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Old 01-22-2008, 02:40 PM
 
93 posts, read 248,785 times
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Default Chicago vs. Phoenix for a young college grad

I currently work for a fortune 500 company in Chicago, IL which I relocated to 2 years ago from Minnesota.

So far I like Chicago, it's treated me well, there's a lot to do here, a lot of people around my age (almost 25). It has it's high cost of living, paying $1000 in rent alone, but the pay is good.

My company is opening an office in Chandler, AZ and looking for sales reps to relocate.

I'm assuming I'll keep my same pay rate and get some money from my company to relocate. I was considering buyin a condo here in chicago, and I know the property is much cheaper in AZ.

I also am very sports active, I play baseball in the summers here in chicago, football and basketball the rest of the season. I'd like to go somewhere that has sports leagues to join to both have fun and be competitive.

I've been to AZ once but I was younger and don't know how it would compare to Chicago. I grew up in the suburban rich life back in MN and it was okay, I like the city life, but not sold on it forever, starting to get too old to drink and party every night. I've never experienced a hot summer like 110+ so I don't know if I would hate it. I've experienced -30 and I know I'm not a fan of that. The windy city doesn't help. People in Chicago are as stuck up as anywhere else I've been, I'm assuming it can't be much worse in Phoenix.

What are everyone's advice and thoughts? I'm not much of a bar and party guy anymore, I'm more interested in activities and sports and alternative ways of meeting people around my age.

What does Phoenix have over Chicago? What would be some things in Phoenix that would turn me off after living in Chicago? Basically, I've heard a lot of people talk about raising a family is great in Phoenix, but how would it suite a single 25 year old male who is starting to make good money and is active in sports?

Last edited by youngurbanprofessional; 01-22-2008 at 02:58 PM..
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Old 01-22-2008, 03:17 PM
 
419 posts, read 1,022,549 times
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Yuppie,

I also transferred from there to Arizona. I was in Chicago then Downers Grove. I transferred to Phoenix with the same job. Here is what I experienced:

In Chicago and DG, I had many activities with coworkers; bar nights, softball leagues, volleyball leagues, Art Institute exhibits, etc. Here, people in my office simply don't hang out after work. It's also an older crowd at this office, so that is probably one reason. But this area is SO spread out that people commute to and from all over. I think that's one reason people just head straight home each evening. Drinking in Chicago is so great because you almost never have to drive if you're messed up.

I would think a young workforce in a new Chandler office would give you ample social opportunities. It probably will take more effort though, as people are a bit more private here than in the midwest. That can be good or bad depending on your preference.

The weather allows for more off-season sports leagues. Golfing in Feb is great.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 01-22-2008, 03:34 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,224 posts, read 7,493,264 times
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Is weather an issue to you? I'm a Chicago native but lived in Phoenix for a spell and I found the summers were so hot that I spent most of my time indoors. Forget all that tripe about a "dry hot." Hot is hot. Even at 10pm the concrete around the community pool at our apartment complex was still very very warm to the touch. So think about that. There were alot of trampoline parks for some reason...but those, skate parks and so forth had big flood lights for night time, b/c it was too hot during the day in the summer to do that stuff.

I agree with the above poster about that area being really spread out and people being more to themselves. You have much more opportunity for socialization in Chicago and I thought lots of Arizona was a strip mall, big box store type of place...very sterile and little personality compared to the cool old neighborhoods and taverns in Chi town. Although, we had a joke when I lived in Phoenix that it was a suburb of Chicago because you see so many Illinois licence plates there when the snowbirds arrive. Of course the Cubbies do there spring training there. I don't necessarily think your money will go farther there. I think tht is pretty much splitting hairs. I would go wherever you think you will be happy socially and with your overall lifestyle. I make a great living and have a great living situation but I don't like where I live socially and the $$$ isn't enough to keep me here....so.....take my 2 cents for what it's worth...probably two cents.
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Old 01-22-2008, 04:11 PM
 
93 posts, read 248,785 times
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Thanks for your input. This is all good info to have in making a decision like this.

