Living, Working & Commuting in Chicago

Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. Its cultural, civic and business institutions are concentrated primarily in an area called the Loop, where the Goodman Theatre is also located. Lake Michigan is just a few blocks away from the theater and forms the eastern boundary of the city.


The City of Chicago website is a great place to start when considering a move to the Windy City. There is a wealth of information for visitors and residents on this site.

By going on-line and Googling "Chicago neighborhood maps," you can get a better sense of where you might want to live. Housing options are varied in most Chicago neighborhoods, but the closer you get to the lakefront or the Loop, the more expensive those options are. North side neighborhoods, like Lincoln Park and Lakeview, are especially popular with young professionals, and are where many of the city's famous off-Loop theaters are located. Apartments in these neighborhoods rarely rent for less than $800 - $1200 or more per month. Apartments in the South side neighborhood of Hyde Park, where the University of Chicago is located, tend to be similarly expensive, as are apartments in the Northwest side neighborhoods of Bucktown and Wicker Park. Wherever you live, you can expect to spend another $400 - 500 per month on other basic expenses (food, transportation, etc.). Two of the best ways to reduce your living expenses are to share an apartment with roommates and/or to look for cheaper apartments in communities such as Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale and Albany Park, which border the city's upscale neighborhoods.

It's never too soon to start your search for housing. Craigslist is an excellent online resource. Listings are current and include a wide range of apartment types and rents. Checking the "For Rent" or "Space Finder" sections of local newspapers such as Chicago Reader, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times can also turn up some good deals. Also, there are several free apartment locating services like The Apartment People that can help you find what you're looking for.

If you need a roommate, let us know and we can provide contact information for other Goodman interns who may be looking for roommates, too.


While the demands of interning at the Goodman can make it difficult to hold an outside job at the same time, many interns manage to work part-time some evenings or weekends. Remember—if you accept an internship, you are agreeing to work the hours dictated by your department. Any outside employment should be flexible and should accommodate your internship schedule. If financial circumstances require you to find evening or weekend work, here are some suggestions:

  • Search for a part-time job online at Craigslist or
  • Look for help wanted signs in neighborhood restaurants, pubs, coffee shops and bookstores, especially if you have experience.
  • Babysit—let us know if you are an experienced babysitter and we will be happy to refer you to staff or guest artists who may need a babysitter.


Commuting to the Goodman from most neighborhoods in the city usually takes 30 to 45 minutes via public transportation. Depending on traffic, weather and road repair delays, driving your car can take more or less time than riding a bus or train. Thanks in part to former Mayor Daley, who is an avid cyclist himself, biking to work is yet another commuting option, and there are indoor bike racks at the Goodman. If you live near the lake you can use the lakefront bike path to ride downtown. Otherwise, several major streets now have designated bike lanes. Your bike may also ride for free with you on most Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) trains and buses.

Chicago Transit Authority trains and buses are safe and convenient, and CTA transit cards allow you to transfer easily from one mode of commuting to the other. Transit cards may be purchased at vending machines located in CTA train stations, and at many supermarkets.

All major train lines and numerous bus lines have stops within two blocks of the Goodman. Blue and Orange Line trains also provide direct connections with O'Hare and Midway airports. Check out CTA's website ( to learn more about public transportation options in areas where you are apartment-hunting. As in any large city, if you need to use public transportation late at night you should exercise appropriate caution and common sense.

We encourage you to avoid driving downtown if you can, since it will cost you $15 or more per day to use most garages in the Loop. If you must drive, discount parking vouchers for some garages near the Goodman may be purchased in our business office; if you do not mind walking several blocks you can sometimes find cheaper parking further away.