Manor a mano!

In a few weeks Chris and I are moving to Ravenswood Manor. Not Ravenswood Manor, the haunted Mansion at Paris Disneyland, as awesome as that would be. (Though it’s odd that it’s not occupied by French ghosts. Because wouldn’t you pay to be haunted by Serge Gainsbourg? I know I would.) No: the Ravenswood Manor we’re moving to is the exceedingly cute Chicago neighborhood a little west of where I live now. It’s a magical land with ground-level CTA tracks, rivers, and governors running through it, and if you don’t know where the hell you’re going when you drive around there, you will be caught in a dizzying mobius strip of bungalows and lilac bushes. And then eventually one of the streets will spit you out in Albany Park, where you never have to worry about finding someplace to buy an international phone card. We can’t wait.

So here are two orders of business for you local folks: First, if anyone is looking for a great place in Lincoln Square (SUNNY 1 BR: STEPS TO PRK, EL, JEWEL, ETC. HEAT INCL; H/W FL, LNDRY; COURTYD BLDG), let me know.  Second, we’d love to hear moving company recommendations. We’ve looked online a little bit and have heard/read a whole range of things about That Company With the Green Trucks and we’re wondering about some of the other local professional movers. And the “get all your friends together and pay them with beer” option probably won’t work, because the amount of beer that would make the effort worthwhile is exactly the same amount of beer that makes boxes of expensive stuff extra slippery.

And if you haven’t noticed the sidebar lately, I have readings coming up soon.  Oh, and go read my friend Jami’s story over at Nerve, and then pre-order her book. It’s only Tuesday, you know; you might need a good dirty story to get you through the week.


  1. Jenny says

    I’d love to move to Lincoln Square but I’ve heard there is a crazy lady who knocks over motorcycles in attempts to hone in on other girl’s boyfriends…

    Go with a professional company. Can’t recommend one as I’m not local but if you can’t negotiate a “move first–beer later” deal with your friends, you’ll be better off with sober, insured strangers touching your stuff.

  2. says

    Check out and ‘good day movers.’ I used them when moving to ravenswood last year and they were awesome. Having someone come in and unload your uhaul is the best couple of hundred dollars that you will *ever* spend. Well, that is, unless you enjoy hauling crap up stairs (masochist).

    I’m sure you won’t have a problem subletting your apt – the rental market in the area is pretty hot right now. Aren’t you going to miss all of the double-wide strollers full of screaming children when you move away from the neighborhood?

  3. Wendy says

    We’re definitely looking for full-service professional movers. No rental trucks; no beer bribes for friends.

    And, heh, definitely won’t miss the strollers.

  4. Aerial says

    I’ve used Burrows in the past and am using them again when we move this weekend because they were so great. Very professional, very quick, and just incredibly nice people.
    I tried another company, whose name I can’t remember at the moment and they totally tried to rip me off. They said they would send three people and sent only two and then tried to convince me that since they knew they’d get done in the minimum amount of time they had decided amongst themselves that one of them could take the day off, but they still needed a tip for all three people. I wish I could remember their name, but the experience was awful, so I think I blocked it out.

  5. Vanessa says

    I got movers that last time I moved and it was worth every penny. I think there’s a cut off point for begging your friends to help you move and it’s about the same time you start getting real furniture you don’t want them to wreck!

    I’m not local but I went with ‘Starving Students’ and I think they’re a national chain. I was really happy with them. But I think it really depends on the crew you get that day.

    Good luck with the move! The new ‘hood sounds amazing!

  6. Meg says

    I can second Good Day Movers. They helped me move 3 times in Chicago, and each time they were totally great and really affordable. You are in charge of renting the truck, but they show up and do everything else. Not full service, I know, but to anyone else out there who is looking for a cheap way to move your stuff without going crazy or throwing your back out, these guys are #1.

  7. Emily says

    I thoroughly second the emotion of wanting to leave the “buy your friends beer” moving method behind. I moved on from that a couple of moves ago (after my roommate and I came very close to killing each other on one particularly stressful moving day), and I’ve never looked back.

    Anyway, since discovering the wonders of movers, I’ve used Lytwyn Movers (local to Chicago) twice – one move where my roommate and I split into two apartments, and the next move where we went from two apartments to one. They’re quite nice, reliable and reasonably priced. I’ve also heard some serious horror stories about using nationally-based companies, so stay far away from that mess.

    Good luck!

  8. says

    Delurking to give a moving suggestions: I actually work for a moving company in Boston, and in the past we have done work with Nelson Westerberg at 847-437-7050

    Good luck!

  9. H says

    I live in Lakeview, and I’ve used E-Z Movers with the big pink trucks.
    They were great: on time, helpful and professional. (I know others who’ve used them and have had good experiences as well.) If I recall correctly, they offer you free boxes, too. You just have to go to their office to pick them up. I don’t know how they compare price-wise with other companies, but whatever. It was worth every penny. These days, pizza and beer wouldn’t entice my friends to move so much as a single chair. Good luck!

  10. AB says

    Avoid that company with the green trucks. I’ve used them twice (fool me once…) and both times a few things “disappeared.” The first time it was a step stool, so who really cares, but the second time it was two vintage film posters, expensively framed, one of which was worth about 5k. Screw those guys.

  11. says

    I love Ravenswood! I lived over there for a few years and ran into the governor quit a few times (he jogs a lot). I’m in Andersonville now, but due to rising costs, my boyfriend and I may move back to R.

    The last two times we’ve moved, we’ve used Midway Moving Company. They are a full-service company and gave us excellent prices. The last time we moved, they even finished an hour early, which was a huge deal considering we were moving from a 3rd Fl walk-up to another 3rd Fl walk-up.

