Chicago vs. New York City
Each week, Yahoo Travel pits rival destinations against each other to determine once and for all which one is the best. Up this week are two US rivals: Chicago and New York City.
The Case for Chicago
by Bill Fink
Chicago has long been called the “Second City,” with a smaller population than insufferably packed New York City. But Chicago is first where it matters: quality of life for residents and visitors alike. This may come as a shock to New Yorkers, but it is possible to live in a big city and still be friendly. Chicago welcomes tourists with free city guides. In New York, they’ll knock you down if you hold hands or stop to take a picture.
Chicago is a city of firsts: It built the first skyscraper in the world, precursor to its stunning lakefront skyline; it raised the first Ferris wheel, the inspiration for the current ride on Navy Pier; it chewed the first Juicy Fruit gum, bringing us the city’s iconic Wrigley Building (and Wrigley Field!). Chicago has world-class art, architecture, dining, shopping, music, sports, really everything that New York has, but without the excessive cost and attitude.
Related: Cheat Sheet: Chicago
The descendant of the world’s first Ferris wheel: Navy Pier Ferris Wheel (Photo: Thinkstock)
New York City’s myopic, self-absorbed viewpoint is best seen in the famous New Yorker magazine cover created to compensate for its citizens’ miserable quality of life. Bad news for New Yorkers: Unless you’re a billionaire hedge-fund manager, you’re living in an unaffordable, closet-size apartment, scurrying to work on packed streets like rats in a maze. Bad news for visitors: New York is full of New Yorkers. New York City is basically the A-Rod of cities: overpriced, overhyped, in love with itself, hostile to others, eventually to be proved a sham. Chicago is your logical first choice.
Population: About 2.7 million in the city of Chicago, 9.5 million in the greater metro area
Before she took over the world, Oprah Winfrey conquered Chicago. (Photo: Getty Images)