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Chicago: The best all-around U.S. city

Recently, as I contemplate my life in this soulless dystopian tech city, I cannot help but fantasize about Chicago and how awesome that city really is. So underrated. The only true negative is the winters. Consider the following:

  1. Very cheap for a major city, especially rent. There are amazing luxury highrise apartments everywhere, but the rent is still below not just NYC and SF but also Seattle, LA, Boston, DC. The city is super affordable on all aspects.
  2. Only U.S. city aside from NYC where you really don't need a car to get around. Yes, other cities have public transportation systems, but they are not as well developed and comprehensive. Chicago is truly urban in this regard.
  3. Amazing restaurant and nightlife scene. It's world class, just below NYC. You have everything from upscale lounges in River North to Big 10 sports bars in Lincoln Park and hipster dive bars in Wicker Park and everything in between. The restaurant scene is massive, with enough diversity to keep you engaged for years.
  4. Urban beauty and aesthetics. The downtown core and the surrounding area is stunning, as it straddles pristine Lake Michigan, with Lincoln, Grant, and Millennium parks nearby. One can go jogging or biking on the trail right next to the lake, a trail that extends more than 10 miles. You also have North Avenue and Oak street beaches, where you can play beach volleyball, grab drinks, and hang out. The city is very walkable and clean, as there are no garbage bags lying on the streets.
  5. Incredible summers. Best summer city in the country. It's plenty warm but not too humid (far less so than NYC and obviously the South), and the social scene is out of control, as everyone is out and enjoying the summer: Cubs games, outdoor festivals, rooftop parties, daydrinking at outdoor bars, lounging by the pool, and so much more. Words cannot describe how awesome Chicago summers are.
  6. Dating scene. I have to admit that it's not as good as NYC but a close second. Plenty of beautiful fit women and a vibrant singles scene.
  7. Midwestern humility and culture. Despite being a world-class city, it lacks the elitism of NYC, the superficiality of L.A., and the obnoxious ultra-liberal sanctimony of Seattle and SF. For the most part, the people are nice and down to earth. Although the city is liberal, the people don't obsess over politics; very rarely will you meet a woman who asks about your political views on a first date. The city is quintessentially All-American.
  8. Fantastic work-life balance. People here just don't work crazy hours. Even in finance, 80+ hours are virtually unheard of. People are out of the office by 7 PM for the most part. This allows ample time to actually do stuff on weekday evenings.

Comments (405)

Feb 8, 2018

The only thing I wouldn't enjoy about Chicago is being out in the Midwest, I like being on the east coast because of the proximity to other cities. Aside from that, I agree the actual city is sick.

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Feb 8, 2018

Within a five hour drive of Chicago - Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville. I realize those aren't NYC/Boston/DC, but it's not stranded like Denver.

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Feb 8, 2018

Don't think I have any desire to visit any of those listed cities (maybe Louisville for the Derby?)

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Feb 9, 2018
onemanwolfpack:

Within a five hour drive of Chicago - Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville. I realize those aren't NYC/Boston/DC, but it's not stranded like Denver.

Ha, because those of us in Denver feel totally isolated...P.S. the weather is horrible here. Please don't visit.

Feb 9, 2018

I've never been remotely interested in visiting any of those cities you just listed.

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Feb 9, 2018

Also close to Indiana high school basketball which is better than watching the Bulls play.

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Feb 12, 2018

How fast are you driving to make it from Chicago to Minny in 5 hrs?

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Feb 8, 2018

Agree with all of the above, would also mention that work opportunities are fantastic, while there is more of a focus on industrials/manufacturing, there is also pharma/healthcare, good amount of financial services, and a growing startup scene

Feb 8, 2018

8) Hundreds of BYOB restaurants

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Feb 8, 2018
onemanwolfpack:

8) Hundreds of BYOB restaurants

Great call. Totally forgot about that.

Feb 20, 2018

I brought a bottle of sake to Sushi Taka last week and they wanted a $15 corkage fee. It was an $8 bottle of sake. I just ordered their house sake and drank my bottle when I left.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

Feb 8, 2018

Cmon man, should've just named this thread "I hate Seattle". It's what this is really about.

p.s. we had a week of roughly 15-25 degree temperature here in Texas and it might have been the most miserable thing I've ever experienced.

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Best Response
Feb 8, 2018

Sounds like you are a pussy?

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Feb 8, 2018

Chicago's the shit.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
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Feb 8, 2018
Yankee Doodle:

Chicago's the shit.

AMEN, brother. I cannot imagine living anywhere long-term aside from Chicago and NYC.

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Feb 16, 2018

London is pretty close to NYC/Chicago if you don't mind a bit of a British culture.

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Feb 8, 2018
Yankee Doodle:

Chicago's shit.

FTFY

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Feb 8, 2018

Spent a week in Chicago earlier this year and I walked away with the exact same thoughts. Much cleaner than I ever would have expected considering the narrative about crime. Felt like a more manageable sized, cleaner, NYC.

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Feb 8, 2018

Happy to trade in CHI's winters for our "superficiality" here in LA.

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Feb 8, 2018

Chicago's America's best looking city (really stunning) but ultimately very boring. Girls are very good looking though (generally are in the midwest).

