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10 things I’ve learned since moving to Chicago

August 2, 2013
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It’s been a year since Stephen and I made our 3-day trek from Los Angeles to Chicago. We’ve experienced our first brutal winter, many trips on the El, numerous pubs and a few Cubs games. I thought I’d recap 10 important lessons we’ve learned:

  1. Complaining about the weather gets you absolutely zero pity from native Chicagoans. From sub-zero wind chills to triple-digit scorchers, they’ve seen it all and then some. Buck up, buy yourself a good coat, and stop complaining.

    winter coat

  2. From approximately November 1 through April 1, you will never see your neighbors. Hibernation is real. Hunker down with a good bottle of whiskey and catch up on Netflix.


  3. The first warm day of the year feels like the opening scene of a musical. People are practically skipping through the streets. Strangers talk as if you’ve been friends forever.

    millennium park

  4. No one has a rational answer to the question, “Why are the seats on buses and trains upholstered?” Additionally, no one knows the answer to, “What sort of stains, bodily fluids or other nightmares live in the upholstery fibers?”

    santa chairs

  5. When at a Cubs game, you drink Old Style. Plain and simple.

    old style

  6. Once you accept the fact that the Wilson stop always has and always will smell like pee, going to Target is a much more carefree experience.


  7. If you live north of, say, the BELMONT station, you will be going to *them*, versus them coming to *you*. Get used to it.

    belmont stop

  8. The Architecture boat tour is overrated. Rent a kayak and go out on Lake Michigan instead.


  9. If there’s any place worth cheating on vegetarianism for, it’s The Girl and The Goat.

    Girl & the Goat_Girl and the Goat Logo

  10. Word to the wise: Chicagoans have serious, serious city and neighborhood pride. Do not diss any neighborhoods because no doubt someone will have lived there, or their cousin lived there, or their friend’s ex-roommate lived there, and they will not be happy about it.

    tim gunn

What do you think about my list? Interested to see what my native Chicago friends think!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2013 7:01 am

    I may not be a native Chicagoan but #3 is one of my favorite midwest things for sure. and I love “hibernation is real”….It’s. So. Real.

  2. August 2, 2013 7:21 am

    I have never been able to adequately describe how wonderful the first day of spring in Chicago is to people who haven’t lived here – but your opening scene of a musical description is DEAD ON!

    • August 2, 2013 9:19 am

      Haha! I’m so glad to get your stamp of approval!

  3. Amanda permalink
    August 2, 2013 8:47 am

    Love. Especially hibernation and no dissing. I don’t LOOOOVE Chicago….and when I communicate this in the mildest ways even to people down here you can see the hate bubble up into their eyes .

    • August 2, 2013 9:20 am

      It’s taken a few foot-in-mouth situations to learn the dissing lesson. Oops!

  4. August 2, 2013 9:09 am

    As a former Chicagoan, YOU NAILED IT! I absolutely love this list, especially that the first day of spring feels like the opening of a musical. Also, you can ask Aaron, but I broke rule #1 and complained about weather constantly. It’s been 4 years and I’m still complaining about the weather in Chicago!! haha LOVE THIS!

    • August 2, 2013 9:20 am

      I constantly break rule #1 too! It’s so hard not to express your extreme misery.

  5. April 21, 2015 3:36 pm

    When I moved to Chicago I had a couple of problems upon arrive since I was coming from Northridge in California, luckilyyyyy I found a pretty great moving company for my move.

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