A New Adventure: Moving to Chicago



New York is the city that everyone loves to hate.

Even the natives, the lifers complain about the crowded urban streets, the slow moving tourists and the signature aroma of the E-train in August.

Whether its the latest gubernatorial scandal or a looming pandemic of influenza that leaves tourists scrambling for hygienic face masks, it seems that this city is always abuzz, always on the edge of something. Some people love it, others, not so much.

In 2005, the summer before my senior year in college I had an internship at an entertainment marketing agency where my boss was twenty-five and hip, the other interns gossiped about Juicy sweatshirts and everybody seemed to know someone famous.

I felt high walking through Times Square (maybe I’ll see Sarah Jessica Parker!) and I wanted to dress as trendy as everyone else. I had to live here.

My first summer in the city brought me a job in a public relations firm where we wore jeans on Fridays and drank vodka tonics (I hate vodka tonics)at the dive bar around the corner after especially long or taxing days.

I had fleeting friendships with girls who wore Theory blazers and took me to dinner at restaurants like Pastis and Sushi Samba, where I had fun, but never quite felt like I fit in with my $40 trench coat from Target (and that $40 trench coat is more telling of my personality than a $24 California roll).

I had a few relationships, none of them serious, all over before they started: with an aloof MTV video producer who liked to talk about himself, a financial adviser who said all the right things when I wanted to hear them and an investment banker who was great on paper but kind of broke my heart.

I changed jobs, moved to a new apartment and learned a new skill. I traveled a little bit, and made new friends, but I still didn’t feel at home.


I’m moving to Chicago, to do something new, something that’s mine, to have an experience that I can create from scratch.

Based on the past three and a half years, I know that if I take one learning, one friendship or one realization from every experience, it will be hard not to look back on it with fond memories.

So in December, I will officially be leaving the Northeast and soon thereafter taking a new role in the digital group of my public relations firm, at its Windy City co-headquarters.

I’ll miss a lot of things about the city: the view over the Hudson river when the sun is setting, living near my family and even the organic market across the street from my lovely albeit overpriced third floor walk-up.

I’ll also miss having a dishwasher in my apartment.

I’ll miss that a lot.


Did you notice that I’ve been posting more frequently than usual this week? In celebration of National Novel Writing Month, some bloggers choose to commemorate November with NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. I’ve challenged myself to post daily this month and hope that you’ll challenge yourselves to read them all!

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  • Reply
    November 24, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Good luck to you!

  • Reply
    alexa - cleveland's a plum
    November 23, 2009 at 8:06 am

    this is so exciting! and sounds like an excellent and well thought out decision for you, i think you’re going to love it.
    good luck!!

  • Reply
    Rachel W.
    November 22, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Can’t wait until you’re here! Call me soon!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Congratulations! You’re such a sweet girl, and I hope you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in Chicago.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Wow Maris– that’s so exciting!! Good Luck and can’t wait to hear all about it!

  • Reply
    Lacey Bean
    November 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Sad you’re leaving NY, but yay for Chicago!!! We’ll have to play next time I’m out there. Congrats on ths new chapter of your life.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I used to live in Chicago and completely miss it – you’ll love it there! Good luck with everything!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Amazing adventure! I hope you enjoy your new home, and I hope the winter doesn’t make you want to change your mind. 😉
    Now, get thee to Hot Chocolate & Violet Hour, stat! (Those were my two favorite places from my very brief trip)

  • Reply
    November 21, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I know how you feel, two years ago we moved from San Francisco to Minneapolis. While we miss the city we really appreciate all the new chances & experiences we’ve had in the midwest

  • Reply
    November 21, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Big adventures indeed! Good luck with the move! I’m looking forward to the blogging about your new home

  • Reply
    November 21, 2009 at 7:44 am

    NY’s loss is definitely Chicago’s gain of a beautiful talented and amazing person. I know you will flourish there and bring out the very best in yourself and everyone around you.I will miss my best friend but remain-forever your mother!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Maris, welcome to Illinois! I hope you will love Chicago, but just remember . . . Chicago is not the whole state of Illinois, nor is it the capital! I’m five hours south . . . in the beautiful hills and forests of southern Illinois, between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, where you are welcome anytime!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I am so excited for you Maris! This will be a terrific move for you and I’m excited to hear about your new adventures.

  • Reply
    Melissa Murphy
    November 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    How exciting. Good Luck with your move and your new job!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Maris, I wish you the best of luck on your exciting new adventure. BUT, as a mom (and since I know your Mom), I felt my heart skip a beat when I read that you were leaving.
    On a positive note, your family can visit you, Chicago is not that far away, you have the opportunity to start over, and I heard that they have some great markets and food specialty shops there 🙂
    Again, good luck to you and keep on blogging. Your recipes rock!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Congratulations! I know good things are in store for you in Chicago! And this means more trips to The Spice House too!

  • Reply
    Heidi Renée
    November 20, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Congratulations! Change is good.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    oh yay for chicago, that’s awesome! congrats! woo!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    how exciting! congrats on the new adventure! I have always wanted to move to New York, but I have never actually been so I know it might not be all I dream it is once I get there. It’s definitely not for everyone, like you said.
    but I’ve also thought how cool it would be to live in Chicago! again, I’ve never been, but I’d love to visit one day for sure. it always looks like a fun place to be on House Hunters. haha.
    anyway, congrats again! can’t wait to hear about your new adventures in a new city (and hopefully see pics of your new place)!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    YAY!!!!! If I’m ever in Chicago we will definitely have to meet up again!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    this is so exciting!! and I wish you ALL the best!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    How very exciting!That is awesome, Maris, I am very excited for you. Best of luck with the move and getting settled in.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    That’s so exciting! Congratulations! I was hoping you were going to say you’re coming to Boston. Ah well, I’m sure Chicago will be great!!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Welcome, welcome! We already have some culinary field trips in the works for December to get you up to speed. See you soon!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I’m going to count this as a win. Also? I think we need pics of your new place/neighborhood STAT.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Maris, good luck on your move to (what I heard is) a fantastic foodie city. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    So exciting and congrats. I’m happy to have you join the digital fam, even if it is in a different office!

  • Reply
    Kate @ Savour Fare
    November 20, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    I have to say, I’m glad I lived in New York in my 20’s because it’s a candyland for adults, an adrenaline rush, and like nothing else. But moving away (4 years ago!) was the best thing we ever did. We still live in a city, and we have access to food delivered to our door, to concerts and plays and independent bookstores and boutiques, but we feel like we’re putting down roots, like the pace of life is just a bit more manageable. (Not that we don’t talk about chucking it all and going into biodynamic farming). Best of luck with your new adventure!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    So cool! You’re doing exactly what I have been wanting to do for the last two years. Best of luck in your new adventure.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    and thus a fresh chapter will begin. that’s exciting news. (nyc will miss you.)

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Congratulations, Maris! My sister used to quote the Dr Phil line (way before Dr Phil became famous). “How’s that workin’ out for ya?” So New York (now, not forever necessarily) wasn’t working out for you. On to Chicago! All the best!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    wow, congrats! That’s so exciting!!!

  • Reply
    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
    November 20, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Congratulations! Looking forward to following your adventures in the Windy City.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Congrats and good luck!

  • Reply
    Nutmeg Nanny
    November 20, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Good luck on your move! I’m sure Chicago will treat you nice 🙂

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Congratulations!! I love NYC, but Chicago is my #2 favorite 🙂

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Maris, an early welcome to Chicago! I’m sure you’ll miss so much about New York, but Chicago is a great food city and you’ll never go hungry.
    And you’ve inspired me to put together a calendar of my pictures, so stay tuned.

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