choose to live on anyway, I need some different scenery. But Brian got a really good job about an hour away, so...yeah. I am also going to make the best of it and take advantage of the perks of small town midwest living (like being a motherforking hermit).

Author:  jessilikewhoa [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

It is a great way to be a hermit. There are 5,000 people in my town and I don't know any of them except my husband, my mom, and my stepdad.

Author:  ismloveyoubobbybrown [ Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

Oh Lard, one of the things I miss most after having kids is getting to just be a hermit. They are preschool aged, and I am told they should be "socialized."

Author:  jessilikewhoa [ Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

Set up long playdates for them at other peoples houses, hurry home, draw the shades, change into ratty sweatpants, and turn on netflix.

Author:  Rhizopus Oligosporus [ Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joliet/Plainfield area

jessilkeshoa is wise.

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