Monday, May 2, 2011

What I've learned after a month in Chicago...

I've officially lived in Chicago for over a month. I started my new job exactly four weeks ago. We finally got our Illinois driver's licenses over the weekend. What a hassle and we still need to put the new plates on Pepe. Yes, we named our Forester, Pepe, because of the turbo engine. 

Here's what I've learned in the month of living in Chicago:

There are approximately 77 neighborhoods in the city limits, and we have only visited a handful in the last few weeks. We love our River North neighborhood but we still have a lot of exploring to do. I read on the Chicago Traveler that River North is home to one of the country’s largest collection of galleries, second only to New York. There are apparently over 100 art galleries! In addition, there are more than 100 restaurants in our neighborhood. I can't wait to try more of them!!

Gas is cheaper in the suburbs. Today, regular unleaded was $4.53 a gallon in Park Ridge, IL, and it's nearly 30 cents more in the city. I'm told it's still close to $4.00 in Seattle. This is crazy. 
The Chicago skyline is more and more romantic every night. The Sears (Willis) Tower and the Chase building are currently lit up with pink flood lights for Breast Cancer Awareness.
[I just found out on Wikitravel that "Chicago's skyline is one of the world's tallest and easily ranks among its most magnificent. It boasts three of America's five tallest buildings and, if you include its antenna, the massive Sears Tower remains the second tallest skyscraper in the world." Can you guess which are the three tallest buildings with the help of this picture from Wikipedia?]

When commuting (especially close to an hour each way) you must have a carpool buddy, really good music and/or a fun game to keep you from going insane. You are really lucky if you have all three elements. I found a carpool option within the first week of my new job and it has made the traffic totally bearable. We both love to dance, so music is always an enjoyable conversation. Besides, the latest Jennifer Lopez song on the radio, we talk about our favorite restaurants, dance studios, shopping, anything and everything to make the commute go quickly. 

We came up with a new game today. We are complying a "carpool songlist" with the songs that are regularly played on the radio every day, regardless of station, genre/decade, etc. 

So far, we typically hear, at least once, but usually on the way to work and on the way back:

More by Usher
S&M by Rhianna/Brittney Spears
Tonight (I'm loving you) by Enrique Iglesias with Ludacris
On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull (This is a favorite song of my carpool buddy's.)
'Til the World Ends by Brittney Spears
All of the Lights by Kanye West
Grenade by Bruno Mars
Forget You by Cee Lo Green
Something by Rob Thomas/Matchbox 20, like Smooth with Santana
Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams
Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi

We less frequently hear but always enjoy:
The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson
PYT (Pretty Young Thing) by Michael Jackson
1999 by Prince

What car games do you like to play? I am very open to suggestions!!


Ruth said...

Hi Em: Hope you get my suggestion of a game (and its variations). There was no further instructions on how to have it printed. Let me know if youdon't receive it and give me iinstructions on how to have it printed on you blog, or where? Glad you are enjoying Chicago and finding a commuter person. Love, Tootie

Sid said...

Hi Emily! Thanks so much for linking back to my site for the chicago skyline picture. :) Congratulations on your move to Chicago! My girlfriend lives in the city and commutes to North Chicago and gas is cheap up there too! :) Once summer arrives, you'll really enjoy the city a lot. They have so many (free) events and it's a lot of fun to walk around downtown. You can always find something entertaining to see/do. Some of our favorite neighborhoods include: Wicker Park, Old Town, Streeterville, and Evanston. Great blog, and again, thanks for the photo credit- I appreciate that. Enjoy Chicago! -Sid (

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