Chicago is a real city


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.


5 Replies to “Chicago is a real city”

  1. Paul, you are absolutely right on the point, live where you want. I’d love to think that you’ll find the right place, with cosmopolitan excitement, and excellent schools.

    And I have to learn how to be clear about my towns. I live in tiny Hopeton, the town of 25 or so. My businesses are in nearby Alva, the big city of 5,000. It’s complicated, so I never know whether to say I’m from Alva, or Hopeton!

    It was such a pleasure to meet in person, and become friends after being connected so long online.

  2. Thanks, Becky!

    I’ll remember – Hopetown.

    And it was indeed a real pleasure to meet you “IRL”.

    We are happy in Denver – but I was reminded of the thrills of a bigger city when I was in Chicago. It would be nice to have it all.

  3. I grew up in Traveler’s Rest (SC). We lived out of town but the town itself had only 1500 people. It used to irritate me when people from TR would say they were from Greenville! 🙂

  4. City life has some advantages. I often think about what it would be like to move back to NYC, but I live a bubble right now and it has treated me well so far.

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