A Chi-town bean in the Big Apple

Visiting New York for Showcase was amazing!! It was wonderfully fun to see all of my classmates again, experience the city, and explore New York in a way I never have before. Between bites of fried rice, mushroom pizza, and ooey gooey cinnamon rolls I was very thankful for the abundance of vegan food. Chicago, of course, has an abundance as well, but it was exciting (and expensive) to try so many new things! AND I saw two phenomenal Broadway shows, Come From Away (many thanks to Randy Adams!) and Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812. Come From Away blew my mind, the story was unique in itself and then the musical told the story in an even more unique way. I was enraptured from the first beat of the drum to the last hum of the fiddle. I had forgotten how much I loved musicals, and I left the theater with renewed faith in humanity. The Great Comet was wonderfully energetic, playful, and heartbreaking. Such beautifully and tragically crafted story, with the simplicity of it allowing for more depth and exploration of the human condition. I would be amiss if I didn't thank my family, as well, for coming out to see and support me. It came as a surprise, but with some last minute vacation changes, it was nice to have a little bit of Colorado in NY. I'm excited to see them again at the end of April for graduation :) I am truly lucky to have them.

If I'm being totally honest, I must admit that I hadn't been to New York since 6th grade. I know I probably should've visited again before deciding on Chicago, but there was something in my gut that drew me to the Windy City. 
I didn't expect New York to be so different from Chicago, but here are a few things I would like to point out:

  • New York is dirty
  • So dirty I couldn't believe it, or the smells that resulted from said dirtiness
  • There is so much going on all the time and everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere
  • The subway system/MTA is confusing and I've been SO pampered with the public transit in Chicago
  • AMAZING theatre happens there. I know this is stupid and obvious but I forgot how incredible broadway shows are
  • Weird stuff happens, but it's just a normal part of life there

As opposed to Chicago:

  • Chicago is much cleaner and not as stuffy
  • The CTA runs very efficiently and it doesn't smell half as bad because 90% of it is above ground (unless someone urinates in the car and then it's bad obviously)
  • AMAZING theatre happens here, but it's not quite as abundant or extravagant as in NY (see my previous post about storefront theatre)
  • People are really nice, and it's not weird to talk to strangers in coffee shops and then become friends with them
  • The neighborhoods are (mostly) all nice/cute/have their own personalities and are close together and easy to hop around to

Keeping in mind that I was only ever in Manhattan and I never visited Brooklyn, Queens, Astoria, etc. I was happy to visit NYC, but I was also relieved to see for myself that I made the right choice in trusting my gut when it told me to go to Chicago. Absolutely nothing against NYC or the people who live there (more power to you, I don't think I could do it at this point in my life), it's just so different from what I need in a city. While seeing my classmates every day and feeling the support of so many alumni at the showcase performances and reception made me miss them and wish that I was in the same city, I returned to Chicago happy to be a windy bean.