Love letter to Chicago from a hopeful native

Dear beloved city of Chicago,

Innovation, healthcare, entertainment and the arts have thrived since French fur traders and missionaries met Native Indians on your soil 200 years ago. Famous political leaders emerged such as Stephen A. Douglas who lost to President Abraham Lincoln in 1860. President Barack Obama represented our Chicago district in the Illinois Senate before elected as our first African American President.

Architects such as Daniel Burnham rebuilt our great resilient city that survived the Chicago Fire of 1871. Railroads made the Midwestern city accessible. Lake Michigan blesses our great city against our breathtaking skyline.

Our kind of town

Our kind of town

Al Capone and the Saint Valentine's Day Massacare of 1929 made news. Italian and Irish gangs clashed during the Prohibition Era. The people of Chicago found their peaceful stride.

Your melting pot of people from around the world inspire kindness, creativity and learning. Poets and writers, like Gwendolyn Brooks and Carl Sandburg, capture your beauty and culture with yearning. Movies such as The Untouchables, My Best Friend's Wedding and While You Were Sleeping portray the magic of our charming town. Musicians like Buddy Guy and Frank Sinatra harmonize Chicago's intoxicating excitement.

Almost three million people call Chicago home. My parents, a former Chicago Public School teacher and Chicago Police Officer, brought me to our North Side home after I was born at Michael Reese Hospital on the South Side. Before Chicago gentrified with Millennium Park, one of our special nights out was a ride to Buckingham Fountain downtown in the summer.

Today, brutal statistics of violence and crime collide. Many residents, myself included, advocate fundamental change for the people.

Hope prevails that employment and education opportunities will grow. Chicago and its people choose love.

Activists continue to find their voice without pity. They peacefully demand civil rights and equality.

Families, like ours, find joy in local libraries that smile on us. We learn at the Museum of Science and Industry and Field Museum.

Locals breathe in the Chicago beauty as they commute to work. Strangers greet you like friends.

Tens of millions of tourists visit each year to wonder at our great city. Chicago ethnic cuisine showcases countries from every continent in addition to classic deep dish pizza and Italian beef. And, Chicago beef hot dogs mean poppy seed bun with heavy mustard, relish, onion and tomato.

We cheer for our champion teams. Go Chicago Cubs!

Great city of Chicago, we love you!

Forever and always,

Julia XO

Filed under: Chicago, entertainment

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