5 Reasons Chicago is Better Than New York City

Posted by Terri McAuley on Wednesday, December 4th, 2019 at 11:04am

Chicago versus New York

When it comes to accolades and pop-culture cache, it's hard to beat New York. After all, what can compare with the iconic status of the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, or a sea of angry cab drivers?

For some, this kind of brand recognition puts New York squarely at the top of big American cities, on a par with L.A., or London.

But as we all know, "famous" doesn't mean better, or even good.

If you live in Chicago, you already know. But if you don't know, it's time to learn why America's Second City is actually the best - or at least better than New York.

1. That Holiday Feeling

New York is the city that never sleeps...which sounds awful, not to mention bad for your health.

Chicago, on the other hand, is a giant metropolis with a friendly midwest vibe. The people are more laid-back and relaxed.

Chicago is also built right on the shores of Lake Michigan, a (mostly) placid lake perfect for recreation. New York is adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, an icy graveyard of sailors over the centuries.

New York does technically have some beachside options, but if you want to travel from Midtown to Coney Island, that'll be an hour, IF you have a car.

From downtown Chicago, you can make it to Ohio Street Beach or 12th Street Beach in under 10 minutes. No car? Take a shortcut through Grant Park and you'll be at the water's edge after a 10-minute stroll.

Yes, you read that right.

Chicago has beaches.

Lots of them.

Chicago's almost 30 miles of shoreline is home to a series of beautiful parks and wide sandy beaches.

2. The Food

A lot of ink has been spilled on the subject of Chicago cuisine versus New York cuisine.

Perhaps you've heard of the (in)famous Chicago deep-dish pizza? Well, we're not going to get into that particular debate here.


Because if you like the idea of a deep-dish pizza, then you can get it in Chicago, if you don't, then get some other kind of pizza. Is the reverse possible in New York?


And that's what makes Chicago's dining scene so great: options.

Sure New York has many types of restaurants, eateries, cafes and so on. But you'll find the best are either booked up solid till next year or well beyond any reasonable budget.

And good luck finding a quality hotdog with relish, pickles, peppers, tomatoes and so on.

Chicago has all the dining options of TWO big cities, and at a reasonable price.

3. The Smell

Chicago's municipal ordinances require that all trash lives where trash should live: in a trash can, around back in an alley.

New York, by all accounts, is an absolute free-for-all, with trash spilling out into the streets. As you can imagine, this must get pretty ripe in the summer.

Speaking of a "holiday atmosphere"...

It's hard to relax after you've seen a rat the size of a small dog eating a thin-slice pizza crust in broad daylight.

Much better to live in a city that cares about how its streets look.

4. The Cost

I mentioned this point regarding the food, but it also applies to most aspects of Chicago living.

Chicago is cheaper. Much cheaper than New York. Depending on what you're up to, living in Chicago could cost you half as much as New York.

With those kinds of savings, you could have New York-style thin-crust pizzas (sans rats) flown in fresh.

Not to mention all the extra things you could do with the money.

Where would you even travel to from New York? New Jersey? Chicago, on the other hand, is a gateway to the west.

You could even afford to own property here.

5. The Arts

An always-free public zoo, one of the oldest baseball stadiums in the country, America's first skyscraper, and one of the largest collections of Impressionist artworks at The Art Institute of Chicago.

Chicago is a thriving center for the arts, culture, and design. And because Chicago is often used as a "testing ground" for creative work, you can even catch future stars and shows here before they move off elsewhere (ahem, like New York).

Take a short trip out to Chicago's urban suburbs to take in the historic greystone, two-flat, bungalow, or courtyard residential buildings.

And getting around is easy thanks to a transit system that isn't the result of a city planner's fever dream (ahem, like New York).

Summary: Why Chicago Is Better Than New York

And if you didn't know, now you know.

Chicago is more down-to-earth, better priced, cleaner, and more fun to explore than New York.

The question is: Why aren't you living here yet?

By:  Terri McAuley

Chicago Condos for Sale

Cell: 312-330-3211

“Chicago’s Luxury Condo Specialist”

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