Chi-town Stand Up!
1. It’s a live-able city. What do I mean by that? I mean that Chicago, in comparison to a lot of other big cities, is reasonably priced in most necessities and most importantly, rent. Granted, there is a middle- to upper-class privilege in saying this but you can afford to live here without killing yourself going to five jobs, or crying into your ramen noodles every night.
2. People are friendly. Okay, they are as friendly as they are obnoxious. That means nobody is trying to talk to anybody when it’s rush hour. But Chicagoans still say hello, smile at strangers, help you out if you need it, etc. Big city life doesn’t mean walking around with a chip on your shoulder or a loss of neighborly values here. It’s my theory for why making a Real Housewives of Chicago wouldn’t work. Unless you went to the North Shore burbs of course. And I used to work in those burbs so trust me. (P.S. If the North Shore familiar, it’s because that’s where the Mean Girls fictional high school location was.)
3. There is a neighborhood for you. In Chicago, you can indeed tell a lot about a person by their neighborhood – we judge them by it for better or worse. And with each neighborhood comes stereotypes. Example: Wriglleyville, which we affectionately term “America’s frat house,” is home to the historic Wrigley field stadium. As well as the best “bros” the city has to offer. But I’ll make fun of mine as well: Lincoln Park, where I live, is known for its yuppies, who take their gym memberships, Hunter boots, and Starbucks drinks way too seriously.
4. It’s a good career city. From research to reputable city universities, to endless networking opportunities, Chicago is a good place to start almost any career. Unlike a lot of cities, even though people are competitive, they are not self-seeking; they’re still willing to help you out even if you could be their opposition in the next quarter. If you’re here to work, people are here to help you. It’s, “The City That Works” for a reason. (Relax everyone, I realize the historical use of that phrase may differ.)
5. If you love sports, we’ve got you covered. Although the Blackhawks’ shoulders must really hurt from carrying the city’s sports pride these days, we boast pretty much all the sports that matter – Blackhawks (Hockey), Bulls (Basketball), Bears (Football), Sox and Cubs (Baseball), and Fire (Soccer). And rest assured, that we take our sports very seriously in these parts.
6. The city is beautiful. A fact that often goes underappreciated by those who live here. (And no, it’s not Paris or Prague but it is something.) Between the architecture, monuments, museums, and street art, it is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. And if you don’t believe me, here are some pictures to convince you.
7. The city is clean! Well, it’s cleaner than a lot of big cities. Make no mistake, you’ll hear the scurry of rats sometimes, the smell on the Red Line leaves much to be desired, and there are neighborhoods that don’t get as much attention as others. But for the most part, I’d say the streets are manageable, and the air is reasonably clean.
8. Food and Drinks. We have places like bacon bars, Nutella bars, cupcake ATMs, Harold’s Chicken, and we’re coming out with a cider pub this spring. But most importantly, we have the best pizza. Sorry I’m not sorry New York City, even our thin crust is better than yours. Google: Piece Pizza.
9. We have seasons. While I personally believe that snow and winter are unnecessary life experiences, I do understand that there are human beings who like these things. Moreover, it’s no secret that you can have all four seasons in one day here, and spring might last only a week before summer bites you in the derrière unexpectedly. Still, even I can appreciate the winters only because it keeps Chicago from becoming too crowded. The city is happy to never be as populated as NYC and LA because our winters can be brutal. (I know my patience with Chicago winters will run out. But for now, I will survive!)
10. SUMMER TIME CHI! Welcome to the good life. Probably the best thing about living in Chicago is Chicago summers. Between the lakefront runs and bike rides, weekend festivals, beach bumming, boat parties, rooftop parties, yoga at the park, concerts until your body can’t take any more music, there is no better city for summer. You’d take the Polar Vortex every other week just to have a Chicago summer. Lol. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. But Chicago summers make any other pain of living here totally worth it.