Can you be homesick for a place you've never been? Can you be a traveler who always feels like they need to be anywhere but here? These are the questions I have been asking myself lately.
Long story short, Mr. Amazing and I are Chicago natives. We moved to NYC ten months ago with the intention of staying a couple years and then continuing on to LA, where we originally intended on moving before a great opportunity presented itself.
On a recent trip home to Chicago we realized we were incredibly homesick but know that as far as our careers are concerned we cannot go back home.We love NYC and after moving here thought we might stay longer than planned. This recent dose of homesickness has given us the itch to get to the west coast sooner than later.
We truly feel that we would be happier in LA and it feels more like home to us than NYC. Here is the kicker, I have never even been to LA, or California! I know it sounds insane to feel homesick for a place that I have never been to before. It seems crazy to be typing this right now but I believe that is where I am meant to be! Sometimes you just know!
So I have been doing my research now that we have a countdown going for when we intend on making the trek across the country! (We love countdowns in our family)
Upon doing my research I found this article, this young woman gives a detailed comparison after living in both NYC and LA.
I am yet to experience LA but, I can do the same type of comparison for CHI vs. NYC.
Housing: Chicago wins
The price of an apartment in NYC is outrageous and it will most likely be very very tiny. Most apartments in NYC are very dated and you do not get to control your heat. Also finding an apartment in NYC is not easily done without a broker, another added fee on top of your already high rent and security deposit. Chicago has less expensive apartments in newer condition and are easy to find without a broker. The amount of upfront cash you need to have when first renting is significantly lower as well. Chicago is also a much cleaner city with wider streets and sidewalks and much less people so that can entice people to live in CHI rather than NYC.
Transportation: New York wins
Public transportation in NYC is much simpler and more convenient than in Chicago. Chicago has subways and trains but they only go so far. In New York you can get anywhere by train even to surrounding states like New Jersey. The bus system is amazing and they even have buses that take you specifically to places in New Jersey. In Chicago the trains and subways stop as soon as you get to the outer edge of the city. You can forget catching a bus anywhere but the middle of the city. The city is much easier to navigate than Chicago it is all numbered streets and avenues.Also, in Chicago many people still have cars and drive more frequently than take public transportation.
Food and Drink: Chicago wins
Many might argue that New York has many many more restaurants and take out places than Chicago but remember quality over quantity. Chicago has iconic restaurants, and one of kind foods you can only find in this city. New York has lots of different ethnic food places from all over the world. It is easy to walk or order in food at any time of day or night. Chicago has all that and Italian beef (beef sandwich only served in Chicago) Chicago style hotdogs and deep dish pizza! Pizza is one thing New Yorkers and Chicagoans will never agree on, but come on Chicago we know! It says a lot about our favorite Chicago food joints when they will literally freeze their famous foods and ship them anywhere in the USA! Grocery store prices are cheaper in Chicago than NYC but taxes are actually higher in Chicago so it kind of balances itself out.
Clothing: Tie goes to the shopper
Chicago and New York are both cities that have hot summers and cold winters. Ultimately you will need two wardrobes. You will actually probably need to have a better winter coat and boots to live in NYC because you walk everywhere. In Chicago the winters are much harsher than NYC, but most people drive so time spent outside is very limited. Chicago has many great designer stores on its Magnificent Mile just as New York does. One great thing about living in NYC is that there are always sample sales in the Garment District to pick through and score some cheap duds! Tax on clothing can get high in Chicago, but if your in New York you can always cross the Hudson and shop in New Jersey, no sales tax!
Over all winner: Chicago
I might be bias, but Chicago is the better choice for city living. Cleaner, cheaper than NYC, more choices for travel and the best food in the world! Fashion is important as well in Chicago and though our winters are bitter cold you do not have to walk around much if you don't want to. You will get more for your money in Chicago and the skyline is killer!
Have you lived in Chicago or New York City and compare your current city?? Leave a comment and let us know how you feel about the differences!
Love hearing your opinions!