Anyone here from Chicago?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by lamplight, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. lamplight

    lamplight Member

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    This seems like a bit of a stupid place to pose this question, but people here have been so helpful, so I thought I could ask.

    I'm a copywriter, and recently I've come to the conclusion that there are very limited options here in Norway for someone with big aspirations. I started doing some research, and found "The Second City" - improv group in Chicago. Apparently, this is THE place for entertainment/comedy writers to get started.

    I know it's taking a huge chance, but I just can't stand working in this TINY environment anymore.

    So, if you're from Chicago:

    - Do you like it there?
    - Is it difficult to get an apartment/job?
    - Have you heard anything about Second City?
    - Any other advice you would care to give would be immensely appreciated!

    PM me if you like. Would be great to get to know some people who live there.

    Many Thanks in Advance!

    - Lamplight -
     
  2. dannymawg

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    If no one's PMed you yet...

    Yes. Enough not to live anywhere else in my lifetime.

    In a word? No.

    The Second City - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Give me some parameters and I can give you ideas :biggrin1:
     
  3. simcha

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    God I miss Chicago. My home sweet home...
     
  4. _avg_

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    Born and raised in "Chicagoland" (the suburbs - Schaumburg, to be specific). I live in AZ now, so things might have changed a bit since I last was there, but...

    Great place to live. The food, the culture, the Bears....goddam great city. You're from Norway so the weather won't bother you, I should think.

    My advice: live in the city, but stay away from the South Side. Yeah, it's developing, but, eh.. trust me. And the public transportation is pretty good downtown; since you're used to rails in Europe (right?), the Amtrak/Metra/CTA lines are a perfect fit for you.

    Also, take in the museums...make several trips to the Field Museum, the Museum of Science & Industry, and the Art Museum of Chicago, and throw in a trip to the Shedd Aquarium while you're at it. I just can't get enough of those places.

    The nightlife in Chicago is excellent, too; all types of scenes and lots of action, nightly.

    Did I mention the food?
     
  5. simcha

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    OK, bud, I'm from Hoffman Estates, right next door. I was a worker in the Hoffman Estates Public Works Street Department for a few years. I was a construction worker and worked on the Ameritech building off of I-90 and Barrington Rd. Actually, to be more specific I'm from the subdivision called, Barrington Square and growing up, I was on the Barrington Square Swim Team. I also played soccer in the Hoffman Estates Park District League. And I was on a bowling team at Woodfield Lanes.

    I didn't go to Hoffman High though. I went to St. Viator in Arlington Heights and I did take Drivers Ed. at Schaumburg High School though... :rolleyes: Ok, enough of a trip down suburban memory lane.

    To the OP:

    I loved living in the City. It's vibrant and alive. The art scene there is unique and amazing. They are doing things there that aren't done anywhere else. Many of my friends were artists in that scene.

    The food is to die for. Why do you think Chicagoans are so large? We love food and drink. Nightlife is happening everywhere around the City. And people are super friendly.

    If you like sports, you'll love Chicago. They are some of the best fans in the world.

    The architecture is world class. Chicago is the center for American architecture. The City's skyline is amazing. Do yourself a favor and take a boat down the Chicago river and out onto Lake Michigan at night during the summer.

    Oh, and the beaches are really happening all summer long. In Grant Park there are free concerts. And there's always a neighborhood block party going on somewhere.

    The winter can be kind of a bitch though.

    That's when you should take in the Lyric Opera, the Art Institute, Symphony Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Adler Planetarium, The Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Also make sure you check out the theater options around town. Sure the big productions go to big downtown theaters. But be sure not to miss the local productions in the neighborhoods.

    It's been 7-8ish years since I've lived in Chicago. But I can tell you that even when the rest of the country is hurting economically, it always seemed like there was work in Chicago to do.

    One thing, if you come from a warm climate and you hate winter, seriously consider your decision. Chicago's weather is basically the same as Siberia. We used to say that the seasons in Chicago are as follows: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Summer. Temperature changes are brutal and seasons sometimes end very abruptly. But if you actually get Autumn in Chicago and Indian Summer, then it's a magic time...

    But since you are in Norway you should be used to the weather already.