My situation has been that I have met most of my good friends through either work or sports leagues. I met a lot of great people through a baseball team I joined that just started and then a lot through softball and flag football. Some friends through work, and I agree that a bunch of us relocating there would make the social transition easier.

Here's how I feel about weather: Never effected me too much. Chicago has both hot and cold (not sure if you've been to Chicago lately, but people died last summer and I shaved my head because I the heat was getting to me). I was born and raised in Minnesota. MN gets as cold as you can imagine without crossing the canadian border. What many don't understand about MN is the humidity is HUGE. You step out side in early august and you break into sweat immediately. Lake country causes all that humid air more than lake michigan here in Chicago. Heat never bothered me too much, cold bothers me to a pretty large extent despite dealing with the worse of it my whole life.

The social aspect from what I've realized in Chicago is up and down. As mentioned before, you can do just about any thing you want from social clubs or sports teams and meet great people. Dating life, not so much. Women here are stuck up and not too friendly. A lot of "find yourself" people from small towns migrate here right after college and it's annoying. People here are both real and unreal. Also, friends come and go, no one stays in the city very long.

I also am becoming more and more annoyed with relying on public transportation. I live near wrigleyfield and work downtown. I live 5 miles from my office and I lose 2 hours of my life (1 hour each way) to a bus or train. That and I miss driving, it's fun when you like your vehicle. On the flip side, not having to drive home drunk is nice, cabs everywhere is convenient and fairly cheap since you're usually not going far.

My biggest concerns: meeting new people for friends, being able to join a rec/competitive non-minor league baseball team, sports leagues for softball, basketball, maybe flag football? , and possibly meeting more down to earth women who aren't trying to find themselves. I disagree with the money aspect. I think I could save a lot of money and everything is much cheaper in AZ than Chicago, including property.

Keep the inputs coming.
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Old 01-22-2008, 04:31 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,224 posts, read 7,493,264 times
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I personally think that Chicago hot and Phoenix hot are two totally different animals. And once your blood thins out after living in AZ, winter will seem sort of cold to you. Keep in mind that the desert gets pretty cold and pretty fast...as a rule, land cools and heats five times faster than water, which is why you'll find areas closer to a body of water a bit more termperate. Regardless....you say weather isn't a big deal so let's go on to social.

I think superficial and materialistic people are everywhere, and you're going to find them in Arizona, just as you'll find them in Chicago or whatnot. There is less of a community feel as a whole out west... At least this has been my experience. As far as down to earth women...I don't know. Again, you'll find superficial women and people for that matter everywhere. I live in the mecca of outdoor sports, camping, hiking, etc and there are superficial people eveywhere. I don't think it's a place more but a social attitude reflecting the times.

As far as commute times...you may save 2 hours riding public transportation but spend alot of your time in traffic in your car.

I'm just trying to jog your head to bring up stuff. I'm not for or against it either way. Just think things through and take the input. Hopefully there is a way you can visit your prospective new area for maybe a few days to pick up on the vibe? I personally would not move anywhere site unseen. I speak from experience!!!

Keep in mind

Last edited by cobolt; 01-22-2008 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 01-22-2008, 04:32 PM
 
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I lived in Wrigleyville as well. I really liked the dating scene. Sure, you had some pretentious money-lovers, but with all the bars and hangouts, you were always a few blocks from home-base. Getting a companion to the pad was pretty simple. As for here, I have heard Tempe and central Phoenix are good for singles, and I hear Scottsdale will get you lots of what you dislike about Chicago women.

Not sure where you work, but catching the red line at Addison made for a 30-35 minute commute to downtown, even with a little bit of walking.

