It's a big city that often feels like a small town. You can be anonymous if you want, but all it takes is a little friendliness and suddenly you know all of your neighbors the first night you move in.
We really take advantage of our summers. Sure, they can be short, but no where else offers as much fun packed into so few months. There's a festival every weekend, and no end of strange and fun activities to participate in (meatloaf cook-offs, protests, hipster versions of The Pirates of Penzance* and other odd plays, architectural boat tours, flashmobs, and segway tours,** to name but a few).
A lot of people complain about the long, cold winter (including my husband), but I don't mind it too much. The apocalyptic snowstorms don't happen every year, but when they do, you get days off of work and neighborhood snow shoveling parties.
*Which was awesome! Their outfits were truly odd and there was a girl playing a handsaw, people. WORTH IT!
**I don't care if these are common to other cities, it's still a ridiculous concept, especially when you see them wearing their neon orange safety vests as they motor around Millennium Park. Really? You can't just walk?
Photo of Downtown Chicago, by me.