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Old 11-18-2007, 07:37 AM
 
356 posts, read 360,472 times
Reputation: 27

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Here are some helpful hints from someone that has moved to Chicago over 10 year ago from Atlanta.

Chicago and the surrounding areas offer a great experience, but be prepared for differences.

1. No Waffle Houses, but plenty of greek run coffe shops but dont try to order hashbrowns covered, chunked, & smothered.

2. Don't put ketchup on your hotdog. In fact you could relate the whole transition experience by comparing Varsity hot dogs to the Chicaog hot dog. You wont beleive it but they put celery salt, fresh tomatoes, and a whole pickle slice on the dogs up here-- you wont find any "naked dogs" or chilli chees dogs with cole slaw withing 100 miles of the city.

3. Don't order BBQ in Chicago-- you will be sadly disappointed. IT's like ordering pizza in Alpharetta--It is just not the same.

4. Be prepared to spend twice as much for your home and settle on one that is half as big. It's just the way of life up here. If you don't believe send me a direct message and I'll go into more detail.

5. Gas is the most expensive of any palce outside of Manhattan, NY. Currently $3.25 for middle grade.

6. Cars are not the status symbols here in Chciago that they are in Atlanta. Probably because of the winters. And riding metra is seen as "green" and cool here,unlike Atlanta. You will find communities along the Metra are popular and reflect values of that popularity.

7. More on the food-- bring your own grits--hard to find here and when you do find them avoid them. Get ready for good meats-- they actually have butcher/meat shops here, unheard of in the south. Jewel and Dominiques are the main food chains. Trader Joes and Whole Foods has a strong presence in the area for specialty grocers.

8. Cost of living is more. Be sure and get a cost of living increase along with the promotion increase. Check out Cost of Living - Cost of Living Calculator from CNNMoney

9. Property taxes are high, state income taxes low. But get ready because your property taxes will be triple. ie $10,000 for a $500,000 to $650,000 dollar home. That will get you a 4br, family room, 2 1/2 bath, 2 car garage in most western suburbs 30-40 minutes from the city.

10. Keep in mind that property values idecrease by 10-15% for every 5-10 miles from the city center. So Elmhurst is 10% more than Glen Ellyn which is 10% more than Wheaton which is 10% more than Winfield, etc.


11. Schools are better here than there.

12. More parks here than there, families actually go to parks here.

13. More great restaurants than there-- and especially the diversity of restaurants.

14. Clothing is directed more towards the weather here-- Fashionable with an urban sense to it-- Not as flashy or preppy as the south.

15. Hair and makeup follows the midwestern values - You'll miss your stylist in Atlanta. There are some really "bad hair" days here--maybe it's "hat hair"

16. Excellent airport opportunites and cheaper air fares by 30%. This is good because you will wan to fly south in February. IT'S BRUTAL IN FEBRUARY. I plan a week trip every year in FEBRUARY to somewhere warm.

17. Mid western values are ever present-- Hard to describe but you will notice a conservatism in most all activities.

I'll let others respond.....
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:56 AM
mdz
 
Location: Near West Burbs, IL
622 posts, read 2,340,929 times
Reputation: 188
Good post, Windy city

There are one or two BBQ places that are worthwhile. Drover would know if this place is still around (and by the same owner), but our place was called the Smoke House just East of Ashland of Irving park. It was a total dive, owned by some guy who came up from Mississippi. Best BBQ I've had in the city, but I haven't been there in 10 years or so. Most of the more famous places (ie Robinson's ribs, Colemans, etc) I found to be lacking.

More recently, a few of my old friends headed out to Smoque on Pulaski and said it was as good as the Smoke House--not sure if anyone else has been there.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:03 AM
 
356 posts, read 360,472 times
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Never have found one to offer chipped, sliced, pulled or chunked BBQ with brunswick stew and white bread, sweet tea. We're talking barbecue pork not beef. We're talking pork--If you want to talk ribs, talks ribs not bbq. Believe me if you grew up eating bbq slow cooked over open pit doused with sauce by a mop -- you will be disappointed with Chicago bbq.
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Old 11-18-2007, 12:07 PM
mdz
 
Location: Near West Burbs, IL
622 posts, read 2,340,929 times
Reputation: 188
Again, try the smokehouse (if it's still owned by the same guy). Last visit I had pulled pork, white bread, collard greens, sweet tea, and peach cobbler for dessert. I didn't eat for about 24 hours after that.

