Chicago February 12, 2018
11 Things Longtime Chicagoans Wish They Could Tell Newcomers
If you’ve lived in the city your whole life, you’ve likely gone through the painful experience of watching newcomers struggle. Don’t you wish you could help them out? Here’s a handy guide of 11 things we all wish we could tell new Chicago residents to help them transition into city life.
1. Lake Michigan is better than any ocean.
Our shores are full of beaches and our horizons are as endless as on any sea. The beautiful blue of Lake Michigan is definitely comparable to that of the ocean, and in the summer, you may even feel like you're on a tropical beach.
2. Don't talk bad about the city.
The last thing Chicagoans want to hear from newcomers is negativity about the city. If you don't like it, leave... and don't let the toll plaza kiosk arms hit you on your way out.
3. We always get at least one big snow each winter.
Being this far north means dealing with cold temperatures and a bunch of snow. While many years see multiple snowstorms, others can be more mild, but there's always at least one snow that cancels school.
4. You'll feel hot and cold in the same day.
Navigating the weather in Chicago can be tricky. The morning may start out bright and warm, but by evening, the buildings are blocking all the sun and the wind is doing what it does best. Pack a sweater and don't be surprised if you need to use the heat and A/C in the same day.
5. We get about the same amount of precipitation as Seattle.
While Washington has more rainy days, Chicago sees larger amounts of rainfall when it storms. At the end of the year, it just about evens out. Chicago gets an average of about 36.8 inches, compared to Seattle's average of 37.5 inches.
6. Our zoo is free.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the only free zoos left in the world. It is home to a myriad of exotic animals you can visit 365 days a year.
7. Road rules are out the window.
You're not likely to get pulled over in Chicago for a traffic violation, especially during rush hour. It's nearly impossible to police anyway. Cars are constantly speeding, cutting off others, and neglecting to use turn signals. You'll get used to it.
8. Read parking signs carefully.
One of the worst things newcomers can do is misunderstand a parking sign or think they don't need to follow it. The city takes these very seriously, and they will fine you.
9. Some people who say they are from Chicago are actually from the suburbs.
It's just easier for some people to say Chicago when you ask them where they are from, but the suburbs are very different from the city itself. The true test is to ask which neighborhood they hail from to hear the real answer.
10. There's much more than deep-dish to our pizza scene.
A classic Chicago-style pizza is great, but do you want deep-dish, stuffed, or pan? Or maybe this pizza pot pie is more what you're looking for. You'll also find thin crust, pizza puffs, and much more.
11. You'll fall in love with Chicago.
Despite the struggles of being new to the city, you're bound to love it all the way. From fabulous restaurants to wonderful attractions, there's never a dull moment in Chicago.
Whether you’re a life-long resident or brand new, there are
11 struggles all Chicagoans have experienced at least once.
What else do you wish you could tell newcomers? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!