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Old 04-27-2010, 09:54 AM
 
38 posts, read 64,905 times
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Hey everyone,

I am from Michigan and I am currently living in Raleigh, NC. I need to get out of here...lol. I don't care what the forbes lists or magazines say, this is not the town to be young and single.

If you have lived in both Chicago and Phoenix, can you please let me know which city would be a better fit for a 26yr old single guy? I understand both of these cities are complete opposites and I am not looking for a bashing of one city over the other. I have family that lives close to both cities. I just need to hear some real experiences from people that have lived in both cities.

Thank-you in advance for your help.

Best,

PJ
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Chicago
1,869 posts, read 2,856,590 times
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It all depends on what you mean by 'better for a single guy'.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:17 AM
 
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I don't know that they are "complete opposites", there are a large number of people with connections to both areas. Between the obvious pull of retirement, the large percentage of Chicago area kids that attend ASU, the historic ties around Motorola, the long term association with Cubs spring training there are LOTS of Chicago area ties around Phoenix.

My impression is that the workforce of recent college grads is more balanced in Chicago, with nearly equal numbers of women and young drawn to working in the Loop, while Phoenix has a much smaller white collar employment base that tends to be more male dominated. I think that has an effect on meeting people in the workplace, but the fact that there are still lots of opportunities for guys and gals to interact over many more months in Phoenix offsets that.

As other poster pointed out, if you could be more specific about "better for a single guy" that would be helpful...
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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A key difference is that in Phoenix opportunities to meet people your own age are more spread out geographically in Phoenix.

The Phoenix Valley is perhaps better thought of as a large cluster of smaller big cities each with their own niche all next to each other (Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe) and less of a "real city" surrounding by quieter, more family oriented suburbs. (which is more Chicagoland).

In Chicago there are places that are sort of a "critical mass" of young professionals in Lincoln Park, for example, that doesn't exist quite the same way in other cities.

Altogether, you can find what you are looking for in both areas, they are just different.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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Well, I would include things such as nightlife, entertainment venues, outdoor activities and opportunities to interact with other singles that are in their twenties and are starting their careers.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ2483 View Post
Well, I would include things such as nightlife, entertainment venues, outdoor activities and opportunities to interact with other singles that are in their twenties and are starting their careers.
Well things like nightlife and entertainment venues are much more concentrated in Chicago, and more spread out and more likely to require driving to in the Phoenix area. I would say that outdoor activities are more obvious in the Phoenix area, with the small desert mountain ranges that provide opportunities for hiking, biking, etc.

Outside Chicago we have deciduous forests, inland lakes, regional bike trails but they are more likely to go unnoticed by more of the population because we don't have mountains, and the concentrated entertainment and nightlife more likely keep people from exploring the greater region than in the Phoenix area.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:32 AM
 
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As someone in your shoes, here's my two cents. Chicago is obviously a much larger city than Phoenix, 3 million vs. 1.5 million, and 10 million in the metro vs. 4 million +. Chicago tends to have a more geographically centered young professional base, ages 22-40, meaning they are in the city. Phoenix obviously has a much smaller young professional base, but there are plenty of young professionals. After all, it is the fifth largest city. Chicago's nightlife is very concentrated on the Near North, North, and Near West sides. Phoenix's is significantly more spread out, with large nightlife centers in Scottsdale and Tempe. Chicago is obviously more expensive than Phoenix, but you have the benefits of an already developed infrastructure for entertainment and public transportation. Phoenix is still growing, even during the recession. Chicago is probably going to grow at a much slower rate.

There are significant ties to Chicago in Phoenix. I myself know a ton of people from Chicago that now live in Arizona, because of school or work, or both. I think you are looking at two completely different lifestyles, but a shared attitude. What I mean is Chicago is more urban and what one would expect of a major city. Phoenix is in the desert, with more outdoor activities and a more laid back lifestyle. However, the infiltration of Chicagoans and East Coasters in Phoenix has given it a similar attitude to what you find in the more urban and developed cities. Regardless of the recession, Phoenix is up and coming.

I'm sure you will find either city way more sufficient than Raleigh, NC. The criteria used by Forbes looks at really arbitrary characteristics. Not to knock Raleigh, but with a metro of a few hundred thousand, it has nothing on either Phoenix or Chicago. Sure, there are probably plenty of bars in Raleigh, but how many are redneck bars? How many of the women are educated? What really is there to do in Raleigh besides go to a bar or bowling alley? There are no professional sports teams.

