Should this City Mouse Become a (pseudo)Country Mouse?
March 12, 2012 4:00 PM Subscribe
MakeMyMindUpForMe-filter: If you were a not-so-young-anymore grad student to be, and had to choose between spending the next 6(ish) years of your life in Durham or Chicago, which would you choose on a purely lifestyle basis (academic/$$ considerations being relatively equal), and why? Looking for experiences of those who have lived (not necessarily studied) in either (or both!) places. Semi-relevant details inside.
posted by Dorinda to society & culture (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm tired of weighing the academic and financial pros and cons of the grad programs I've been accepted to, and am trying to figure out where I might (possibly.....just maybe) actually be happy living. I've visited both campuses, but did not have much of an opportunity to get a feel for the city/lifestyle offered by either locale. On first glance, Chi-town seems the obvious choice in many ways, but I'm looking for thoughts on why the "obvious choice" may or may not be so.....obvious.
Here are some things about me that might be relevant (but I'm also interested in general thoughts about either city):
- I bike. A lot. I will be using my bike as my main/sole form of transportation wherever I end up.
- I currently live in a land where Winter is a Real Thing, and am therefore used to a Chicago-esque climate (but also pretty sick of a Chicago-esque climate)
- In my non-academic life, I'm seriously/professionally involved in contemporary dance. I hope to be able to continue this in some (though obviously reduced) capacity (especially taking regular pro-level classes in ballet and contemporary dance). This seems to be a point in favour of Chicago, but I'd be interested to hear about hidden dance gems in the Research Triangle area...
- I do not currently have a dog, but I want to get one when I move. I like Big Dogs.
- I grew up in a VERY small town near a small city, but have lived for the past eight years in a Big (BIG) City. I like both lifestyles pretty equally (hence the impossibility of this choice).
- I love outdoorsy things: camping, hiking, backpacking, rock-climbing, etc. Having (relatively easy) access to some serious Wild Spaces (as opposed to city parks) would be a definite plus.
- I'm Canadian.
- I like hockey. A lot. (This also seems to be a point in Chicago's favour, but since I'm a Canucks fan and don't interact well with Blackhawks fans....maybe it's better I go somewhere where I won't get beaten up for wearing my Burrows jersey on game days?)
- I do not have a SO whose preferences I need to consider, and my cat is pretty ambivalent on this issue.
So, MetaMind.....what would your Chicago/Durham sales pitch (or warning!) look like? What should I be taking into consideration when making my choice? Can you make my choice for me? Pretty please?