3.07.2012

LA / SF / NYC / CHI

I love Chicago and am very happy here. I have made some wonderful friends, gained a business partner, smile like it's Christmas morning every time it snows and I think it's a beautiful city. I appreciate wearing dresses and sandals during the summer and when people stop to say "hello" it makes my entire day. And when we're surprised with 68 degree weather in early March, I can't stop smiling. Yes. That actually happened yesterday.



For whatever reason, for the past week or two I can't shake the thought that I'll end up living someplace else. I love it here and have learned that these things cannot always be planned or predicted. I certainly never would have imagined leaving LA for Chicago and here I am. No plans to go anywhere anytime soon. I couldn't afford to move if I wanted to.

While I really don't like LA, I suppose that it is sort of on the table since my family lives there. I do like SF, so I guess that's an option as well. And while I'm happy in Chicago, I would love to experience life in New York. If given the opportunity to relocate to NYC, I would go for it. 

So. I am dying to know. LA. SF. NYC. CHI. Which one would you choose? Which one wouldn't make the cut and why? And if you could move anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?

On The Everygirl:
An absolutely gorgeous furniture rehab by the Kate Riley of Centsational Girl! I think Alaina did a fabulous job laying it out! She's so good.

And coming tomorrow...Bakerella!!

*Side note. I love LA weather but people in LA are generally pretty rude. They do not hold doors open and don't really say hello. At least not like they do in the Midwest. Kindness goes a long way with me, so weather isn't really an issue. And...I hate earthquakes.

71 comments:

  1. CHICAGO!!! or SF when im sick of the winters... i think i'll end up somewhere warmer eventually. xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

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  2. i've lived in Chicago (2.5 years), San Francisco (6 months), and New York (2 years and counting)...as well as dated a guy in LA for a year so was traveling there a lot. I'm not going to be much help here but all three cities i've lived in are my favorite.
    -Chicago: most reasonable in terms of cost of living yet still great restaurants / culture and people of course (I'm a Midwesterner).
    - San Francisco: I mean L-O-V-E. So much. Such an amazing city. Food, people...off the charts and close to any and everything you could ever want to do. Wine tasting in Napa, hiking in Muir Woods/Redwood forest, skiing in Tahoe.
    - And finally, New York. I mean, it's New York. The richest culture, most interesting/unique/smart people you will ever meet (sure there are a lot of a-holes but it toughens you up). Outrageously expensive to live but again, toughens you up and you just get used to it. I think everyone should live her for two years at some point in their life.

    Not as familiar with LA so that would be my last pick. Soooo, looks like New York or San Fran are my picks for you=) Sorry for the novel.

    xo
    http://shanelesheek.blogspot.com/

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  3. I'd pick NYC. I lived in SF for a year (moved their by myself too), and loved every second of it, but I've always wanted to live in NYC. If I could live anywhere though, I'd for sure be buying a one-way ticket to London.

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  4. Hmmm..I haven't been to any of those places, but I'm hoping to visit NY sometime this year! To live though, I might pick a smaller city. Giant cities are fun to visit, not so much to live (I currently live in Toronto, but I'm almost looking forward to moving back home after graduation).

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  5. Since I'm a lifelong resident of Ohio, I'd love to move to Chicago (seems less scary then moving across the country to SF). I've also been to Chicago several times and adore the city. While I've never been to NYC, I can imagine myself living there as well. I vote we all spend a year in each city!

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  6. I'm a little biased obviously, but 100% Chicago. It is the best of all worlds.

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  7. NYC! I don't even really have a good reason, I just love it here and think everyone who moved here would! Though SF does seem rather amazing.

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  8. I have lived in LA (for a yr out of college) came back home --to Chicagoland. I have visited SF because that is where my mother is from and it is nice but there are a lot of things about Chicago that just bring me home even over SF. NYC I have only visited once so I really can't say either way.

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  9. Every time I visit Chicago it makes my heart race. I love that city! NYC would be an amazing experience. With so many things to see every day could be a new day and that's exciting. I couldn't see myself living there long term; but a couple years, definitely!

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  10. San Fran... I had the opportunity to live out there for a month when I worked in corporate America and I loved it... every single thing about it I loved! The hills, the weather, the food, the water and the gray skies!

