OyChicago blog

Four things I wish they would have told me when I first moved to Chicago

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During my daily web surfing, I stumbled upon this article on the JTA site, called How to Retire Happily.  No, I’m not retiring at the ripe old age of 24, but out of curiosity, I clicked to check it out.  Surprisingly, what I read really resonated with me.  Whether you’re 65 and moving to Scottsdale or 23 and moving to a new city, the advice remains the same.

In December of 2006, when I moved to Chicago, friendless and job-free in the dead of winter, I wish someone had shared these tips with me:

1.  Keep busy.  Staring at your computer and searching for jobs online will not lead you to friends, business contacts, or really anything but unhappiness.  Join a gym, go to networking events, find a hobby and meet others who share your interests…and don’t be afraid to do it alone.

2.  Rather than holding out for the perfect job while watching all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls with a never-ending tub of popcorn, do something.  Discover your inner barista, volunteer, babysit – you’ll supplement your dwindling bank account and fill your days with meaningful activities.

3.  Use your Facebook network.  If you have 37 “friends” in Chicago, none of whom you’ve spoken to in the past 2 years, try messaging a few and making coffee dates.  Even if you don’t connect with that person, they may introduce you to your future best friends.

4.  Always remember – eventually you’ll refer to Chicago as home.  You’ll have friends, a job, a social life – it just takes a little courage, patience and time.

I know I’m no expert – anyone else have any advice for new Chicagoans?


5 Ways to Do Jewish This Weekend

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-- Light up! Candles, that is, and join friends and family for a delicious dinner to mark the end of the week. Whether you celebrate Shabbat or just like candles for the mood, candle-lighting time is 7:45 p.m.

-- Make a food pilgrimage: Go for the staid bagel-and-lox combo or try kishke, chicken liver or homemade corn beef as you check out the abundance of Jewish delis all over the city.

The Bagel Restaurant & Deli (3107 N. Broadway St.)

Lincoln Park
New York Deli (2921 N. Clark St.)

Eleven City Diner (1112 S. Wabash)

Streeterville/Gold Coast
Ashkenaz Deli (12 E. Cedar St.)

Eppy’s Deli (224 E. Ontario St.)

Near West Side
Manny’s Coffee Shop and Deli (1141 S. Jefferson St.)

J.B.’s Deli (5501 N. Clark St.)

Thorndale Deli (1006 W. Thorndale Ave.)

Hyde Park
Morry’s Deli (5500 S. Cornell Ave.)

Kaufman's Bagel and Delicatessen (4905 Dempster St.)

-- Get your Birthright buddies together and watch an Israeli duo compete for the top prize in the annual Eurovision contest. Achinoam Nini and Mira Awad vie for bragging rights and the chance for Israel to host next year’s contest. Their song, “There Must Be Another Way” in English, Hebrew and Arabic, is among 20 contenders. Watch the entire show at www.eurovision.tv.

-- Put your thinking cap on at a Spertus Institute symposium exploring the intricacies of the shifting relationships between American Jews and Israel. The free event features a keynote address by UC Davis professor of American and Jewish studies Ari Y. Kelman. Responding will be JUF Executive Vice President Michael Kotzin, Jewcy.com founding editor Elisa Albert, and Middle East analyst and former Jerusalem Post editor Carl Schrag. Spertus Dean of Continuing Education and Public Programs Hal Lewis will moderate the program

-- Consider the apocalypse at a lecture by Rabbi Mordechai Becher on “Is This the End of Days? How Would We Know?” presented by the Torah Learning Center of Northbrook.

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