Last edited by mdz; 11-18-2007 at 03:54 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-19-2007, 10:17 AM
 
356 posts, read 360,472 times
Reputation: 27
thanks, I'll give it a try
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Alabama
25 posts, read 110,698 times
Reputation: 25
My experience is opposite yours, WCJohn. I grew up in WI, lived in IL for a while & moved to AL a few years ago. My observations, from my own experiences:

Everything moves faster than in the south. We talk faster, we walk faster. Most don't linger -- they conduct their business & leave. And a lot of ppl don't come off as friendly. It's not rudeness, it's just the way we are. It's considered respecting others' privacy, or just minding your own business.

A Typical Conversation I Have in the Grocery Store:
Checkout clerk: You doing ok today?
Me: M-hm.
Clerk: What's that? You doing all right? Everything ok today?
Me: <blank stare>
Clerk (to next customer): I guess she don't wanna talk! I was just askin!
Next customer: Hahahahahaha! Oh, that reminds me of the time Bob's wife's cousin's neighbor from up north....... blah blah blah
Me: <blank stare>

On the plus side, some Northerners who are not completely self-absorbed, or who would never admit it but want to hear about it, are almost irrationally curious about Southerners. You'll encounter a few ppl driving pickups which have obviously never been in a Southern climate (rusted out from road salt) yet still sport Confederate flag decals and rebel-oriented bumper stickers. They used to have gun racks in the back window, not to carry rifles, but because it was a "southern thing." Many adopt pseudo-southern accents. Some even wear cowboy hats. Try not to laugh too loudly.

Someone will invariably say something they think is complimentary, but is offensive to Southerners. And they don't understand why it is offensive. I didn't understand, either, until I moved here. For instance: calling someone a "Redneck" is not a compliment. Northerners have a completely different interpretation of the word. Note, I have never called anyone that.

Northerners are not schooled at all in the Southern way of life, and it's mysterious and exciting to them. A golden opportunity here to practice your 'Southern Mystique!'
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:23 AM
 
356 posts, read 360,472 times
Reputation: 27
A Typical Conversation I Have in the Grocery Store:
Checkout clerk: You doing ok today?
Me: M-hm.
Clerk: What's that? You doing all right? Everything ok today?
Me: <blank stare>
Clerk (to next customer): I guess she don't wanna talk! I was just askin!
Next customer: Hahahahahaha! Oh, that reminds me of the time Bob's wife's cousin's neighbor from up north....... blah blah blah
Me: <blank stare>


Here's your first misrepresentation of us Southerners. A southerner would never ask "You doing ok today" or as I hear every day "how-u-doin?" We dont "doin" in the south. You are much more likely to hear "whatz-u-know-good?" or howz-it-goin? but you will never hear "do-in"?

Second--folks in the south truly want to converse-- it's away of life whether it's passing someone on the street, lifting your hand off the sterring wheel to motion a hi as you are driving, or chatting with a store clerk.

I have lived here in Chicago for 10 years and I have lost count of the number of times I am asked "where are you from?????" by a gas clerk, a retail food clerk, or someone I meet on the street. I respond Chicago ---you should see the looks!
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:43 AM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 12,478,518 times
Reputation: 1643
Windy City John - Fun post. I have a good friend of Virginia who, when I recently took her to a BBQ place, commented, while looking down her nose, that it was 'adequate' (we both had a good laugh and she knew that I didn't, and don't take stuff like that personally, hell, I know nothing of BBQ).

She's been fun to talk to about her impressions of this place that is 'the north'. She keeps trying to tell me that grits are supposed to taste good and that she's going to make me some to prove it, but she hasn't yet (and I'm not sure that I believe her .
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 66,983,912 times
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As for BBQ, Im not an expert, but how does Famous Dave's rank? I thought it was incredible, but then again Ive been a northerner my whole life. lol

As for chili cheese dogs? You cant get them in a 100 mile radius? You better check your Portillos and Scooby's menus a little closer. Both offer the best chili cheese dogs Ive ever had.

Fashion? When in GA, Ive thought actually that they dressed alot frumpier down there than here, but I didnt get out into the burbs or anything. We were in Buckhead and saw lots of preppies, but I dont think their dress was any different or better than it is here.

Other than that, I agree with the OP's post.
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:05 AM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 12,478,518 times
Reputation: 1643
I have noticed that southern guys like khaki trousers a lot more than their northern counterparts. Not to say that people don't wear khaki trousers up north, they do, and they do a lot, but they seem much more ubiquitous down south.
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