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Old 06-27-2007, 08:28 AM
 
7 posts, read 14,088 times
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Default Chicago or Philly?

Hi everyone,
I'm looking for advice about which city to move to at the end of the summer. I'm 25, single, and like living in cities (spent about 3 years in London, which I adore). I'm originally from the outer burbs of Chicagoland, so I've spent some time coming in to the city, but it usually consisted of museum visits or shopping trips, so I could use some information on the city. I'm a librarian, so while I'll have a nice stable job and ok salary, I won't have any say at all over where I'm working, so I need some idea of the city as a whole (I realize that every neighborhood is different, and crime rates vary widely, of course).
My questions are:
1. how is the el? fast or slow? safe or scary? efficient enough to sell the car?
2. what's going on with the young hipster scene? Are there lots of young people doing interesting things? lots of live music? good cheap entertainment? I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this one, but I'd love to hear any opinions you have.
3. I know someone was asking this elsewhere, but are there farmer's markets? the city's going green, but is the food?
4. do you feel a sense of community? This is a little strange, and I know you don't necessarily know your neighbors, but I used to love living in my place in London where everyone was different, but mostly they were friendly and willing to talk to strangers once in a while.

But mostly, if anyone can give me a comparison to living in Philly (same situation, same questions) i would really really appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:25 PM
 
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First, Chicago and Philly are both great cities. I view them completely different in my head... not sure why...

But Philly is more of a tree lined street sort of city. They have a downtown but you can live in much closer proximity to the downtown area and be able to afford it unlike Chicago. Philly also, to me, is more educational. They seem more focused on education there, and may have more librarian jobs? (Just a thought, i really have no idea)

As for transportation, Chicago is MUCH easier to get around in. The EL and buses can take you anywhere in the city that you want to go. In Philly it's a bit harder. There are only a couple of different rails and they only go to specific areas, making selling your car a bit harder. Most of the people I know in Chicago do not have a car. I have one, but only use it for the grocery store or Target runs. If I lived in an area where I had to pay for off street parking, I would sell it in a minute.

There is a big music scene in Chicago. I know there are music joints in Philly but I am quite positive that it is much larger in Chicago. You can go see bands for free or as little as $5 cover here.

I'm not sure about the community aspect in Philly... but I know that in particular neighborhoods you have that in Chicago. Most neighborhoods you don't... people are friendly but they aren't just going to stop to say hello. I live in River West right now and I do feel a sense of community there at times, though.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-27-2007, 04:25 PM
 
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Let me first start off by saying that neither place is London, unfortunately. I lived in Jersey as a teen, while my sister was living in Philly and now I live in Chicago, so I'm somewhat familiar with both cities. First off, Chicago is twice the size of Philly (atleast as far as population goes), so it's going to have much more as far as neighborhoods to chose from, restaurants, nightlife, entertainment, etc. I would somewhat disagree with the last post in that living near downtown Philly is cheaper than living near downtown Chicago. The neighborhoods that surround downtown Philly (Old Town/Society Hill, Rittenhouse Square, Museum District, Penn U.'s campus) can be rather expensive. In fact, my sister was paying (in 2000) almost 1600 for a one bedroom in Rittenhouse Square (Philly's equivalent to Chicago's Gold Coast). In both cities, the further you get from downtown the cheaper it gets (for the most part, exceptions being Germantown in Philly and Hyde Park in Chicago), but you can still get away with a steal in Chicago by living in Pilsen or Bridgeport, which are both close to downtown. As far as public transit is concerned, Chicago is 1,000 times more efficient than Philly. I've had many many problems trying to take public transportation in Philly (confusing, not encompassing of the entire city enough, etc.). Finally, as far as the hipster question goes, I think Chicago might have a slightly larger scene. The only reason I say that is b/c Philly's hipster scene is focused around South Street and the Northern Liberties area. Whereas Chicago's scene is concentrated around Wicker Park/Bucktown/UK Village area, but that's changing. Areas like Pilsen, Bridgeport, East Garfield Park have potential to become hipster neighborhoods where they do or not.
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Old 06-27-2007, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Chicago
35,640 posts, read 53,228,923 times
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This topic has already been done (though with a slightly different premise); check out here and here for additional info from a Chicago and Philly point of view respectively.
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:44 AM
 
1,703 posts, read 3,568,216 times
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In and of themselves, Chicago is a much bigger and more spread out place. Chicago is a Midwestern City, by that I mean....it won't feel all that different from Detroit in the Midwest sense. Chicago will have a lot more to offer than D-Town, or even Philly in quantity. It isn't the same feel as Philly or other Northeastern or Mid-Atlantic places, which is good or bad depending on your preference. The pace of life is slower in Chicago, similar to Detroit in that sense. Lots going on for anyone and everyone.

