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Old 01-25-2008, 11:36 AM
 
10 posts, read 32,905 times
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I live in Metrowest Boston and have similar job offers in Chicago and Washington DC.

I am interested to know if anyone has lived in either/both cities and could compare them if possible to Boston. My wife and I like the Boston area but we moved from London 15 years ago and still feel like we have a hard time fitting in (it's a bit clicky) and are ready for a change.

Which city would be a better fit in terms of social and family friendliness, housing, cost of living, weather, sports. My wife is a plays tennis and I golf.

Thanks to anyone who can help.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:08 PM
 
45 posts, read 150,461 times
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Housing is a bit cheaper in Chicago than in DC, but the weather in Chicago is much colder and winter lasts longer.

Personally, I prefer DC. It's prettier and much more manageable. The public transportation in DC is about a million times better than in Chicago, and the traffic is better.

Sports-wise, DC is close to the mountains and the ocean, and there are beautiful hiking and mountain-biking options, kyaking. Plus, you can be outside for more of the year.

Chicago has much more to do though. You can find pretty much any kind of activity or interest group here you can think of. People are probably a bit friendlier, but I find that people are as friendly to you as you are to them.

Good luck with your choice!
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 67,942,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by july View Post
Housing is a bit cheaper in Chicago than in DC, but the weather in Chicago is much colder and winter lasts longer.

Personally, I prefer DC. It's prettier and much more manageable. The public transportation in DC is about a million times better than in Chicago, and the traffic is better.

Sports-wise, DC is close to the mountains and the ocean, and there are beautiful hiking and mountain-biking options, kyaking. Plus, you can be outside for more of the year.

Chicago has much more to do though. You can find pretty much any kind of activity or interest group here you can think of. People are probably a bit friendlier, but I find that people are as friendly to you as you are to them.

Good luck with your choice!
Winter is surprisingly similar. True we can get colder from time to time (a handful of days at best), but our winters are not that much different. We get less snow than Boston too. And if you think DC's traffic is better than Chicago's than I think youre crazy! The PT system in DC is nice, better than Chicago's, but Chicago's is in the nations top 5 easily. Nightlife is better in Chicago, the food is better IMO and restaurants are far more abundant. Chicago is more cultural as well and has miles and miles and miles of beachfront which is upkept and very well used. DC and Chicago proper offer as much outdoor activity as one another... pretty much none. You need to do a bit of driving to get away from the urban areas. There are mountains nearby in VA and NY, etc, but areas of NW IL, SW WI, MI have beautiful hills and valleys that offer skiing, rafting, etc. There are also TONS of forest preserves in the Chicagoland area that offer hiking, swimming, boating, etc, etc, etc too if you want to stay close. Downtown Chicago is immense and gorgeous and offers much more to do around the clock than anything in DC.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:22 PM
 
79 posts, read 322,966 times
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well, i cant really comment on boston since i have never been there, but chicago tends to be "clicky", so if you are purely interested in that, i would say no. other than that it is an amazing city to live in. there are people from all over the world which is nice too, so im sure you can find some people from london if you look enough.

in terms of family friendliness i would say washington dc, well the surrounding suburbs at least. people tend to have more values and a genuine attitude, at least those that i have met. chicagoans tend to be more blunt and everyone tends to hold up their defense against you, so its hard to meet a lot of people on a true personal basis. i am actually going to be moving out to dc area in a few months for a job. from what i have seen the cost of living and housing is pretty much the same.

in terms of sports, i play tennis too . there are tons of sporting events in chicago, the problem is things get very crowded and so if you want to play on a court you generally have to wait. there is a trail on the lake that you can ride a bike, run, rollerblade on. some of the areas get very crowded and id say dangerous in the sense of people congestion. so if you can deal with the huge crowds you are okay. there is a golf course, right by lincoln park zoo i think, but i really dont know anything about it. there are also a bunch of golf courses out in the suburbs. i dont know how the sports life is in dc, so unfortunately i cant comment, but if you want to go to major sporting events, balitmore is not too far away.

i personally think the scenery in dc is much nicer. everywhere you go in chicago you see skyscrapers, obviously, which is beautiful in its own way. in dc you have the city life, but not all the skyscrapers, which is also beautiful in its own way. if you like doing outdoorsy type of things, dc would be better. more parks, it has several things within a reasonable driving distance; mountains, the ocean, the appalachian trail for hiking/camping. you can also take the train to new york for a weekend if you want. oh, and they are much cheaper on taxes.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,204,220 times
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Originally Posted by jiraiya View Post
people tend to have more values and a genuine attitude, at least those that i have met. chicagoans tend to be more blunt and everyone tends to hold up their defense against you, so its hard to meet a lot of people on a true personal basis.
I disagree with this completely. More values and genuine attitude in DC? Doubtful... Blunt? Definitely, but I don't see how that makes Chicagoans hard to get to know- quite the opposite really.

I am a transplant and have always felt welcome here. DC folks tend to be, dare I say it, snottier. OP, You have probably seen that very same east coast mentality in Boston.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:56 PM
 
45 posts, read 150,461 times
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If you're thinking of buying a place, property taxes are much lower in DC. I admit, Chicago has better nightlife and restaurants; I'm just not interested in that, so I didn't mention it. It all depends on what your preferences are. There's good and bad to both. However, no way are DC winters comparable to Chicago. It gets much colder here and it snows more. I obsessively check the weather report for DC every day, just to torture myself, and DC is always warmer. Also, when it snows in DC, workplaces close down and workers get a snow day. I haven't seen that happen here.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,204,220 times
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Originally Posted by july View Post
Also, when it snows in DC, workplaces close down and workers get a snow day. I haven't seen that happen here.
That's because Chicago is capable of clearing their roads.

Though I admit, i think DC's winters are less harsh, coming from Boston I don't think you'd have too much acclimating to do.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:08 PM
 
54 posts, read 179,333 times
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I think most people here are going to sell you Chicago for obvious reasons but I'd choose DC. Chicago is very clique-y to me so I think you'd fare better socially in DC. Housing is more expensive though.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:24 PM
 
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That's because Chicago is capable of clearing their roads.
Yes, but my point is, you get out of work! I miss my snow days.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:45 PM
 
1,816 posts, read 5,075,487 times
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[quote=Steve-o;2622022]Winter is surprisingly similar.

One word, wind.
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