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Old 06-07-2007, 09:22 AM
 
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I live in Orlando, and while the city is not that bad, ther'e no sense of traditions, no urban living, no jobs (except for service and tourism), no planning and no culture, so I am thinking of moving out in maybe 1 year. I have been doing research on different cities, and Chicago is in my top 3 (the other 2 being Atlanta and Austin). Chicago seems like the perfect combination of urban living, affordability and culture. Now, I am not too sure about the economy and the jobs it has to offer. I am an Electrical Engineer who works with the government and my wife is a Public Communication specialist with an MBA. I would like to live close to where I work, and I don't mind living in the suburbs but I would like to live close to the city (either by car or by public transportation). Is this possible? One thing I can't stand about Orlando is that everybody that lives here seems to hate it, is it like that in Chicago? Another thing is that wherever I moved to I would like to settle down and play the long game.
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:25 PM
 
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Chicago is a big city. Many people underestimate how big and spread out it is before visiting. There are many areas in the city to live within public transportation ride or car drive downtown, or elsewhere in the city you may work.

The city is Chicago's selling point. It's big with tons of different neighborhoods, big skyline, lakefront etc...lots to see and do. ....Without all of this, Chicago would be a tough sell.

Weather seems it might be something to consider....Orlando, Atlanta, Austin...all warm weather cities, some more so than others....i.e. Austin and Orlando.

Chicago feels like a real city. I am only one opinion, but I will always try to be objective here. Atlanta is very spread out, big suburban sprawl. Gets some ice storms in winter with 32 degree type lows....but do not let anyone fool you...single digit temps or worse than that are MUCH colder than 32. 32 would feel like beach weather at times in Jan and Feb in Chicago. The cold dark short days can be a grind on a lot of people. Others aren't phased as much.

I'd say Austin feels like a real city as well, albeit very small, smaller than Orlando, but a great city. Austin has 60,000 U of Texas students during the school year and a much different vibe in summer, fyi. Might want to visit in both times of year.

Orlando and Atlanta are different, but much more similar than the others to it. All are different from each other.

As cities goes, subtracting weather and traffic.....in order, I'd go.....Chicago, Austin....then the other two .

The other big thing to consider is traffic besides weather. Orlando and Austin will have much lighter traffic than Chicago or Atlanta. MUCH. ....to put it another way....if you lived say suburb 20-25 minutes from downtown with zero traffic....in traffic or rush hours that could be anywhere from 1 hour to 1.5 hours one way. .......

Close in suburbs are more expensive to get bang for your buck but much closer to the action. And same goes for city living.

Cost of living obviously is much higher in Chicago than any of the other 3 by a lot. The other 3 are cheap in comparison.

But Chicago will definitely have the real big city feel and all of the amentities with it. It's a great city. I would recommend living in the city, or a close in suburb, say Oak Park or Evanston,....places with more character and also closer access to downtown etc...East of 294. .....From your wants...I think you would be unhappy East of 294. These are areas that take 1-1.5 -2 hrs to get to city in bad times. It is true suburban life, cut off from city on regularly basis. And if you are commuting from West of 294 to city every day you will lose your mind. Really cuts into quality of life.

I'd go closer to city or in it....even if it means less bang for buck etc...you will have plenty of choices of neighborhoods, areas and parts of the city(remember it is big).

I'd visit Chicago in Summer to see how great it is......and I'd also visit in February to see if I could handle the winters. Best way to do it.
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:05 AM
 
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orlando doesn't have great traffic itself. besides commuters and vacationers, lots of people drive through it when crossing the state. last i knew, i-4 is a parking lot at rush hour.
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:56 AM
 
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As far as jobs go in Chicago, this is a really good link:
http://www.worldbusinesschicago.com/Portals/0/ChicagoEconomy.pdf (broken link)