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  11. LA is rude!! (Coming from a Texas gal!) And though I think NYC can be also, I'd move there in a second. There's nothing like it. My best friend lived there for 5 years and I visited frequently. But maybe... Paris? London? I always wished I'd been able to live, or at least study, abroad. :)

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  12. San Francisco :) I definitely have plans to move here within the next 3 years xx

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  13. I just moved from NYC a few days ago! It's an amazing place if you can afford it (the only down side). I've never lived in any of the other cities, so my automatic vote is for NY :)

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  14. I've lived in Chicago, spent a summer in LA and visited NYC frequently because I used to live on the east coast, just a bus ride away. Its so funny you posted this because I was JUST thinking about this exact thing yesterday. I always always say I want to move back to Chicago after graduation-and I do-but another part of thinks I need to go to NYC for a couple of years before I go back. Chicago is somewhere I could actually see myself ending up-so Im not sure I'm ready to totally settle in there. I moved around a lot as a kid, so it's hard for me to imagine staying in one place forever. I'd like to be able to live in NYC *and* Chicago at some point, and then visit San Fran and LA frequently ;). Woo. Now we're really dreaming. Also, London. Le sigh. So many wishes. So little time.

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  15. Also (haha this topic has me on a roll) the one thing I've learned about cities like NYC is that while they ARE amazing, you have to make sure you can afford to enjoy them. I dont think sitting in a shoebox eating ramen is the definition of living out my NYC dreams, so I'd definitely want to make sure I could afford to enjoy all of the resources it offers. One of the best bonuses about Chicago. WAY WAY more affordable, but still offering so many amazing things.

    Alright. I think I've said it all. Thanks for bringing it up!

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  16. If I had to choose one of those to move to tomorrow, it would be Chicago :) I love the big city feel, with the kindest people around. New York would be my next choice though! It would just take a lot of confidence. xo

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  17. definitely not LA. i agree whole-heartedly with your footnote. id say san francisco, its on my 'must-live-there' list and its pretty amazing if you can get past the freezing summers. but chicago is pretty incredible too.

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  18. Los Angeles!!! It's really and truly my favorite place in the WORLD. I've lived in Paris in high school, spent summers working in Chicago (and I'm living here now) and NYC and Atlanta... have traveled extensively and there's just no place like LA. You've heard the quote from Ernest Hemingway, "If you were lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you for Paris is a moveable feast." Well, LA is like that, too - but it's like sunshine that seeps into your soul and your attitude and oh! I have so many wonderful things to say about LA. I know I know, the traffic. It's ridiculous. But year-round sunshine? Beautiful weather every day? It's gorgeous every single day and you just want to go outside. My vote is LA!

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  19. I'm an East Coast girl (though I currently live in the Midwest), so New York would be my pick. I have family and a ton of friends living in Manhattan, and about half of alums from my alma mater live there now. I grew up in a pretty diverse area of suburban Rochester (despite it being suburban), and I miss that. New York, all the way!

    Jess // Curating Style

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  20. i lived in all but LA:) which you know. my love for Chicago is based on the laid back culture, my work life, and my boyfriend and blogger friends that I have been lucky to meet. my love for NYC is beyond - even though you can get down (cost of living, crowded etc) it's such an amazing place to live - people are inspiring, interesting and cultural. It's energetic and there is always something to do - for everyone. SF - in my mind -has so much to offer, if you have the opportunity to live there - you should, because it's beautiful, people are friendly, there is so much to do outdoors and it's filled with amazing restaurants. Never had a desire to live in LA - If I lived in SO Cal - it would be Cardiff by the Sea - all the way. That's my 2 cents.

    Oh - my fave, well if it were my choice, you know I would have a house in CA and be reunited with my friends there - but my bf grew up in Chicago - so we are staying;)

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  21. Well my vote is Chicago all the way since I basically did have that decision and thats where I choose :)

    And love that print!

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  22. Um, you forgot DC! But really I've been thinking about all of these cities recently too. Need to make some travel plans!

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  23. NYC hands down! This city is unlike any other! Granted, it's not easy living here, but I do believe NYC makes you grow in ways no other city can. If you make it here, you can make it anywhere!

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  24. I've never been to SF or CHI, but I've been to NYC enough times to know that I could definitely live life in that city! It's such a great place!

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  25. Well you know I would LOVE if you moved to SF b/c then you would be closer to me!! ;) But I LOVE Chicago...one of my favorite cities!

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  26. I lived in Chicago 8 years before moving to the East Coast...I MISS MY CITY! Stay in Chicago forever...whether you are single, married, married with kids, or post children; I think Chicago is the friendliest city for all life phases.

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  27. I have this debate with myself a lot too! I'm in Chicago now (have lived here my whole life) and have been to all other locations…I LOVE LA and would move tomorrow if the opportunity presented itself (though I suppose I'd have to just be brave and do it!). SF is great too, and a place I would also consider…same with NY, I've always wanted to spend some time there, which means I would need to do it like NOW. Chicago is a great home base and I imagine I'll end up here, but I do REALLY want to do a stint in another city!

    Ann Marie

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  28. I do like LA, I love SF - mainly because it's so European - but I would choose NYC, because there's everything.

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  29. Definitely LA - anyone who says otherwise is jealous of the insanely nice weather.

