Hong Kong Vs. Chicago

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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by entropyfan:
    I'm currently in the middle of my relocation from Hong Kong to Chicago and have spent about a month and a week living in Central/Soho. I view Chicago as my home and have been thinking about the pros/cons of moving to Hong Kong! Obviously, I've been reading the other posts but I also want to know if there's been any other Chicagoans that have made the move and agree with me? I'm considering an opportunity in Singapore as well.

    I'll start a PROS/CONS LIST:

    Chicago Pros

    Food's better in Chicago (Cantonese food is bland and all the western and other "ethnic" food is blanded down for local taste)

    Chicago has less pollution and is a more green City, bike friendly, if you're home is a green home you can receive grants,etc. (I'm an urban environmentalist)

    Chicago has an underground/anti-establishment/hipster vibe about it.

    Chicago has a great night life anytime of the week, going out is very diverse. There's no preferential treatment of anyone of a particular ethnic group,it's based only on attractiveness, unlike in HK where frankly there's a racist vibe.

    Chicago has friendly, confident people. Hongkers just seem fearful of anyone outside of their family.


    Chicago is deadly cold in the winter

    Chicago's flat

    Chicago has a third world public transportation system

    Chicago is spread out as a city.

    Chicago sales tax is 9%!

    in a perfect world, the ideal situation would be to spend winter in hk and summer in chicago- blues fest, jazz fest, free concerts, cubs, summer dance, taste, .
    oh and critical mass events in the summer... i miss that....

    winter just plain blows.

    i'll sum it up to you;

    Chicago summer

    Chicago winter

    and they don't have Bucket Man in hk! the street bums here are just not the same. next time you cross over the madison street bridge over the chi river on friday afternoon, say hi to bucket man for me. i miss his witty, multicultural reparte and his bucket jam... always made my day...

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    in a field of gold

    Pros (or rather, what i miss)

    - jazz/blues clubs
    - salsa clubs (Green Dolphin, Latin street)
    - Chicago neighbourhoods: Greek town, Indian town, Polish town, Hispanic town and all the towns in between. (Chinatown wasn't the greatest though)
    - Tango milongas that run late into the night
    - Grand Lux Cafe
    - Very Berry Sundae from Ghiardelli's on the Magnificent Mile
    - Bicycle friendly routes, especially along Lake Michigan
    - Lincoln park zoo
    - summer fests
    - steppenwolf theatre, second city and other alternative acts/theatres (fringe club is the closest they get here)
    - garrett's popcorn
    - Target and other all-in type stores in the burbs
    - Chicago park districts
    - spacious apartments
    - hipster vibe
    - street fairs/festivals/markets
    - low risk driving
    - Art Institute
    - Museum campus
    - vintage shopping


    - nasty, antiquated transport system
    - natural tendency to gain weight
    - below par dim sum
    - completely flat vs. lots of good hiking trails in HK
    - no real beaches
    - freezing winter
    - feels like gotham city when it gets dark
    - expensive + high sales tax!

    bli: bucketman..hehehe there's definitely more than one of those!

    Similarly, if I go back to Chicago there'd be many things I miss about HK!! Chinese food in Chicago is generally terrible compared to HK. I think you can get decent ethnic food here that's not blanded down to local taste too and I'm a big foodie so I love exploring food districts.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Mariposita, you're making me homesick LOL!
    ditto with everything on your list, especially independent theatre and second city, and improv olympic- i'd also like to add (see my "what food do you miss post" too hahaha):

    1) jaffer's sweets on lawrence - the best baklava ever
    2) being able to ride my bike everywhere as an alternative mode of transportation
    3) environmentally friendly city
    4) earnesty
    5) marshall fields (not macy's) and free concerts at millennium park
    6) drinks and views at the lounge on the Top of the Cock
    7) kayaking the chicago river
    8) good ol greasy diner food
    9) Viagra triangle: its restaurants, especially Gibsons for a superb filet mignon, and the avante garde cuisine on Fulton street market in West Loop
    10) Filter lounge in Wicker Park- i miss hipsters, even wannabe hipsters

    1) annoying lincoln park trixies with an undeserved sense of entitlement
    2) annoying lincoln park chads with an undeserved sense of entitlement (oh wait did these two groups all move to HK, LOL?)
    3) 452 homicides in 2006, up from 2005
    4) went i went back for christmas car got broken into and a week later someone burgluraized 4 units in my condo building- and i live in Lakeview for christ's sake!

    i definitely miss salsa tuesdays at Green Dolphin ( i just plain miss dancing with latinos!!!!) and good latin food in logan square and pilsen.
    i miss dance partners who can dance a good bachata! seriously how hard is it for hongkies to move their hips without looking like they just got off a 20 hour horseback ride, i mean seriously? hahaha
    i miss the LA salsa scene too - steven's steakhouse, grenada, tapas bar...

    oh well i still love HK too and there are definitely some benefits to living here, especially in the winter!

  4. #14

    Don't forget the Frank Floyd Wright's home and studio, many of his prarie style homes, and unitarian temple at Oak Park.

    Da Bulls

    Italian beef and hot dogs at Portillos

    Al Capone's famous St Valentines day massacre site at Clark Street.


  5. #15

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    the following real-life conversation witnessed at a south side fried chicken joint would probably not occur in HK:

    Hefty woman: "I'd like the 100 piece chicken platter" (obviously referring to the party catering menu)

    Cashier (looks up): uh...is that for here or to go?"

    Hefty woman (does the side to side head bob with attitude): "Be'scuze me, motherf**cker, do you think i can eat that whole bucket 'o chicken by myself?"

    Cashier (without looking up): Pause..."Shut up, bit*h, i dunno how you live..."


    Last edited by Mr.Bing; 06-03-2007 at 01:51 PM.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    bli - thanks for a good laugh.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Nice responses!

    Nice. I'm glad to hear some Chicago love from Hongki Expaters.. Well, I'm sold on going to Hong Kong. Now about that job offer.....

    Well, I may also have one from Singapore too... I'll just read that other thread.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    HK/US = CX/CO

    Hands down Chicago wins in the Restaurant Category from Rezza's to Monsoon to Red Light to sushi wabi to deep dish pizzas!!

  9. #19


    I'm really enjoying reading these, having moved to HK from Chicago 7 months ago...

    These may be repeats, but here's a few of mine...'

    Chicago Pros
    - Green Mill poetry slam on Sunday nights
    - Summer, esp the lakefront and the street fests
    - The Hopleaf bar in Andersonville - best beer selection in the city!
    - Brew and View at the Vic
    - can find great, spacious apartments, esp on north side
    - great mexican food
    - WXRT
    - fall can also be a great time in Chicago
    - the hilarity of that first warm day in the spring when people put on shorts and t-shirts even though it's only 50 degrees out!

    - Winter - nothing worse than shoveling your car out of the snow, claiming your spot with your chair or crate, and then having your chair/crate tossed into a nearby snow bank!
    - lack of diverse outdoor activities - Hong Kong is great in that respect - so much hiking, etc.
    - travel opportunities - sure, MI (I grew up there) and WI are great, but it's really not the same as going to Thailand, Vietnam, etc. for the weekend!

  10. #20

    something I forgot...

    Does anyone remember the "muffin lady" who used to go around to bars in Bucktown/Wicker Park and sell "special muffins"? Think she got arrested a couple years ago!

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