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Feb 8, 2018

best looking? Idk man San Francisco is a beautiful city, same with Seattle and Denver

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Feb 8, 2018

San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver should not be used in the same sentence as "good looking".

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
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Feb 9, 2018

You've struck out a couple times in this thread huh

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Feb 8, 2018
Esuric:

Chicago's America's best looking city (really stunning) but ultimately very boring. Girls are very good looking though (generally are in the midwest).

Chicago is boring? Lol. That's nuts, man.

The girls are very attractive, especially if you are into the healthy All-American blonde types.

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Feb 8, 2018

I love Chicago.

The downtown is the only skyline that even looks like a legit skyscraper filled city center in the country, outside of NYC. Nobody mentioned the pizza yet....I love NY style pizza, but deep dish Chicago Style is my favorite. The winters suck in Chicago, but they are only a little bit less worse in New York. Museums are better in New York, but how often do you go there? Rarely more than you would visit as a tourist. The Broadway scene is obviously better in New York, but I don't really care about that.

The cost of living is appealing, but ultimately I can't move there because I need an offer that would bring me there. When I retire, I'll probably stay here because of the ease of getting around and the income tax won't mean much then. Ultimately, both are awesome towns and you should be happy in either place. If not, it's your fault. That being said, as great as Chicago is, it's the Second City for a reason.

Also, thanks for staying Brady4MVP with the All-American blonde reference.

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Feb 10, 2018

WTF??? the girls are in no way more attractive than Cali, NYC (and probably Arizona and TX chicks). Go on Tinder right now and tell me Chicago chicks and Midwest chicks are the hottest with a straight face

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Feb 9, 2018

Girls are usually from some kind of European ancestry (Polish/Ukrainian) or straight up from eastern Europe. Food scene is great for a budget of cheap eats to fancy dinning. Cheap eats (~$15) like Japan quality-like ramen (Oiistar, Wasabi), Puerto Rican (La Central), Cuban (Cafecito), Korean Fried Chicken Wings (Crisp), Mexican (any Rick Bayless restaurants), Ice Cream (Jeni's) are really good. West Loop (upcoming tech, Google, and Fancy dinning - Au Cheval, Girl&Goat, Monte Verde, Publican). Neighborhoods are very well delineated yet close to each other - Gold Coast/Old Town (posh restaurant and bars/rich ppl scene), Streeterville (Retail/restaurant/Roof top bars/ closest to NYC feel), Loop (Work place), Greektown, Chinatown, Argyle (Vietnamese) Ukrainian Town, Lincoln Park (Cubs, Sports Bars, Family Life, College Town), Bucktown/Wicker (Hipster). Cost of living is great and work hours are great though property taxes sucks. Overall, still best bang for buck. If winter sucks, go ski, do restaurant week, or fly out internationally from O'hare. Easily accessible by Uber and train (~35min).

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Feb 9, 2018

I just got so hungry reading this list. Would stab a motherfucker for some Korean chicken wings or Japanese ramen right now.

Feb 16, 2018

I was waiting for someone to mention having international airport access.

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Feb 8, 2018

cool story bro

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Feb 8, 2018

Just the right amount of Italian women without the jersey shore guidos

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Feb 8, 2018

Second most annoying sound in the world behind a moaning walrus is a Long Island accent.

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Feb 9, 2018

Try a Valley accent. Sounds like a crossing between a chihuahua that accidentally swallowed a straw and a stressed-out teacher in a sub-urban high school.

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Feb 8, 2018

Yup. Chicago is easily my favorite city in the USA. Echo everything you said.

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Feb 8, 2018

I'm really thinking about moving here at some point in the future. In 2016 I visited some family there in the summer (I want to say June or July) for a weekend, and it was insanely humid, as bad as DC. I'm trying to escape humidity but I'll deal with it if it's just for a weekend or week. How bad does it normally get? I remember the food and social scene being great, so I'm sold on that, and the affordability is the cherry on top.

Feb 8, 2018
BubbaBanker:

I'm really thinking about moving here at some point in the future. In 2016 I visited some family there in the summer (I want to say June or July) for a weekend, and it was insanely humid, as bad as DC. I'm trying to escape humidity but I'll deal with it if it's just for a weekend or week. How bad does it normally get? I remember the food and social scene being great, so I'm sold on that, and the affordability is the cherry on top.

I lived in Chicago for a long time, and there were only 2 summers where we had humidity stretches that were unbearable. Chicago does not get "hot" (defining "hot" as consistent 80+ degrees) until July. Even then, if you are anywhere close to the lake (most of the nice neighborhoods aren't too far from the lake), it will feel fairly mild.

Feb 8, 2018

Alright I'm sold, where do I sign up?

Feb 8, 2018

LMAO Shitcago or Chiraq is a joke. From political corruptness to gangbanging you can't go right in this town.

NYC has the Hamptons. Chicago has? Milwaukee? Enough said.

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Feb 9, 2018

I would never want to go to Hamptons, but I think that's what separates me from the guys here who love NYC, maybe I'm too Midwest. The Michigan side of Lake Michigan in the summer gives me the same experience.

If you don't sell drugs on the South or Westside and don't make YouTube diss tracks against other local "rappers" it's a safe place to live. Yes it's corrupt, but Daley and now Rahm have made a clean downtown and keep the riff raff in check, I'm okay with that.

