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Old 02-01-2011, 11:59 AM
221 posts, read 464,558 times
Reputation: 192


Well, I've been on C-D for a little while now, and there's a couple of things I've been using this site for: To figure out where to live long term, and figure out what I want to do for a living.

I've looked at several different cities across the country and I actually made some decisions, but lately my priorities and my desires have changed, which have impacted where I'll choose to live and what I'll do for a career.

To give you guys some background about me, I am 29 years old (well, almost) single male, born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI. I do hold a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from a small school called Lawrence Tech out near Detroit, which I received in 2006. I've worked two professional jobs that related to my field (one as a Patent Examiner, and the other as a Documentation Engineer), and none of those jobs lasted very long due to personal reasons. I am currently getting on track, and will be saving my money for a relocation somewhere. Outside of Michigan, I have lived in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, a short time in Kansas City, and now Wichita, KS. I thought about moving to Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and even back to the Detroit area.

As for career, I'm really trying to get over this power fantasy that's been plaguing me for the last 5 years or so. It's still embarassing to talk about even though I've mentioned it on this board before, but I've had this fantasy of becoming a successful Hollywood film director, and it's gotten in the way of my career. But I now see it for what it really is--a lousy fantasy, and I've been trying to move forward despite the so called "aspirations" that sometimes cloud my mind and inundate my feelings. It really is a day to day struggle, and I may have to see a counselor about it at some point as soon as I'm in the right situation. But in reality, I am sort of sticking with engineering, but this time I'd like to do stay in the written aspect and start a career in technical writing or documentation.

I guess I've kind of been avoiding this particular city (no offense to anyone here ), but lately I've seriously started to consider Chicago as an option. But really, I've been evaluating the things I really want in a city, including proximity to my home town of Ann Arbor (approximately 4.5 hours away), and it looks like Chicago meets almost all of them. I guess weather would be the only thing that Chicago would not meet, but it's only 4 degrees here in Wichita today with a wind chill of 20 degrees below zero and 35 MPH winds, and I seem to be handling it OK. Not to mention, I'm from Michigan ('nuff said there, as far as climate is concerned), and I remember actually missing the cold winter weather when I was in Los Angeles.

I've only visited Chicago once, and that was 11 year ago, and that was only for 2 days. My impressions of the city were good, though, it was 11 years ago, and I didn't get to see all that much of it. But after reading the posts on this board and looking at other websites, Chicago does seem like a good choice. Of all the cities I've lived in, I would have to say Philadelphia (despite the crime problem), is my favorite, and Chicago is considered alot better than Philly.

I really like that Chicago is a very large, urban city since I'm definitely a city person. I like that Chicago is much more affordable than other cities that have similar qualities. I like that I won't ever need a car since Chicago has one of the best transit systems in the country. I like that Chicago is a liberal and progressive city in a state that is politically liberal and progressive (the religious conservatives have no influence, thank God), so I wouldn't have to deal with the crap I have to deal with here in Kansas. I really like the large, tall skyline (I'm a hugh skyscraper finatic). I really like the fact that it's not family-oriented since I am almost 30, and I am no where near ready to settle down (if that ever happens), and that there are plenty of people my age (especially women) who are single and not focused on starting a family. Ofcourse, I like that it's in the Northern Midwest/Great Lakes region, which is where I'm from. Again, I really like the strong singles scene, especially for those of us who are more "seasoned," and the abundance of entertainment options for singles. I also like the distinct neighborhoods since I like venturing out into different neighborhoods and communities. To top is off, it looks like Chicago's job market isn't doing so bad, and there's plenty of opportunities compared to most other parts of the country.

So, I think Chicago would be a good fit for me. Like other Michiganders who moved to Chicago, I don't think I'll be able to get into Chicago sports since I'm such a fan of the Detroit teams, but that won't stop me from going to a few sporting events here and there, since I do like sports. Well, anyway, I'm wrapping up this long, "boring" post. Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Last edited by JmanAA; 02-01-2011 at 12:13 PM..
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:05 PM
674 posts, read 1,014,913 times
Reputation: 480
Hmm. Just a thought, but I don't think it's silly or embarrassing for you to have dreams of being a director. I think people in general need to have more ambition, not less. So props to you. I relocated to Chicago to pursue a career in music, I don't have any regrets about that. If it's what you want, go after it. Nobody starts at the top of the food chain in a career like that so you'll meet your fair share of opposition. Just keep your head up and keep working at it. Chicago is a great city to get on your feet and pursue this with, put together a good decent indie movie. OTHER than that, you've really nailed reasons for Chicago being a good place to live, so I won't bother with trying to convince you of that - I'm not sure of what your budget restrictions are in terms of buying/renting but there are a multitude of neighborhoods in Chicago that would fit your needs. Do some investigating on the neighborhoods of Northern Chicago and see if there are any you like. That way we can give you specific advice vs. a bunch of generalities! Not to mention, you'll be able to learn a little about each place as you read.
Wikipedia, CityData's forums (do a search), Wikitravel and even just a regular search engine are great ways to investigate neighborhoods. Hope I've helped.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:29 PM
221 posts, read 464,558 times
Reputation: 192
Thanks OhAcid

Actually, I'm way ahead of you in the research game. That is, I've been doing my fair share of research into some of the neighborhoods, particularly on the North side. Whenever I become really interested in something, I'll preoccupy a chunk of my time learning as much as I can about it.

Last edited by JmanAA; 02-01-2011 at 03:41 PM..
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:02 PM
Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago
3,213 posts, read 2,829,636 times
Reputation: 2249
Sounds like you're doing your research, best of luck on your move.

Don't be too quick to let go of your aspirations, it's never a bad thing to pursue your dreams. I wish you the best of luck with that as well.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:43 PM
221 posts, read 464,558 times
Reputation: 192
Now, as for filmmaking, I'm still thinking about it. As I mentioned up there, I haven't been able to remove it from my mind. It's totally an obsession. I talked about this in the Los Angeles forum, and here's one of the responses that I received:

Originally Posted by readymade
I think creative people are creative because they HAVE to be. There's not a whole lot of choice in the matter. If you're not making films because you want to be paid first or because why bother if no one's going to see it... then you're not creative. And you're NOT an amazing filmmaker.
Yep, exactly what readymade said. I was totally creative when I was a kid, but that ended right around freshman year of high school when I started to drift away from drawing and sketching (something I was very good at, and received alot of acknowledgement from all kinds of people: friends, family, co-workers, other students, even my high school art teacher), and get more involved in mathematics. I later learned that the reason why I was drawn to math, was because it was purely mental (with no need for me to get in touch with my feelings), it was something I could easily do by myself, and the pure intellectual aspect of math enabled me to further distract myself from all the chaos going on in my life. But all that changed in my last year of college, when I was coming to terms with these issues and getting more and more intouch with my inner self, that I lost interest in math and engineering, and, interestingly enough, returned to my creative/artistic self. As the old (2,000 year) saying goes: "The truth will set you free."

But, like most other artists in this country, I will have to make a choice on wether or not I want to be an artist or a business man. Do I want to create art or commercial products? Since I've been pretty much using this "dream" as a drug the same way an alcoholic uses alcohol, I have to remember to see the grandiose fantasy for what it really is--a way of escaping reality, and trying to fill a void or make up for some sort of lack.

So, my focus will be to just make films independently, and working a stabled job to pay the bills and help finance my creative endeavor. I think Chicago will be the perfect city for all of that, and I know I'll meet PLENTY of people like me. At this stage of my life, the situation that I am in, my career development and my artistic interest, Chicago is the place to be.
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