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CHICAGO

The pizza has never been better

The city that invented skyscrapers, the Ferris wheel, and slam poetry is calling. Come for the opportunities. Stay for the authenticity. Chicago's never been better.

Chicago is on a roll. The downtown is mighty but cultured. The neighborhoods are thriving with restaurants and boutiques. Tulips bloom out of the grit. Against all odds, the trains keep running. Bicycling is up. Crime is way down. Times are good.

If you're looking for an urban experience, you can't do better. The skyscraper canyons echo with deals sealed in a dozen languages. Artists are forging beautiful things in alleys, galleries, and empty factories. Students are rolling out their blankets on 26 miles of lakefront parks. Something new (and often free) is happening daily.

The job market here is tough but substantial. There's no scarcity of opportunities, but the competition can be fierce. It's no secret that Chicago is a great place to live and work, so it attracts the best and brightest. The good news is that being the capital of the Midwest, fads don't get much traction here. Jobs don't fall from trees, but they usually don't evaporate overnight, either.


Like the bricks and steel favored by the city's builders, the city exudes permanence. Chicago means business and it means to be around for a long, long time.

Neighborhoods

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods - we're talking more than seventy. Some are ethnic enclaves. Others are hipster 'hoods. These are a few of the heavy-hitters:

Lincoln Park

Wrigleyville/Lakeview

Andersonville/Edgewater

Wicker Park/Bucktown

Lincoln Square

These are just some of the most popular neighborhoods for newly arrived Chicagoans, but there are dozens more, and hundreds of suburbs. The rents decrease in proportion to safety, character, and distance from downtown. Some of the more lively suburbs are Oak Park, Evanston, and LaGrange. These all have good train access to downtown.

Do YOU live in Chicago? Tell us about it.

Transportation

Chicago's public transportation system, the CTA, is extensive. Hundreds of buses and eight train lines make getting downtown a snap. Most newcomers try to live within walking distance of a train stop. If you do, you don't need a car. In fact, in neighborhoods closer to downtown, like Lincoln Park or Wrigleyville, a car will be a bigger hassle than it's worth.

If you relocate to suburbia you're going to want a car, even if you can take the train to work. Similarly, if you land a job out of the downtown area, public transportation gets a lot more complicated as the downtown is the hub. Contact some future coworkers for helpful info.



Being flat as a pizza, Chicago is a big bike town with an avid biking subculture. Get one. The city is continually adding bike lanes, and Millennium Park sports a state-of-the-art bike parking lot. A growing number of commuters are cycling to work... even in winter! Biking is a great way to travel between neighborhoods, and the lakeside bike path is 20 unbroken miles of bike love.

Local Lingo

Ready to root for da Bears and da Bulls? By gad, if you're moving to Chicago, be prepared for a dialect heavy on the 'long a' sound (think, stick out your tongue and say 'ahh'). You might not be able to adopt that before you get there, but you can start with a few local terms.

LSD or sometimes Lake Shore is what the natives call Lake Shore Drive, a famous stretch of road along Lake Michigan, which can be seen in movies such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The popular belief is that only tourists say the full street name.

Hungry? Chicago is a great place to eat - grab a Beef (Italian beef sandwich) or a Polish (a sausage sandwich). Of course you could also go to White Castle and get a slider (WC burger). The old standby is a Chicago Dog, but beware - you never ask for ketchup on a dog if you're old enough to order it for yourself.

Should you hear someone refer to The Loop, they're talking about the downtown area of Chicago, and more specifically, the area that the El (Chicago subway) loops around.
PLACES TO EXPLORE

INDUSTRIES
Consumer Products
McDonalds
Kraft Foods
Quaker Foods

Financial/Business Services
Accenture Consulting
Citadel Investment Group

Aerospace
Boeing

RESOURCES
egov.cityofchicago.org
The official city website

www.chicago.com
City guide, local information, and news

www.ypchicago.org
Chicago Young Professionals

LOCALS SAY...
What do you love about working here?
Even when you've been living in Chicago for years, you can take a bike trip around and see new things. The urban landscape is constantly changing.
Audrey, 27
Columbia College, Bartender

 
Brendan Keating Brendan Keating is a writer and attorney born in, living in, and loving Chicago.
 
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