The Downtown area is fine but the nearby neighborhoods can be adventurous. The near west side is a bit dicey and definitely stay out of the Austin, Englewood, Garfield Park, Lawndale and Humboldt Park areas. Navigating Chicago is definitely not for rookies. I lived in the Humboldt Park area until second grade just at the time the neighborhood was changing. We moved out when the landlady a couple doors down was stabbed and her apartment building burned down.
jj. Is that you on the teeter totter?