Lori and I spent a (hot) week in Chicago exploring art and architecture with a Road Scholar tour. Among our impressions of Chicago compared to NYC (which we were much more familiar with):

  • Central Chicago is cleaner than NYC.
  • Chicago people are generally friendlier than their world-weary cynical NYC counterparts.
  • Chicago has noticeably less panhandling and acting out than in NYC.

Chicago has a lot of great art and architecture but, at 1/4 the population of NYC, doesn’t have quite the huge breadth of arts that NYC has. Overall and despite the usual set of big-city challenges, Chicago impressed us as a vibrant city with a long record of resilience and adaptability. We’ll no-doubt return for future visits having only sampled what Chicago has to offer.