Chicago - Oct. 15, 2020
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Things I Miss About Chicago

I left Chicago in 2006; a day doesn't pass when I don't think about the Windy City. It is home; it's where my heart lives. I am glad that I left; otherwise I don't think I would have ever been able to leave, and there are still parts of the world that I want to see and to live in.

But I do miss Chicago. Everywhere I've lived since suffers in comparison. Chicago is still home.

Here, then, are the ten things I miss most about living in Chicago:

1. A Common Enemy.

In Washington, D.C., people have all sorts of enemies - Republicans, Democrats, Chads, Jennas (DC's Trixies), Rich People, Poor People, Dick Cheney. It's hard to focus, and you don't know anyone's enemy until you ask. But in Chicago, everyone I hung out with had the same enemies: The city, the mayor and Brett Favre. You could walk into just about any bar, coffee shop or office, shout out that you just got a bullshit parking ticket, and everyone commiserated.

2. The Fucking CTA,

It was easy being late to work, appointments or meetings; just blame it on the CTA and you'd get knowing nods in return. However, that also meant that the chances of really being late because of the CTA were pretty good.

3. Mexican Grocery Stores.

I haven't had decent produce from a grocery store since the last time I shopped at HarvesTime on Lawrence. I miss being able to find exotic ingredients without breaking the bank, while supporting local business without being self-righteous about it.1) (For the record, I don't know if HarvesTime is owned or operated by - or targeted toward - Mexicans. They just have great food at great prices.)

4. Crooked Alderman*.

Sure, I know it erodes representative democracy, and is a wasteful, illegal and immoral institution, but goddammit, crooked aldermen get things done. Try getting a sidewalk fixed anywhere else** and see what that gets you.

5. The Harold Washington Library.

I loved being able to get any book I wanted, see a free concert and take a bath in the sink all in the same place.

6. Giardiniera.

Seriously, why doesn't the rest of the world have this stuff? I order it by the case online now, colon be damned.

7. Hot Dog Stands.

When I moved to the city, I was stunned that there was a market that could support a hot dog stand on every corner. Now, I can't understand how a city can survive without a per-capita ratio of about one hot dog stand for every three people.

8. The Chicago Tribune.

No, actually I'm kidding about this one. Don't miss that a bit.

9. My drunken, rowdy crew of malcontents, misfits and weirdos.

You know who you are, and where you are. May you eat cheetos and watch Family Guy in memory of me.

10. Neighborhoods.

Other cities I've lived in have had neighborhoods, but none as distinct or as fun to explore as those in Chicago. I miss being able to say I am from Ravenswood and have that mean something about me to the listener.

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* This is a satirical reference. There is no evidence that I am aware of that any of Chicago's fine public servants are corrupt and any suggestion otherwise is strictly humorous.

** I have never, ever helped a small businessman buy ad space in the alderman's ward book so that the sidewalk in front of his store would be repaired. Never.

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Other Lists By Drew Adamek:
* Today's Syllabus
* Shit My Dad Says
* Work Weirdos

Plus:
* Fan Note: Me & Metallica

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Comments welcome.



Permalink

Posted on February 22, 2010


MUSIC - School Of Rock Realizes How White It Is.
TV - A Plea To Matt Nagy.
POLITICS - Social Media Platforms Remove War Crimes Evidence.
SPORTS - 100 Choices Better Than La Russa.

BOOKS - Maps For Migrants And Ghosts.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Doing Philosophy At UIC.


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