My boredom combined with exhaustian and lack of anything better to do has brought me back to this blog. I'm afraid I'm already turning into what used to annoy me about some people from Northwestern. These people, almost always from New York City or California liked to tell you what was better about their hometown compared to Chicago. Whether it was In n' Out Burger or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the weather or the cool places to go out, the native Chicagoan was left feeling a little provincial next to this type.
Being in D.C.; however, has helped me appreciate a lot about Chicago (while still maintaining that it is better than New York--L.A. and San Francisco I'm not at all familiar with). For one thing, though I've always found Chicago almost endless in its length, I miss the amount of cool neighborhoods that its large land mass accomodated. D.C. is surprisingly small for a Nation's Capital.
The size alone isn't the problem, but the size combined with the socio-economic situation makes for a difficult housing market for someone like me. I remember reading an article last year in my Sociology of Crime class about cities and crime rates, and D.C.'s crime rate which is relatively high was explained in part by the bipolar socio-economic make-up of its residents. It seemed that people were either working professionals or part of an underclass employed in very low-paying jobs like food service and custodian work. There isn't much room here, the article said, for a socially mobile class. The housing market--with either luxury condos in sought-after neighborhoods in the Northwest part of the city or older, less-maintained homes in out of the way (and sometimes unsafe) areas of the city reflects this. The thought that one can live in a nice neighborhood of Chicago for 600-700 per month is pretty exciting in comparison.
So as I think about D.C., with its lack of a lake, its unbearable heat (though that is many places in the country right now), its bear of a housing market, and its hyper-yuppie neighborhoods, I have to respect my hometown. I'm afraid I will be a Chicago snob, if there is such thing. I feel like people out East have a hard time believing happiness can be found in the Midwest. It's just as well, it will keep the housing market sane.