I grew up in the Midwest in a small suburb, and I always knew the minute I turned 18, I was going to move to the city. I am of course referring to Chicago and not New York like some of those ‘Hills’ bitches implied is the only one.
I watched numerous friends go away to college while I chose to attend one in the heart of downtown. Many moved away in search of warmer weather or better opportunities, but I remained. I toughed it out every winter (although the snowpocalype a few years back really tested my patience), and I paid my bills through a series of less than desirable jobs (one word: Wrigleyville). To this day, I still fall asleep to the sweet symphony of sirens every night.
Why would I want to leave? I live somewhere where every year I get to go to the beach, ice skating, and apple picking all in the same place. There is always something to do, including a street or food festival nearly every weekend, and I can get just about anything I need/desire delivered within an hour at time, day or night. Hellooooo shitty pizza at 5 am!
Some of the most beautiful architecture you will ever see is in Chicago, you can eat all of your feelings via the most delicious pizza and hot dogs, and our Art Institute is rated the best in the entire world (take that Louvre’!). Even George Lucas wants a piece of that sweet museum pie when he builds his here in 2019.
I could literally go on and on, but to summarize: Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world. With that being said, if you don’t reside directly in it, stop claiming it as your own. I am talking to you Schaumburg and Naperville.
If you live in the suburbs, stop saying you are from Chicago.
I have been living in the city for over a decade, and I will tell you first hand, there is no greater way to piss off a true Chicagoan than to say you are from Chicago when you live in a suburb nearly an hour or more away. Calling it “Chi-Town” is a close second.
Call it “Chi-raq” and I will punch you in your throat.
I know many of you lighting your torches at this very moment will argue, “It is just easier than saying, “I live in (insert random shitty suburb here),” but if you have to pay a toll to get the city, you clearly don’t live within it. Therefore, claiming you do is about as authentic as Drake’s street cred.*
*(If you have been living under a rock, google “Hotline Bling.” Yes, mom. I will show you how to use google next week.)
See, there is a certain amount of bullshit one must encounter when living in a major city regardless of how amazing it is. If you do not experience these things, you don’t get to have your cake and call it Chicago too.
You don’t have to deal with the fresh scent of urine on your morning commute, nor do you spend a decent part of your day trying to distinguish between an actual crazy person and an irate homeless person, and you sure as shit don’t have to worry someone will call “Dibs” on the parking spot you spent hours shoveling out. Those of us that live here feel like we earned the right to call this wonderfully crazy place home so if your favorite bar is in a strip mall, stop claiming to be part of our exquisite madness.