For the past two months we’ve been living in the Northwest suburbs while our new place in the city was under construction. That time in limbo was eased by a welcoming set of parents with a large finished basement but we still miss life in the city. That amount of time away allowed us to reflect on our most missed aspects of urban life in Chicago as we prep for our move back next week.
- Restaurants: The suburbs have some decent eateries but most are chains of some type and offer nothing exciting. We can’t wait to get back to our favorite places like Meritage, Coast, Lula’s and Northside. Plus, the occasional trip to Scylla, Custom House, Taste, Blue Water Grill and others.
- Close commute: As nice as the Metra is, our biggest beef with living in the suburbs was the hour-long train ride. The comfortable ride is nice, as is the beer drinking, but nothing beats a 15-20 minute drive to our downtown/loop offices or even a 30 minute el ride.
- Concerts: We don’t go to shows as much as we used to when one of us was writing about music all the time, but we still like to check out good bands when they come to town. No other city has so many bands come through at all times of year. Our favorite places for shows are the Empty Bottle and the Double Door.
- Pace: The city may be more expensive but nothing beats Chicago when it comes to the daily grind. The suburbs are idyllic in some ways with lots of wide open roads and spacious townhomes, but we constantly felt life was at a crawl with nothing to do but go to the mall and the local chain restaurant.
- Proximity: I guess most of the categories above deal with this one. But it’s such a relief to be close to Wrigley, a music venue or a bar when friends want to hang out.