Forbes has published it's yearly list of America's Most Miserable Cities. Judging from the comments and stories I have been reading, many people were surprised to find that Chicago came in fourth place on the list.
Forbes wrote that the reason Chicago is so miserable is due to the mass migration out of the City, the long commutes, home prices, and the bone-cold weather. Many of the comments I read stated that the list that Forbes considers a negative, is what Chicagoans consider part of the charm.
I disagree that commutes and cold weather add to charm. I actually completely agree with Forbes. The Chicago area is very miserable for the most part, especially for people not from here.
When I first moved here, I was so enthralled by all the things that Chicago had to offer, that I was never really settling in to live. Instead of making a home, I was treating it like a very long, extended vacation. I was on the go, and, regardless of your opinion of Chicago, there are tons of things to keep you busy for a very long time.
Unfortunately, every newcomer has to eventually stop constantly exploring, and start making a home. That is when Chicago rears its ugly head as a hard area to call home.
First and foremost, you do have the horrid weather. I love the snow, but the cold is ridiculous. Add the wind in with the cold, and it is damn right brutal.
Second, if you survive the cold, you better hope you dodge becoming a victim of crime. Between the extremely high murder rate, the fact that the CTA is a haven for all types of crimes, and the realism that more likely than not, somebody, at some point, is going to steal your stuff, Chicago is not a very safe-feeling City.
Say though, that you survive the cold and the crimes, you then have to deal with the people. Though Chicago has some wonderful people, most of the people out there walking around are just out to get something from you. People in Chicago do not look for friends, they look for people to one-up.
If you do get lucky enough to finally find someone that will speak to you, then you have to hope they are not crazy. People of Chicago are extremely paranoid. I have met so many people who only stay home when not at work because they are afraid everybody is out to get them. The people they work with are out to get them, their neighbors are out to get them, their friends are out to get them, this dog they ran into 8 years ago is still out to get them. It's freaking crazy.
I have friends from New York City to San Francisco, but it is the Chicago friends that take the cake on paranoia.
Regardless though, life sucks if you do not have friends, so you have to forge ahead and find some. At least you hope you can find some.
If you happen to live in the Suburbs, forget making friends in the City, as most City people will turn their noses up at you for not living "In Chicago". Of course, your suburban friends will judge you for wanting to live in the City, because only "gangsters and stupid people" live in the City. (BTW, I have actually been told that on more than one occasion.)
As if the war between suburban and City people were not enough, Chicagoans automatically tend to frown upon people not from here. No matter what you say, it will be met with "well that's because you are not a real Chicagoan." Where the people of Chicago got such a sense of unmerited entitlement is beyond me.
Along with that entitlement, Chicago people also feel as if their race, whichever that may be, is the only race not ruining the City. Races do not mix well here. Everybody is against everybody else. I think the only thing that most races here, expect Hispanics, agree on is that, for some reason, they all hate Hispanics. This part truly baffles me. I am constantly appalled about how people talk about Hispanics here. Apparently working hard and trying to care for your family makes them all "lazy".
So, while I am sure there are many people who have moved here and loved it, for this guy, Forbes is right on the money.
Chicago is a segregated, high-crime City filled with people who think everybody else is out to get them.
Of course, I did not even mention the taxes and fees to live here. I'm surprised the Illinois Legislature hasn't found a way to tax bloggers per word yet.
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