It’s that time of year again.
Puffy coats and winter boots abound. Looks of disgust litter the morning commute. My widget looks something like this:
Yep, it’s winter in Chicago (or feels like it). That means we’ve all started asking ourselves, “Why do we live here?”
The only reasonable answer: Love. We must love this city. Why else would we put up with the cold, semi-abusive side of our city’s personality?
Chicago Magazine lists its 40 Reasons to Love Chicago online, revealing a different reason each day. I have to admit, I expected this to be a tired “Things Chicagoans like” list, featuring the likes of Wilco and Chicago-style pizza. (Sounds sorta like Stuff White People Like, no?) I haven’t read the print version, but I assume the full list is there, in case you’re the impatient type.
However, so far, there are a lot of unexpected, interesting reasons that had me nodding my head. Like #11 The Interview Show. And #4 Elston Avenue. And #23 tasty neighborhood foods. I’m sure there will be a few “duhs” in there.
And I’m interested to see what is in store for #32: Because everyone needs a Wilco holds. Because a list about Chicago rarely avoids Chicago’s sweetheart band.
Be sure to keep this list handy. You’ll need a reminder of why Chicago is a great city when it’s snowing in March.
You’ve probably made a New Year’s resolution.
“Excuse me, New Year’s reso-whaaa?…” you may ask.
Ok, maybe you’ve already broken yours. Don’t feel bad about it. Many people already have or soon will. Just check your gym a month from now. I never keep New Year’s resolutions. This year, however, I vow to keep mine. In a bank account.
Yep, I’m resolving to save more money.
It’s much easier to save money this time of year. Let’s face it, there’s less motivation to leave the apartment with the snow blowing and wind blistering. I plan on doing the following to save cash:
- Put a dent in the Netflix queue: We’re already paying $15 a month, so we might as well stay in more often and catch up on the films and TV series dancing in our heads, no? Maybe I can finally watch the movies that have been in my Netflix queue for years, like Coffee and Cigarettes and Hotel Rwanda. And take in the movies I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never seen, such as Annie Hall and A Streetcar Named Desire.
- Cook more often: You’ve heard it here…Dining out is limited to twice a week—once for lunch, once for dinner. I finally have a properly stocked kitchen with real knives, food processor and a Kitchenaid mixer, so there is no excuse not to use them.
- BYOB-it: One of the best things about Chicago is delicious dining on the cheap. Even better, there are so many places that allow you to bring your own booze. In our early days in the city, Joe and I could eat dinner for $10-$15 at a tasty Thai or pizza place, plus the price of a cheap bottle of wine. Perfection.
- Scour Time Out and the Reader for free/cheap entertainment: I’ve adopted my friend Ryan’s philosophy about seeing live music—don’t go unless it’s under $20. I’m actually adopting the same philosophy about any event right now. Certain exclusions may apply.
To make saving money possible, please intervene when I talk about purchasing:
None of these. Tell me to “just say no.” Except for the wine. Remind me that we’re saving to go to:
How do you save money in the winter? Share ideas. Please.