Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sweet Home Chicago

Despite making such a radical transition from Atlanta suburb to very urban Chicago I think I have adapted beautifully. There are probably many reasons why. The first and foremost is I was READY to get moving. I waited long enough in the process of studying, taking, and waiting for the results of my Step 1. I had plenty of time to get completely bored and be far away from everybody and everything. There are not an appreciably large number of single 20-somethings in the suburbs, so that makes it hard to enjoy a social life without driving halfway across the metro area. In addition, most of my friends in the Atlanta area scattered to the four winds while I was in college, then working, then on the island, and then in Miami. So people had time to move out. Couple with my dawn to dusk, rise to sleep study schedule and it made for a rather lonely and difficult-to-socialize environment.

Anyway, fast forward and here I am. I've been here about two months now, and so far it's been going well. Certain things are certainly different. Not having a car can make a few things different, but thus far I haven't really wished I had my car--barring one oversized trip to Target. Everything is so close by, or so well-conncted that having a car would likely be an impediment. On average, it takes me 15-20 minutes to get from my door to some random place in The Loop or near the Magnificent Mile (henceforth to be referred to as the "Mag Mile") using either the bus or El. A car would be slightly faster...until it came time to park the car in said areas. There is no parking in those areas, unless of course you want to shell out a minimum of ten bucks. In some of the more distant neighborhoods a car is definitely useful, and almost required as you get toward the more suburban fringe neighborhoods, but I purposely chose a neighborhood where I wouldn't need one. The only thing that really requires consideration without a car is grocery shopping. You learn quickly just how much you can carry. And you also learn that includes a large buggy. Small buggies and hand baskets are just fine. If it doesn't fit in one of those...then it's not coming home. Simple as that, and not really a big deal when your household consists of one. Other plus? The grocery store is at most a ten minute walk and if something is needed, or company is coming and extra food required, a simple reroute on the way home and all is well.

I have become a de facto Cubs fan. I live, oh, six or seven blocks from Wrigley field, and can hear the games. So it's sort of natural that I end up watching them and rooting for the Cubs.

I am really enjoying the city so far. I enjoy that I am walking distance from so many great restaurants and shops, and a short bus ride from so many stops. I'm sure I will get to explore more, but between living, shopping, and work/school I have covered a great deal of the city so far. I'm sure I will update on various neighborhood explorations. I live on the North side, and have yet to really see much of the South side.

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