Life as a transplant in a new city can be a little overwhelming. Moving from my suburb of St. Louis (and the comforts of mom & dad’s house, with its boundless pantries, stocked fridge, and space [Oh my god the space!]) to the urban pulse of Chicago has taken some getting used to (no boundless pantries or even boundless pantry, no stocked fridge, and fuck space hello friend’s sofa) and missing my parents has been palatable, but what has also been in the air: CHICAGO! These are the top ten things I have noticed about Chicago:
1) The smell(s): You see every city has a smell some smell a little like sewers, others like factories, others like sweat, but Chicago smells like everything. Sweat from people hustling home on a hot day; pizza wafts into your nose from the numerous pizzerias (all claiming to be the best), but depending on the corner you may smell hot dogs or pretzels and the lake has some sweet smell that I have yet to put my finger on.
2) The neighborhoods: Each has its own funky attitude. Key word “ATTITUDE”; everyone in Chicago is positive that their opinion is correct and they are quick to judge you by what neighborhood you are from, and if you are not from here they are quick to tell you which neighborhoods you should live in and which you should avoid (for the record I am partial to: Humboldt park, Hyde park (parts), Kenwood Park (parts), Albany Park, Edgewater, Rogers Park, Andersonville, Lakeview and Lincoln Park).
3) Take the train avoid the bus, but if you must, buses on the North Side trump South Side buses.
4) Summer Chi is really a thing! Like it should be its own season. People get off work and they can’t wait to stroll; it doesn’t matter your age, they are out there enjoying the sun and the breeze.
5) Rent is INSANE! 700 gives you like a 320 sqft studio in a good neighborhood. What is even more insane is that in other cities it is even higher.
6) It is possible for a fat guy to find love here.
7) Everyone in Chicago assumes you are from Chicago, but don’t mention to a South Side person that people assumed you were from the North Side or the burbs; I don’t know why but it seems like it triggers something.
8) Take Pics! (Chicago is BEAUTIFUL):