There are many songs about the grandeur of New York City, and while there are songs that speak of Chicago, none are so glowing in their praise. NYC is supposed to be the place where your dreams come true. Chicago is just a regular city, right?
Well, the songs paint a very different picture to the actual life experience of Americans. Many New Yorkers are getting increasingly disillusioned with the Big Apple, while people from around the country fall in love with Chicago.
Look, neither city is anywhere close to perfect. But if you’re trying to decide where to live and you can’t get New York’s reputation out of your head, here are 5 reasons to choose Chicago over NYC.
1. You can pay rent
The first thing we have to discuss is the cost of accommodation. In NYC, rent has always been extremely expensive. It is the benchmark against which all other cities are weighed. Over the past few years, it has only gotten worse, with prices becoming prohibitive even for those already living there.
That’s if you can even find somewhere to live. There is a severe shortage of rental units, with stats showing it is far easier to rent an Airbnb than find somewhere to stay.
Chicago is not the cheapest city in the US, but rent will cost you about half of what it would in NYC. With additional expenses like the cost of renters insurance in Chicago available at remarkably low prices, you won’t have to sell your kidneys for the sake of a one-bedroom.
2. Lake Michigan
NYC has beaches. Just take a trip to Coney Island. However, no NYC beach comes close to Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan is not just a place to be by the water. It is a site that people specifically come to see. It is within walking distance of downtown Chicago as well, so you won’t have to spend hours in traffic just getting there.
Choose a public beach or go to one of the waterparks. There is so much to enjoy and the beauty never gets old.
3. Work does not have to consume you
Among its many names, New York is known as the city that never sleeps. This is exciting for people visiting from afar, as they can find something to do all night every night. However, for people living there, it can be something of a curse. A city can only be up all night if its people have limited sleep. This is why even those who work regular daylight hours sometimes find themselves in the office well into the evening.
It doesn’t help that traffic is a nightmare. Many people stay at the office just to avoid rush hour and still have to face traffic to get home. In NYC, unfortunately, this has become normalized.
Chicagoans have plenty of ambition, but there is a lot more balance in the city. It may not be as exciting a destination as New York, but you will appreciate the fact that work does not consume you.
4. Chicago’s attractions are more accessible
There are a lot of great attractions in NYC. Comparing Chicago’s landmarks to NYC’s would be a fruitless task. But most New Yorkers would never consider going to these attractions because of the inevitable long queues. They are left to tourists and school trips, rather than spaces for the NY public.
Chicagoans may not regularly go to the tourist attractions, but there are famous spots that are far more accessible if you feel like an outing.
5. You won’t be missing out
Finally, the most basic reason to choose Chicago over NYC is that you won’t be missing out on much. Chicago food, sport, nightlife, and amenities are all great. The difference is that you can get them at a fraction of the price with a fraction of the hassle. New York City is a special place, but it takes spectacularly rose-tinted glasses to claim it’s an easy place to live.