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SierraNichole's avatar

From Chicago? Do you have any tips for living in the windy city?

Asked by SierraNichole (135 points ) May 31st, 2009

Going to school there this fall. I went up thee this weekend to do some final registration things. I love it so much but i’m from a very small town and know little about living in a big city.

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14 Answers

MrGV's avatar

Wear wind breakers over your regular clothes outside.

jonsblond's avatar

I’m in a small town in central Illinois so I can’t really help you but EmpressPixie lives there (she’s one of the mods here). If she doesn’t answer this, pm her. I’m sure she’d be happy to help. Hope you enjoy it there and good luck!

YARNLADY's avatar

Be prepared for some very extreme weather. If you haven’t lived in a city before, try to find what you need close by, and do exploration a little at a time.

Bobbydavid's avatar

Leave the umbrella at home!

spresto's avatar

Move away.

Harp's avatar

Chicago’s pretty easy to get along in, as big cities go. It’s very much a quilt of distinct neighborhoods, each with it’s own character. The ambiance can change abruptly within a couple of blocks. That makes for some wonderful exploration possibilities, but you’ll need to learn from the folks at your new school where the “no-go” zones might be. Many of the major campuses here are near high-crime pockets. The campuses themselves provide robust security, but if you venture off into the wrong neighborhoods, that won’t help. That said, my work often brings me into some of the worst areas of the city and I’ve never had any problems at all.

I’m originally from Texas, so my first few winters here felt like one of Saturn’s moons in the off-season. They’re persistent, too, so those first Spring days will almost bring you to tears of joy until you get yet another snowstorm. But the rest of the year is gorgeous. Summer can get hot, but that’s what that big, blue lake with its miles of public beaches is for.

The public trans system is nothing to brag about; it’s not cheap, and you often have to piece together a combination of train(s) and bus(es) to get near your destination. A city of this caliber deserves better. Having a car in the city is no picnic either. We currently have the highest gas prices in the country, parking downtown is infernal, and traffic is lousy. Typical big city stuff.

As an non-native myself, I haven’t found that there’s a whole lot you need to know before coming here. There aren’t lots of traps for the unwary, no magical hacks that will transform your Chicago experience.

amoreno06's avatar

i’ll be moving there this fall as well.
what school will you be going to?

EmpressPixie's avatar

Which school will you be going to? My advice will differ based on the school? Also, are you going to live on campus or off?

I differ greatly from Harp in that I think the public transit is fantastic. I love it. Yes, there are bus waits and train waits, but I think it’s just getting better all the time. If you have a smart phone, you can plan a complete trip anywhere you want to go using the phone and the ctabustracker.com. It’s great! Or at least WAY better than owning a car. Plus, your college probably participates in the transit pass thing where for the price of a month-long pass, you get a semester-long or year-long pass.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Anyone who lives in Chicago voluntarily should have their head examined, in my opinion.

I’ve always said IL would do great if we donated Chicago either to Indiana or Wisconsin. If that fails, maybe we can just move the whole city 40 miles east. That way, you’ll see just the top of the Sears Tower above the waves and I could get back some of my tax money that gets sucked into the black hole that is Chicago.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Volunteer at the Printer’s Row Lit Fest at the beginning of June! Seriously. I just did that and it was AMAZING. Really, really amazing. I volunteered as an author escort, which means I got to take the authors to and from their signings and talks. And chat with them on the way. I had SO MUCH FUN and they really take care of their volunteers.

JonnyCeltics's avatar

Chicago is an excellent city. enough with the haters. advice – enjoy it! Go to Wiener’s circle on clark st.

75movies's avatar

Get yourself a bicycle, pick a neighborhood out of a hat, and go exploring (it’s the best way to see the city). Yes, even in the winter.

http://workingbikes.org/

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Be careful – you’re literally not in Kansas anymore. Make sure you find the time to go to Lake Shore Drive and visit the museums and aquarium. Treat yourself to an Italian Roast Beef at least once a week. Catch a game at Wrigley Field. I don’t know if it’s still there, but we used to like to go to Lums – for hot dogs steamed in beer.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Yes. Live somewhere else!

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