Top Reasons to Live in Chicago According to the Locals

Friday, July 10th, 2015 | Posted in: Apartment Living

After living in Chicago over a year, it’s easy to understand why the locals love it there. There’s always something to keep you busy and plenty of people to keep you company. After asking some locals and doing some research, I’ve decided that there are four main reasons why you should live in Chicago, according to the locals!

The Diversity

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A map of the neighborhoods in Chicago Photo Credit: www.chicagodossier.us

Chicago has a total of 77 community areas! Broken up into “sides,” Chi-town has a Far North Side, Northwest Side, North Side, West Side, Central Area, South Side, Southwest Side, Far Southwest Side, and Far Southeast Side.

Ethnicities that call Chicago home include larger groups like Mexicans, Irish Americans, Thais, Japanese, Puerto Ricans, African Americans, Welch Americans, and more.

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Chinatown Photo Credit: www.conciergepreferred.com

Like other larger cities, Chicago also has a Chinatown and a Little Italy. These sub-communities are dedicated to their ethnic groups and you feel as if you’re in a different country when you visit them. You can be eating authentic Italian meatballs for lunch and then enjoying Chinese dumplings for dinner. There’s also a large Indian population, so finding delicious curry is no problem.

According to local Susan Peters, “Chicago is exhilarating! There is never a dull moment. On a given day there are so many options. Also, I love the lake and finally I love the diverse neighborhoods.”

The locals love being surrounded by culture. Diversity is something that’s celebrated in Chicago. Boystown, located in the neighborhood of Lakeview, was the first recognized gay village in the United States. This is an area that celebrated LGBT, and hosts the annual Pride Parade.

The Food

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Gino’s East Pizza Photo Credit: hubhomedesign.com

I’m not lying when I tell you I gained fifteen pounds the first year I lived in Chicago. Now, I was also a newlywed, but I think the main reason I gained weight was the pizza.

Top culinary destinations are home in the Windy City. Not only do you have fabulous staples, like Gino’s East Pizza, you also have up-and-coming restaurants like Girl and the Goat. Everything is at your fingertips with the Chicago Transit Authority. You can throw a rock and hit at least three different types of cuisine. You can also have food delivered to your door. When we lived in Lakeview, over 300 places delivered to our apartment.

Another great innovation in Chicago has been the Food Trucks. There are websites, like Chicago Food Truck Finder dedicated to helping you locate your favorite bites. Events like the Chicago Food Truck Fest highlight Chicagoans love for food trucks.

Some of the most popular include: Bridgeport Pastry, Bombay Wraps, and Chicago Cupcake. Locals follow twitter feeds of their favorite trucks to get updates on where they plan to be that day.

Then, of course, there’s The Taste of Chicago. Known as “the Taste” to Chicagoans, this is truly one of the highlights of living in the city. For about five days all of the best of Chicago food gathers in one place. From diners to top rated chefs, you can find food prepared to your liking. According to Wikipedia, this is the world’s largest food festival. Need I say more?

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Taste of Chicago Photo Credit: www.chicagomag.com

The Lake

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The lakeshore Photo Credit: www.livescience.com

Have you seen Lake Michigan? If so, you understand why everyone wants to be near it (or in it). Chicago runs alongside the coast of the lake and neighborhoods like Lakeview and River North get a great view.

Simply driving along Lakeshore Drive will have you in awe of the city. With the lake and it’s beauty on one side and the city on the other, it’s enough to make you want to move there.

One of the most popular things to do in Chi-town is to hit the Lakefront Trail. This trail is eighteen miles long and it’s paved. In the summertime (and when it’s nice out) you can see people jogging, riding bikes, walking, or rollerblading along it. Neighborhoods that get good glimpses of the trail include Edgewater, Uptown, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, the South Loop, Bronzeville, and Hyde Park.

According to ChooseChicago.com, the trail begins at Ardmore Street on the Northside and ends at 71st Street on the South Side.

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Museum Campus Photo Credit: hyattsouthloopguide.com

The lake also serves as a backdrop to the Museum Campus, which houses the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and the Field Museum.

Then, there’s Navy Pier. With great views of the lake and the city, this attraction brings in guests from all over the world. You can enjoy shopping, plays, live music, and dining all while being surrounded by the lake.