    SF would be a close second - all of the charm of a big city like NY or CHI but smaller, more manageable, and better weather :)

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  30. since you are young and single i'd say try nyc next. i'm sure it's such a wonderful experience, but once you are married and/or have children it would not be practical. so you should go for it now! i'm sure you'd love it like you do chicago. then after you try it for a couple years you can move closer to family and boyfriend to settle down i guess. but, you've always dreamed of nyc, so you should try it:)

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  31. I would live in NYC temporarily, just to experience it, but I think that I would put down roots in Chicago. I have never been to San Fran, even though my mom grew up in Marin County, but I hear that it is family-friendly too. It is on my bucket list. :D

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  32. It would be an absolute dream of mine to live in SF. It's hands down my all-time favorite city in the world. :)

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  33. I say SF or NYC. They are both great cities!!! The great thing about SF is it is so close to so many different climates and travel spots! Being an SF girl myself I am quite partial to it's charm!
    http://lindseyyoung.net

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  34. I live in SF and it's a wonderful city! I feel like EVERYONE always picks LA or NYC. Personally, I would love to move to Chicago! Hahah. But you should definitely plan a visit to SF, I have a feeling you'd fall in love instantly. :)

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  35. Oh, Chicago for sure- and hopefully in real life in a few years, too! :)

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  36. I grew up in SF, and now live in LA. I am dying to move to Chicago some day... every time I visit for work I fall in love with that city a little bit more.

    And I love your super small comment at the bottom of the post about people in LA not being friendly! It is so true, and definitely one of the biggest things I miss about living in San Francisco. In SF, friendliness is really a product of the neighborhood you live in (hipsters in the Mission can be not so friendly), but people are in general more outgoing and courteous than other big US cities. Also, SF is the most dog friendly place EVER! Not to mention all the hills whilst dog walking really do wonders for toning your behind!

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  37. I'm a Chicagoan through and through. I love to travel, but I also know I feel most at home here in Chicago. Whenever I go out east--especially to New York--I am made aware of my own Midwesterness. I catch myself trying to please; smiling at unsmiling strangers and attempting awkward 'hellos'. The only other place I've ever been able to call home in is truest sense was Prague. And I can't ever imagine getting my husband to move out there :)

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  38. You know my feelings on this - Chicago all the way! But, if you do move..go somewhere warm so I can visit you during the (sometimes, not this one) awful winters. :)

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  39. This is definitely a hard choice but I know right away that LA and SF wouldn't make the cut. It'd take a BIG business opportunity or loved one to get me to move there! I have lived on the east coast my whole life and really don't have any desire for the west coast... I'm not really sure why? As for NYC, I've always said I'd love to live there at least once in my life... but only for a short period of time! I never really thought of Chicago until recently. A few of my friends have relocated there and I've been slowly hearing about how wonderful the city is as well!

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  40. how cool is it that i've actually lived in all these location. Growing up in southern california I loved L.A., while I went to school in Indiana, I seriously went to Chicago literally every weekend! I spent about five months in New York and had to pinch myself to make sure that I was in reality, because living in that city just doesn't compare. San Fran is where I spent the least amount of time but I loved the green hippie bay city. But if I had to choose it would be Chicago (hands down), it has everything New York has to offer with that great Midwest hospitality!

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  41. I'm from LA but it wouldn't be my first go-to relocation place, even though I still (after 8 years away!) consider it home. Too much traffic! But you can't beat the weathe!

    Which is why Chicago would be the LAST place I'd ever want to live. NYC would be bearable just because it's NYC...if only it weren't absurdly expensive.

    San Francisco would be great, except it too is crazy expensive, and California has all kinds of financial issues these days.

    I'm happy in Houston. Cheap living with decent weather (yes...3/4 of the year is GREAT). And, most importantly, an international airport.

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  43. Chicago! I've been to all of those cities (not lived there though), and but have been there enough times to compare. There's something I like about each of those cities, but I would love to live in Chicago. I love the city's mix of old and new architecture and the fact that it's near the water (although you do have that "lake effect" weather and high winds). I love the vibrant, diverse, big-city feel, but without the disadvantages of other big cities. For example, I find it much cleaner than NYC (and the streets are not stinky like NYC is - sorry New Yorkers!). And having lived in the Midwest for 9 years, I've come to appreciate the Midwestern "personality". SF has its own beauty too though and it's close to a lot of other really nice places like Carmel-by-the-Sea, Napa & Sonoma, etc. I like the sunshine in LA but not the smog. And overall... Chicago is in the middle - so traveling to either coasts when you want to is manageable!

