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Old 06-22-2014, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Illinois
596 posts, read 648,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
This post is from 1/12/2012. This is 2 1/2 years ago, literally just days after I moved to California. People change within two years.

In any case, occasionally I feel a just a touch selfish, that I'm not around helping family (my Dad is 75). However, I have struck a balance between life in California, and visiting 2-3 times a year, and talking to family on most weekends over phone, emailing, facebook posts.
I grew up in Southern California and want to try living in Chicago. So I am going in the opposite direction you are. I'm tired of how dirty Southern California can be. A lot of people here are in la la land (in their own head) and for some reason don't feel responsible for trash they leave behind; it highlights the transient nature of the area. Los Angeles and San Diego are not clean cities. I visited Illinois a couple of times and noticed it's a lot cleaner place and people seemed more disciplined. Also, tired of looking at the many strip malls in the region, it's depressing, lol. I'd rather live among beautiful architectural design and buildings with age and character. San Francisco has this but it's just way too expensive and I have heard very dirty. I do appreciate the outdoor recreation of Southern California though.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:31 AM
 
5,835 posts, read 10,754,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by probablyimnotsure View Post
I grew up in Southern California and want to try living in Chicago. So I am going in the opposite direction you are. I'm tired of how dirty Southern California can be. A lot of people here are in la la land (in their own head) and for some reason don't feel responsible for trash they leave behind; it highlights the transient nature of the area. Los Angeles and San Diego are not clean cities. I visited Illinois a couple of times and noticed it's a lot cleaner place and people seemed more disciplined. Also, tired of looking at the many strip malls in the region, it's depressing, lol. I'd rather live among beautiful architectural design and buildings with age and character. San Francisco has this but it's just way too expensive and I have heard very dirty. I do appreciate the outdoor recreation of Southern California though.
Good for you. Best of luck trying out Chicago! I could tell you that Southern California has architecture with age and character and people who are disciplined, but I want to affirm your desire to live somewhere else.

You are right though, the street trash, as well as the large homeless population can be a little depressing, and can take some time getting used to.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Illinois
596 posts, read 648,174 times
Reputation: 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
Good for you. Best of luck trying out Chicago! I could tell you that Southern California has architecture with age and character and people who are disciplined, but I want to affirm your desire to live somewhere else.

You are right though, the street trash, as well as the large homeless population can be a little depressing, and can take some time getting used to.
Thanks. Yeah, the thing is I'm not a big sports fan. I don't drink alcohol. I might have SAD (I'm not sure if I do because I've never spent that much time in inclement weather). But, I like compact and fast-paced. Southern California is too laid-back for me. So, we'll see.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:29 AM
 
2,405 posts, read 2,408,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhichWayDoIGo View Post
I know this is a broad question, but I intended it to be that way. In terms of 'things' to do and other amenities, if someone doesn't care about climate, and beaches - which city would win out?

Thinking about moving to either of these two cities, and the usual things I hear people talk about, they don't really matter to me. I'm far more indoorsy, and have braved so much harsh weather in my life that I've become numb to it. I've been to SoCal a no. of times, and while the weather was great, its not something I HAVE to have. Also, I've been to beaches with friends, but I'd get there and be like, 'Ok, now what?'

I love great restaurants; live music that spans everything from 'classical' to underground hip hop. I like bookstores, and interesting shops. I like A LOT of things, but most of what I like doing is done indoors. I don't hate being outside, but I'm just not a big nature guy.
I have been to both LA and Chicago multiple times over the decades. My thoughts (beyond weather, beaches, and music scene considerations which you already expressed your feelings about):

1. Chicago has a notably lower cost of living (most particularly housing costs) than greater LA. You can still find studio or one bedroom apartments in the $400 - $500 - $600-and-up range in greater Chicago and in non-slummy areas, whereas LA's rental rates are on par with New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco as being the highest in the nation. I surmise that the overall cost of living (with all the varied costs taken into consideration) will likely be lower in Chicagoland than in LA County.


