I grew up in Chicago! It is a GREAT CITY!
One Of America's Finest Cities! I love the architecture, the lake, the neighborhoods and all the great restaurants. You might learn something new
about Chicago in this Post.
My colleague emailed me this morning with what he termed was a "must read" url. Since just about everything that he forwards to me is entertaining and edifying, I did as he advised and clicked through to read his recommendation.Sure enough, the link went to an entertaining Chicago Tribune article detailing just how much Chicagoans love their city.
As a long-time resident of Chicago, I can attest to this love. Heck, even my three-year-old was able to say "Go Cubs!" before his third birthday and repeatedly intones Chicago with glee in his voice when we are in a holding pattern waiting to land at O'Hare International Airport.
The nature of the Tribune article triggered a "hmm" moment. So I started mulling over the idea of how Chicago is perceived outside of Chicago.
Since you are here soaking up the words that I utter in this electronic forum, you don't need a primer from me about the ins and outs of the web. But let me tell you, as soon as the idea tickled my cerebellum I set off on a a google exploration using search terms that included "most livable" and "best" along with Chicago and 2008.
In the brief slice of time I allowed myself to wander down this path I came up with some wonderful techno-snapshots of the real perception of Chicago by folks who don't dwell here.
Perhaps the most glowing praise came from FastCompany.com who named Chicago the US City of the Year for 2008. FastCompany's praise cited the city's architecture, its culture, its vibrancy, its greenness, its diversity, its economy, and its eye toward the future and capacity to continue growing in honoring us.
True, true, and true.
Unlike other aging cities in the midwest, Chicago never made the mistake of cordoning off its lakefront for private industrial purposes. Instead, through the genius of Daniel Burnham a century earlier, the city assiduously maintained public access to the shores of Lake Michigan for recreational purposes.
Thus there are beaches up and down the lakefront, from the city's north to south sides along with a wonderful bike path and a ridiculous number of public parks where you will witness Chicago's vibrant diversity on any given day.
More praise came Chicago's way from the City Mayors organization. While in polling terms this one might be referred to as an outlier, it is relevant to the present discussion as it declares Chicago tops among 14 cities around the world. In this tally Chicago received high marks in "convenience, a sense of freedom and an ease in meeting people, ...sports and cultural activities, public transportation and the diversity of people."
And while Travel and Leisure magazine doesn't rank Chicago as the top metropolis, I don't take it as a real slight. It is simply a measure that takes into consideration our winter weather that drops us to Number Three. Nudging ahead of us are Boston and San Francisco.
And face it, that's not bad company.
The nice thing about Travel and Leisure's ranking is that it is fueled by the input of visitors. I can and will market Chicago to locals and others at the drop of a hat, talking about Michigan Avenue, the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Chicago, our architecture, our people, our diversity, our restraurants, our lakefront, and our parks.
Another poll that is sustained by the input of visitors is found at Conde Nast. Bandying about the globe to sumptuous places where delightful meals are served by nattily attired servers who appear to have memorized the Four Season's service manual these folks have determined that Chicago is the fifth-ranked city in the United States. Figuring into our status with these well-heeled folks are our restaurants, food and wine, culture, and family friendliness.
Ahead of us on this list are, from bottom to top, Sante Fe, New York, Charleston, and San Francisco.
At the end of the day I suppose I circle back to the beginning of the day when I received an email from a friend who urged me to check out something on the Chicago Tribune's website that was not only interesting, but also accurate.
Chicagoans love Chicago. And at the same time, so too do folks outside of Chicago. So much so that I am showing one of my condo listings tomorrow to a corporate relocation client from Boston. At the same time I am working with an international buying client and also a couple relocating to Chicago from within the United States.
I would like to tell you that both parties have chosen to work with me and the team at The Real Estate Lounge Chicago because of my charm. But the truth is more likely that they trust my expertise as it relates to the Chicago real estate market.