Feb 9, 2018
Scott Irish:

I would never want to go to Hamptons, but I think that's what separates me from the guys here who love NYC, maybe I'm too Midwest. The Michigan side of Lake Michigan in the summer gives me the same experience.

If you don't sell drugs on the South or Westside and don't make YouTube diss tracks against other local "rappers" it's a safe place to live. Yes it's corrupt, but Daley and now Rahm have made a clean downtown and keep the riff raff in check, I'm okay with that.

I've been to the Hamptons; it's fine but overrated. Yeah if you are super rich and can buy a home there, different story.

Chicago is a very segregated city. The crime is on the far south and far west sides. It has no impact on the quality of life for those in the nice areas of the city. Daley did a great job of gentrifying the city and bringing in business capital.

Feb 10, 2018
Scott Irish:

Yes it's corrupt, but Daley and now Rahm have made a clean downtown and keep the riff raff in check, I'm okay with that.

Dude, the real crime is the corruption in the form of being raped by taxes, fees and various legalized extortion ($) to live there. Every illiterate crony who held a fake no-show job in Cook County has a bulletproof pension all the yuppies are on the hook for. Not to mention the zionist mayor (who served in IDF and holds an Israeli passport) is a globalist open-borders shill who proudly declares it an illegal immigrant sanctuary city - hence heroin, stickups, violent crime, worthless public schools, and EVERYONE who's ever lived in the city has had a bike stolen and car broken into.

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Feb 8, 2018

Love Chicago. If it weren't for the horrible winters I'd never consider living elsewhere. If I could live in Chicago from May-September and in LA the rest of the year, I'd do it in a second.

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Feb 13, 2018

Met a retired PE partner who does exactly this. God did he seem happy

Feb 8, 2018
Dances With Newfoundland:
  1. Only U.S. city aside from NYC where you really don't need a car to get around. Yes, other cities have public transportation systems, but they are not as well developed and comprehensive. Chicago is truly urban in this regard.

This is misleading. You may not need a car, but it can be fairly inconvenient without one. A lot of Chicago is more similar to the residential parts of Brooklyn and Queens (in terms of how spread apart things are), vs Manhattan

I guess my point is, NYC has no real comparison. Chicago is great in its own way

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Feb 8, 2018

You tout the CoL, and it's true, Chicago is much cheaper than other big cities in the U.S. At the same time, to one in a smaller metro, the property taxes seem comparatively horrendous. Plus with Illinois's financial issues, taxes in general seem likely to go up.

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Feb 9, 2018

From the mid-West and starting in Chicago this summer. Love everything about the city... but is anyone else really not that into Chicago-style pizza? I like thinner stuff, I feel like Chicago-style is not really pizza, it's almost like lasagna.

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Feb 9, 2018

The city is inundated with all kinds of pizzas. There's a bunch of Neapolitan pizza joints here too. Google search.

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Feb 9, 2018

Yeah I knew there was non-CS pizzas in Chicago I was just talking about how everyone seems to trumpet that as one of the reasons Chicago is cool, but I think that is very far down on the list

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Feb 9, 2018

Going to go out on a limb and know i'm going to get monkey shit for it but Chicago is the best city in the world. Biased because I was born and raised here but echoing everything OP said gives me pride in my city.

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Feb 9, 2018
DrRollTide:

Going to go out on a limb and know i'm going to get monkey shit for it but Chicago is the best city in the world. Biased because I was born and raised here but echoing everything OP said gives me pride in my city.

I gave you a bananna. The only city in the world I would even consider taking over Chicago is NYC but only at the right income level. Aside from that, it's not close for me. Chicago dominates London, Paris, Hong Kong, LA, SF.

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Feb 9, 2018

Sweet Home Chicago.

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Feb 9, 2018

Where do you live now? SF or Seattle? Both of those places are nice to visit for a couple days, but blow hard to live in.

Amen on Chicago being awesome - haven't lived there but have visited and love the city. Fantastic vibe, great culture, awesome downtown, and not prohibitively expensive.

Feb 9, 2018
aspiringchimp:

Where do you live now? SF or Seattle? Both of those places are nice to visit for a couple days, but blow hard to live in.

Amen on Chicago being awesome - haven't lived there but have visited and love the city. Fantastic vibe, great culture, awesome downtown, and not prohibitively expensive.

I do live in one of those cities, working for a FAANG tech firm.

Feb 12, 2018

True poetry. Growing up in Wisconsin this is 100% true. SB my friend.

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Feb 9, 2018
Dances With Newfoundland:

Recently, as I contemplate my life in this soulless dystopian tech city, I cannot help but fantasize about Chicago and how awesome that city really is. So underrated. The only true negative is the winters. Consider the following:

