I thought that I would dedicate one of my weekly blog posts to debunking common Chicago myths, so I’m just going to dive right into it.
Myth #1: The City is dangerous.
Answer: Yes and no. When you have almost 3 million people within a small area, you are going to see more conflict and crime than you would in a less populated area. However, I have rarely ever felt unsafe here. I have learned that you need to be aware of your surroundings 24/7 and trust your instincts, and this will make you feel safer. Additionally, I have learned that the “unsafe” areas of Chicago (the South) are actually beautiful places with rich history, and are places that deserve more respect.
Myth #2: Downtown (Michigan Ave) is the only place to find good restaurants and shops.
Answer: Definitely not true! The neighborhoods surrounding downtown Chicago I have found to be much better when it comes to restaurants, as many of them are small, family owned restaurants. Much of downtown is composed of big chain restaurants, and I have found many amazing restaurants within other parts of the city. Additionally, there is a wide range of shopping that can be found elsewhere within the city. For example, Wicker Park is the best place to go thrifting if that is something you’re into. The Gold Coast, where we live, is known for its high end luxury stores. Many neighborhoods have been built upon different cultures and ideas, and it is best to do some research on the city before coming to know the best spots for what you are interested in.
Myth #3: It is windy all the time.
Answer: In the time that I have lived in Chicago, this has proven to be mostly true. Most days, there is quite a bit of wind. I live only a few blocks from the lakeshore as well, so this definitely makes a difference in my experience and that of those that live farther inland. Additionally, with it being winter, even the smallest gust of wind can make the temperature feel much colder and is something that has taken a lot to get used to. I wonder if I only notice the wind because it is already cold, and I also wonder what Chicago would be like in the summer months.
These are some of the most common questions I have encountered from my family and friends since moving to Chicago, and I am very thankful that I have had the opportunity to learn about it through my own personal experience.