2. LA County is enormous and spread out. So, despite it having a subway system and the Metrolink commuter rail system, there are still enough areas that are simply not served by trains. And it can take the buses a rather long time to get from point A to point B, as everything is so spread out (e.g., years ago, my brother lived in Hermosa Beach, CA and I took a bus from Hermosa Beach to downtown LA (approximately 21 miles apart in LA County) and it took about 1.5 to 2 hours for the bus trip, as it takes so long for the bus to make all its stops and wind through all the myriad streets and roads of LA County at-large). And just the fact that it is 21 miles to travel within one single county from one municipality to another municipality tells you how very big and spread-out LA County is. Roughly speaking, LA County can be said to be up to 83 miles wide (from its easternmist point to its westernmost point) and up to 96-100 miles from its northernmost point to its southernmost point. So expect to have to use a car for so many things . . . compared to greater Chicago, which is so much more walkable and has extensive subway and commuter rail (along with buses, of course) covering a greater percentage of the metro area than LA County's train system likely does. And at least two of Chicago's subway lines operate 24/7, whereas no LA County transit operates 24/7 to my knowledge.


3. The entire Pacific Rim is much more prone to geophysical events and climatic disturbances than greater Chicago (i.e., this includes earthquakes, tsunamis, flash floods and other types of flooding, et al). And being on the ocean will make greater LA subject to the effects of global climate change more impactfully than Chicagoland and the upper Midwest US, most particularly with the predicted rising sea levels. I myself am not desiring of living in a region so prone to earthquakes, tsunamis, et al. It is unsettling to always have to be thinking about the world caving in around me and crashing down on me wherever I go. The whole Pacific Coast and the Pacific Rim at-large is a geophysically-active zone, compared to Chicagoland and the upper Midwest.


4. Greater LA County and nearby environs has so much more of a concentration of cities of note (i.e., it offers a much greater stretch of urbanity over many more miles than greater Chicago . . . meaning that once you get outside of Chicagoland, much of the surrounding areas are very small town or rural in character). It is like saying that Chicago functions as a sort of provincial capital in the midst of an otherwise more barren landscape than greater LA County and nearby environs offers. In summary, it is surmised by me that greater LA County - Southern California at-large will have alot more to take advantage of in terms of varied cities of diverse offerings if you want to drive around to partake of diverse settings, whereas outside of Chicagoland, you have a few cities of interest here-and-there in driving proximity to it but it is otherwise more rural-like and small town settings you'd encounter.


5. You may not care much if at all about the prevailing weather or climate conditions (like myself) but it is the case that greater LA and environs has a much more diverse topography (i.e., surface shapes and features of the Earth, or the arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area) than greater Chicagoland can ever offer. That is, you have the Pacific Ocean, rivers, lakes, dams, mountains, hills, forestlands, valleys and gorges, etc. etc. etc. . . . whereas Chicagoland is much more limited in that regard. The point is that if you like variety and diversity of settings to explore at times (to make life more interesting), greater LA will likely come across as offering much greater diversity of topographic features than greater Chicagoland can ever offer.

Last edited by UsAll; 06-22-2014 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,792 posts, read 18,943,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by probablyimnotsure View Post
Thanks. Yeah, the thing is I'm not a big sports fan. I don't drink alcohol. I might have SAD (I'm not sure if I do because I've never spent that much time in inclement weather). But, I like compact and fast-paced. Southern California is too laid-back for me. So, we'll see.
Chicago is a big sports city, but I find that people semi unfairly characterize it in a way that is like everyone is gaga about sports. You'll find out that it is not true on the whole, unless you're hanging out in very specific areas in one of a small handful of areas. It's a diverse city - full of people who love sports and are crazy about it, and others who don't watch a single minute every year even when it's the Super Bowl.