    Also, people are usually amazed the first time they experience Chicago, especially if they are from the coasts or from a foreign country. No one seems to expect this metropolis rising out of the cornfields of the Midwest in what some people consider "flyover states."
     
  6. Phil Ayesho

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    I was born and raised in California... and lived in Chicago thru my teens and twenties.

    Lived in the burb of Arlington Heights- worked in the City.

    I hated it there...

    I don't know if you're aware... but Water, in Chicago, can actually get hard as a rock! Ordinary water... turning to something like quartz... only colder.
    And parts of your body....if exposed to the air....can actually turn black!
    This happens for the better part of half the year!
    And during this freakish period where you are forever scrapping hardened water off your car and sidewalk...
    The only part of WOMEN you ever see is their ANKLES...

    I shit you not.

    And FLAT...I mean its flat like a TABLE... I lived in a place called Arlington HEIGHTS.... right next to MOUNT Prospect.

    Y'know why they called these areas "heights" and "mount"?

    Because, unlike the surrounding areas, in a rainstorm our basements did not flood.
    That is the only way you can tell they are any higher than the surrounding terrain.

    And in the summer? Its so humid you need a snorkle to breathe...

    That being said...


    Chicago has a terrific music scene... the best deep dish pizza in the world... and is very easy to find your way around in because its a cartesian coordinate grid.

    I miss the live blues in nearly every bar....

    But I could not abide the hardened water, lack of sun, and humidity.
    I had to move back to California.

    But being from Norway... you might actually find it balmy in Chicago.
     
  7. tripod

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    Arlington Heights? Mount Prospect? That is where I was raised as a boy! I would have gone to Forest View, but it closed before I became a freshman. I absolutely LOVE that area... it is very much different now... MUCH more Hispanic and not as ethnically varied like it was in the 80's.

    You didn't mention all of the GORGEOUS women in Chicago though, they are amazing.

    The Latin Kings began to run that area in the 80's, wrestling it from the older gangs like the Disciples and the Royals to dominate it by force. I had friends who were caught up in that shit... the House scene in the 80's with all of those awesome TB-303 basslines and hypnotic 808 beats was synonymous with the Latin Kings and their rise to power. I am sure they are still running things. Arlington Heights and Mt. prospect was, if you remember, the place that the mafia guys would choose to raise their families. I grew up with plenty of JR and Meadow types at school... I think that the North side runs that area.

    Organized crime is a reality in large metropolitan cities and no where is it more in your face than Chicago...

    The Blues Mobile from the movie The Blues Brothers was a Mt. prospect cruiser from the mid seventies... it took a licking and kept on ticking. I had the pleasure of riding in those cars a few times as a little punk juvenile.
     
  8. Phil Ayesho

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    They filmed the scene of the cop car flying into the side of the semi right next to an apartment I lived in... in Palatine.

    in 1969 , when I moved there at 13, Arlington Heights was SOOOO white that I, a half spanish, half scottish american boy with a california tan, was the darkest human being in the entire town.

    Coming from California, I found the Chicago women to be lovely... and cold, aloof and adversarial.
    They seemed to have the "love as a contest" mentality... and guys had to run their gauntlet to get a date.


    Oh, and the Chicago Nazi's?
    In the 70's ... they were real. And pretty much just like those in the movie.
     
  9. tripod

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    Oh yeah... I don't have any direct experience with the Illinois Nazis, but my Dad had a run in with them in the early 70's. We lived in downtown Mt. Prospect and my dad took the train to his job everyday. He was a staff designer for Lay-Z-Boy and was invited to dinner by the foreman of the plant. When he got to the foreman's house, they ate dinner and then my Mom and the guy's wife talked and smoked while the foreman said, "Come with me... I have something that I want to show you." He led my Dad through a hallway, up the staitr and into a room that was lavishly decorated with Nazi regalia. the guy thought that my Dad would make a fine addition to the Illinois Nazis and wanted my him to take part in an upcoming meeting later that month.

