Statute of the Republic.jpg

Reproduction of the Statute of the Republic on east 63rd Street in Jackson Park. Photo taken by J.Crocker

There's a look that spreads across some people's faces when you tell them you live on the south side. Like they just opened that mystery bowl sitting in the fridge for the past two months.

One lady actually asked me why a person who seems on the ball (referring to me) chooses to live on the south side. 

I must have given her my unhappy face with a side of stone silence.

She tried to clean up her statement by saying "You seem to socialize a great deal on the north side, why don't you live up here?"

At that point, I was silently counting to ten.

I won't give in to the south side inferiority complex.

Or at least that's what I call it.

The south side inferiority complex usually manifests itself in one of two ways; the extremely proud Chicagoan who will let you know that they are REALLY PROUD to be from the south side or the person who shifts uncomfortably when you ask where they live.

You see my friends, I rarely feel the need to explain or defend my actions.

But I will let you in on a secret---I like to subtly challenge people's perceptions and expectations about the south side.

The best way to advocate for the south side by just being me.

By showing that there are far fewer differences between north siders and "the rest of us" than one would think.

And if you're wondering about my response to the nice lady, I answered thusly:

"I'm surrounded by historic green space and live in a condo I couldn't even begin to afford on the north side.  The first hummingbirds and wild parrots I've ever seen in the city were on the south side."

"Furthermore, I don't drink where I live and I don't live where I drink."

On occasion you have to represent for your 'hood.

It never hurts to let people know that I'm a south sider by choice.

Filed under: South Side, Chicago

Tags: Musings, South Side

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