Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town….

Something worth sharing….

NYC16520

This past week, while looking out the window at the once again falling snow, I smiled to myself.  I Love Snow!!  I am always the one talking up it’s finer points and telling everyone within earshot ..I can’t wait for it to snow.”  And, “I hope we get bucket loads of it, this year!!” Those brave and loud statements are usually met with grunts of disapproval and gasps of horror.

Guess what?! It’s winter, people!  (Well, at least for a few more weeks.)  And when you live in the northern part of the USA, Winter = Snow & Cold.  Hurray!

<> on January 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.

OK, so this year we have been hit hard and have been experiencing an unusually bitter and frigid season.  We have been tested to our limits.  We have survived the evil Polar Vortex.  We have shoveled our way out of mounds and mounds of snow.  And, we have been (somewhat) patient through record air traffic cancellations and delays as well as ridiculously long and treacherous commutes to and from work.

Chicago Blizzard 2011

We Love Chicago!!  Don’t we?

Time Out Chicago, (Chicago’s guide to what’s new and next on the city’s arts and culture scene) took to the streets asking the age-old question..”if it’s so bad, why do you stay here??”  And the answers that were given not only warmed my heart and reminded me of why I have such a deep love for this great city and would never leave regardless of the severe and somewhat unpredictable seasons, they are something most definitely worth sharing…

Yes, We Love Chicago!!

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16 reasons why we can’t leave Chicago, even after this evil winter.

We’ll admit this winter has made us question why we live in Chicago, but the answers keep us right where we are – By Laura Baginski

Why do you stay? Tell us in the comments.

16. All the messy toil and sting of the cold season seem to disappear on that one magic day—it usually comes in the second week of March—when the early afternoon clouds part, the sun beats down with intensity you haven’t felt in months and suddenly you’re overdressed. You shed your bulky coat, stuff it in your bag and smile. It’s not quite spring, but the worst of winter is behind you.—Jake Malooley, senior editor

15. You don’t need a car to live here. The CTA is slow, clunky, late and often full of putrid smells, but it will get you where you need to go. Eventually.—Laura Baginski, editor

14. The people are what make Chicago great. Here, I can hang out with good friends all the time and it is easy to do. My friends who move away tell me that maintaining friendships in other not-to-be-named cities is really hard, and building a great network of friends in nearly impossible. In Chicago, I know if I stop at my local favorite bar or restaurant, I will know the bartender (a friend), an old pal will already be at the bar, and another friend will walk in the door a minute later, all unplanned.—Martha Williams, photo editor

13. There’s a lot of talk in the theater and comedy scenes here about “paying your dues”—appropriate for this union town. And this brutal winter especially has felt like dues paid. But paying dues pays off, whether it’s getting in on the ground floor with future comedy legends, or reaping the riches of Chicago in summer. The work we have to put in makes the rewards all the sweeter.—Kris Vire, associate editor, Theater, Comedy, LGBT

12. Because the beach is 15 minutes from pretty much anywhere you are in the city.—Erin Delahanty, senior digital marketing manager

11. The location. Being located in the Midwest means that I can hop on a plane and in about two hours be in New York, New Orleans, New England, D.C., and other spots my friends and family live. Plus, being driving distance from Milwaukee, Madison, Michigan, Indy, Louisville and other places means getting away for the weekend is super easy.—Amy Cavanaugh, Food & Drink editor

10. In some ways I think the winter slog makes us better appreciate Chicago’s good points, in a self-reinforcing fashion: If we’re willing to put up with this bullshit weather, this city must be pretty damn great.—KV

9. The 4am bars. And the White Sox.—Jessica Johnson, senior online producer

8. It’s a city filled with driven, motivated people who also happen to (mostly) be friendly Midwesterners happy to give you directions when you’re lost.—ED

7. Chicago is still reasonably affordable. New York magazine recently published a feature laying out what its city’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, can possibly do to make NYC affordable for the middle class. Here in Chicago, we don’t have the same dire need to write those pieces. Not quite yet, anyway. That could change given Mayor Emanuel’s fixation on making Chicago what he loves to call a “world-class city.” Our city is world-class, we don’t need the sky-high rent to prove it.—JM

6. ​I can live alongside a massive body of water in a major metropolitan area—without paying a fortune.—Brent DiCrescenzo, managing editor

5. Chicago is now the place to set shoot your new TV show (Chicago PD, Crisis, Mind Games, Sirens, plus less-new shows like Chicago Fire, Shameless and the new season of Orange Is the New Black).—JJ

4. The beer. Confession: I hardly ever drank beer before moving to Chicago three and a half years ago. I’ve always been foremost a cocktail girl, but the vast number of breweries here and the availability of great beer has opened my eyes to all of the different styles available. I still have a ton to learn (and drink), but the beer scene has been one of the most exciting parts of living in Chicago.—AC

3. Every musical act in the world seems to play here, at some point. Sometimes it feels like every single last one of them is here in June, July and August alone.—BD

2. Chicago has all of the cultural richness of a major metropolitan city, but is very livable.  You can buy property or find a cheap apartment fairly easily, and live off very little if you need to. It was the perfect city for me when I was a broke college student, and it is still the perfect city for me as a first-time homeowner.—MW

1. The civic pride here is real. People here love to talk up their city, both the good and the bad (and then defend the hell out it when a non-Chicagoan dares to say something negative about the city). When I travel and people ask me where I’m from, I’m so proud to say I’m from Chicago.—LB

34 thoughts on “Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town….

  1. I really like your attitude. A twist on “bloom where you’re planted.” Chicago obviously suits you, and many others. For those it does not, there are plenty of streets leading elsewhere where their souls will be better nourished.

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  2. You can’t fight snow so you’ve got to just love it. And shovel it. Enjoyed reading about Chicago. I used to travel there on business at least twice a year. Usually in the spring time – thank heaven. But Chicago is such a handsome town and I expect winter brings out all the best angles of the place. Stay warm!

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  3. I love your photo of the stranded cars, a cross-country skier with the Sears Tower in the background! (Yes, I know they renamed it, but good luck with that.)

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  4. I’m not going to lie to you, I gasped in horror at the your love for the cold and snow and…omg, winter! Blasphemy! (There’s no way you’re getting me to move away from it… but I’m just sayin’!)

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  5. lucy

    Never really went onto the city and I’ve lived here for 40 years, until a very dear friend showed me the city and all it has to offer, and I’ll always be thankful for that. I LOVE CHICAGO

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    1. Well, perhaps for your first visit, you could consider coming in the summer or fall. Ease your way into our severe tempts!! You will Love our city. I promise you this!

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  6. Oh, and the music scene! Probably covered a little bit indirectly in #2 – but it’s one thing I have enjoyed very much during my visits there. Bluest of blue down on Clark in one of the Blue Chicago joints, continuous blues out at Kongston Mines, jazz at smaller clubs or restaurants downtown … 🙂

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  7. We enjoy reading a journal by someone who really feels it, and has the light touch. Zippy illustrations too, keep it fun. Chicago is our nation’s lynchpin city, and has been so for nearly 150 years, we would come apart without her. Go Blackhawks.

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