Here we go… The first of what will be many odes to my favorite place in the world – Chicago. Whoa, I see you about to click off my page – hold on! I have really good reasons why my hometown rocks and not just because “It rocks!” Let’s begin with the obvious – the sport fans bleed for their teams. Literally. I once heard a story about a Sox fan that stupidly walked in a “known” Cubs establishment and promptly got a beer bottle to the forehead. He deserved it… but I digress. Do you realize that the Cubs, a team that hasn’t won the World Series in over a hundred years, were just bought for almost a billion dollars? For a club that had historically sucked, that’s pretty damn impressive. Or have you ever pondered why exactly anyone would sit through a Bears game at Soldier Field in December? Here’s the thing – I love my limbs, but I love my Bears. When having to choose between the two, the possibility of frostbite and subsequent amputation somehow doesn’t seem so bad, especially if I have the chance to watch my boys kick Green Bay’s ass.

Then there’s the food… but I ain’t gonna lie, Chicago does not make it easy on vegetarians. That’s probably why I finally quit eating meat on the very same day I moved to California. Chicago has made a name for itself with the abundance of high-end restaurants, but nothing can beat the out and out yumminess (it’s a word!) of the familiar favorites: Portillo’s, Uno’s, Giordano’s. In short, any place that ends with “o’s.”

And how about that awesome Chicago weather, eh? Okay, our weather totally blows nine months of the year, but oh those summer nights… I long for those wonderfully warm, humid nights when everything seems alive and the scent of blossoms and gunpowder fill the air. I’m not talking Cabrini Green; if Chicago is good for anything, though, it’s for taking Independence Day to a whole ‘nother level and using every available parking lot, empty playground and backyard for shooting off illegal fireworks. Even more awesome – the cops don’t care. Take that, LAPD!

Which leads me to my final gush… The best thing about Chicago is that it’s not New York or Los Angeles. Now before you coastal snobs – yeah I said it, what of it? – come after me, lemme explain. I’m not saying that NY and LA suck, they have their own distinctive qualities, blah, blah, blah… Chicago just happens to be the perfect alternative to each of them. Quite frankly, New York makes me claustrophobic. Maybe it has something to do with Manhattan being an island and there are only two ways to get off it or something. What if aliens actually did land in NY? The majority of its residents would be screwed ala Cloverfield. LA has the opposite problem – it never ends. Dude, I could start at Santa Monica, drive east for three hours, and still not reach downtown. Hello, urban sprawl. On the other hand, Chicago is the perfect fit. It’s a major city with all the usual “major city” attractions – first class museums, amazing restaurants, big name concerts, innovative architecture – but when aliens finally do attack, you can be secure in the knowledge that you will escape before they find you and start eating your brain. Wait, that’s zombies. Either way, that would never happen in Chicago.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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3 Responses to “I Heart Chicago”

I HEART this entry! Good ol’ Chicago. How I miss the city, but not the weather! BTW, I love your blog and look forward to reading more tales from my fellow Chicagoan 🙂

Maribel Perez
November 3rd, 2009

Hi, Thank you! I would now go on this blog every day!

November 17th, 2009

Hi there,
Not sure that this is true:), but thanks for a post.

November 19th, 2009