The Second City…in name only

Chicago is known as a great city; it has been for decades…maybe more. But it’s also known as the Second City. Because of some New Yorker with a big mouth, we’ve been relegated to living in the shadow of the Big Apple, but those days are over! Chicago has always had just as much, if not more, to offer than New York. Take a look at the list below and revel in the fact that deep down, in a secret recess of their heart, every New Yorker admires the Windy City.

  1. Pizza Perfection: Let’s face it, Chicago’s deep-dish pizza is the stuff of legends, while New York’s thin-crust slices seem to be on a perpetual diet. Who wouldn’t prefer a pizza that you can actually dig into, rather than fold like a paper plane? While New Yorkers might argue that their pizza is “more convenient” for on-the-go eating, Chicagoans know that a truly great pizza should be savored, not scarfed down on a street corner. Why settle for a pizza that’s as thin as a credit card when you can indulge in a hearty, cheesy, saucy creation that requires a knife and fork? Chicago’s deep-dish pizza is like a warm hug from your Italian grandmother, while New York’s pizza feels more like a casual pat on the back from your Pilates instructor. One taste of Chicago’s famous pies from Home Run Inn or Giordano’s, and you’ll understand that true pizza perfection is about quality, not convenience.
  2. Hot Dog Heaven: When it comes to hot dogs, Chicago has got New York beat by a mile (or should we say a “dog mile”?). New York hot dogs seem to have taken the minimalist approach, with a simple squirt of mustard and a dollop of sauerkraut – it’s like they’re trying to hide the fact that they even have a hot dog underneath. On the other hand, Chicago’s fully-loaded hot dogs come dressed to impress, with a veritable garden of toppings that make your taste buds sing. In Chicago, we take our hot dogs seriously. A true Chicago-style hot dog comes piled high with yellow mustard, neon green relish, chopped onions, juicy tomato wedges, a kosher dill pickle spear, sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt – all nestled in a warm poppy seed bun. It’s like a party in your mouth where everyone’s invited, except for ketchup. That’s right, we all know that ketchup is the ultimate faux pas in the Windy City, so you’ll never have to worry about anyone committing that culinary crime.
  3. The El vs. The Subway: When it comes to public transportation, both Chicago and New York have their fair share of adventures. However, there’s something undeniably magical about riding Chicago’s elevated “L” train. As you glide above the city streets, you’re treated to unique views of the Windy City’s stunning architecture and vibrant neighborhoods. It’s like a scenic rollercoaster ride, minus the nausea-inducing loops. Meanwhile, New York’s subway system seems to be a never-ending maze of construction detours and delays. Descending into the underground abyss, you’re more likely to encounter a rat playing hide-and-seek with a pizza slice than an awe-inspiring vista. And let’s not even mention the cast of questionable characters you might encounter on your daily commute. You never know if you’ll be serenaded by an aspiring opera singer, breakdancer, or the ever-ubiquitous pan-flute player.
  4. Lake Michigan > Hudson River: Forget the murky waters of the Hudson River; Lake Michigan offers Chicagoans pristine beaches and a stunning waterfront perfect for a sunny day. And who wouldn’t want to experience a beach day in the heart of the city?
  5. Grid System Sanity: Chicago’s streets are laid out in a logical grid system, making navigation a breeze. In New York, you’re at the mercy of the urban labyrinth and might find yourself lost in the tangled web of streets and avenues.
  6. Cost of Living: It’s no secret that New York City is notorious for its sky-high rent and cost of living. Chicago, on the other hand, offers a more affordable lifestyle with a comparable (if not better) quality of life. Your wallet will thank you.
  7. Midwestern Charm: Chicago offers the perfect blend of big-city excitement and Midwestern hospitality. In the Windy City, you can expect a warm welcome from locals, while in New York, you might be met with the classic “I’m walkin’ here!” attitude.
  8. Sports Loyalty: Chicago’s sports fans are fiercely loyal to their teams, win or lose. Meanwhile, New York fans seem to switch their allegiance depending on who’s on top. Besides, Chicago has the Cubs, who overcame a 108-year championship drought – now that’s dedication!
  9. Skyscraper Supremacy: New York may have the Empire State Building, but Chicago boasts the iconic Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) with its impressive Skydeck, offering unbeatable views of the city. Plus, Chicago is the birthplace of the modern skyscraper – talk about architectural bragging rights.
  10. The Great Fire Comeback: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 may have destroyed much of the city, but it also gave birth to a remarkable architectural renaissance. New York never had to rise from the ashes quite like Chicago, so the Windy City deserves major kudos for its impressive comeback.

New York City will always be a great place. It’s a world-class city that continues to change and innovate, offering a great life for its citizens, but it’ll never be Chicago. Chicago offers a unique blend of food, culture, and skyline that the Big Apple just can’t beat. And it’s cleaner too!