The only significant difference I see between Chicago and Phoenix is that Chicago has more defined ethnic neighborhoods. In Phoenix, you will have to look for Jewish deli, Greek restaurants, and a family owned Italian restaurant. I think eventually Phoenix will have many of these same attractions once the development catches up with the desires of the population.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Avondale (Chicago, IL)
83 posts, read 297,190 times
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Have you taken into account the job market? Chicago has been hit hard, but is much better than Phoenix. That area has been hit hard by the recession and doesn't have close to the diversification of industries. If you're looking to climb the ladder, it might be tougher in Phoenix.

The other question is what is your preference - too hot most of the summer vs. too cold most of the winter. I think you will find an overabundance of blondes and latina hotties in either city :-)
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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Completely off topic, but I find it hilarious that so many people from Raleigh, NC want to come to Chicago. I think you're the 4-5th person I've seen on this forum talk about wanting to come here. Though I completely sympathize with you (I just moved from Raleigh 6 months ago after growing up there).
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:43 PM
 
5,029 posts, read 5,857,784 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chitown85 View Post
As someone in your shoes, here's my two cents. Chicago is obviously a much larger city than Phoenix, 3 million vs. 1.5 million, and 10 million in the metro vs. 4 million +. Chicago tends to have a more geographically centered young professional base, ages 22-40, meaning they are in the city. Phoenix obviously has a much smaller young professional base, but there are plenty of young professionals. After all, it is the fifth largest city. Chicago's nightlife is very concentrated on the Near North, North, and Near West sides. Phoenix's is significantly more spread out, with large nightlife centers in Scottsdale and Tempe. Chicago is obviously more expensive than Phoenix, but you have the benefits of an already developed infrastructure for entertainment and public transportation. Phoenix is still growing, even during the recession. Chicago is probably going to grow at a much slower rate.

There are significant ties to Chicago in Phoenix. I myself know a ton of people from Chicago that now live in Arizona, because of school or work, or both. I think you are looking at two completely different lifestyles, but a shared attitude. What I mean is Chicago is more urban and what one would expect of a major city. Phoenix is in the desert, with more outdoor activities and a more laid back lifestyle. However, the infiltration of Chicagoans and East Coasters in Phoenix has given it a similar attitude to what you find in the more urban and developed cities. Regardless of the recession, Phoenix is up and coming.

I'm sure you will find either city way more sufficient than Raleigh, NC. The criteria used by Forbes looks at really arbitrary characteristics. Not to knock Raleigh, but with a metro of a few hundred thousand, it has nothing on either Phoenix or Chicago. Sure, there are probably plenty of bars in Raleigh, but how many are redneck bars? How many of the women are educated? What really is there to do in Raleigh besides go to a bar or bowling alley? There are no professional sports teams.

The only significant difference I see between Chicago and Phoenix is that Chicago has more defined ethnic neighborhoods. In Phoenix, you will have to look for Jewish deli, Greek restaurants, and a family owned Italian restaurant. I think eventually Phoenix will have many of these same attractions once the development catches up with the desires of the population.
I agree with all you said until you started talking about Raleigh. While a city like Raleigh doesn't have anything like the urban amenities of Chicago or Phoenix, your comments on Raleigh sound a bit misinformed. Have you been there? I'll admit I haven't, but I certainly have spent time in other cities of similar size and importance.

The area isn't called the Research Triangle for nothing.

Raleigh's industrial base includes banking/financial services; electrical, medical, electronic and telecommunications equipment; clothing and apparel; food processing; paper products; and pharmaceuticals. Raleigh is part of North Carolina's Research Triangle, one of the country's largest and most successful research parks and a major center in the United States for high-tech and biotech research, as well as advanced textile development.[20]

Several films have been shot in Raleigh and its surrounding areas. The North Carolina Film Office[21], which is headquartered in Raleigh, ranks third in the nation, behind New York City and Los Angeles, California.


Even if this is partially boosterism, I think its a bit ignorant to say "How many women are educated?" I mean, come one, Duke University is just down the road! What is there to do besides going to a bar or bowling alley? Come on. Have you ever been part of a university community in a small city?

Its heck of a lot more stimulating than some Chicago south side people who only talk about the White Sox and how they are thinking about moving "further out because the neighborhood is changing"

Taken individually, a state capital plus flagship university town in an otherwise conservative state with a redneck stereotype is much more a center of culture than a blue collared neighborhood or suburb of a world class city.

On another note, it would probably be unlikely that Phoenix would develop ethnic restaurants like Chicago, for the simple fact that you didn't have them to begin with in Phoenix. Speaking from personal exposure, the "ethnic neighborhood" (Polish, Irish, Italian, Jewish) while culturally rich in some respects, were at times just as much of a breeding ground for ignorance, as what you might find on the higher end of a country town.

Read "Boss" by Mike Royko. Its a book written in the 1970s about the first mayor Daley and the cultural environment that he and many other "white ethnics" grew up in.
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