What I don’t often mention – because I take it for granted – is how much I love living in downtown Chicago. I am not a big city girl by nature. My personality lends itself to quieter, smaller towns, and that is certainly where Bobby and I will end up in time. But I am grateful that we have the opportunity to experience big city life as young professionals, and here are just a few of the reasons why.
1. The Sights
I love living in a place people travel from all over the world to see. As I was on my way home last night, I passed the Chicago Water Tower on Michigan Avenue. It hit me then – and consequently, inspired this post – how much I’ve grown “used to” seeing the Hancock , the Sears Willis, the Art Museum and all of the other amazing architecture that Chicago has to offer. As accustomed as I may be, it never grows old. I love being able to walk past Millennium Park and the Bean whenever I want!
2. The Food
Whether I’m visiting the Slurping Turtle or the Purple Pig , there is no shortage of great eats. I’ve barely made a dent in all the restaurants this city has to offer. I know the same can be said of many cities across the country, big and small, but this leads me to my next point…
3. The Walkability
Chicago is the 4th most walkable city in the U.S., close behind Boston, San Francisco and New York (also great cities). I’m fortunate to live in one of the most walkable neighborhoods within Chicago, as well. Creature comforts of the suburbs – easy access to a grocery store, Target, bank, etc. – are within reach, and if not they are merely a few El stops away. The same can be said for restaurants. At no other time in my life will I get as much daily walking that is not related to exercise.
4. The People
I have met so many incredible people since I moved downtown. Again, I know there are incredible people all over the world, but what I mean is that living in Chicago has given me ample opportunity to attend networking events and interact with fellow entrepreneurs, professionals and friends. It is the reason I met my business partner and the reason we’ve been able to go on this two-year journey . Starting a business as a 22- and 24-year-old with little to no experience in the entrepreneurial arena made networking crucial to any sort of success, and Chicago delivered.
5. The “Home”
When all is said and done, I am proud of the fact that I get to call downtown Chicago home. In many ways, life here is not much different then it would be in the suburbs. You don’t have to go out every night or get your fill of tourist destinations. Staying in to watch a movie and make a delicious home-cooked meal is possible wherever you go. Case in point: on Friday night we made the delicious fajitas pictured above. Seasoned chicken, green pepper, pinto beans, salsa, Greek yogurt and tortilla served with a side of Public Enemies (fittingly, it had many scenes in Chicago).
Home is what you make of it. We just get an incredible city view with ours.
I could probably do without the smells (nothing like a good whiff of sewage in the morning), but all in all, I wouldn’t trade the experience of living in a big city for anything. And if you’re ever in town, don’t hesitate to email me .
I’d love to give you a “home” tour. Or at least dine at some creatively named restaurant.