It’s just hustle and bustle. Gosh…

"The Look"

I love Kalamazoo, Michigan. And East Lansing, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. I love Madison, Wisconsin. I love Bloomington, Indiana. I was there briefly, but I didn’t mind Bridgeport, Connecticut. I love Fort Worth, Texas, and Lithonia, Georgia. I even love Evanston, Illinois. But I’m in love with Chicago. I love the 3,000,000 complaining, whiny, lovely, friendly, ornery, kind, snobby, down-to-earth citizens of this great city. I live under a corrupt mayor, and a governor that I don’t fully trust. As a citizen of Chicago(Cook County)I realize that I pay the highest sales tax in the COUNTRY. And that our public transportation system is in shambles and there have been talks of fare hikes and employee layoffs…but I love it. Streets & Sanitation collecting your trash at 4:00, and postal workers delivering your mail at 3:00. Love ’em. The police department that understands that Chicago is Gang Capital, USA, and therefore waits until the shooting and killing is over and done before intervening. Or the same department that writes tickets like madmen and women near the end of the month in order to make their quotas. Love ’em. Going to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field on a summer day has to be one of the greatest things that a human being can do during his or her life. Granted, the drunks sometimes ruin the experience, but simply seeing a historical landmark more than makes up for that. Attempting to decipher the slang in each area can be a little difficult, but also interesting as well. Hipsters in Wicker Park, academics in Rogers Park, party animals in Lake View, older people in South Shore, and families in Chatham. Lake effect snow, which I’ve experienced basically my entire life. I love how the weather can go from 82 degrees with not a cloud in the sky one day, to 64 degrees and biting winds the next. In no way, shape, or form do I enjoy the beach, but even I love how magnificent it looks during those great summer days. State Street and Michigan Avenue look absolutely gorgeous during the Christmas season. I crave Chicago-style hot dogs and pizza when I’m on the west side of the city, and chicken and burgers when I’m on the south side. I’ve found myself downtown, eating a barbeque chicken pizza one night, and fettucini alfredo and veal parmigiana the next. I love how shitty the streets are when the first snowflake falls to the ground. Bless those horrible, indecisive, overly aggressive, insanely passive bad-weather drivers, too. The cultures of each Chicago public high school are something that I fondly remember. I can’t forget those red-light cameras that have been less than friendly to most Chicago drivers at one point or another. Chicago is also home to fans of the most disappointing professional sports teams that you can think of. Die-hard Bears and Cubs fans fill up Soldier Field and Wrigley Field every game, respectively, and the Bears and Cubs collective championship drought is 125 years(with the Cubs on the hook for 101 of those glory-filled seasons). We have a hockey team, the Blackhawks, that was pretty much dead before last season, and another baseball team, the White Sox, that last won a title in 2005…and no one cares or cared. Our most successful teams of the last decade are a minor-league hockey team, the Wolves, and the Fire, a soccer team. And I’d STILL tell anyone that Chicago has the greatest sports teams and fans on Earth. Michael Jordan did his part to put us on the map. As did Kanye West. Amd Chaka Khan. And Bill Murray, and Jim Belushi. President Obama calls Chicago his home, and Oprah became a billionaire in this city. We do have a little bit of an inferiority complex, which might stem from the nickname “Second City”. But my glass half full self says that at least we’re the second-most popular city in America(which I translate to second-most popular in the world). Gotta love that we’re not third. I love seeing the guys that sell batteries, CDs, DVDs, watches, and tube socks EVERYWHERE on the south side of the city. I love the city’s many nicknames: “City of Wind” “The City of Broad Shoulders” “The Windy City” “The ‘Go” “Chi-Town” “The Chi” “GoIll”. The pride that most citizens here show is amazing. We don’t care that we don’t have a glamorous or sexy reputation. We don’t care that most of our celebrities go to New York or LA to “make it big”. There aren’t record companies on every block, or models at every club, bar, or lounge. It IS hard to make it in this city, but I still love it. I love my city with an unbridled passion that most that know me are fully aware of. I’ve enjoyed my time in the college towns and cities that I’ve had the opportunity to visit, but nothing(except maybe Kerry Washington, but we’ll save that explanation for another blog)beats home. GO. ILL. P.S. I miss Karen!!! P.P.S. #shoutout to everyone that can call themselves a citizen of Chicago


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