“And each time I roam, Chicago is callin’ me home.” —Frank Sinatra (My Kind of Town)
I have a crush on an old flame. I am smitten and falling in love all over again. That’s right, I’m back in the strong arms of the ‘city with big shoulders’ and it feels gooood.
It’s truly the one place I have lived where nearly everyone seems to like it – the lakefront, the restaurants, the free outdoor concerts, the architecture, the bars, and so on, and so on…
Walking around the many neighborhoods of the north side often feels like strolling through one big college campus. There are young people or young-at-heart people, always laughing, walking hand in hand or riding their bikes somewhere. There’s a bar on every corner, along with cute cafes, restaurants, and the ubiquitous Starbucks. There definitely is a positive energy in the air that is palpable and I love it.
I’ve already waxed poetic about my favorite adopted city so I won’t bore you will my love story details, suffice it to say, I am back and it’s better than ever. Besides the obvious things I’ve bragged about before, here is just one ‘small story’ that may convey why I like it so much:
Yes, Chicago is a big city with more than three million residents scurrying about jockeying for position, but it’s certainly not as harried as New York City and I’m always amazed at the quietness of the side streets – even downtown. It’s known as a city of neighborhoods and each one has its own feel, but remains like a small town or village in a big city. One time, my ex-boyfriend and I had just come from a tasty dinner at a neighborhood joint in the Southport corridor. We went to the local movie theater to catch a post dinner flick. “Would you like me to keep that in the fridge for you guys?” said the ticket-taker as he noticed our ‘to go’ box of leftovers.
We were pleasantly surprised. “Sure! That’d be great.”
“Okay, no problem. Just don’t forget them when the movie’s over.”
And sure enough, just as he suspected, afterwards we forgot and headed straight for exit.
“Wait! Weren’t you the ones who left some food?” He’d spotted us and made sure we got our leftover quesadillas or jambalaya or whatever it was.
How nice is that? Not exactly what you’d think about big city, USA, but more like small town, America, right? But that’s Chicago.Ode to Chicago I love you, Chicago. I love your hundreds of bike lanes. I love your amazing big green ‘front lawn.’ I love your lakefront. I love your vibrant neighborhoods. I love your ‘down-to-earth’ attitude. I love your amazing food scene. I love your summer-street fests, free concerts, alfresco dining. I love your big city culture and small town feel.
Now, if I can just figure out how to make love to you… I’d be all set.
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No disrespect to the rest of the world, but you've been caught making love to Chicago for years. And Chicago is hardly a fickle mistress. Moreover Chicago is a confident mistress who has stood by for a few years while you had a chance to fool around globally. Chicago never doubted that you'd like a few things about all those other guys, but when push came to shove, the only true lover with the complete package was right here waiting for you. Chicago has been busy being unfaithful while you were gone too. The city has been turning all kinds of tricks trying to win the Olympics. Mistress that Chicago is, has been feeling that since a city can't get on a plane and fly somewhere else, why not invite the world here? Meanwhile, millions of people have been fooling around with Chicago in your absence. Yet when you arrived back, those big shouldering arms with those hog butchering hands opened wide to welcome you back and say "Despite those millions of lovers who filled your space while you were gone, this city is glad to have you back. All of those trysts with tourists and citizens alike meant nothing…It's Lisa the city truly pines for".
LL………Fantastic shot of Wrigley 🙂
I love chicago!!!!!! so great! I just left (on the plane right now- go gogo internet!). Too bad we didn't get to speak more at the conference but it was good meeting you.