Chicago, Illinois

Italian Beef

Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.

  • Frank Lloyd Wright, architect and Oak Park resident

The Best Thing About Chicago?

Neighborhood Pride

People who aren’t from Chicago tend to think of it as a big slab of a city - without the distinct boroughs of New York, or the famous neighborhoods of Los Angeles. But if you live in Chicago your neighborhood defines you in ways the whole city does not. 77 different neighborhoods, each worthy of celebration on their own: each filled with a unique vibe, culture and history that longtime residents come to embrace.

What’s also cool though is that the other 76 neighborhoods are unique adventures for you to experience. You can live in the electric energy of downtown and in minutes scoot out to the warmth of a Cubs game in Wrigleyville, or to the epicenter of cool on the West Side (sorry Wicker Park). 77 different neighborhoods, one that is your own, and 76 others all at your disposal.

Review from a happy native: Pros: a big city to explore with the time you’re saving on commuting. Endless neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, pop-up activities, events, races, sports, concerts, and so on. A lively and unique beer scene. A huge international airport that can fly your direct to almost anywhere. Public transit so you don’t have to drive as much, if at all. Cheaper than other big cities.

The Worst Thing About Chicago?

Winters That Do Not Kill Us Make Us Stronger

They may not kill you but damn, they’re gonna hurt. Everyone knows about the cold, and the wind, and of course the snow, but the thing they don’t warn you about is how grey the skies remain for so long in winter. The Great Lakes cast a low, heavy layer of clouds over the city, creating a perfect storm of cold, wind, snow and clouds throughout January and February. If you can survive that stretch though you’re home free.

Locals concur with the weather assessment: Cons: -it’s gonna be cold in the winter -Lack of hills/forests easily accessible in/around the city

How You Living?

On A Courtyard

Ok, so Chicago has every kind of place you can live. Highrises downtown, bungalows, two-story flats, big brick single family homes, and the rest. Most unique to Chicago though is The Courtyard Building. These are distinct 3-story U-shaped apartment buildings with grass courtyards, mostly built between the 1910’s and 1930’s when fire hazards and regulations prevented builders from going taller. There are so many other ways to live but everyone should get a chance to live in one of these sometime.

Check out the calendar of events for just downtown to see how jumping this city is:

Why You Should Move Here Now?

The Economics

Chicago is an amazing city; great industry and economy, beautiful classic architecture, world-class culture, exciting sports scene, and everything a $3 subway ride away, but these things also come in a much less expensive package than the coastal majors. If you crave a major city but want a more economical lifestyle than New York, or San Francisco, or Boston, or Los Angeles, then Chicago has to be on your list. It’s the 3rd largest city but just the 15th most expensive city in the United States.