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Old 07-24-2017, 11:36 PM
 
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Which city would be better based on the following criteria?

- Single white mid 30s female - Chicago better options for dating and social scene this age range?
-Career oriented, entrepreneurial (Dallas seems to have stronger, more diverse economy?)
- Traditional in dress and dating style (no idea which city wins here but a very important factor. Definitely not into grunge/hipster/alternative scene. Prefer manly men in suits and button downs over skinny jeans. Definitely prefer an official date over "hanging out".)
-Enjoy cultured, wordly, cosmopolitan, vibrant feel to a city (probably Chicago? although either one pale in comparison to NYC, London, Paris, etc.)

I'd either be living in the Loop or Near North in Chicago, or Oak Lawn by Equinox in Dallas. Same salary in either one (100K to start with good prospects). Considering that in Chicago I'll be car-free, the COL seems about the same.

Also, I have an opportunity to go to DC, but considering the higher COL I'd have to live outside of the urban city core, Silver Spring most likely, which would take away from the experience. Correct me if I'm wrong here.

Last edited by Flavia84; 07-24-2017 at 11:52 PM..
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:06 AM
Status: "And now for something completely different." (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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Your money will go further, and the overall crime rate is lower in Dallas, but Chicago is considerably more dense and urban.

The overall tax burden in Texas is lower than Illinois, and it should be noted that the State of Illinois just raised their state income tax rate by 32% (due to their finances being in complete shambles). Illinois will likely become the first U.S. state to try to declare bankruptcy.

Dallas is very car-dependent, and Chicago is not.

Dallas is very business-oriented. There's a lot of money floating around, but the city also has a reputation for being a 30k millionaire hangout.

Neither city is really alternative/grunge/hipster.
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
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Silver Spring is close to DC and has it's own downtown, so you could get the best of both worlds.


Dallas has a lot of skinny jean wearers. Before anybody gets upset, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Maryland
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If I were in the same situation, I would personally choose Chicago, as I find it has more of the vibrant feel to the city compared to Dallas and I enjoy the denser, more walkable and public-transit oriented nature of Chicago. That said, I think you could find what you are looking for in either.
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Old 07-25-2017, 08:18 AM
 
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Chicago has an incredibly diverse economy. Hard to imagine Dallas is ahead in that area. Downtown Chicago is also growing faster (more building and more corporate headquarters moving there.) But maybe it is easier to get a job in your field in Dallas, I would not know. And certainly the regional population of a Dallas is growing faster. As for crime, I don't think it will be worse in Chicago within 2 mile radius of where you are living or anywhere you would likely be. There is a core of vibrant, reasonably safe neighborhoods that run 10+ miles along the lake and extend 2-4 miles inland. And the near north neighborhoods are the center of that.

Chicago has much better summers and much worse winters. People often don't realize how much time you can spend jogging, biking along the parks and beaches along the lake. Chicago from May-October does not feel like what you think it would. But the winters are the exact opposite.

Chicago has far more cultural options (like theater and concerts in Millennium Park), and you can access these affordably (often free) if that is something that matters to you. But overall, Dallas is less expensive and a bit easier to drive around.

Not sure the best way to word it, but Chicago and Dallas will feel completely different. If you want a fully urban lifestyle choose Chicago. And that means the positives and negatives. But I think a lot of people's conceptions of Chicago are different than what it is like to live there. Except the winter... other than it gets less snow than you might think, but the cold is real and it take 6 more weeks for Spring to arrive than it should (but often stays nice through most of October.)
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Old 07-25-2017, 04:10 PM
 
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Thanks for the replies everyone! How are the people different between the cities? I am mostly concerned about fitting in and making friendships and finding people with a similar background and lifestyle.
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Old 07-26-2017, 02:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flavia84 View Post
Which city would be better based on the following criteria?

Chicago vs. Dallas. It's more "food for thought" than which one is better.

- Single white mid 30s female - Chicago better options for dating and social scene this age range?

Chicago would. It's the 3rd largest city, while Dallas is the 9th. It's true that Dallas is part of the 4th largest "metro," but that also factors in Fort Worth (another city) and many massive suburbs. FW has a slight conservative lean, while some of its suburbs are extremely family-oriented and conservative. The vast majority of singles, especially those in their 30s, live in Dallas proper or Dallas County/southern Collin County (which again is still smaller than Chicago.

-Career oriented, entrepreneurial (Dallas seems to have stronger, more diverse economy?)

Dallas has more of an entrepreneurial vibe and a stronger economy in general. It's diverse, but I'm not sure if it's more or less diverse than Chicago. I do know Chicago is more difficult to get a job in.

- Traditional in dress and dating style (no idea which city wins here but a very important factor. Definitely not into grunge/hipster/alternative scene. Prefer manly men in suits and button downs over skinny jeans. Definitely prefer an official date over "hanging out".)

I think both are national average when it comes to that. Not overly traditional, but no overrun by grunge/hipster/alternative either. The both have neighborhoods and scenes that are very grungy, but you can easily avoid them. Chicago tends to be less image conscious and fashion forward than Dallas. So you're probably more likely to see a slightly more "metro" look and skinny jeans in Dallas than Chicago per capita. Chicago, due to its size, may have more in total numbers.

-Enjoy cultured, wordly, cosmopolitan, vibrant feel to a city (probably Chicago? although either one pale in comparison to NYC, London, Paris, etc.)

