Trading spaces: short commute, shorter amenities in West Loop

I was out of town this past week, and my friend Steve offered to apartment-sit for me. He wasn’t just doing it because he’s a nice guy, of course: he works at the Chicago Board of Trade, which is a relatively short walk from where I live. He wanted an easy commute and to see what life was like in the West Loop for a week, so I agreed to let him pick up my mail in exchange for trying out my pad.

Steve currently lives in Lake View, and has to be out the door by 7:15 a.m. to get to work by 8 a.m. But this past week he was practically on vacation, waking up by 7:15 and still getting to work on time. He also didn’t have to take the el, which he said was a nice change of pace.

Not everything was a vacation though – he had to get used to stores, sandwich shops, and coffee chains closing earlier than he was used to. He was especially annoyed when he walked to several area Starbucks in search of a coffee fix around 7:30 p.m. (in Lake View coffee shops tend to close around 11 p.m.), only to find that they had closed around 7.

He also complained about the nearest grocery stores being far away; he couldn’t find a certain brand of cereal at Athens Grocery and Liquor. Presidential Market, located in Presidential Towers, is a little more expensive than the Dominick’s at Madison and Halsted, which was just too far for Steve, with his high Lake View standards, to walk.

Send us your tales of trading spaces and other adventures in apartment life.

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