Of all the cities you mentioned (ATL, Austin, and Chicago), I think Chicago may have the most history and culture. Chicago is a big city and feels like it, but the neighborhoods can also make the city feel cozy and welcoming. I don't know of many people who live in Chicago (or in a nearby suburb) who are looking to leave. The winters are dreadful, but the spring, summer, and fall are amazing. Traffic sucks, but it's no where near as bad as NYC and LA (which are the only other cities in the US comparable to Chicago as far as size and population go). Chicago has great sports, 27 miles of beach, amazing nightlife, and world class dining and theater. I've heard great things about Austin and Atlanta, but I can't see them being more enjoyable than Chicago b/c in Chicago you can never run out of things to do.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Libertine View Post
As far as jobs go in Chicago, this is a really good link:
http://www.worldbusinesschicago.com/Portals/0/ChicagoEconomy.pdf (broken link)

Of all the cities you mentioned (ATL, Austin, and Chicago), I think Chicago may have the most history and culture. Chicago is a big city and feels like it, but the neighborhoods can also make the city feel cozy and welcoming. I don't know of many people who live in Chicago (or in a nearby suburb) who are looking to leave. The winters are dreadful, but the spring, summer, and fall are amazing. Traffic sucks, but it's no where near as bad as NYC and LA (which are the only other cities in the US comparable to Chicago as far as size and population go). Chicago has great sports, 27 miles of beach, amazing nightlife, and world class dining and theater. I've heard great things about Austin and Atlanta, but I can't see them being more enjoyable than Chicago b/c in Chicago you can never run out of things to do.
you forgot to put "beach" in quotes.

i have a couple friends who moved to chicago from atlanta, and they're happy to be up here despite the cold. but they're also artists/musicians. a lot depends on what kind of lifestyle you're looking for.
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:05 AM
 
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^ why would you put beach in quotes?

http://www.medschool.northwestern.edu/bin/f/f/beach1.jpg (broken link)

http://www.photo-mark.com/webpix/ds/LifeBoats.jpg (broken link)



http://overflowat79th.googlepages.com/rbow1.jpg/rbow1-full.jpg (broken link)[/quote]












Living in the suburbs and traveling downtown is easy. There are over 225 train stations in the suburbs that take around 300,000 commuters into their city jobs each day.



The city itself has 144 train stations on it's subway/elevated lines (different from Metra - that's suburban railways), and 154 bus routes. The busses run roughly every 10 minutes, but more at rush hours. Trains run every 3-8 minutes during the day.

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Old 06-13-2007, 10:52 AM
 
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Wow….thanks for all the responses…it seems like Chicagoans really love their city and are really welcoming (in the Atlanta and Austin forums all I got was "the traffic is horrendous" or "don't come here, is getting too crowded already")….thanks for the pictures, that was awesome, they were beautiful….I did not know that Chicago had beaches, that sure is a plus…About the economy, I read the press release and it looks like it is very diversified, and I guess that makes for good jobs opportunities. How about affordability? I have heard and read that Chicago is, for a world city, relatively not that expensive. What income should I have to afford maybe a 1500 square feet house, and still have money left for basic needs and social activities?
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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It's just a message board, I wouldn't judge people from a city as a whole good or bad based off of an internet message board.

Hopefully you may find some helpful, useful info along the way.
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:03 PM
 
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sure, chicago does technically have beach. but for *me*, because of where i grew up, "beach" is inseparable from "ocean." chicago's "beach" lacks about 90000 x's the amount and variety of plant and animal life as found in a saltwater ocean/beach, shells (but i did find a lightbulb in the sand on north avenue's beach once. nice!), saltwater smell, wave intensity, and the scary-yet-enticing sense of an extremely large and deep expanse of water in front of you with millenia of creatures and wreckage inside (i find it easier to imagine michigan's shoreline across from chicago than imagining the african/european shore across from the east coast).
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Old 06-14-2007, 03:28 PM
 
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^ well of course, lol....you're in Chicago, not LA. There's really no bones to pick on that one, if you want a beach on an ocean - you have to go to the ocean.
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