  1. Very cheap for a major city, especially rent. There are amazing luxury highrise apartments everywhere, but the rent is still below not just NYC and SF but also Seattle, LA, Boston, DC. The city is super affordable on all aspects.
  2. Only U.S. city aside from NYC where you really don't need a car to get around. Yes, other cities have public transportation systems, but they are not as well developed and comprehensive. Chicago is truly urban in this regard.
  3. Amazing restaurant and nightlife scene. It's world class, just below NYC. You have everything from upscale lounges in River North to Big 10 sports bars in Lincoln Park and hipster dive bars in Wicker Park and everything in between. The restaurant scene is massive, with enough diversity to keep you engaged for years.
  4. Urban beauty and aesthetics. The downtown core and the surrounding area is stunning, as it straddles pristine Lake Michigan, with Lincoln, Grant, and Millennium parks nearby. One can go jogging or biking on the trail right next to the lake, a trail that extends more than 10 miles. You also have North Avenue and Oak street beaches, where you can play beach volleyball, grab drinks, and hang out. The city is very walkable and clean, as there are no garbage bags lying on the streets.
  5. Incredible summers. Best summer city in the country. It's plenty warm but not too humid (far less so than NYC and obviously the South), and the social scene is out of control, as everyone is out and enjoying the summer: Cubs games, outdoor festivals, rooftop parties, daydrinking at outdoor bars, lounging by the pool, and so much more. Words cannot describe how awesome Chicago summers are.
  6. Dating scene. I have to admit that it's not as good as NYC but a close second. Plenty of beautiful fit women and a vibrant singles scene.
  7. Midwestern humility and culture. Despite being a world-class city, it lacks the elitism of NYC, the superficiality of L.A., and the obnoxious ultra-liberal sanctimony of Seattle and SF. For the most part, the people are nice and down to earth. Although the city is liberal, the people don't obsess over politics; very rarely will you meet a woman who asks about your political views on a first date. The city is quintessentially All-American.
  8. Fantastic work-life balance. People here just don't work crazy hours. Even in finance, 80+ hours are virtually unheard of. People are out of the office by 7 PM for the most part. This allows ample time to actually do stuff on weekday evenings.

Nothing says 'I'm an upper middle class schmuck of average intelligence from the Midwest who couldn't compete in a real global city' like being obsessed with Chicago. We get it, real cities intimidate you, you're too scared to move too far away from home, and you'd get eaten alive in NYC LA SF. You feel so comfortable rooming with the 10 smallminded bros you've known since 4th grade. Does your mom still do your laundry on weekends?

Chicago is a corrupt dump where Big Ten coke trash perpetual sorority girls go party for 3-4 years until they get fat and settle down with a balding low-status slob they knew from hometown or undergrad.

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Feb 9, 2018

Nothing says "I'm terribly unhappy with my life so I need to justify my current living situation and pretend other people are unhappy too" like this post.

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Feb 9, 2018

Someone is very jelly about the great life style here. Simple, no need to come if you don't like. Probably never even visited before.

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Feb 9, 2018

I love Chitown, but your first sentence nearly made me shi tmyself. Sb'd

Feb 12, 2018

Lol did you not get a bid from a fraternity? Tell me more why you hate Chicago.

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Feb 9, 2018

@Remain-Anony is spot on.

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Feb 9, 2018

How is it that Chicago real estate is so cheap in relative terms vs other major cities in the US? Is there a lot of supply?

Feb 10, 2018

As you mentioned, Chicago is less supply constrained compared to cities like NY or SF. While glass and steel office construction has been below historical average and land available for high rise office construction in the downtown area is finally running out, there has been lot of creative office construction that caters to tech companies, start-ups, etc in the Fulton market, River West, etc. There has been ton of new multi family construction as well, especially in the West Loop market.

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Feb 13, 2018

You get what you pay for.

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Feb 10, 2018

Chicago is amazing man, but lately I've had this irrational craving for Shorty's Philly cheese steak sandwiches. You know, the one next to Fraunces Tavern downtown. I'ts embarrassing to think how many times I almost bought a plane ticket to go get a god damned sandwich and some chili cheese fries, heart-attack be damned.

Feb 10, 2018

Chicago is a good destination for middle class raised in flyover country - feels like they REALLY made it while being a non-entity in an approachable city (everyone from college moved there) while begging mom and dad to cover their rent. Chicago is an extension of college - same circle they've known since freshman year, same shitty coke, same binge drinking at dive bars and tacky clubs, same hookups. By late 20s they move on, their mediocre career plateaued, the city was just an expensive (and likely degrading) parenthesis.

Don't get me wrong, Chicago is a solid American city, but the low caliber narrow-minded unsophisticated loudmouth state school dolts it attracts is a turnoff. I guarantee OP has never lived anywhere else, had no other offers - no other options but funneling to Chicago like 50% of his college class. Classic Dunning-Kruger overconfidence, no depth or life experience, can't wrap his head around all he doesn't know, and lacks the impulse control to keep his yap shut.

The world is bigger than flyover country and getting shitfaced at a Cubbies game and finally plowing that raspy-voiced sorority girl you knew in college who's now 30 pounds out of her prime, old sport.

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Feb 10, 2018
axecapital17:

Chicago is a good destination for middle class raised in flyover country - feels like they REALLY made it while being a non-entity in an easily approachable city (because everyone from college moved there) while begging mom and dad to cover their rent. Chicago is an extension of college - same circle they've known since freshman year, same shitty coke, same binge drinking at dive bars and tacky clubs, same hookups. By late 20s they move on, their mediocre career plateaued, the city was just an expensive (and likely degrading) parenthesis.

