Today it’s 2 weeks since I moved from NYC to Chicago and as I settle in I can’t but notice some of the differences among the two places. For one, people here speak differently. For example, they say Realtor instead of broker, they say assessment instead of common charges, and condo instead of apartment.
The things that I’ve noticed the most though, are the silence and the cleanliness of this city. In comparison, NY just pales. I mean, don’t get me wrong there is nothing like New York City and I do love that place with all my heart, but no sirens, no ambulances, no fire trucks, can you even imagine? No honking! It was 7:30 am the other day and there was traffic down my poorly transited street, cars where at a stop waiting to get to the corner and hop on the main avenue, and get this, no one honked, not even once. I realized there were cars out there and traffic, because I pulled my curtains to look out. If it wasn’t because of that I would have never know they were even out there. Brilliant!
People here are much more relaxed too. It’s like they know that if they just wait a little things will fix themselves, people will move, kids will quiet down and no one will have to lose it in the process. At the orchestra concert in Milleniium Prak the other day, I noticed the politeness. People would stand in the middle, looking for a place to sit, and the rest would just wait until they found a spot. No one said “Dude, really? There? You want to stand there blocking everyone? Can’t you move?” And I expected it too. I was looking around to see who would be the first to lose it. No one did. It didn’t happen. Incredible.
There are a few things I miss terribly about NY, about my old building and my old place. I miss my doormen, my elevators, my gym in the rooftop, the pool, the sauna, the roof deck and even the jacuzzi I never used. I miss everything being less than a block away, I miss the familiarity of it all and knowing where I could find anything I wanted or needed.
My neighborhood here is very pretty, as was the UES. And has a lot of things close by, several cleaners, a Walgreens, a super market and the lake. I absolutely love jogging along the lake. I went today again and headed North this time, it’s beautiful. I have to take my camera out and shot it just so you can see it. Breathtaking really.
I’m still getting used to living in a walk-up. The building and the apartment have that vintage feel to them, which gives it a ton of charm. But two flights of stairs with groceries once a week? Not too fun. Not to mention no one to receive packages or delivered cleaners or eBay finds. I was the queen of online shopping! Not so much any more. Did I say I miss my doormen already?
One thing I am loving is the washer and dryer in the apartment. I’ve done laundry twice people, twice! And I’ve only been here two weeks. I used to wait until I was out of underwear back in NY before I ventured down to the basement to do laundry, and sometimes I would just buy more underwear and call it a day. Here, I’m doing it while I write and don’t even notice it’s going on there in the back ground. In fact, you know what tonight is? Clean sheet night! It’s the little things 😉
People here are nicer too. Strangers smile to you on the street and say good morning just because it’s the polite thing to no, nothing about it screams crazy, like it would in NY. My commute to work, walking to the subway station, taking the subway, and then walking to the university, takes me a total of 20 minutes door to door. I’m in heaven!
The weather has been great too, There were a few too hot for comfort days, but this week it’s cooled off and I’m loving it. Windows opened without a worry about excessive noise or smog coming into my place, just a peaceful breeze. It is delicious I tell you.
I’m also starting to settle in my new hood. I found a yoga center and went to a class which I desperatly needed. I liked it and will probably go back as often as possible. I got a library card. The library is in the street behind me, so easy enough to get light read materials and return them. I still need to get a licenses, not looking forward to that. I need to buy the missing living room curtains and some plants for both home and office, but I’ll get there.
I’m liking it here. I’m trying really hard to stop comparing everything with NY and I think I’m getting better at it. At least this week it seems I haven’t mentioned NY as much as the previous one. Of course, I type that as I am wearing my Yankees t-shirt, but lets just call it progress.
One thing I haven’t figured out is this. What does this little guy plastered on the road mean? I’ve seen a few of his kind around the city.
Could it be a warning? Of the kind “this could happened to you if you dare cross the street concentrated on your twitter stream and don’t look both ways”? Because if so, I think I just might in a little trouble.