Chicago for a New Yorker

Old Dec 16th, 2001, 05:54 AM
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Chicago for a New Yorker

Question for all you Fodorites. My fiance and I have lived in Suburban NYC for most of our lives. I go to NYU for grad school (though still live in NJ) and I will admit that I am one of those people who think that, well, next to New York, everything else is Cupcakeville. Currently my fiance is interviewing for residency positions in Emergency Medicine. He had had a lot of interviews in New York and just got back fromone at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He loved it! The program was fantastic, the people were great and he thought the city was very livable and accessible. He wants to rank it at the top.

We looked at the price of apartments and were astounded. Where we could expect to pay upwards of $2000 a month to live in a decent, but tiny one bedroom near Bellevue Hospital in NYC, we found a whole bunch of two bedroom apartments with lots of amenities in the heart of Chicago. So, finally, my question is, could a self-proclaimed New York City snob be happy and content living in Chicago?
Old Dec 16th, 2001, 06:27 AM
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Hi Casey. I'm from NY, actually a suburb of the city. However, my daughter has lived in the city for 4 years now. We love everything about NYC. We have made several trips to Chicago and it is a wonderful city. There is so much there. I can't imagine anyone happy with NYC not being happy with Chicago. One big difference is that the roads don't make sense in Chicago like they do in NYC, so getting around is more confusing. Also, winters are more brutal in Chicago. Other than that, Chicago has everything to offer that NYC does, in my opinion.
Old Dec 16th, 2001, 06:50 AM
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I'm another dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker who loves Chicago. I've been going there on business for at least one week a year for the past 16 years and enjoy it every time. My long list of Chicago pleasures starts with the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the world's great museums!
Old Dec 16th, 2001, 04:00 PM
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To answer your question "yes". Dont believe the post about the streets in Chicago being confusing. Chicago is one of the easiest cities to navigate.
Old Dec 16th, 2001, 06:52 PM
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This ex New Yorker loves Chicago. I can't say I like one more than the other.
New York has a more exciting cosmopolitan feel, but Chicago is so much greener with the gorgeous lakefront. There will be things you miss about NY. But the cost of living will get you a much nicer apartment. My
only complaint is that there just aren't as many places to get away for the weekends. Lots of corn in every direction. You can only go to Wisconsin so many times. Still a fun vibrant city.
I'll never forget my first apartment in New York. A tiny $1500 studio with a bathroom so small you couldn't close the door when going to the bathroom.
Old Dec 16th, 2001, 07:09 PM
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As a physician who has had the fortune (good or bad, I'm not always sure) of coordinating recruiting for our practice over the past 10 years, I learned one thing early on about relocations: if the wife EXPECTS to be unhappy, most of the time she ends up that way, and consequently the husband ends up unhappy (maybe not with the job, but overall).

My point is that if you go in with a genuinely open mind, I think you'll learn to enjoy Chicago. If you go in with the bias that 'it's not home', you'll BOTH end up unhappy.

From a medical perspective, I know Cook County well. For emergency medicine it's a gold mine of potential experience. Your husband obviously recognizes that. It'll pay off for him for decades to come (not to short Bellevue, though).

My wife and I went down the same road about residencies. She was a California girl, and I moved her to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for 5 years. It was a top notch experience which has paid off times over for me. She hated every minute of it and let me know about it daily. Wasn't pleasant. (I had committed to go there before we met BTW).

I'd look at it this way: residency will last what, 3 years? Try to look at it as you do grad school...a step on the way to a goal. You can do anything for three years. The return on your 'investment' will likely be great. Look at Chicago's glass as being half full and I think you'll be able to embrace this segment of your life positively.
Another benefit will be that your perspective on what makes your life enjoyable and worthwhile will certainly be broader. If you don't enjoy Chicago, when you move back to NY/NJ you'll only appreciate it that much more. But you'll know why and it'll mean more to you.
Best wishes.

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