Moving to any new city can be a challenge, especially if you are coming from a different state or region in the United States. From figuring out the right places to live to finding the scene you want to be a part of once you arrive, figuring out the pros and cons of any place is crucial in order to make the right choices further down the line.
Lets take a moment and consider the city of Chicago. Incorporated as a city in 1837, Chicago is the third most populated city in the United States. The largest city in the Midwest, Chicago has a regional population of nearly 10 million people. Along with the third largest gross metropolitan product, Chicago has incredible diversity with a history to match. With all this in mind, lets review the good and the bad so that you are better prepared the next time you consider moving to Chicago.
The Pros of Living In Chicago
1. Incredible Food Selection
One of the best reasons to move to Chicago is the food. Simply put, no other city in the country gets as close to the incredible selection provided by the amazing diversity found in the city. Chains like Pizzeria Uno and others have come out of the amazing deep-dish pizzas served here. In addition, a strong Italian culture has led to amazing dishes, including Italian Beef. You can also find great selections of Indian, Greek, Chinese, Afganistani, Ethiopian, and more in this city. If you are a foodie, then this is one of the best places to be in the nation.
2. Amazing Architecture
The Chicago architectural movement is a cornerstone of American design and art. Home to some of the first skyscrapers, Chicago has continued this tradition. While other cities have a clearly defined city area created from natural boundaries like water or hills, Chicago has struggled through the centuries to define a centralized urban core and architectural aesthetic. The result can be considered amazing. With the tallest building in the United States, and a crazy array of architectural styles that epitomize American 20th century architecture, walking around this city is a treat. In addition, there are numerous tours as well as opportunities to tour these buildings for yourself.
3. Good Nightlife
If you are looking for a great nightlife scene, then there are several streets worth checking out, including Clark Street and Division Street. Both are full of clubs and bars, and are perfect for the 21-35 party scene.
4. Great Place To Meet New People
With its diversity and population, Chicago is an excellent place to meet people. While cities like New York or Los Angeles turn people off with their population and attitude, Chicago is significantly more welcoming. An epicenter of activity in the Midwest, Chicago is home to conventions, music performances, get togethers, and much more. Even if you have very niche interests, Chicago is the place to find others who share your interests.
The Cons of Living In Chicago
If you want beautiful summers and falls, then Chicago is for you. The only problem is that you usually have to wait 6 months through a freezing cold winter. For those moving from the south, Chicago life can be a real challenge to get used to. Chicago gets hit by lake effect weather. This means that while the rest of the Midwest will be sunny and warm, Chicago can have an unplanned rainy day that lasts for a while. There are also tornados, freezing rain, hail, and many other weather conditions that can make Chicago a challenge in the colder months.
Just like in any other major city, traffic will be a problem you have to deal with. While the metro lines are constantly expanding to meet the demand, the roads can become busy and clogged, making it take forever to get to where you want to go.
3. Cost of Living
Unlike the majority of the Midwest, living in Chicago is expensive. Depending on the community you want to move into, the price for an apartment or home will be significantly more then in other cities around the area. As demand for housing continues to increase, the prices will continue to rise.
Where Does this leave Us?
Chicago has a lot going for it. From being an excellent place to meet other people, sample cultures, and eat amazing food to enjoying awesome weather during the summer, Chicago provides a great deal of incentive to move. However, along with the lake effect weather, terrible weather during the winter months, traffic, and cost of living, it may not be as ideal as you think. Either way, every moment you take now to review these pros and cons will help you move towards the right choice for you.