We’re having some fun on the blog today and talking about one of our all-time favorite cities: Chicago!
Our Chicago History
Kenny was born and raised on the city’s Northside and grew up going to Cubs games, taking trips to the Field Museum and eating gyros and pizza puffs from Franksville. He ventured south for undergrad to attend University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, but he quickly made his way back to go to law school at University of Chicago on the city’s Southside.
That’s where I come in. I grew up in downstate Illinois (Rochester, anyone?), where my life was all about Friday night football games, walking to the Ice Deli and the country concerts at the Sangamon County Fair. When Kenny got into University of Chicago, I tagged along and we moved to the City together. It was true love ever since.
The City that Stole my Heart
I quickly adjusted to public transportation, stopped putting ketchup on my hotdogs and started spending my Saturdays on the Lakefront Trail.
I loved that the mall I walked to on my lunch break was Water Tower Place. It was great that if the Cubs were doing badly (I think we all remember those days), we could get tickets for <$10 and go to a game on a whim on a Tuesday night.
But more than anything, I loved how beautiful my city was. To this day, I can’t walk through Museum Campus without taking a skyline picture, even though I have at least a hundred of the same picture.
In Chicago, People Earn their Summer
The city is full of greatness, but it comes at a price. The people of this city have to earn everything they enjoy. Living in this city requires a thick skin, a decent job and a good winter coat.
People stay through snow-pocalypse and the Polar Vortex because when the city thaws out, they get treated to summer days at North Ave Beach and street festivals every weekend. Locals will give up their cars and cram onto a crowded Red Line in exchange for endless places to go and things to do. They spend too much money on groceries and rent, but they get to see the sun set behind the skyline every night for free.
I realize that everyone’s experience in Chicago is not the same as my own. It’s a city with a crime problem, in a state with a corruption problem, in a country with a hate problem, in a world with a lot of problems. But it’s my city, and I’m going to continue to be its biggest cheerleader.
So let’s hear it: Why do Chicagoans Make Good Travelers?
Did I mention maybe I’m getting just a little homesick?
What’s your home city and why does it make its residents great travelers?