There are a thousand reasons why people chose to live where they do; school districts, an easy commute, access to the ocean or mountains, affordability. I spoke to Heather Linder and Angela Corpus, two fabulous young professionals who also happen to be sisters, on why they each chose to settle down in Chicago’s urban neighborhood of South Loop. In interviewing them, I learned not only why urban living is appealing, but also that what makes a space a home varies depending on people’s unique needs, but the common thread is that you should surround yourself with things and people you love, in a space that offers you the opportunity to be your best self.
How long have you lived in your current place? Have you lived in other locations?
AC: I relocated back to Chicago 8 months ago, after living in Southern California 4 ½ years and Washington, DC for 6 years. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and I love being in the heart of the city and close to family again.
What drew you to your current home?
HL: The floor-to-ceiling windows and the open floor plan make the place flooded with light. The 7th floor location means we aren't paying more for a view, but yet we still have a stunning view of downtown. That coupled with easy access to the lake and a dog park across the alley made it the perfect fit for my family.
What do you think are the best benefits of living downtown in a highrise?
AC: Now that the weather has turned warm, I'd say my favorite perk is the pool! My building also hosts workout classes and cooking classes in the building, and you really can't beat that convenience. I've met so many new friends while spending time doing things I love and find interesting, like yoga or a sushi making class.
HL: I work several miles south, and many of my friends live on the north and west sides, but my place is close to the main train hub so I can easily get any direction I want. I love having easy access to the entire city.
Are there any cons?
AC: As with any apartment building, there are the sounds and smells that come with living in close proximity of other people cooking, living, and going about their day.
HL: I grew up in the country, and occasionally I'll miss being able to walk barefoot in a yard and have bonfires on summer evenings. I'm also a renter, and there are things I'd love to do to spruce up my unit that are not owner-approved, maybe I'll convince them to add that tile backslash to the kitchen someday…
What advice would you give to someone considering living in a downtown setting?
HL: I would encourage them to visit the unit at different times of day. A place might be lovely in the middle of the afternoon, but super noisy after 5 p.m. Also, while being close to public transit is convenient, it can be loud. Make sure the windows and doors are soundproof or you'll be miserable. You'll always be near people in the center of the city; understand that you'll sometimes be navigating packed sidewalks and that street parking is at a minimum.
AC: One of my main reasons for moving back to Chicago was to immerse myself in the community of my favorite city. Get involved, go take classes, find Groupons to try things you've been thinking about trying, and if you tend to be a homebody, having a building that offers community right at your doorstep is a great way to stumble into meeting people. There are people who are your tribe out there, so go find them. And if you move in winter, remember that everyone is more social in the spring and summer (even in California!).