11 reasons why you should move to Chicago

Chicago may be known as the second largest city, but for the people who live here, it’s second to none. While some locals like to complain about the weather, traffic and corrupt politicians, the pride of the locals runs so deep that many want to show it wherever they go, wearing the city’s four-star flag on shirts, hats. and even inked in their skin. The city welcomes transplants from all over the world, as long as you’re ready to learn the unofficial rules of Chicago living, learn some Chicago slang, and get ready to have your hot dog condiments examined. If you’re thinking about relocating to a new location, here are 11 reasons to move to Chicago.

1. The culinary scene

It’s impossible for a tourist with a few days in the city to fully explore Chicago’s best restaurants, which range from world-class gourmet establishments run by chefs to 80-year-old ice cream stands. Chicago has helped set trends in farm-to-table and tasting menus, but it also has plenty of laid-back establishments where you can save money while enjoying everything from empanadas to hot dogs. Chicago style. You will quickly learn to eat like a local.

2. Midwestern heat

Do you see someone in the street greeting you? Don’t panic and think it’s someone whose name you forgot – it’s probably just a friendly stranger. While New Yorkers are known to bring noise, and Los Angelinos just want to browse your IMDB profile, Chicagoans are generally a welcoming bunch who are generally happy to give you directions, recommend a restaurant, or even ask. ‘help dig up a car stuck in the snow. Just don’t try to move that “trash can” into your neighbor’s freshly dug parking spot.

3. Affordable rents (ish)

As in every other major American city, rents are on the rise in Chicago, but you can get a lot more room for your money than in New York or San Francisco, where median rents are almost double what ‘they are. are in Chicago. As in any city, what you pay will depend heavily on your neighborhood, so you’ll probably want to avoid moving to trendy neighborhoods like West Loop, Logan Square, and River North if you’re looking to save some cash. on the rent.

Wicker park party 2017
Photography: Neal O’Bryan

4. Street parties

Winters in Chicago can be a bit miserable, admittedly (you’ll have to get used to snowy spells and freezing temperatures), so when spring comes, Chicagoans throw a party every weekend until it hits. get cold again. When the weather is warm, you’ll find small block parties, massive art fairs, burger and taco parties, and even festivals where you can learn to dance. Festivals close the streets to car traffic, so put on a comfortable pair of shoes and get ready for a drink on the sidewalk someday in exchange for a small donation at the door.

5. It’s a city in a garden

After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the city was rebuilt as a model of city life filled with parks, boulevards and playgrounds. City planners Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennett sought to ensure that Chicago lived up to its motto of “City in a Garden” (or “Urbs in Horto,” as the Latin phrase on the seal says). town) and residents continue to reap the benefits with plenty of green space perfect for picnicking, watching movies outdoors, jogging, or walking with your dog.

6. The theatrical scene

Chicago is one of the best places in the world to see sketch or improv comedies, home to Second City, where icons such as Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey began their careers, as well as comedy theaters like Annoyance and Lincoln. Lodge. If you prefer a bit more serious theatrical productions, you can visit local institutions like the Steppenwolf Theater or the Goodman Theater, head to the Loop Theater District to see a Broadway musical, or find experimental performances in the many storefront theaters scattered throughout the city.

Millennium Park Summer Music Series
Photography: Zach Long

7. The music scene

Chicago has always been a city of melodies and rhythms, the birthplace of house music and home to many jazz and blues musicians who came north during the Great Migration. Since the turn of the century, major music festivals like Lollapalooza, Riot Fest and Pitchfork Music Festival have become staples of the city’s summer calendar. And with a mix of historic theaters, giant arenas, and smaller clubs, Chicago’s best concert halls regularly host talented artists from around the world and many local musicians who draw inspiration from the city’s rich musical history. .

8. Water

Chicago is the intersection of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, which means there is a lot of water fun to be had. In the summer, Chicago becomes something of a beach town (yes, there are plenty of beautiful Chicago beaches) – you’ll find stretches of sand filled with swimmers and volleyball players, kayakers and paddle boarders on the river. as well as alcoholic cruises and fast boats offering a chance to chill or thrill on the lake.

9. Breweries

Chicago is one of the best cities in the world for beer drinkers, with an impressive number of local (and national) breweries often collaborating with each other to create new, limited-edition concoctions that you will find on tap in local stores. craft beer bars. . If you don’t know the difference between a pilsner and a pale ale, you’ll want to attend one of the city’s many beer festivals where you can try a wide variety of styles and chat with the people who run them. Chicago’s best breweries. their profession. And if you’re not a beer lover, don’t worry, we have cocktail bars and wine bars too.

Kayaking in Chicago
Photography: Dave Olson

10. Architecture

Many of America’s most iconic architects and planners have worked in Chicago, which features a mix of Gothic Revival skyscrapers, iconic Prairie School buildings, and contemporary structures like Jeanne Gang and Helmut Jahn. Be sure to take an architectural tour soon after arriving here to learn about the city and its history, or head to Oak Park for a crash course in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

11. World-class cultural institutions

There is always something new to learn and discover in Chicago museums, and living here is a big plus. Head to the Field Museum to visit Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered, then stop nearby to see penguins and beluga whales at the Shedd Aquarium. Stroll down Michigan Avenue and stop at the Art Institute of Chicago, which features works by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picaso, and Vincent van Gogh as well as ancient sculptures and modern installations. Most museums offer discounted entry to residents of Illinois, a good incentive to get a new piece of ID after you settle in.

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