T Nation

Chicago: Good/Bad points


#1

Hey,

Received an offer from work to move to Chicago USA from London UK.

What's the good / bad points from locals; besides the exaggeration of St. Patrick's Day! (I'm Irish)


#2

ok let’s see here.

Pretty affordable city, including the rent. Compared to other big cities it is a bargain.

People are pretty friendly here.

Diverse (yet, kind of segregated)

Nice beaches in the summer, plenty of babes to look at

Speaking of summer, it is great weather (maybe a bit humid but I won’t complain) and there are always music/food/other festivals going on.

Speaking of food festivals, great restaurants

CTA (public trans) makes it really easy and affordable to get around the city.

The winter is god fucking awful though, and there is always construction. Traffic can be shit too, it has definitely gotten worse but still not nearly as bad as other big cities.

Taxes suck, and there is still plenty of corrupt politics.

Crime really isn’t that bad… it is just really bad in certain parts of the city. Stay out of certain areas in the South and West side.


#3

Native Chicagoan, born and raised:

Good points:

World class city with world-class institutions

  • Museums: Museum of Contemporary Art, Field Museum of Natural History, Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry
  • Sports Teams: White Sox, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Fire (MLS), and some other minor league baseball team on the northside
  • Education: Univ. of Chicago, Northwestern, Loyola, DePaul.

Modest cost of living compared to other large cities.
Excellent public transportation, lots of affordable housing in and around desirable areas (downtown, northside).

Tons of bars, excellent food scene, clubs, bands always play Chicago, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork Festival, Blues Fest, etc.

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and every neighborhood has it’s own distinct identity. People are friendly and generally polite. The city is clean. And most of all, the lake. Spring/Summer/Fall recreation centers around the lakefront, the entire length of which is parkland. Ton of recreational sports leagues catering to just about any skill level playing any sport. You’re a lesbian who plays bags? There’s a league for you.

Every weekend there’s another festival in a different neighborhood. Plenty of opportunities to meet people or hang out with friends.

Good job opportunities, a couple very strong, successful start-up incubators, center of the world for financial derivatives.

Strong ex-pat communities. You can always find bars to watch soccer matches, many of whom cater to the fans of specific teams.

The bad:

City is quite segregated by class. The poor have been sequestered to the south and far northwest sides or run out of the city entirely. Gun violence is almost always gang related and gang on gang.

Parking can be tough, parking tickets/meters/red light cameras suck and add to the cost of owning a car in the city.

Winter sucks and as the rest of the world warms, we seem to be getting colder.


If you want to live within walking distance of Wrigley and the red line a one bedroom might cost $1200-$1300, two bedroom would be $1800, and three bedroom $2100-$2400. This would be for an apartment in a typical Chicago 2 or 3 flat.


#4

lol, seems like Andy and I agree a lot of the same points.

Couple other points, because Chicago is roughly in the middle of the country and has 2 excellent airports, it’s a great jumping-off point for travel to other cities. You can be in LA or NY or FL in 3.5 hours. You can also be out of the city in 90 minutes and have a plethora of outdoor recreation options.


#5

Thanks. Not sure where I’ll be working out of; will involve travelling within central US, though it includes Toronto in that (apologies to Canadian’s).
Once I find the location will reply for good places to live.
Freaking huge move, though no more insane shipping costs!


#6

Dr Pangloss: I am a Native of Oak Park (OPRFHS class of 1985) !

For Voluminous, As the Good Dr and PB Andy have said: They pretty much nailed it.

You may do well to look to a place like Oak Park, River Forest, Maywood Park.
They are close enough to the city to be fully accessable without the driving hastle.
Provided you are close enough to the Green Line, Blue Line, Red Line et al.

You could even look to the north side like Skokie/ Evanston which is Red Line accessable.
Then there is also the Trains in from the far north and far northwest territories.

chicago only really has TWO Seasons, Pothole season and fix the Potholes season, ha ha ha.

oh, and THIS : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFArBn2LXC8


#7

You’re going to be able to pull a ton of wool with an English accent.


#8

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
You’re going to be able to pull a ton of wool with an English accent.[/quote]

Irish accent :slight_smile:


#9

[quote]killerDIRK wrote:
Dr Pangloss: I am a Native of Oak Park (OPRFHS class of 1985) !

For Voluminous, As the Good Dr and PB Andy have said: They pretty much nailed it.

You may do well to look to a place like Oak Park, River Forest, Maywood Park.
They are close enough to the city to be fully accessable without the driving hastle.
Provided you are close enough to the Green Line, Blue Line, Red Line et al.