Don't get me wrong, Chicago is a solid American city, but the low caliber narrow-minded unsophisticated loudmouth state school dolts it attracts is a turnoff. I guarantee OP has never lived anywhere else, had no other offers - no other options but funneling to Chicago like 50% of his college class. Classic Dunning-Kruger overconfidence, no depth or life experience, can't wrap his head around all he doesn't know, and lacks the impulse control to keep his yap shut.

The world is bigger than flyover country and getting shitfaced at a Cubbies game and finally plowing that raspy-voiced sorority girl you knew in college who's now 30 pounds out of her prime, old sport.

Double ivy alum, lived in both Chicago and NYC before moving to my current city. Please proceed with your armchair Freudian "analysis."

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Feb 12, 2018

Everything you just said is bs besides the last part about Cubs games. You are still looking down on people for enjoying themselves and just doing their own thing on weekends. Not everyone has that "Elite NYC IBD mentality" and shouldn't patronize others for not enjoying the same things you do. Have a good one bud.

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Feb 10, 2018

San Diego is up there...but Chicago is a solid city

Feb 11, 2018

Chicago wind blows (see what I did there) nutsack in the winter and April but is a savior in the summer sometimes.
Summers are overrated IF you are already an active, outgoing person. Only difference if you are is there are just a few more festivals etc.
Lastly, OP mentioned one strip of sidewalk for jogging or walking. Other than that and a few tracks, you pretty much need to venture outside the city to avoid traffic lights and constant stops.

Overall, Chicago is an awesome city, but calling it "best" is only someone's opinion. Personally I'd rather be sitting in ball soup at a tropical beach.

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Feb 11, 2018

I totally agree on rent and cost of living. That alone made me thumbs up your post, since it's a great balance of quality of life. Dallas and and Austin are up there as well.

You forgot some cons though, such as how everything you mentioned is really only enjoyable 6 months out of the year. The rest of the time it's almost as cold and miserable as Russia.

You also forgot all the murders and ugly/fat women.

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Feb 11, 2018

This site is so full of hyperbole it's sickening.

1) Chicago is great. Being the best is personal preference.

2) City is cold, but no more so than Boston, NYC or Philly.

3) crime is in every large, northern city because of a whole lot of history, segregation and criminal law.

4) Beautiful women everywhere, anyone who claims x is better than y has shit game.

And for those people who hate smaller cities, I'd love to see how you squeeze every drop out of major cities. Reality is the people who stroke NYC or LA the most are young kids who live like animals because they are broke and basically brunch and get wasted all the time.

Which is this site - except going to brunch requires either friends of a woman you've slept with the night before, two things far far in the minority here.

Feb 11, 2018
TNA:

This site is so full of hyperbole it's sickening.

1) Chicago is great. Being the best is personal preference.

2) City is cold, but no more so than Boston, NYC or Philly.

3) crime is in every large, northern city because of a whole lot of history, segregation and criminal law.

4) Beautiful women everywhere, anyone who claims x is better than y has shit game.

And for those people who hate smaller cities, I'd love to see how you squeeze every drop out of major cities. Reality is the people who stroke NYC or LA the most are young kids who live like animals because they are broke and basically brunch and get wasted all the time.

Which is this site - except going to brunch requires either friends of a woman you've slept with the night before, two things far far in the minority here.

TNA speaking truth to power!

Feb 17, 2018
TNA:

This site is so full of hyperbole it's sickening.

1) Chicago is great. Being the best is personal preference.

2) City is cold, but no more so than Boston, NYC or Philly.

3) crime is in every large, northern city because of a whole lot of history, segregation and criminal law.

4) Beautiful women everywhere, anyone who claims x is better than y has shit game.

And for those people who hate smaller cities, I'd love to see how you squeeze every drop out of major cities. Reality is the people who stroke NYC or LA the most are young kids who live like animals because they are broke and basically brunch and get wasted all the time.

Which is this site - except going to brunch requires either friends of a woman you've slept with the night before, two things far far in the minority here.

This.

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Feb 17, 2018

You said it, man.

Feb 11, 2018

I've lived in LA, NYC and Chicago.

Chicago shits on the other two, easily.

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Feb 11, 2018
r3v:

I've lived in LA, NYC and Chicago.

Chicago shits on the other two, easily.

If you make $500K+/year, I do think NYC is better. But aside from that, Chicago wins out.

LA is overrated.

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Feb 12, 2018

Totally agree.

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Feb 12, 2018

you people have terrible taste. chicago is the worst.

  • smells worse than LA (hows it that even possible in the winter?)
  • does not have midwest humility- for that try madison, milwaukee, minneapolis, or detroit
  • arrogant tech scene that will have its will severely tested when valuations and endless $ disappear overnight
  • its a sales and accounting town. as one friend put it, a "suitcase" place.
  • everything anyone, especially, dick fuld, has said in this thread about pizza is wrong and you should be in jail for even thinking it.
  • fashion here is stupid. people wear suits like its 1983.
  • the firms that are good enough are really creepy. all other firms are hq'd in chicago for a reason.
  • unless you're a derivatives junky, markets are moving away from here.
  • everyone is either too polished (thus not credible) or a bumbling idiot with no social skills (thus not credible). people who are actually doing what they say few and far between.
  • the cubz world series victory will become as sad as the bears superbowl. its the only thing these teams (and fans) cling to. game logistics are a nightmare.
  • bar/food scene is a joke outside of fullerton market, handful of spots on nw side. this city mostly eats nasty hot beefs or, from the looks of things, tubs of lard and diet coke.