Chicago has a longer history of being a major city and a cosmopolitan one at that. However, it is a lot more segregated than Dallas. Dallas is newer to being a major city and while it has a lot of transplants and immigrants from all over (many of which are well-traveled), it doesn't have the amount of ethnic enclaves or ethnic/cultural festivals as Chicago. Also, Dallas is more car-dependent and suburban city than Chicago, which means you won't find a walkable "Chinatown." There's a "Chinatown" and "Koreatown" that are in a bunch of strip malls, but it's not the same as what you would find in Chicago or DC. The only walkable enclave in Dallas that would be similar is a barrio ("Mexican neighborhood"). See Jefferson Blvd. in Oak Cliff. With that said, it's incredibly cosmopolitan and diverse for its region and state. Texas isn't the first that comes to mind when you think of "worldly," but Dallas is a bubble that happens to be in Texas.

Chicago will have the more vibrant nightlife scene. Dallas is pretty great considering it's size, but Chicago is going to offer more. There's much less pedestrian street-life in Dallas than in Chicago. So if you need that "energy," I wouldn't move there. That goes the same for Austin, Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, etc. These are newer cities built mostly around cars. They're becoming more urban and walkable, but not on the level of Chicago. Chicago due to its age of development will feel like NYC compared to Dallas. Dallas is vibrant for a "sunbelt" city and actually underrated in the urban department, but it's not Chicago. They grew up in different eras.


I'd either be living in the Loop or Near North in Chicago, or Oak Lawn by Equinox in Dallas. Same salary in either one (100K to start with good prospects). Considering that in Chicago I'll be car-free, the COL seems about the same.

Totally depends on the avg. rent between the two and where you'll be working. If you'll be working in Downtown Dallas, you can ditch the car but I would recommend living closer to Cedar Springs. You'll have a lot more options within walking distance. Chicago overall is much much better for this, but the COL may indeed be higher even if you didn't have a car.

Also, I have an opportunity to go to DC, but considering the higher COL I'd have to live outside of the urban city core, Silver Spring most likely, which would take away from the experience. Correct me if I'm wrong here.
My responses in bold.
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Old 07-26-2017, 02:58 PM
 
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One nice thing about Chicago is how big it is and how much varied housing stock there each neighborhood. You can live at different price points in pretty much any neighborhood. For example, I live in Streeterville- which is generally seen as pricey, but since they have been building highrises there for 40 years, you can choose a lower price point by going with a building from the 80's that has similar location and amenities, but is 1/3 to 1/2 the price of the newer luxury towers. Same with all of the trendy neighborhoods with more low rise units. The new construction is often pricey, but there are plenty of existing units that are affordable to buy or rent.

In a lot of "newer" urban cores, you can be priced out of various neighborhoods, because you have more homogeneity of $/sqft in a given neighborhood. Now Dallas is not out of control expensive like NYC, SF or Seattle, so maybe that would not be an issue for you.

In terms of "world class cities", there are more opportunities to do uniquely Chicago type things or mega-city type things in Chicago than you would in Dallas. For example, walking 1-2 hours from your neighborhood through other urban neighborhoods on your way to a beach or restaurant or performance. Attending a 10,000 person daily free concert in the park (Millenium) or with 100,000 people at Lolapalooza. Or deciding to go to the theatre and having 60 plays on a given night within 5 minutes of you, or a world level museum or performance on a daily basis. Or spend time using iconic parks like the trail and beaches along Lincoln Park, Millenium Park and Grant Park. Or just wondering through the streets of iconic architecture.

I'm not saying this would make Chicago a better place to live. But when you mention places like London, NYC and Paris- they are iconic partly because much of what you do there is a constant reminder of their uniqueness. Chicago is not on par with those cities, but it is a world city in that sort of way. You can say the same for smaller cities like DC and Miami, but Dallas is not as distinctively unique as a world city- and I think it can effect your experience there.

BTW, I used to go to London every year(favorite city), but its been a while because so much of the things I like to do in London happen to be the same things Chicago has to offer. But that comes down to personal preference, as London has a lot going on that Chicago does not.
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Old 07-26-2017, 04:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkz4 View Post

In terms of "world class cities", there are more opportunities to do uniquely Chicago type things or mega-city type things in Chicago than you would in Dallas. For example, walking 1-2 hours from your neighborhood through other urban neighborhoods on your way to a beach or restaurant or performance. Attending a 10,000 person daily free concert in the park (Millenium) or with 100,000 people at Lolapalooza. Or deciding to go to the theatre and having 60 plays on a given night within 5 minutes of you, or a world level museum or performance on a daily basis. Or spend time using iconic parks like the trail and beaches along Lincoln Park, Millenium Park and Grant Park. Or just wondering through the streets of iconic architecture.
You're right in that Chicago offers a "grander" experience. You won't find the old architecture, Lake Michigan shoreline, or urban vibe of Chicago in Dallas. But all of the bolded are available in Dallas, but on a much smaller and not quite world class scale. You can live in Uptown and walk to restaurants, the Arts District, attend free concerts at the park, run on the trails etc. There are a lot of festivals/events, but not the size of Lolapalooza. Dallas offers the basics of an urban neighborhood / central city area, which is nothing special to a city like Chicago. However, it's a very unique experience for a newer sunbelt city.
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Old 07-26-2017, 04:54 PM
 
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Thanks for the responses everyone. How does DC compare to Chicago? I feel like Chicago is a more interesting city however DC is more career oriented – is that correct impression that I'm getting?
Does DC offer the same variety of cultural attractions and events like symphony and opera?
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