For over a half of a century, I have lived on the outskirts of large urban cities. The most picturesque was Boulder, Colorado and the least was my childhood home in Southfield, Michigan. My longest residence (almost 30 years) was in Lake Forest, Illinois, a toney suburb on Lake Michigan about one hour by Metra train to Chicago. I ended up there by marrying a hometown boy who still loves and continues to live in “LF.”
With my kids now all adults and settled around the US, (including Hawaii!), a job in the “loop,” the big house sold and a divorce, I decided to shake things up and do what so many of my suburbanite friends talk about…a permanent move to the city.
To be honest, as glamorous as this sounds, it was a bit scary. All my friends, family memories, favorite shops, bike paths, routines, etc. were tied to the suburbs. I could have easily found a nice condo, continued my Metra commute to the city, and return each night to a life of familiarity. Instead, I took the plunge and have now lived in the Old Town Triangle for almost 3 years, a part of Chicago that is rich with history and a place that I am adding city living to my own history.
So I moved from a town with a population of about 20,000 to a city with over 2.7 million. I am still not sure if this kind of living is for me. To those who think moving to a large city is something for them, I hope you enjoy reading about my journey. To those already living in any big city and have thoughts of you own, please join the conversation. For now, excluding the obvious tourist sights, a few of my favorite things that I have discovered are:
1. Roof top decks and watching the skyline light up after dusk
2. Loading zones – just put your flasher’s on and you can get take-out or pick up your dry cleaning without having to pay for parking
3. Street lights that glow – no need for night lights in my 3-flat
4. Lower Wacker Drive – yes, there is a way to beat traffic
5. No yard work – but you do have to shovel snow from your own sidewalk or you could get fined…but I have neighbors who sometimes shovel mine for which I am so thankful, especially during the never ending and cold winters of Chi Town!