Throw all the monkey shit you want, you're really just throwing it at chicago, but no one will be able to tell, because the entire city reeks like feces.

Give midtier cities love. Especially you PMs, MDs, BSDs, and other decision makers. Quality of life is really good, the best chefs hide out there, and homes are affordable. I really wish there were more opportunities in Seattle/Austin/Minneappolis etc..

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Feb 12, 2018

This is one of the worst troll attempts in history. Though I agree with your last sentence.

Feb 12, 2018

This piqued my curiosity but how's a firm creepy?

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Feb 12, 2018

eg. citidel

Feb 12, 2018
FOHFLady:

you people have terrible taste. chicago is the worst.

  • smells worse than LA (hows it that even possible in the winter?)
  • does not have midwest humility- for that try madison, milwaukee, minneapolis, or detroit
  • arrogant tech scene that will have its will severely tested when valuations and endless $ disappear overnight
  • its a sales and accounting town. as one friend put it, a "suitcase" place.
  • everything anyone, especially, dick fuld, has said in this thread about pizza is wrong and you should be in jail for even thinking it.
  • fashion here is stupid. people wear suits like its 1983.
  • the firms that are good enough are really creepy. all other firms are hq'd in chicago for a reason.
  • unless you're a derivatives junky, markets are moving away from here.
  • everyone is either too polished (thus not credible) or a bumbling idiot with no social skills (thus not credible). people who are actually doing what they say few and far between.
  • the cubz world series victory will become as sad as the bears superbowl. its the only thing these teams (and fans) cling to. game logistics are a nightmare.
  • bar/food scene is a joke outside of fullerton market, handful of spots on nw side. this city mostly eats nasty hot beefs or, from the looks of things, tubs of lard and diet coke.

Throw all the monkey shit you want, you're really just throwing it at chicago, but no one will be able to tell, because the entire city reeks like feces.

Give midtier cities love. Especially you PMs, MDs, BSDs, and other decision makers. Quality of life is really good, the best chefs hide out there, and homes are affordable. I really wish there were more opportunities in Seattle/Austin/Minneappolis etc..

Obviously you're trolling but most of us here live in NYC which is clearly the smelliest, dirtiest, most disgusting city in the country. My friends are shocked at the piles of garbage on the sidewalks when they come visit me. The entire upper east side smells like dog shit and piss mixed with garbage. There's no comparison between Chicago and NYC when it comes to dirtiness.

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    • 1
Feb 14, 2018

Have you ever spent any time in New Orleans? I've lived in a lot of places, and New Orleans after the sewers back up during a heavy rain smells like the combination of piss, shit, and vomit that was all over the street the night before.

Don't get me wrong--I love NOLA, but it's the smelliest city in the country.

    • 1
Feb 12, 2018

I lived in Chicago for over 25 years. I find it to be a great place to visit and live when you are young. However, when you get to the point of starting a family, it isn't any better than any different than any other city. I've had two chances now to move back, but we decided that the traffic, taxes and long-term financial situation of the state are only going to get worse.

So, we'll visit instead.

    • 1
Feb 19, 2018

Where are you currently located?

Feb 12, 2018

I honestly don't understand all the hatred towards LA.. Try to understand that it's a great place to live/work, but horrible place to visit. Not as superficial as you may think and weather is 10/10.

Array

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Feb 12, 2018
odc:

I honestly don't understand all the hatred towards LA.. Try to understand that it's a great place to live/work, but horrible place to visit. Not as superficial as you may think and weather is 10/10.

The weather and food are fantastic. My issue with L.A. is the following.

  1. You have to drive everywhere, and the traffic is horrendous.
  2. It's not a "real" city but rather a collection of various neighborhoods. There really isn't an urban core.
  3. The women are stunning, but it's a tough dating market for men due to the ratio and the intense competition.
    • 1
Feb 12, 2018

Absolutely salient points my friend, however let me point you in the direction of LA from my prospective..

If you you work in finance in LA you (hopefully) work in Century City or Santa Monica, live in Westwood or Santa Monica, commute to work will likely be anywhere from 10-20 minutes, and go out in WeHo or Santa Monica which are $10 ubers either way..

I am definitely biased because I grew up in Southern California and am so used to driving everywhere. You get used to it though and learn how to live in a sprawled out city.. It really isn't as bad as people make it out to be, but isn't the typical "city-life" you're going to get in NYC/Boston/Chicago etc.

On the third point, unfortunately it is a blessing and a curse to have so many smoke shows in LA. Pompous instagram "model" types are the worst and saturate the dating pool.

Array

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Feb 12, 2018

Sounds like a fun place to visit, thanks!

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

    • 1
Mar 29, 2018

..

Feb 13, 2018

Chicago has Goldie
/thread

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

    • 2
Mar 29, 2018

Were you unable to Google for this? There are plenty: cheaper than NY, it's a giant city next to a lake, not as bust as NY but still a major city, decent public transportation, plenty of cultural attractions, "Midwestern values", etc. I don't live in Chicago, but I interviewed at several places there and always used the aforementioned reasons.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Mar 29, 2018

These reasons are awful. You're also unlikely to get a "why Chicago" question. More likely "why [x] bank". More important to answer that question. As a staffer in Chicago, if someone told me they wanted to join because of Lake Michigan, or the rent levels, they wouldn't make it to the next round.

