When I started working for Rand McNally full-time I made it clear I wouldn’t be moving to Chicago. When my boss quit a few months later, I again made clear that I wouldn’t move to Chicago. A week ago I started to realize I’m kind of living in Chicago. In three months I have taken the LGA-ORD shuttle five times to work at our Skokie headquarters. I have spent more time in that office than in our office here.
As exhausting as this has been, I’ve taken advantage of the trip and stayed in Chicago three times now, and although you clearly couldn’t pay me to leave New York, the second city is a close second.
Being the fiend for trying any and everything that I am, I’ve been thrilled to find there are so many neighborhoods to explore and restaurants to try that would keep me just as busy in the windy city. There are amazing museums, beautiful views, a giant park, running trails, and they’re on the water…the biggest temptation.
I adored the Chicago Historical Society and Field Museum and was won over on Italian at Osteria via Stato and Eduardo’s Enoteca, not to mention laughed harder than I have in a while at Second City’s 100th Revue, on a recent weekend stay. The Metra’s as easy to navigate as any metro transit I’ve braved and it has cell coverage, rest not workaholics.
But there’s this giant yet conquerable world tour in New York that you truly can’t find anywhere else. I’ve heard Chicago called both a salad and a giant Pottery Barn in terms of diversity, but my city puts Epcot and Vegas to shame with its over 360 languages and countless cultures and subcultures. When people think of New York they think of literally hundreds of definitive things, because it has everything for everyone.
It’s been said that the city ruins you for anywhere else, but a quote I love even more is that it becomes the city you carry around in your head. And as dreamy and weak in the knees as I get for New York when I’m pulled away, as long as I can carry the energy and culture and passion and soul of the city in my head, I’m going to keep leaving to see the rest of the world bit by bit. It’s nice to know that so much of it is within reach when I come home though.
- a little good here: If you’re visiting in March too, Chicago’s one of the country’s most popular St. Patrick’s Day destinations, and you can’t miss the St. Paddy’s Runs and Walks. Join the 5K Run/Walk, 8K Run, or Leprachaun Leap–all proceeds benefit Special Olympics Chicago.
- a long way: Other events benefiting Special Olympics throughout the year include the LETR White Sox Fundraiser, Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby, and NELARUSKY.