You could even look to the north side like Skokie/ Evanston which is Red Line accessable.
Then there is also the Trains in from the far north and far northwest territories.

chicago only really has TWO Seasons, Pothole season and fix the Potholes season, ha ha ha.
[/quote]

Thanks, where does the airport put me living wise? Spending 50% travel for the first year. Argh


#10

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
You’re going to be able to pull a ton of wool with an English accent.[/quote]

What about a Scottish accent, ginger beard and a kilt?

I’m planning on going to Chicago pretty soon.


#11

[quote]ChongLordUno wrote:

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
You’re going to be able to pull a ton of wool with an English accent.[/quote]

What about a Scottish accent, ginger beard and a kilt?

I’m planning on going to Chicago pretty soon.
[/quote]

You’re going to be a big hit in Boystown, sweetheart.


#12

[quote]Voluminous wrote:

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
You’re going to be able to pull a ton of wool with an English accent.[/quote]

Irish accent :slight_smile: [/quote]

Huge Irish population.

You’ll do fine.


#13

[quote]Voluminous wrote:

Thanks, where does the airport put me living wise? Spending 50% travel for the first year. Argh[/quote]

Anywhere along the Blue line. Right now, the hottest neighborhoods are Uki Village, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, Humboldt Park… All of these are along the Blue Line branch that goes out to O’Hare starting at the Chicago stop and going northwest to the Logan Square stop.

Even if you lived along the Red Line, you could take it into the Loop and transfer to the blue or just take a bus west to hop on the Blue Line. For example, Wrigley Field is located at the Red Line Addison stop. If you live around there and wanted to get to O’Hare, you’d simply hop on the 152 bus and take it west to the Addison blue line stop. From there, you’re 15 mins to the airport.

If you’re flying out of Midway, you can live anywhere and simply take the El into the Loop and transfer to the Orange line.


#14

^^ That map is a blast from my past. I grew up a few blocks from Linden station. Long time ago.


#15

[quote]kpsnap wrote:
^^ That map is a blast from my past. I grew up a few blocks from Linden station. Long time ago. [/quote]

Was Mrs. D’s there when you were growing up? It was a little hole-in-the wall diner at 4th and Linden. Sarkis?


#16

Is it true mid-west chicks are the fattest in the nation?


#17

[quote]therajraj wrote:
Is it true mid-west chicks are the fattest in the nation?[/quote]

No idea. I do know that obesity and poverty are highly correlated, though.

Based on a large national study, body mass index (or BMI, an indicator of excess body fat) was higher every year between 1986 and 2002 among adults in the lowest income group and the lowest education group than among those in the highest income and education groups, respectively (Truong & Sturm, 2005).

Wages were inversely related to BMI and obesity in a nationally representative sample of more than 6,000 adults â?? meaning, those with low wages had increased BMI as well as increased chance of being obese (Kim & Leigh, 2010)


#18

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:

[quote]therajraj wrote:
Is it true mid-west chicks are the fattest in the nation?[/quote]

No idea. I do know that obesity and poverty are highly correlated, though.

Based on a large national study, body mass index (or BMI, an indicator of excess body fat) was higher every year between 1986 and 2002 among adults in the lowest income group and the lowest education group than among those in the highest income and education groups, respectively (Truong & Sturm, 2005).

Wages were inversely related to BMI and obesity in a nationally representative sample of more than 6,000 adults �¢?? meaning, those with low wages had increased BMI as well as increased chance of being obese (Kim & Leigh, 2010)[/quote]

When you’re poor; you go for quantity of food for the visual effect.
When you’re rich; you go for quality for the mental effect (and visual when eating out).

Suggest the biggest buyers of junk food, premade meals etc(imo) are the lower wage standards; which would be better off buying less of higher quality. Though it would look like you wouldn’t have enough.

(lived on near on nothing for years!)


#19

Causes of obesity are multifaceted. To boil it down to Rich vs Poor is overtly simplistic and is only one variable of many.

Anyways… back to Chicago?

I just recall going to Vegas and a couple of the chunkier girls in bikinis were from that part of the US


#20

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
Was Mrs. D’s there when you were growing up? It was a little hole-in-the wall diner at 4th and Linden. Sarkis?[/quote]
I am older than you. There was a diner, but not with that name. I used to spend my allowance money at Linden Pharmacy and the El station buying candy. An immigrant named Leo worked there forever. Sarkis – yes. And a donut store nearby too. Are you from that area?