Where should a Chicago girl move?
August 28, 2012 9:56 AM Subscribe
Is there a place in this world for a picky Chicagoland girl to move?
posted by Angel de Lune to Society & Culture (28 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My family and I have had a running "joke" for years about moving away from Chicago (this urge hits especially hard in the dead of winter). However, with the economy the way it is and most of us experiencing a case of professional stagnation and/or underemployment at present, the notion of moving is feeling less and less like a joke and more like an inevitability. However, I am a bit of a homebody and I love my city. I am also realistic about the fact that the economy is in rough shape throughout the country, so it almost seems pointless to move unless we leave the country altogether, or move somewhere really small town, which I am unwilling to do. Anyway, there are no immediate plans to make a move at this time, for both emotional and economical reasons, but just for the sake of argument, where could a girl like me be happy moving? My requirements include:
*Significantly better (warm & sunny) weather than Chicago. If the weather is close to the same, or only marginally better, then the move would be unjustified.
*Cosmopolitan. I like cultural diversity, and the quirky shops and tasty food that it brings. I like being in touch with the global community.
*Culture. I like zoos, museums, gardens, parks, and the like. I couldn't care less about the clubs or bar scene, but I am assuming that anywhere that meets the rest of my criteria will also have a hopping nightlife.
*Good food. I think it's going to be hard to beat Chicago for this one (other than Asian food on the west coast). I want an Italian beef, not a Philly cheesesteak, goddamnit! I want a real pizza!
*Concerts & Events. If there is a big concert on tour, I only want to ask WHEN they will be in town, not IF they are going to bother to stop by.
*Progressive/Liberal Vibe. I want to go somewhere with a gay-friendly and conservation-minded attitude. I want to be in a place where religion is just a personal choice that is as well tolerated as being non-religious.
Other points of importance include a close proximity to the airport (I like to travel) and proximity to areas of natural beauty. Pet friendly is also important, but I assume that as long as I am living in a single-family home I can at least have one dog anywhere.
The only places I've found that meet my criteria all seem to be in California, which seems prohibitively expensive. Also Portland, OR is of interest, but I am not sure if that is a place where most concerts and events would pass through. Also not sure if the weather is good enough there to justify the move.
Going to the furthest extreme I would even be willing to consider locations outside the good old USA, if only to enjoy universal healthcare (my husband and I are only in our 20's and in relatively good health, but already most of our savings have been depleted by ridiculous medical bills - I dread to imagine the future of those bills as we continue to age!).
I live in suburban Chicago as it is, so I wouldn't mind:
*Living a bit outside the main city (I might actually prefer it so I can use my car without horrific traffic).
*Some rough driving or traffic, since it's what I have to deal with here anyway.
*Living expense that is a little higher than the national average.
*Somewhere with some less than "safe" neighborhoods.
Basically I would live to find a Chicago with better weather, but since that is a dream, does anyone have suggestions for a place that comes close? Any other Chicagoans that tried/succeeded in moving? What were your experiences? Thanks!