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Archive for June 4th, 2009

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve not been writing as much lately.  While there’s been plenty on my mind, most of it has stayed within, save for the few friends who have listened to my thoughts over the past couple of months.

The goal was to keep things quiet for a while longer waiting for the right time to release the information.  I’ve found, however, that I’m much more at ease with the world around me when my thoughts are fully expressed.

And so here we go…

I’m embarking upon plans to relocate to Chicago.  My house is on the market and the past month has been a mad rush to get ready for realtors.  It has not been an easy decision because I never thought I’d leave Columbus.  When I moved here in 2000, it was because I had discovered a city where I felt comfortable – a city where I could grow and a city that would grow with me.

Despite living in a great neighborhood (Merion Village), for the past few years I’ve been longing for a more urban setting.  The addition of new downtown housing piqued my interest over the past couple of years and I’ve watched, keenly, as a somewhat new phase of Columbus becomes a reality.  I’ve kept my eyes open for the right place at the right price – realizing that I’d know it when the time was right.

Little did I know that the right place at the right price would be Chicago.  All things considered, Chicago is priced about the same as Columbus these days, so for about what I’d pay here, I can get all the benefits of the city of Chicago.  I consider it the ‘gift with purchase’.

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From the arts to the architecture, to the level of pedestrian activity and having Lake Michigan at my doorstep –  there’s a feeling about Chicago that inspires me beyond what I ever expected.  And of course, the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority), a comprehensive public transportation system that operates around the clock.

Not long ago, in an interview with Walker Evans of Columbus Underground, we talked about public transit in Columbus.  When I listened to the podcast I realized that one of the reasons I moved here was because light-rail was on the city’s radar.  Nine years later, nothing has happened and I’m still waiting.

Understand that the CTA is not my only reason for relocating to Chicago, but it is one of the benefits.  Chicago without the CTA would be like Los Angles – and I have no desire to live like that.  All things being equal, housing prices and the standard of living, it just makes sense to put my money where my mouth is and live in a city with great public transit.  In the long run, I’ll be better off financially because of it.

As the process continues, I’ll write more about this relocation.  There’s a lot on my mind, frankly, because what I’m about to do is running counter intuitive to everything we hear in today’s media.  Moving across country is something with which I’m familiar.  Doing it, however, in the midst of wobbly world economics is new to me, so lets explore it together.  Doing so will keep me sane.

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