Living in Chicago?

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  1. My boyfriend has had an interview for a job in Chicago, and we're wondering how it is to live there.
    We're both from Europe - he's British, I'm Danish, and he was in the US as a child. I have never been to the US at all.
    I doubt that we'll be able to go there to check it out before actually committing and moving, so I (we) would like some comments about how it is to live there generally.

    How is it living in Chicago and are there any things we should be aware of/consider?

    Thanks :smile:
  2. Right now, it's cold.

    I like many things about it. It is well located near a major airport, has lots of culture and good restaurants. Traffic is bad. Politicians are corrupt. Cost of living is high, especially housing.
    Specifically, what are you interested in?
  3. ^Cost of living is high in certain parts of downtown and some of the suburbs, but in general it's lower than living on the U.S. East and West coasts or most anywhere in Europe. It would be less expensive than Switzerland.

    It's a city with much diversity, many immigrants, and different neighborhoods. It's in the Midwest so people are helpful but a bit reserved in their personalities.

    Will you live in the city? For people who work in the city, many live in suburban towns that are on the extensive commuter train network, so they don't have to drive. The expressways going into the city are really busy during rush hours in the morning and late afternoon.
  4. Thanks for your replies.

    I think the workplace is in or around Arlington Heights/Mount Prospect.
    As we don't know anything about the city and different areas, we have no idea which areas we would like to live in and which areas are good or bad.
    I think I'll be unlikely to have a job ready when/if we move, so I suspect we'd primarily look for somewhere to live not too far from where the workplace is.

    I know absolutely nothing about living in a big city and living in the US. The largest city I've lived in has a population of around 300k (and that's considered big where I'm from) - I've never seen a 'proper' skyscraper and have never had to deal with traffic worse than 5 minutes of queuing. So I have no clue what to expect from everyday life in such a large city (or even in the suburbs).

    I'm happy to hear that there's loads of culture. I suspect that shopping is better than what I'm used to here. From looking at google maps, it looks like there are loads of nice places that we can walk our dog in. It doesn't sound like a place where we'd get bored.
  5. all of these things you've listed are reasons why you should do it. go, move, experience new things and new worlds and new people. aside from the weather, everyone I know from Chicago or who has lived I'm Chicago loves it to death.

    shortly after my parents married they moved to Chicago for my dad to attend grad school. my mother had never left her home country, she didn't speak a word of English. there was no Internet to learn about Chicago and keeping in touch with family meant writing long letters and expensive once weekly phone calls. moving abroad nowadays is a breeze compared to how it used to be.

    do it. the worst that can happen is that you hate it and move back to Europe in a few years, as a much more well-rounded individual.
  6. Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect are nice suburbs northwest of Chicag:huh:ur younger son was born in Northwest Hospital in Arlington Heights. Both cities are on the commuter train line. If you live in this area you can get on the train anytime you want to go downtown for museums, theater, etc. We used to live in Crystal Lake, which is on the same train line. The system is called Metra.

    Arlington Heights and Mt. Prospect both have lots of shopping and restaurants. Palatine and Barrington are nearby and their downtowns are nice too with interesting shops and cafes.

    I miss Chicagoland so much. There was always some place to go or something to do. Plus you'll be near O'Hare where you can fly non-stop to nearly anyplace in the world.
  7. Hi there. I live about 2 hours southwest of Chicago and visit it several times a year. The people are warm and friendly, the shopping and restaurants are fantastic- especially Michigan Ave.- and there are lots of museums and historical sites. Chicago gets very cold and windy in winter, so brace yourself. It boasts the second largest Polish population next to Warsaw. The traffic can be awful, which is why I never drive: instead, I take the Amtrak into the city and then taxis.

    I prefer to live in a small town, but I just love being so close to Chicago. For me, it's the best of both worlds.

    Come on over to Chicago. I bet you'll love it. :smile:
  8. Hi,
    I actually grew up in Chicago (suburbs) and went to University of Illinois. I also taught school in Prospect Heights which is right outside of Mount Prospect. I used to live 10 minutes from there after I was married. My daughter was born at Northwest Hospital in Arlington Heights also! I love Chicago (especially in the summer) and visit quit frequently now as my brothers and sisters and parents all still live there. It is a wonderful city filled with almost everything you would ever be interested in. You would have to get used to the traffic and the cold cold weather in the winter! I have lived in Texas for 17 years now and it would be hard to go back to Chicago winters but you could do it!
    Good Luck! I saw go for it for the experience!
    Wamgurl likes this.