I am so excited to write this post because it allows me to tell my story but to also erase the stigma I so often hear about Chicago. I was born on the North-side of Chicago in the Rogers Park area. I lived there until I was around 13 years old until my parents bought a house in the suburbs. At that time I did not think about the difference between living in the city vs. the suburbs. I was just excited to move into a new house with bigger rooms. Although I moved to the suburbs at a young age I still attended a private Christian school in the city. After school, I would walk to Mcdonalds with my friends or to the park. Everything was close by and convenient. Still, I did not realize my love for the city at this time, I thought it was just my everyday life.
Realizing that I love the City
When I went to high school I applied to get the Golden Apple Scholarship. This scholarship gives graduating high school senior students the opportunity to work and train to be a teacher while also giving back to the community. This scholarship helped us pay for college in exchange we were required to teach in a school of need for 5 years upon graduating. For two summers we had to live on Depaul university campus located in the city of Lincoln Park; to take classes and begin training on becoming a teacher. This is when I first fell in love with the city. I was on my own, lived in a dorm and had to learn to grow up really fast. I left my 1997 Toyota Corolla at home and used my feet to get to places. I took the train downtown to the mall or the bus to the beach. I had the best time of my life. Living in the city taught me how to be on my own and prepared me for college. I also had so much fun meeting new people and exploring the city.
Living in Oak Park and Working in the City
After I got married I lived in Oak Park. I know what you are thinking “Oak Park is not the city”. Listen, it definitely felt like the city. I lived right across the street from the city. My sidewalk was Oak Park and across the street, the sidewalk was the West side of Chicago. I loved living in Oak Park. I was way more active than I am now. My husband and I loved to go to the movies or buy ice cream while walking around the neighborhood. Everything was conveniently close by and there was always something to do. I would walk on the city side to get my hair styled or my nails painted. Food was also around the corner.
While living in Oak Park I also worked on the Westside of Chicago. My commute was nice and close. When working in the city I never ducked my head from gunshots like the news portrays. It makes me frustrated when I am visiting another state and when they say “you don’t duck from bullets?”. No matter what state you live in there are certain areas that are not safe. It does not mean an entire city is a terrible place. Sadly there are areas that are violent however Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities I know. It has the best food, tons of different cultures and a gorgeous downtown.
Where are you now?
In a perfect world and with a lot of money I would live in the city now; however, there are cons about living the city life. It is expensive living in Chicago. If you want a nice updated apartment or even a house it will cost you an arm and a leg. You can get way more for your buck in the suburbs. Also, the city has all these annoying parking rules. Depending on where you live, it can be difficult to just find parking. I cannot stand circling around for hours just to park your car after your long day of work. Often times people who live in the congested part of the city do not own a car and take public transportation. The city is not always the best for a family. Most schools are better in the suburbs and although it is not fair that is how the system works. I am not saying all CPS schools are horrible but as a teacher who worked in the city but went to school and works in the suburbs now, I can see some major differences.
Now I live in the suburbs and although I love my house I miss what the city has to offer. As a blogger, I take most of my pictures in the city. I no longer live in the city anymore but I will always be a city girl at heart!
Favorite Neighborhoods in the City
-Lincoln Park: Has so many shops and things to do. The beach is not far from there as well as the zoo. I also love to go to the flirty girl fitness to get a good workout.
-Old Town: It is a gorgeous rich area that is great for pictures and scenery. They have tons of restaurants and lounges that you can go to for the experience alone.
-Hyde Park: One of my favorite places to visit. It has such wonderful black culture and it gives you an artsy feel.
Downtown Chicago: this is where you can shop, visit the museums, and explore our magnificent famous skyscrapers/towers.