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  44. NEW YORK BABY! It seems like the center of the world. I love the energy of the city. Good luck to you friend!

    xoxo
    www.rueyou.blogspot.com

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  45. I've never been to Chicago but it looks fabulous! Otherwise, I think it has to be NYC because that city f***ing rocks! ;)

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  46. 68 degrees! I could hardly believe it - it was such a beatiful day here. It really is hard to call somewhere home when your family (and boyfriend) are somewhere else. My husband and I have talked of moving to another part of the country but find the idea of leaving both of our families so hard. On another note - I cannot wait to see what bakerella has in store tomorrow!

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  47. LA- family and boyfriend. Work can't be everything buti think with your creativity, you definitely need to spend some time in NYC before settling down in California.

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  48. chicago or SF for sure. NYC and LA have always been such fun places to visit, but I couldn't see living there and feeling a sense of community at all...

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  49. I would move to LA in a heart beat! I love the weather (living in Canada makes warm weather so much more appealing!), I love the stores/shopping, the food, the events, the beach...to me it just seems ideal!

    joliejouel.blogspot.com

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  50. I've lived in Chicago for almost 3 years now (still kinda crazy for me to know I've been here for this long), and while I really love it, I'm totally ready to go. Both NYC and LA have been fantasies of mine my whole life, but I'm kinda leaning toward moving somewhere warm next, so I vote LA or San Fran. I love NYC and definitely want to live there at some point in my life (especially since I have so many friends there), but I know there would be certain things that would annoy me i.e. the piles of trash on the streets, terribly slow trains, etc.

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  51. SF or NYC I'm a New York girl at heart and all my family out there so I would love to move there, but SF is such a nice mix of culture and city life and you would be close to your family/bf.

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  52. pretty sure i couldn't live in LA - just not me. im glad youre here :)

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  53. I think I would move to London in a heartbeat. Wait, also love Sydney ;)

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  54. I love LA, but prefer OC. ;)
    However if I was forced out right now, I'd go to SF. No doubt. No second thought. Right away. SF!!! :D

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  55. I'm a NYC girl so I am a little biased, but it really is such a vibrant city with amazing culture and diversity. San Francisco is great too and is closer to your friends and family. It had such a great vibe too and you can always go to wine country!

    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  56. I'm from Chicago and I absolutely love the city, but I am dying to move to NYC. LA would be cool, but too much driving/traffic. SF Is great as well.

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  57. I'm a NY girl through and through. Out of the other cities, I've only been to SF, but didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I live about 30 minutes outside the city now and go there as often as possible but would move back in a heartbeat if given the choice.

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  58. I've lived in Chicago almost my whole life, minus undergrad and grad school. I would go with SF and NYC, hands down.

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  59. i was born and raised 45 minutes outside of nyc and my parents have worked there all my life. i love it and the hustle and bustle, the energy, the familiarity, the sense of "home" that i at least feel while there.... but people are on a one-way track to do their own thing. when i moved out to the midwest for school (milwaukee) i was overwhelmed by the niceness that was the midwest and the beauty that was chicago. i would pick chicago in a heartbeat (it's also MUCH more affordable than nyc)... and that's coming from a rough and tumble proud east coast native.

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  60. SF = best. I lived there 6 months. The culture, the town, the architecture, the mix of interesting people,the bay, the food, the woods, so much pretty and cool going on..... *sigh* I want to go back...

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  61. San Fran. I visited for a week a few years ago and fell in love even though it rained everyday. I would move there tonight if I could. I would have to pass on LA, NYC, and CHI. The only other option for me is Portland. :)

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  62. This is such a great question! I am NYC - all the way, the only thing holding me back is the cost of living and my family is all here in Atlanta. But NYC has my heart. :)

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  63. Great question! I'm in Chicago and love it! I can't picture myself in LA or NYC, but I would love to check out San Fran! Enjoy the weather! :)

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  64. i live about 45 minutes outside of SF and my vote actually goes to Chi! I hate LA, so thats easy. And NYC would be my second, but thats just because it is more intimidating as far as finding housing and a job. Chi just seems like the best of both worlds!!

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  65. I'm kinda biased because I'm from Chicago and my sister lives in LA and I love it there when I visit. But I would have to say NYC. would love to visit there. But having the BF on a different coast is difficult. My sister did it for a year before her BF moved from NYC to LA to be with her. So that's a tough decision. good luck!!

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  66. I lived in Chicago for 7 years and absolutely loved it. But, eventually, it was time to move on. Now I'm in SF and can't imagine living anywhere else. I know eventually we'll move again but it'll most likely still be in the bay area. And I have a secret childhood dream of living in NYC. I go there as often as I can to visit friends but I've had to accept that I'll probably never live there. LA probably wouldn't even make the cut. I've visited a few times but I just don't have an interest in actually living there.

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  67. I think you can't lose in NYC, SF, or CHI. LA doesn't really tempt me too much..the weather would be great though!

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