  12. says

    Oh I so wanted to move to Ravenswood when I was in Chicago! That or Andersonville. But my roommate who was in charge of finding our place because she worked nights decided on the slummy apartment in Wrigleyville that was only one El stop from her boyfriend. They got married, so I guess I shouldn’t hold a grudge for her choice, but I kind of do.

  13. says

    Checkmate Movers, on Peterson. I’ve used them three times and I can’t count the number of friends that have used them. We’ve all been happy, and their prices are great.

    Good luck with the move!

  14. says

    Starving Artist Movers

    We’ve used them three times now, and so have many of our other friends. They’re awesome and the owner and most of the employees are really artists. And they’ve never broken anything, and they love talking about cool stuff while they move you.

    Tell David Tortuga you know Cinnamon and Andrew 773/418-6368

  15. liz says

    You have plenty of mover recs, so I will spare you those, but – Ravenswood Manor is a great neighborhood!

    Check out Kitchen Chicago – a lovely public use kitchen with a quaint cafe attached. Great coffee, baked goods and sandwiches.

  16. Angie says

    Rogers Park Movers are the very best! I have used them several times and they are very professional.

  17. emma goldman says

    I’ve used Samson in the past, and had a good experience with them. Since I’m moving in the next few weeks, too, I’ll call the other people your readers recommended for quotes, but I was happy with Samson (the purple trucks). They also have an online quote thingie.

  18. Ann Van says

    You know what? With all these mover recommendations, I have to say that we are ignoring the bigger picture; you are about to condemn yourself to hell by living in sin with a man (unless Chris is a woman, in which case you are doubly damned). Doesn’t anyone care that these two are about to shack up? I’ll bet when your parents find out they’ll be so embarrassed that they won’t be able to show their faces in town…to help them out, you ought to start making up some kind of lie that they can tell to cover it up and spare themselves the shame. Shame! As if your filthy language wasn’t enough. I mean, you know what they’ll say, “Why buy the bean when you get the soymilk for free?”

  19. Wendy says

    Our plan is that Chris will pretend he’s gay. Also, we have a third roommate, a ditzy blond named Chrissy. HILARITY WILL ENSUE!!!

  20. Julia says

    Wendy, I think that since Chris is already named Chris, your third roommate will have to be named Jackie. Watch out for Mr. Furley!

    I am totally excited that you are moving to Ravenswood, because two of my best friends in the world live there, and maybe I’ll run into you on the street and gawk at you sometime.

  21. J says

    I’m glad that H had a good experience, but I had to drop in and say DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, go with E-Z movers, the big pink truck people. I used them a few years back for a long distance move, and they were HORRIBLE! Went way over their estimate, took 3 weeks to deliver what they’d promised would be there in 5-7 days, MORE of my shit was damaged than ever happened with any of my beer-sodden friends, and they sent ONE guy to drive and unload the truck — his solution to which was to pull some random guy off the street to help him. I vowed then and there to let anyone and everyone know not to use them, which included a call to the Better Business Bureau. Stay away.

  22. says

    Let me second Checkmate Movers, on Peterson. We used them back at the end of April, and OH MY GOD, THE AWESOMENESS. The crew we got absolutely busted their buns for us. It was beautiful to behold. A friend of mine put in a good word for them and lo, she was right. I have yet to hear anyone say anything bad about ‘em.

    Starving Artist Movers can go either way. I had one friend who did really well with them; three weeks later, another friend of mine use them and had a truly nightmare experience that ended up taking eight hours for a one-bedroom apartment. (Ours, also one-bedroom, by comparison, took four hours.) They changed the arrival time twice, brought a truck that was too small, had only two guys of a three-man crew show up, after four hours they wandered off on a lunch break, and my friend and his boyfriend ended up moving half the stuff themselves because they absolutely had to be out of the apartment by three PM. Nightmare.

    Yay, Ravenswood Manor! We were looking at apartments out thataway, but ended up falling in love with a place just three blocks from our previous apartment, so we’ve gone from the southeast edge of Ravenswood and crossed the Metra tracks east to… whatever the hell is between Ravenswood and Wrigleyville. (North Center? Still Ravenswood? Who knows?) We had to make it so that we were equidistant between El stations so that we could get to work regardless of when they eventually end up closing down our usual El station. Still: gorgeous and totally worth it.

    Anyway, hooray for Ravenswood Manor!

  23. Cheryl says

    De-lurking to say Howdy Neighbor! You’ll love the Manor. I hope. It is a great neighborhood.

    I used Northside Movers and liked them.

  24. says

    Okay, I know I’m months and months late to this party, but I was googling moving recommendations and found this page. Then I thought, hey, didn’t I go to her book reading a few months ago?? So now I’ve got a great new website to read, and can also stop annoying my friends asking for recommendations from five years back. Thanks twice!
    Hope you’re enjoying Ravenswood Manor… I’m headed up to Rogers Park, which just feels like the top of the world!

  25. Jon says

    Okay, obviously this is way behind the times… but if anyone Googles this page for reference… DO NOT under any circumstances use E-Z Movers with the big pink trucks. Absolutely the worst moving experience I’ve ever had in my life. Not only did a box of movies and a Playstation 2 “disappear”, but once they got to our new place they refused to unload anything until we promised $60 tips to each member of the crew. This all after they went $400 above the estimate. Calls to the office were ignored or not returned. When we filed a claim for the missing stuff, they refused to even deal with us. AVOID AT ALL COSTS.