I have a friend, about 40, who grew up in Oak Park next to Chicago and has lived in Chicago itself since he was 18 (so about...1992). Me and him are similar - we enjoy sports for entertainment purposes, but that's about it and we don't like sports bars. I was talking to him about the evolution of the city since the 80s and 90s and he said there's noticeably less "bros" and sports fanatics in the city even in the last small handful of years. I've noticed it too, in my 5 years here and it's encouraging Still definitely exists though ...for sure.
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:38 AM
 
22 posts, read 23,731 times
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I lived in Chicago for 3.5 years after living in NYC for 15+. Native Southern Californian (San Diego). Just moved to Los Angeles from Chicago.

Like the OP, I thought I was unaffected by weather, too. Until I moved to Chicago. I think it's not enough to be neutral about weather there—you have to love, embrace, and celebrate cruddy weather (on either end of the spectrum) or it can crush you. There is just so much bad weather, of such breathtaking variety. Yay, ice pellets, yay, blizzards, yay, 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity, yay, more ice pellets, yay, a derecho, yay, flooding, yay, negative 40 degrees, yay, weeks on end of cloudy days punctuated by random precipitation and sudden gale force winds, yay yay yay!!!!! I am not that way. I am so incredibly glad to not live there anymore for that reason alone.

LA real estate is expensive and the demand seems to have outstripped the supply in many areas. In Chicago you will get more space and nicer space for less money. You need a car in both places if you want to see most of either city. We did not have a car in Chicago and I regret it.

I found the racial segregation in Chicago to be palpable and just incredibly depressing. It did not feel like a diverse city to me at all, and I lived in what was considered to be a fairly diverse neighborhood (Hyde Park).

Quality of produce: LA wins hands down. Chicago produce was usually passable, but often sucky.

I dealt with more pretentious restaurant servers and hilariously overwrought food in Chicago than I ever did in NYC—totally unexpected. Maybe it was just our luck at the places we went to, but seriously too much self-congratulatory talking went on in Chicago about what the food was, where it came from, and how one eats it, etc. It got annoying and disruptive on more than one occasion.

While fine dining is well-represented in Chicago, finding very good, fresh, *healthy,* well-prepared food that was not expensive was surprisingly difficult—I felt like we spent more for worse food across the board in Chicago (vs. NYC). That might not be the case if you're living in a place like Lakeview where there is good density and a lot of options. Not sure how this element will play out in Chicago vs. LA.

If you are going to visit Chicago—and I recommend that you do—do it in the season that you are least comfortable in and try to do all the stuff you would want to do if you lived there. Like cold better than heat? Go to music festivals in the middle of the summer.

Can't speak for LA yet, but I met a lot of aloof/unfriendly people in Chicago. I may have been misinterpreting a kind of midwestern urban reserve, but I didn't find it a particularly friendly city.
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:10 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
Downtown LA still can't compare to the Loop in Chicago. Heck, Downtown LA can't compare to Downtown Portland. It still has a long, long ways to go. Too many warehouses, pawn shops, and essentially is still a poor man's downtown to this day.
Note the second part of my post, "or at least what DTLA is becoming."

Yes, downtown LA has a way to go, but it has advanced HUGELY in the past 5 years. Give it five more. The warehouses will always be there, but are getting turned into trendy and expensive lofts. Whole Foods is moving in...that's the kiss of death for a "bohemian" neighborhood! Bunker Hill gentrified years ago, the Arts District is booming, and the gentrification is sweeping south like a yuppie tsunami.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:03 PM
 
Location: The Middle West
1,021 posts, read 734,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LADude23 View Post
Note the second part of my post, "or at least what DTLA is becoming."

Yes, downtown LA has a way to go, but it has advanced HUGELY in the past 5 years. Give it five more. The warehouses will always be there, but are getting turned into trendy and expensive lofts. Whole Foods is moving in...that's the kiss of death for a "bohemian" neighborhood! Bunker Hill gentrified years ago, the Arts District is booming, and the gentrification is sweeping south like a yuppie tsunami.
I agree that LA is growing, which is good, but it in comparison to Chicago's Loop, it will never catch up. LA is great in many ways, it's downtown is just not one of them.
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