The Chicago Scene
The Chicago Scene
Dominant Occupations: It varies, but there are three main buckets:
1) Guys: Finance/commodities trader or marketing/advertising. They can afford the apartment you dream about.
2) Girls: PR/advertising. They also have the apartment you dream about.
3) Grad students: Booth & Kellogg, ‘nuff said.
Average Age Range: 25-35.
Chicago State of Mind: Reposed. If you live here, it means you’re smart and driven…but have also realized the joys of working less than 60 hours/week. Unless you’re a trader.
Girl/Guy Ratio: 1:1.
Hobbies: Eating out. Chicagoans not only love their restaurants, they love their chefs. Resident celebs include Paul Kahan, Stephanie Izard, and Rick Bayless to name a few. Other hobbies include traveling, biking/running, and staying up on the music scene.
Local Hangouts and Hotspots: Millennium Park, Lincoln Park (check out the conservatory), Doughnut Vault (get there by 9am), DMK, The Art Institute, Sweet Mandy B’s, LSD (the lakefront trail, not the drug), residential rooftops (pools, BBQs, and views).
Typical Night on the Weekends: 1) Dinner, 2) Activity (Second City/sporting event/outdoor movie in the park/concert/theatre/art exhibit/etc.), OR dancing somewhere at one of the many clubs in River North (Hub51/Untitled/Mercer/Hubbard Inn/Paris Club/etc.), 3) Dessert, always on a rooftop or patio if it’s during the summer.
Sports Scene: This city has every major league sport, and LOVES them all. Football? Da Bears. Basketball? Bulls. Hockey? Blackhawks. Soccer? Fire. The only inner-city rivalry is between the Northside/Southside Cubs v. White Sox. Go to a Cubs game for Wrigley Field, go to a White Sox game for the Elote.
Cultural Scene: The Art Institute, The Field Museum, The MoCA, The Museum of Nature and Science, The Chicago Theatre, The Chicago Symphony, The Joffrey Ballet…Chicago is home to an incredible cultural scene and is second only to NYC.
Diet: If it’s not from a restaurant, it came from the frozen food section at Trader Joe’s.
Myth Bust: Chicago isn’t nearly as dangerous as it’s made out to be. Sure the south side is sketch, but it’s no worse than Harlem in NYC.
What It’s Missing: Mountains. Wisconsin has a few ‘ski resorts,’ but they’ll leave any seasoned skier/snowboarder wanting for the Rockies during the winter.
THE CHURCH SCENE
Ward Breakdown: Two choices.
1) North Side YSA: Covers the north half of Chicago. The ‘cool’ ward – mostly young working professionals and grad students at Northwestern/Loyola/University of Chicago. It currently meets in an elementary school in Lincoln Park.
2) South Side: Covers the south half of Chicago. Younger, mostly locals or undergrad students at the University of Chicago. It currently meets in a church building on the south side. Bonus: the church building is a 2 minute drive from the Obama’s Chicago residence.
Temple Proximity: The Chicago temple is a 45 minute drive from downtown. Having a car (or knowing someone with a car) is a necessity for regular temple attendance.
Dating in Chicago: It’s great, as the guys and girls here are generally awesome. But a word of caution – it’s a small LDS scene (compared to NYC/LA/DC), so everyone knows everything about everyone (or so they think).
Classic Ward FHE/Activities: Picnics or movies in the park, museum nights, Cubs games.
Resident Mormon Celeb: It was Jimmer for a hot second (moment of silence)
Common Vice: Sunday brunching + museum strolls. Sure, there’s a constant stream of visitors, but there’s really no excuse other than the proliferation of AMAZING brunch places in Chicago. And what better way to work brunch off than a stroll through one of the many amazing art museums?
ODDS AND ENDS
Transportation: Practically everything is within CTA/walking distance. But for the moments you’d rather drive, Chicago is surprisingly car-friendly. If parking rent gives you sticker shock, Zipcar is for you. Also, Uber. You will spend an inordinate amount of money on Uber, especially during the winter.
Winter: You may as well live in Canada. It’ll be below freezing and windy, but somehow the summers make it all worth it. Two words: patio season.
Doughnuts: If you think you don’t like doughnuts, Chicago will change your mind. Don’t miss out on Doughnut Vault, Do-Rite, or Glazed & Infused. There are tons of other places, but these three are the trifecta of perfection when it comes to doughnuts.
Divvy Bikes: Bike-sharing at its finest, and hands down the best way to see the city during the warmer months. Don’t miss out on the Lakeshore Drive Trail.
Fireworks: Chicago does fireworks right – Navy Pier hosts a HUGE fireworks show every Wednesday and Saturday night Memorial Day through Labor Day. You’ll get spoiled and will start to think other cities’ 4th of July fireworks are weak.
St. Patrick’s Day: Is to Chicago what Mardi Gras is to New Orleans. No city does St. Patrick’s Day like Chicago. There’s a huge parade, the river gets dyed neon green, and hundreds of thousands of people flock to downtown. You’ll have a love/hate relationship with it if you live downtown.
Lollapalooza: It’s a rite of passage. Best kept secret — the after-shows are way cheaper and 10x better than Lolla.
Best Views: Don’t miss the view of the Skyline from the Adler Planetarium. Walkable/ bikeable/ drivable (til 11pm). It’s a must. Also, always choose the John Hancock over Sears Tower.
Chicago Might Be For You If: You love food, like the city vibe, and want to live a dialed back NYC-esque lifestyle.