I grew up in the suburbs of Washington DC and Boston. Whenever we traveled into the city, it was an adventure. As an adult, I’ve lived in the suburbs of Dallas and Denver. Everything except their clusters of skyscrapers seem like just more suburbia.
Chicago, on the other hand, is much more cosmopolitan. I encountered a different accent every time I asked for directions (which was very often, since I have a bad sense of direction). The commuter trains make a huge clatter as they zoom over your head. The high ratio of taxis to regular cars is second only to New York City.
And Chicago’s infrastructure is crumbling under the weight of sheer humanity, which reminded me a little of Nairobi.
My friend Becky, has a premise that “you can live anywhere.” She lives in Alva, Oklahoma, a town of around 25 people. So she does know about living “anywhere”! Becky unwittingly nudged me to think that my family and I could live in an exciting place like NYC or Chicago. But the educational options get more complicated in the heart of a real city.
Alas, we’ll stay in Denver’s suburbs.