We love, love, LOVE living here in Chicago. It is where we have our luxury Chicago apartments, after all!
While there are an infinite amount of reasons to love living in this glorious city, we’ve picked a few of our favorite quirks that have made us fall all the more in love with the place.
Why Chicago is our favorite place to live
It’s a city of history
Trivia games across the country love to toss in the fact that the Chicago River runs backward along its natural route, but the feat was certainly no simple one!
Back in the mid- to late-19th century, Chicago residents were suffering terribly from cholera, dysentery, whooping cough, scarlet fever and typhoid fever, all of which were attributed to the steadily declining quality of the drinking water. Since most people used the river and the lake for their drinking water, it was an issue that the closest and most convenient source was becoming one that they could not utilize. Reversing the Chicago River’s flow was completed in 1900 after eight years of construction, and the river no longer dumped its polluted contents into the lake but drew fresh, clean water from it instead.
There’s a lot of history here, and you might bump into a ghost who will tell you all about it sometime!
If you are interested in local tales of the paranormal, though, Chicago’s old buildings and fiery history make for perfect ghost stories and spooky sightings.
Ever used a phone (are you reading this on one now)? Yeah, that’s a Chicago invention.
Ever played baseball? Yup, that was invented here, too.
Read a film review before you bought a ticket? Uh huh, film criticism became a full-time career here.
Who’d ‘a thunk?
Ever since vexillologist (a person who studies flags) Roman Mars presented his TED Talk on what makes a good flag, Chicago has been praised for its near-perfect city flag design.
The Chicago city flag is on souvenirs, postcards and gifts all over the city, but its meaning goes far deeper than some pretty colors and cool stars — it has its roots in history, the city’s culture and, of course, the Chicago River.
Chicago is a city of inventors and innovators. After all, the deep dish pizza was conceived here, for crying out loud!
But honestly, though, some really amazing scientific achievements happened here in Chicago over the years. The world’s first steel building was constructed here, as was the first nuclear reactor!
Chicago is widely known as a center for architectural studies and research into the discipline, thanks to the First Chicago School of Architecture that practically went wild at the start of the 20th century. The Great Chicago Fire left the city in need of a remodel, so architects brought about some seriously amazing designs.
Even today there are famed architects designing buildings all over the city, like Jeanne Gang who created the Aqua Tower’s undulating façade and the St. Regis’s crystalline-like structure.
There are a lot of great things about Chicago, and there are some pretty strange things about the city, too! Like, for example, the fact that it’s illegal to give a lit cigar to a domesticated animal, or that it’s against the law to bring a French poodle to an opera. Makes sense, I guess?
There’s unparalleled food
There’s no way we could talk about what we love about Chicago without talking about the city's crowning achievement. Yes, deep dish pizza is the heaven-sent invention that changed the lives of millions, and it all started at Pizzeria Uno on the corner of Wabash Ave and Ohio Street in 1943!
Speaking of iconic Chicago foods, this all-beef sausage topped with mustard, tomatoes, onions, pickles and relish all nestled in a cozy bun (no ketchup…ever!) is a staple on Chicago’s streets. Its ingredients are seeped in the history, cuisine and culture of the many people who called Chicago their home so long ago.
You know, now that we come to think of it, there have been quite a few culinary creations here in Chicago in addition to the deep dish pizza and the Chicago hot dog. Brownies are also on the list, as are Twinkies, Rainbow cones and the oh-so-tasty Italian beef sandwich!
Some of the oldest cocktails we have today date back to some of Chicago’s hotels, social clubs and bars. The Old Fashioned, for example, was first referenced in a Chicago newspaper as “the cocktail” — as in, this was the only cocktail ever known, so it was the first to bear the name!
It’s a lakeside paradise
Though the city itself is an urban wilderness of sorts, there are some actual wildernesses not too far from Chicago that make for excellent weekend trips.
There are six national parks near Chicago, with landscapes ranging from sand dunes to rocky lagoons to scenic riverways and more!
Chicago’s beaches along Lake Michigan were some of the earliest parks in the area, and they were established years before the city was even established! With around 28 miles of public lakefront beaches in Chicago and a motto that literally translates to “City in the Garden,” it’s no wonder that there are some beachy gems scattered throughout the city along those perfect sandy shores!
Speaking of said lake, Chicago sure does get pummeled with snow in the winters, and that lake-effect really does change the weather on a dime. It’s a phenomenon that only occurs in a few places in the world, and it wouldn’t be Chicago if the weather wasn’t at least a little crazy every now and then!
The Great Lakes have a fascinating origin story — one that includes ancient tropical seas, ice sheets that covered the continent and glaciers that left gouges in the land as they receded north. If you thought the Great Lakes were impressive before, just wait until you hear about how they got there!
While we could go on and on and on and on (you get the picture) about how much we love living here, this seems like a decent place to stop for now. What reasons could you add to expand this list even further?
Featured photo courtesy Pixabay/juergen-polle