To Chicagoans, the Second City is the only city. New York, Los Angeles: Those other places aren’t nearly as amazing as our metropolis. After all, Chicago is the real-world Gotham. And let’s not forget, this city survived an all-consuming fire and came back stronger than ever!
If you can’t see my pride already, let me assure you, it’s there. And if you’re also from Chicago, your heart is probably swelling just thinking about the city– that, or your flag tattoo is vibrating.
Of course, suburbanites who live just outside of Chicago and people who just moved to town are still learning the ways of our home. Wondering if you can be considered a legit Chicagoan yet? Here are some things that exemplify a legit Chicago local:
You Don’t Really Store Your Out-of-Season Clothing
Chicago weather is more fickle than the sea and much more demanding. Spring is perhaps the most exciting season, with winter, spring and summer temperatures all making an appearance, sometimes in the span of a week!
This turbulence is all thanks to our neighbor, Lake Michigan, who likes to keep things interesting as air passes over the water. As a result, Chicagoans know not to pack their sweaters and coats in boxes come spring. You will need them again. There might even be more snow in your future.
Winter is All About Minimizing Outdoor Time
From taking the L instead of the bus to working from home and saying “forget it” to driving, we’d much rather stay nice and warm in our apartments, thank you very much.
As an added bonus, the freezing temperatures and piles of snow have toughened us. So when someone from LA shows up acting like winter is coming, we laugh it off and remember times spent digging out our cars.
Buildings and Their Names Matter to You
We miss Marshal Field’s, and 233 South Wacker Drive will always be the Sears Tower. There are certain institutions in Chicago, and us residents are eager to maintain them. Call us traditional, but we’re proud of our city, neighborhoods, and monuments.
Of course, we don’t want our beautiful skyline marred with poor construction choices either. Case in point: We were all pretty mad at Donald Trump when he scrawled his last name onto his building. We all know it’s Trump Tower. You don’t have to literally have your name on it to prove it’s yours!
Chicago is the Land of Architectural and Industrial Marvel
Not only do we have an amazing skyline put together by some of the world’s foremost architects, but our city also displays some amazing feats of engineering. For instance, the Chicago River actually flows backward.
Before we flipped the flow, the river was a dumping ground for carcasses disposed of by meat-processing plants, and the stench was unbearable. So, to divert the pollution away from the mass populace, engineers turned the flow around. We don’t have cow heads floating in the river anymore, thankfully.
Additionally, much of the land between Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive didn’t exist before the Great Chicago Fire. After the cataclysm, engineers tossed the burned remains into the lake to form what’s now a bunch of parks, piers and land where we keep our museums.
Isn’t modern human engineering amazing?
You Get 312 Beer
If you don’t know why Goose Island’s popular beer has the name 312, you’re not a legit Chicagoan.
Pizza and Hot Dogs are Great, but so are Other Foods
We all know that to be a true Chicagoan, you have to drag your dog through the garden, but the Windy City has other staples too. From Bang Bang Pie to Stan’s Doughnuts to The Girl and the Goat, Chicago is doing the culinary scene right.
You’re proud of Chicago food, and you support your local favorites as much as possible– Bang Bang Pie has so much of my money.
You Know Where to Go for Legit Cuisine
Not only do we have some famous and popular dining spots, but Chicago’s diversity has also led to the formation of cuisine hubs. And if you’re legit, you know where to go to get authentic food. Want amazing Mexican? You go to Pilsen. Jonesing for saganaki? You’re on your way to Greektown.
The Origin of Nicknames is Familiar to You
No, Chicago is not literally the windy city. In fact, Wellington, New Zealand, actually deserves that name because it is the windiest city in the world. You may not have known that second bit, but you do know that Chicago’s namesake doesn’t come from its weather.
Locals know that The Windy City references all the wind Chicago politicians blow– if you catch my drift. Legit Chicagoans are proud of their city, and we aren’t afraid to show it.
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