Chicago and New York are two large American cities that in some ways are very similar. Both are bustling cities that have drawn in large populations in search of both work and culture. They even share very similar weather since the prevailing winds tend to carry it from Chicago east to New York a couple of days later. However, the winds from Lake Michigan can make Chicago feel colder than New York.
Both cities have a lot to offer both residents and visitors in terms of attractions, culture and entertainment. Chicago and New York are both well-known for their theater scenes and they also provide an excellent range of museums, art galleries and other amenities. Chicago has a unique live music scene, while New York is known for its superb restaurants. Although New York does have the spectacular Central Park, Chicago has much more to offer in terms of outdoor recreation. In addition to a wide range of parks and open spaces, the entire shoreline of Lake Michigan essentially consists of public beaches and parks. New York has its coastline, but it does not offer the same range of opportunities for recreation as Chicago. The people of Chicago tend to enjoy their outdoor activities such as hiking, sailing, cycling and running and many of them enjoy a very active lifestyle. Chicago is also very keen on public outdoor art, with a huge range of sculptures and other artworks in its streets.
New York has a more insular and inward looking attitude than Chicago. Chicago reaches out to its suburbs in a far more welcoming manner than New York, particularly Manhattan. New Yorkers tend to feel that their home city is the best in the world and they are not afraid to say so. People who move to New York often come there and take on this mentality. Chicago can feel much friendlier and more laid back than New York, which can be an intimidating place for visitors or new residents.
The cost of living in Chicago tends to be fairly high, as in any major city, but it is still significantly lower that the cost of living or buying property in New York City. People tend to pay a lot more to get much less in New York, particularly in Manhattan. This makes enjoying the cultural attractions much easier for people living in Chicago, since they are more likely to have the disposable income to enjoy their home city.