Chicago has many ex-Detroit transplants of all ages. There are even bars that cater to U of Michigan and Michigan St University. Everyone from the Midwest that wants big city life, but stays in Midwest, moves to Chicago.

The isolation shouldn't be underestimated. Milwaukee is 1.5 hrs North and a nice weekend, and St. Louis is 4.5 hrs South. While both are nice places, it isn't the same as the East Coast with tons of road trips available in New England, NYC, D.C/Mid-Atlantic etc...With that said, Chicago is a big city with lots to do in and of itself.

Weather won't be much different in Chicago compared to Detroit.

Size would be something to consider. Sizes are different, Chicago is big massive place, as you know, spread out. Philly is much more compact. Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, tons of them.

By themselves, I would choose Chicago. However, do you want different weather, or pace, or other close road trips, or perhaps something not quite as big, ....etc...or do you want the bigger city with all of the amentities with Midwest pace, (though more hustle and bustle compared to anywhere else in Midwest)...

I don't believe it is a snap your fingers decision, Chicago all the way, because you have many things to consider. I know some people happy in Philly too.

You will definitely feel a huge difference living in city of Chicago vs the burbs that you did before and visiting.

If you want London, go to NYC.

Plenty of young hipster areas in Chicago

The"el" is solid. It isn't as good as the NYC subway or D.C. metro etc...but better than any Philly public transport. But remember Philly is smaller, more compact.

Plenty of markets.

Chicago is a polite place, not necessarily overly friendly, but if you are outgoing etc...you will do well. Your community feel will come with the neighborhood you choose. Big place, so choosing your neighborhood is important.
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Chicago
35,640 posts, read 53,228,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishtacos View Post
Chicago has many ex-Detroit transplants of all ages. There are even bars that cater to U of Michigan and Michigan St University. Everyone from the Midwest that wants big city life, but stays in Midwest, moves to Chicago.
There are bars that cater to pretty much every major midwest university, including almost all the Big Ten schools, even a Kansas University bar (Kinkaid's on Armitage).
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Bucktown
96 posts, read 466,761 times
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pretty much the other people summed up why you should choose Chicago. It's really a great city and it offers a lot of things.
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Old 06-30-2007, 12:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
There are bars that cater to pretty much every major midwest university, including almost all the Big Ten schools, even a Kansas University bar (Kinkaid's on Armitage).

I am well aware of this....but I chose these on purpose because a lot of people in Detroit are fans of U of M and MSU. And at these places you will find many native MI people.

There are also bars that cater to non-Midwest schools too.

KU btw gets its fair share of students from Chicago.
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Old 06-30-2007, 01:33 AM
 
Location: State of Superior
7,930 posts, read 7,542,390 times
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" If you can't make it in Chicago , you can't make it anywhere" Those are good words, and tell it all. I have lived almost everywhere in North America , If I were young again, I would pick Chicago , the place gave a lot of famous people their start, and the not so famous also.
After a lot of miles , a lot of smiles , sads too, I have found quite a few places I would return to in a minute, like Anchorage, Vancouver, Yellowknife ,Calgary,Edmonton,............aw to be young again , then theres Toronto, Bellingham, Key West,Portland, and Austin. So many places , and so little time............Philly would NOT be on my list.
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Cary, North Carolina
42 posts, read 139,101 times
Reputation: 40
Both are amazing cities, but Philadelphia has more appreciation to the arts, music, and education. Unlike Chicago, you can live near downtown in Philly and actually not spend millions of dollars. Philadelphia, having less area, is more dense and crowded than Chicago, so the morning commute may be tough, depending on where you work.
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