As a decade long resident of the greater Chicago land area, I have notice that there are two separate factions of Chicago inhabitants. Those that live "In the City" and those that live "in the Burbs". What surprises me the most is that in my experience they don't do not see eye to eye on the other's quality of life.
Let me first state that I lived in the city for three years. Right in the heart of Lincoln Parks "Fun Zone" between N Clark and N Halsted, and W Wrightwood and W Fullerton. I enjoyed countless restaurants, unlimited shopping experiences, Endless bars, clubs, and nightlife options, not to mention every beer and tasty cocktail within the city limits. I could walk out my door and catch a cab or bus to any corner of the city with ease. I could jump on the El and be whisked off in all four directions of the compass, I could hitch a ride on the Metra to get away for the day. I never had to drive(except for my Realtor duties.). I never had to leave a four block radius if I didn't want to. Plus I was blissfully nestled into the hustle and bustle of the city. I had mastered the busy travel times on specific streets. I learned what restaurants and local haunts to avoid on certain nights. I had even learned to love the rhythmic hum of the El and late night sirens that are seemingly ever present. I adored watching snow fall by street lights, and lived for the first spring cruise down Lake Shore Dr when the lake is blue and the grass is green. The constant glow of our impressive skyline and the hope of finding a great new place around every corner was alive and well in me.
Then the other shoe dropped. For the benefit of my family and new career opportunities for my wife we opted to move out to the suburbs, Glenview specifically. To say I was wary might be an understatement, but I bit the bullet and did what was best for my family. Let me tell you after a year of living in the burbs... It is heavenly. I get twice the space, twice the parking, twice the ease, and half the stress. The ride into the city for work allows me the time to amp up and plan my day, and the ride out allows me to decompress and instantly enjoy the time with my family when I hit the front door. I can run out and grab things from the store without a four block walk, or planning around the train schedule. I always have parking and never have to pay $24 for an hour. There is no rhythmic hum or sirens, instead I am now lulled by birds and crickets. The grilling is blissful and my garden is rapidly expanding. The space has allowed us to upgrade and my office is now more then the kitchen table now. Plus the family days in the forrest preserve and perfection.
So you can imagine my surprise being so relaxed and happy when any of my "City Dwelling" friends give me grief about living in the burbs? I get the look as though I have already retired. They scoff "I can't believe you left the city, your life must be so boring?" "You must be playing golf everyday." (I must confess, i do get out more.) "How can you live where there is nothing going on?" I usually just smile and plead the fifth.
Now my "Burbs Dwelling" friends are hitting me from the other side when I tell them I work in the city. "Man, how can you stand the commute?" "Isn't it impossible to find parking?", "how do you concentrate with all of that noise?" I smile and usually mumble something about it keeping me young.
The truth is after living in both extremes of the Chicago land area, I love them both more than ever. I appreciate what I do have and know how to make the most of what the other has to offer. Ideally in the future I will be owning property in both locations. The true answer is Chicago is the perfect place to live, no matter where you are, thats why I would never do anything but sell people real estate in this fantastic corner of Illinois.
If you are interested give me a call at 217-766-1413.