Also - as someone pointed out- Peaquods is the best pizza. Sarpinos for regrettable, late night decisions.

Mar 29, 2018

Which firm are you having interview with?

Mar 29, 2018

Giordano's.

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Mar 29, 2018
EdmonDantesLJ:

Giordano's.

I am pretty sure you were responding to the OP, but reading the post above you, and then your post, made me laugh

    • 1
Mar 29, 2018
EdmonDantesLJ:

Giordano's.

I hope you work for VPC. Otherwise, Lou's is the answer for chains.

Mar 29, 2018

I'd definitely agree with Lou's over Giordano's.

Chicago is cleaner than Philadelphia and New York, has friendlier people, and is very close to Philadelphia in regards to the cost of living - when comparing the nicer areas. I also find it to be much less hectic and much more of a neighborhood feel. I often walk from the Loop to the Gold Coast after work and I thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere along the way.

The only downside I see is not being close to the ocean. I grew up on the East Coast so it was always a huge pro to have the beach so close.

I may eventually make the move back to the tri-state area area, but this is an awesome place to start and, if you enjoy it, stick around for good.

Mar 29, 2018

Your best bet is to research the city a bit and figure out what appeals to you. That way when you're asked, your answer is sincere and conveys an actual feeling... people generally empathize/relate to that more than a half assed canned answer.

Mar 29, 2018

Throwing in my $0.2 here. Lou's....hands down. No where on earth I rather eat Pizza.

Mar 29, 2018

No mention of Naf Naf Grill yet?

Mar 29, 2018
NuclearPenguins:

No mention of Naf Naf Grill yet?

Sultan's (on North Ave.) is so much better.

Mar 29, 2018
  1. Lous
  2. Beggars
    3.Pequods
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
  3. Dog Shit
    .
  4. Homeless person's big toe
    .
    .
    .
  5. Giordano's
    • 1
Mar 29, 2018

I enjoy the prospect of working in a huge dirty city with high real estate cost, low growth prospects, a high crime rate and shitty culture. I have always aspired to live in a place with more homeless people than middle class, and feel like a move to Chicago would really position me for the life of misery I have always wanted.

Did I mention I love the cold?

    • 1
Mar 29, 2018

This.

Chicago is terrible. Culturally void, 2nd tier people, high cost of living (compared to what you get out of a city), terrible growth.

Tech scene is minimally redeeming.

    • 7
Mar 29, 2018

These people are idiots. Let me count the ways...:
1- Chicago is arguably one of the cleanest large cities in the states. Want to see a 'huge dirty city'? Visit New York
2- Low growth prospects? Fair. But would argue Chicago is well ahead of national average. Some overhang based on tax policy given pension issues
3- High crime rate? Unless you live on the south side or west side- you'll be living in one of the safest neighborhoods in the country. You're in finance? Probably will live in river north or Lincoln park...where the last violent crime was in the 1980s
4- Homeless? Why would a homeless want to live in Chicago? Literally any city offers better weather if you are without shelter - New York, Vegas, Houston, LA....literally anything other than anchorage. Chicago has less homeless than average.
5- Cold? Yeah. It's fucking cold. Don't be a bitch.
6- high cost of living? You're kidding right? You think Chicago has a high cost of living? Probably cheaper than all major metropolitan areas. Other than Orlando (which has pedos)
7- Culturally void? Fair- maybe as compared to NY, still better than every other city in the US.

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Mar 29, 2018

There are not enough words to describe how much I love Chicago.

  1. Cost of living: $100K in Chicago is equal to around $187K in Manhattan, according to CNN's cost of living. Rent for a comparable place is about 2-3 times more expensive in NYC than in Chicago. Also, IL has lower state tax than NYC, and Chicago has no city tax. Sales tax is higher though.
  2. Clean: one of the cleanest large cities in the U.S. After the great fire of 1871, they rebuilt the city from the ground-up and its layout and aesthetics are impeccable.
  3. Quality of life: you get more for your money, and you get around 90% of what NYC offers in terms of restaurants, nightlife, and amenities. If you get bored in Chicago, then you need to seriously re-assess your life.
  4. Best summer city in the country, lake michigan, oak and north avenue beaches, beautiful architecture, outdoor music festivals, Lollapalooza, Cubs games, and so much more. It is the quintessential American city that also offers world-class amenities.

The one big drawback for us finance professionals is that Chicago doesn't have as nearly as many top notch finance opportunities as NYC.

    • 1
Mar 29, 2018

As a native New Yorker (I still live there), I can strongly agree with both @DoddFrank and @DoddFrank . Chicago is a fantastic city where you get WAY more bang for your buck than NYC. In terms of bars, restaurants, nightlife and culture it's second only to NYC (in LA you have to drive fucking everywhere) for half the cost. Yes, it's really fucking cold but not dramatically more so than the northeast. If I could uproot my entire social circle and move it all to Chicago, I would in a heartbeat. My friends are really the only reason I choose to stay in NYC. Chicago is 85% of NYC for 55% of the cost.

