Chicago! Most amazing city in the world, in my opinion. It consists of so many culturally diverse neighborhoods. Yet, it’s quaint and full of charm.
Things to do: Three major art museums, a history museum, a science museum, a children’s museum, an aquarium, two zoos (one being free), and a planetarium. There are also a million restuarnts that are top in the world. We have a major broadway and off broadway scene, and all national acts come through Chicago.
Culture/diversity: Every neighborhood is different. Some are devoted to cultures (i.e. Ukranian Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, etc.). Some are extremely diverse, like Rogers Park. There is no shortage of language learning centers, churches, ethnic restaurants, etc.
Crime Rate: I wont pussyfoot this. It’s bad. But I will say that I have never felt unsafe in the city. Even on public transportation, once you know it, you understand what to do and what not to do. There are some really great neighborhoods where people will not lock their doors. And there are others where you wouldn’t go out past 9pm wearing white or black. But if you pick the right location, gang violence will never, ever effect you.
Standard of Living: This also depends on your neighborhood. For a 1 bdr apartment, we are paying $1200 in Lakeview, one of the best in the city. For a 1 bdr in family oriented Rogers Park, I was paying $700. So really, it’s up to you. Suburbs are much more affordable. To buy a home, you’re talking an average of $300,000 for a 2bdr. Gas is expensive but public transportation is ample and at the price of any other major city in the country. Tax rates are high though.
Political Climate: If you do not like liberal government, I’d avoid us. We are known for our corruption. And it’s true. But it’s nice to have alderman running your neighborhood. State government is in shambles. I wouldn’t want to be a government employee here. But the private sector in the cities fair nicely with work regulation. Big union town! And people are extremely passionate for gay rights, at least in the city. Outside of cook county, you are looking at a more conservative area.
Anything else: We have a ton of greenspace! Oh! And the lake! Living on a beach of a HUGE lake is priceless. And our views are spectacular. I love that the homes have a ton of history and are not just new, low rises.
Why would you live here? Because you enjoy a major city feeling. Because you want a lot of work opportunities. Because you want access to everything.