Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to check out several of Chicago’s great neighborhoods. I first ventured to Lincoln Park (not to be confused with Linkin Park), where I spent some time relaxing along their tree-lined streets and lush park grounds. From there, I headed northwest to Logan Square for a drink at Revolution Brewing—one of my favorite breweries in the country. Along the way, I even found time to stop in a few of Milwaukee Ave’s great shops and eateries, while doing my best to keep my wallet tucked away. I’m not sure if the Logan Square / Wicker Park areas are considered Chicago’s “Williamsburg,” but it certainly seemed that way to me. At the very least, I know where I should head for brunch from now on.
Next, I headed back to The Loop, which houses much of Chicago’s downtown area. As I walked back through the streets, still peering into an interesting shop every now and then, I began to realize that one of the most appealing aspects of a city like Chicago is choice. Since my past few stops have been smaller cities, at least compared to the likes of Chicago, LA and NYC, I almost forgot how much choice you have in a city this size. Don’t get me wrong, every place I’ve visited will have all the things you need. But do they have everything you want? When you’re in an NYC or Philadelphia, there's no denying that you’re going to find more variety. While Memphis may have a great Peruvian eatery, chances are you’ll find at least 2 or 3 of them here in Chicago. The same goes for coffee shops, stores, chain restaurants, parks, jobs, etc.
Of course, that doesn’t make one city any better than another, but it does offer an interesting choice when searching for a place to live. Are you always looking for something new and better? Or do you want comfort and familiarity? That’s a choice I’ve struggled with before and I’m sure it will come around again once this project is over. That's why it's so important to find a city that fits your lifestyle. If you can't connect with the place you live, you'll never be happy there.