Mar 29, 2018

If you are not from chicago, you have better think of a good reason, I wouldn't take anyone to seriously if they could not provide a good reason why they wanted to work in the place my company as located. Overall it has a good finance scene, no new york, but nearly every major investment banking firm is here, tons of consulting firms here and many of them headquartered here. Very strong in the middle market for business services. If you live in the loop or near north side, which every young professional does, you would have to be a complete social introvert to not have a good time.

Mar 29, 2018

If you are not from chicago, you have better think of a good reason, I wouldn't take anyone to seriously if they could not provide a good reason why they wanted to work in the place my company as located. Overall it has a good finance scene, no new york, but nearly every major investment banking firm is here, tons of consulting firms here and many of them headquartered here. Very strong in the middle market for business services. If you live in the loop or near north side, which every young professional does, you would have to be a complete social introvert to not have a good time.

Mar 29, 2018

Not sure if you need a really, really good reason as mentioned above. Just say that you prefer the lower cost of living, big city life, and that you've never been a big fan of NYC.

Mar 29, 2018

Chicago is great. I interned at a BB there last summer, absolutely loved both the job and the city, and i'm going back for full time.

I can say aside from just the city that working in a Chicago office, the vibe and culture is completely different than New York. You could almost say that its kind of like working at an EB with BB resources. Even as an intern, I definitely got to know all the MD's in the office, and I would work directly with the directors and VPs quite a bit. For just about every deal i worked on, I got the privilege oh having a senior guy explain to me exactly what was going on in the deal, what our role was, etc. This was an extremely cool experience, and it definitely made doing some of the grunt work a little less painful.

Mar 29, 2018

Love the monkey shit i got for pointing out the obvious. chicago is weak.

source: i currently live in this weak-ass city.

    • 1
Mar 29, 2018

It's possible that I am biased since I spent my business school years there, but I really think Chicago is one of the best places to live in 'Merica. A lot of the reasons have already been covered above, but I'll also throw in:

FOOD - as an eating city, Chicago punches well above its weight. NYC is obviously still going to have better fine dinning options in aggregate, but I honestly think Chicago > SF for good food. 1 Michelin star in Chicago (e.g. Blackbird/Moto/NAHA) is like two in SF, and Alinea easily (i mean really easily) beats the three starred restaurants I've tried in the Bay (French Laundry, Saison). Oh yeah, and they're substantially cheaper. Food at the low end is also fantastic, especially if you like sport peppers on your hot dog. +1 for Lou's. Good indian is a little hard to find, but otherwise the options are abundant.

PEOPLE - just generally a friendlier bunch that New Yorkers, with fewer annoying politically correct hipsters than SF/LA. I don't know, I grew up in the SF area but the hearty yet sincere midwesterners just seem like my peoples.

NEIGHBORHOODS - all great cities have a collection of interesting sub-neighborhoods, and Chicago is no exception. Experience will be totally different depending on if you are exploring Lincoln Park, Streeterville, South Loop, Wicker Park or the Lakeshore/MagMile. Fantastic town for music. Great bars. What more can you want?

    • 1
Mar 29, 2018
jankynoname:

It's possible that I am biased since I spent my business school years there, but I really think Chicago is one of the best places to live in 'Merica. A lot of the reasons have already been covered above, but I'll also throw in:

FOOD - as an eating city, Chicago punches well above its weight. NYC is obviously still going to have better fine dinning options in aggregate, but I honestly think Chicago > SF for good food. 1 Michelin star in Chicago (e.g. Blackbird/Moto/NAHA) is like two in SF, and Alinea easily (i mean really easily) beats the three starred restaurants I've tried in the Bay (French Laundry, Saison). Oh yeah, and they're substantially cheaper. Food at the low end is also fantastic, especially if you like sport peppers on your hot dog. +1 for Lou's. Good indian is a little hard to find, but otherwise the options are abundant.

PEOPLE - just generally a friendlier bunch that New Yorkers, with fewer annoying politically correct hipsters than SF/LA. I don't know, I grew up in the SF area but the hearty yet sincere midwesterners just seem like my peoples.

NEIGHBORHOODS - all great cities have a collection of interesting sub-neighborhoods, and Chicago is no exception. Experience will be totally different depending on if you are exploring Lincoln Park, Streeterville, South Loop, Wicker Park or the Lakeshore/MagMile. Fantastic town for music. Great bars. What more can you want?

This is right. No city is perfect, but I cannot think of a city that more closely matches the Platonic ideal of a city than Chicago. I still have dreams about returning to Chicago. My body and soul ache for that city every day.

Mar 29, 2018

I am a west coaster (SF/LA), but Chicago might be my favorite true American city. (LA really isn't a traditional city).
Chicago is affordable, it has the lakes, a great young population and places for them to go, midwestern (nice people), awesome architecture, great food (Pequods!), I could go on and on..

I spent 3 weeks there with people I barely knew at the time and had more fun than maybe I ever have traveling (outside of Europe)

If you like high-society city life I think SF and NY will always win out, but Chicago reminds of LA....which is all about having a good time IMO

Feb 13, 2018

Well well said, sir. I'm from the Midwest and briefly lived in Chicago, have friends that currently live there, and can confirm everything you wrote.

Nothing beats Midwest culture - polite and not obsessed with work like you New Yorkers (live life people, damn).

Mar 29, 2018
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