This photo was taken on the ninth floor terrace of The Clare. Yes, we have flowers, and some residents even helped John, the gardener, plant them. I offer this photo as evidence that living in a big-city highrise does not require divorce from the beauties of nature.
Then there's Lake Michigan; I enjoy seeing white sailboats in brilliant blue water from every window, but especially from my living room, which faces east. The sunrise is lovely there too, especially in winter. At any time of year, I'm likely to see skies gradually turn pink or red in the early morning hours.
There are several small parks nearby, with benches for observing nature, human and otherwise. For walkers, the lakefront and Lincoln Park are within reach. For bicyclists there are the lakefront bike paths. The planters in the Michigan Avenue median are filled with seasonal flowers from spring through fall; the tulips there are often early signs of spring, marking the end of the cold season. I realize that some of you southerners are eager to avoid snow and cold, but for me, the changing seaasons are a delight. Summer and fall in Chicago are wonderful times.
Of course, especially for elders, convenience is everything. Every kind of store, restaurant, cultural institution, and entertainment venue is close by, and cabs and busses are everywhere when walking is not convenient or possible. I've admitted before that I grew up on a farm near a small town, but I dreamed of big-city skyscrapers and far-away places as soon as I was able to read. I respect everyone's right to prefer other environments, but please keep your minds--and your options--open. Of course city living is expensive, and big cities have problems. However, for me, Chicago is fascinating.