The cold did get old, but now that I have little kids, the heat in AZ is more oppressive in my opinion. You can bundle up in the winter, but you can't un-bundle enough for the heat.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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I have heard over and over from people that we our cost of living isn't really that far off from anywhere else (plus my bf is from Chicago). Yes, property is more in Chicago (and prop taxes of course), but most everything else is very comparable. Plus, are you sure you will be paid the same? I have seen people make less when being transferred to a lower cost of living area.

The other thing that caught my eye was your comments about dealing with the heat in IL. How long did that heat last? The thing here is that it lasts a very long time. Just like your winters. It's gets very old quick. It doesn't just go away after a few days or weeks. Something to keep in mind. Are you able to visit during the summer before making a decision? Like I said, my bf is from there and has been in Phoenix for 15 years. Guess what? He HATES (!!!!!) our summers! Oh the complaining everyday! It doesn't bother me as much as him (I'm a native) but I do also hate it. It is HOT! lol Who knows, you may love it? That's a possibility.
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,460 posts, read 13,880,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sablebaby View Post
The other thing that caught my eye was your comments about dealing with the heat in IL. How long did that heat last? The thing here is that it lasts a very long time. Just like your winters. It's gets very old quick. It doesn't just go away after a few days or weeks. Something to keep in mind. Are you able to visit during the summer before making a decision? Like I said, my bf is from there and has been in Phoenix for 15 years. Guess what? He HATES (!!!!!) our summers! Oh the complaining everyday! It doesn't bother me as much as him (I'm a native) but I do also hate it. It is HOT! lol Who knows, you may love it? That's a possibility.
Well, I'm a soon to be young college grad, and that's the number one reason why I'm outta here in May! I can put up with almost everything else, but the summers are just plain over-the-top hot, even by the standards of the desert southwest. Even Tucson and Las Vegas are more comfortable in the summer than Phoenix. The summers here are so oppressive that I feel like I'm throwing my life in the garbage can for 5 months out of the year. I went back home to Denver for winter break this year, for almost a month, as well as last year (during the mega snow storm). I was also here for pretty much the entire summer last summer. After experiencing both extremes in the same calendar year, I can say that both extremes suck! But for me at least, extreme heat, especially the barbaric heat that Phoenix experiences is much, much worse. Now, San Diego is the King Kong of weather-- perfect 12 months a year!
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:16 AM
 
93 posts, read 248,785 times
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It sounds like the major negative factor about Phoenix is the weather. I can understand that aspect and get a good sense of what it is like. I will probably visit before I make a decision to move there.

What are some really good things you like about Phoenix over Chicago or other places? What do you love about it? What makes it different from other cities?
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:33 AM
 
487 posts, read 811,600 times
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I've lived in both near Phoenix and in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. And I know exactly where you're coming from, I had much the same thoughts as I got older, living in Chicago. But Phoenix and Chicago are truly different. Phoenix a big, sprawling suburb type of a city, where you have to drive everywhere. There's little urban environment. Chicago is a compact, walkable city largely dependent on public transportation, and is almost purely an urban environment.

In a way, it feels to me like Chicago is a place to live when you're in college or shortly after college. It's got that nice social atmosphere where you can walk around and chat with people at bars and at the beach, and it has, as you note, the type of sports clubs like the Chicago Sports and Social Club. But after college, once you get married or engaged, some of that social flirting aspect isn't as necessary and suddenly the city becomes loud and crowded, sending people to places like Phoenix, where they can buy a house.

Phoenix is much more sprawling but *does* have social organizations and sports facilities and a fairly active nightlife in Scottsdale. If you don't mind the heat of summer, and aren't in love with the walkability of Chicago - if your main priority is having a home, being OK with driving, and using the internet and places in Scottsdale and sports and social organizations as your social life, then you'll probably be fine with Phoenix. But they are very, very different cities. If Phoenix has advantages over Chicago, it's that it's more affordable, you can drive and park, and it has better scenery (apart from Lake Michigan and the skyline.) Chicago, however, has more culture - you're not going to find something like Second City in Phoenix.
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