Chicago Is My Paradise

As you might imagine, Peter and I get some interesting reactions when we tell people we will be leaving San Diego in the spring to move back to Chicago.

The most common response:

“Are you out of your mind?!?!”

I get it. Who would choose to leave San Diego, where each day we are reminded that we live in paradise, for the cold winters in Chicago?

Listen, if weather was your single criteria for selecting a place to call home, then San Diego would likely get your vote. But as I always say, no one lives in Chicago because of the weather; they live there in spite of  the weather and in favor of all the many other wonderful things the city has to offer.

I admit that I sound like a bit of a brat complaining about living in San Diego. It is a perfectly lovely place to be.

It’s just not Chicago.

One of my San Diego pals, a former Chicagoan herself, sent me this from Buzzfeed – a beautiful pictorial rundown of why Chicagoans love Chicago.

51 Reasons Living In Chicago Ruins You For Life. 

The author, Jennifer Schaffer, is clearly a brilliant gal. She hits the nail on the head, highlighting many of the very best qualities of our city.

  • The pizza
  • All the other taste treats
  • Da Bears
  • Yes, even the Cubs
  • The art and culture
  • The architecture
  • Every single inch of the gorgeous lakefront parks

View from Lincoln Park

Even the weather, as Ms. Schaffer points out, adds to Chicago’s perfection.

  • Summers spent at the beach, enjoying a music festival or drinking beer on a friend’s boat
  • Fall spent taking in the beauty of autumn’s colors and tailgating at Soldier Field
  • Winter spent ice skating in Millennium Park or strolling down Michigan Avenue as the glittering lights reflect off the freshly fallen snow
  • And Spring – the payoff for making it through winter – spent celebrating renewal and the beauty of a city in bloom

As we count down the months until Peter and I return to our city, I’d like to respectfully add a few examples of how Chicago has “ruined” me:

The Bean

But the quality that makes Chicago the most special place? The number one reason that I or anyone else would consider it to be paradise?

The people.

If you’ve ever spent any time in the Windy City you know it’s true. You will not find a more welcoming, friendly bunch.

Maybe it’s the good old fashioned midwestern values. Maybe it is because we are well fed. Maybe it’s because, after a lifetime of futility rooting for the Cubs, nothing can really get us down.

Most likely, though, it is the sense of bliss that comes from living in the very best city in the world.

Sweet home Chicago.

Please enjoy the incomparable Steve Goodman performing his classic, “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request”.

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  1. I found your blog this morning and oh my God you are adorable! As a lifelong resident of Chicago and full on dreading time change this weekend, your post was just what I needed. Sometimes you’re too close to see all the good in a situation and an outside perspective in the form of a list of loves is just the floatation device you were looking for! Thank you for reminding me of Chicago’s perks, and welcome back (fingers crossed for an early Spring to greet you)!

    • Welcome, Nancy! So glad you found me! Aren’t the pictures in that BuzzFeed article just the best? I know what you mean about not fully appreciating what is around you. Seems like I only take the time to enjoy the qualities of the city when I have out of town guests. Well, except the pizza – that I enjoy as often as possible!
      Mo Lux recently posted…Chicago Is My ParadiseMy Profile

  2. YES to all if this!!!! Chicago even ruined me and I am from the midwest, I grew up in Indiana so now I’m spoiled! Time to start researching schools for my kiddo lol.
    Deanna recently posted…Weekend RecapMy Profile

  3. Thanks for including one of my favorite songs 🙂

    Since St. Louis is only five hours away by car I’ve been to Chicago quite a few times.It’s always been fun.
    Kathy G recently posted…Tub TimeMy Profile

  4. I’m thinking a trip to Chicago is in order.

  5. I’ve only been to Chicago once but we keep talking about going – it is a fun train ride from here so even the travel part would be part of the adventure!!! I probably won’t visit in the winter though:)
    Kim recently posted…Sometimes You Just Have to Admit DefeatMy Profile

  6. I absolutely have loved Chicago when I have gone for a visit. I’d definitely be able to live there. I have to admit though- not such a fan of the pizza!
    Kate recently posted…Wednesday (Random) ThoughtsMy Profile

  7. I want that pizza! Hubby and I visited Chicago in our pre-child days. It’s a beautiful place to be and the pizza was fabulous. Excited to hear you’ll be moving home.
    susan recently posted…3 Lessons | Wardrobe MalfunctionsMy Profile

  8. I’ve never been to San Diego, but I’ve been to Chicago numerous times and absolutely love it! It’s my favorite big city. We took our youngest son with us a few years ago, and he now tells everyone that when he’s all grown up, he’s going to live in a “super-modern condo in Chicago!” He also said he would buy the condo next to his, so I can come live there too! I guess that means we’ll be neighbors someday!
    Leslie Anne recently posted…Comment on Trunk or Treat by Leslie AnneMy Profile

    • Sounds good to me!!! I keep telling my husband I’d love to have a condo in the city in addition to our house (and wine cellar) in the suburbs. He tells me that my idea of a city condo is called “a hotel”.
      Mo Lux recently posted…Chicago Is My ParadiseMy Profile

  9. I can’t believe I’ve never been to Chicago – it’s such a quick flight from Maryland! But when I do get there, I know who to consult about what to do…and who to meet for a glass of wine!
    Dana recently posted…My ChallengeMy Profile

  10. when i left the bay area for grad school, i couldn’t have picked a better city than chicago. i had my heart set on nyc, but got rejected by nyu and headed instead for the “inferior” university of chicago. ha!!! what a treat. chicago was the most amazing town…exactly as you characterized it. the people are so wonderful. i loved every single day that i spent there.
    Catherine Gacad recently posted…Child Care in San FranciscoMy Profile

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