    My Dad reported him to the upper management and they said that they wanted to discuss this matter with him privately later that evening. When my Dad got to the meeting, the only people in the office were two members of the ADL. they said that they have had their suspicions about this employee and wanted my Dad to go undercover to infiltrate the Illinois Nazi Party! My dad was REALLY flipped out to say the least and told him that he had two little sons and a wife that depended on him to stay alive and that he would have say no to going undercover. the foreman was fired a little while after that and nothing ever became of that situation gladly.

    By the mid eighties, the Chicago Area Skinheads replaced the Illinois Nazis with a larger youth movement that was more based on anarchy then Nazism. I was friends with a pair of twins that belonged to CASH. They were liberal skinheads that didn't care that I had long hair... they were also big potheads and were really nice guys... I have no idea why they were in CASH other than their parents must have been Illinois Nazis and that was the logical path for them.

    I left Chicago in 1989 and by 1995 all of the shops in the strip malls in Mt. Prospect where I lived (Busse and Algonquin) had been replaced by Spanish only speaking stores... I had no idea that the ethnic demographic could change that quickly. I love Hispanic people... I have no problem with them.

    Oh... and I know exactly where you used to live... that would have put you going to Buffalo Grove if I am correct. That is cool as HELL!!!!
     
  10. Naughty Teacher

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    Unlike many of the other posters, I live in Chicago proper, right now.

    You'll find that Chicagoans refer to themselves as Chicagoans, generally. You'll also find that the people called suburbanites ALSO refer to themselves as Chicagoans, mostly cause no one can keep track of the 100+ tiny municipalities that surround Chicago, which have names like Park Forest, Oak Forest, Oak Park, and Forest Park (all real, different towns). Living in the suburbs is very different than living in the city.

    Chicago is a great place to find an apartment. 60% of the city lives in an apartment, so that's easy enough. Check the Chicago Reader's spacefinder, or look on Craigslist, both on-line.

    The scandanavian part of town is on the north side, called Andersonville. You'll find actual Norwegian food, so you'll be less homesick, and the occasional festival for whatever it is you guys celebrate.

    Second City IS the place for improve and stand-up. The program takes about a year and a half to complete, and then you can audition for the travelling company. The full time company will take a head shot, and put it in a envelope with something like (no joke) Sarcastic Fat Guy on the outside. If there's an opening, they'll call you. You'll also meet lots of other people, and there's good opportunity to network.

    Second City is competitive, and lots of people want to get in. Be ready for that. You'll also need a day job, many gigs don't pay well when you are starting out.

    Chicago is also known for a THRIVING comedy and theatre scene. There are literally, hundreds of smaller venues all over town. Check the Chicago Reader online, and you'll see how many events are going on just this week.
     
  11. dannymawg

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    That's why it's called "The City That Works" :tongue:

    But this is something to consider strongly, lamplight - there are guns here. If you are a European native, the crime here might shock you.

    I know all about the Land Beyond O'Hare - I grew up under the approach for runway 32L. It's a NASA shuttle alternate :wink:

    Lived in the city 13 years - had one major burglary, couple stolen car audio attempts (attempts... TAKE THE FUCKING RADIO ALREADY! DON"T JUST FUCK UP MY CAR AND NOT TAKE THE RADIO!).

    I'm not exactly a good mugging target, and I know my neighborhoods, so my personal safety is good. But I fear for my female friends who have to ride public trans or walk many blocks on foot at night. You kinda do need a car here. To sit in construction traffic and/or snow :rolleyes:

    In light of that, I've been trying to steer my career towards not commuting at all, or living/working at either end of a straight shot public trans line.

    Jobs = you name it - from $5/hr-under-the-table dishwashing/busboy grunts to megalomanic corporation helms - they're here.


    Sorry I'm not dripping with detail but there's so much about this town that I love and hate. I don't mess with the distinctions of North/South Side anymore, because this is MY town. I go where I like.

    And addresses in the city are easy to find due to the grid system Fillet Show mentioned :tongue:
     
  12. Phil Ayesho

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    Fillet show....

    heh hehe


    only, sometimes, it has a bone in it.
     
  13. HaagenDazs

    HaagenDazs New Member

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    Went there for high school. Lot of fun, great diversity of people, interesting places, dense interweaving of various background opportunities, etc. Overall a cool place.

    I live in Florida now and it's sort of a bore compared to Chicago. You'll like it.
     
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