Oprah, Vince Vaughn, Michael Jordan and even Al Capone are all associated with Chicago, yet none grew up in the city limits. That's because although the city of Chicago has definite boundaries, in the eyes of many the concept of "Chicago" is part of a much larger area better known as Chicagoland. And I, for one, don't feel the need to accept one and reject the other. We are not talking baseball teams here, people! I admit it, I love Chicago and Chicagoland.
When I was in Jr. high I was pretty threatened by someone who made different choices than me. Blue eye shadow? But I thought we were all wearing purple! Also during this time I wasn't aware that there were people who had to make a huge distinction between the two. If you live in the 'burbs you still have the same accent, get the same lousy weather and are considered part of this urban area.
When I am far from home, I say I live in Chicago. When I am in Illinois, I say the Chicago area. When I am near home, I tell my suburb. I think the world will continue to spin correctly with me doing this.
The Bears seem to embrace all of Chicagoland. They've mulled moving. Their players live in different areas. They have summer practice in Bourbonnais and during the season practice in Lake Forest. If they can move about and not freak out then I think we all can also.
There is a certain amount of fluidity in a large metropolitan area. We are all interdependent on each other. I go to museums in Chicago, work in one suburb, live in another and have dinner all over the Chicago area. That's why I like living here. I don't feel the need to disparage one and not another, why do some people?
Unless Chicago were to gobble up every suburb or everyone suddenly moved into the city, there are going to be people in the city and people in the suburbs. Chicago has shed certain areas, like Riverdale, and acquired others, like O'Hare. We are interconnected and related.
Everyone in Illinois pays taxes, lots of taxes. We pay to the Federal government, we pay property taxes where we live and we pay sales taxes where we spend our money. I don't think paying one municipality's taxes vs. another's makes you a better or worse person.
Without Chicagoland could teams exist? The baseball teams have some trouble filling their seats as it is, let alone if this was strictly a Chicago resident right. If the teams can embrace all the fans, then I think the residents can also.
Without Chicago, Chicagoland would be sad. One suburb doesn't have enough money to recreate the huge wonderful museums. By the same token, the museums need the admissions and memberships of everyone, in fact The Field Museum is hurting even with the whole urban area. There's a zoo in the suburbs that city people visit, the zoo needs those people. We all need each other.
There are advantages of being a Chicago resident and there are advantages of being one in the greater metropolitan area. Growing up, I never remember people getting all crusty about differentiating so much. I just thought we all lived where it worked best for us. In the past ten years or so, I have noticed a pretty snotty attitude from some people in the city limits towards the suburbs. On the flip side, some who choose to move from the city to the suburbs feel the need to publish a manifesto about their decision.
Yawn. This is beyond a silly first world problem, this is a made up issue like whether TP paper should come from the top or the bottom.
I originally lived in the suburbs because I was a toddler and my parents bought a house in Park Forest. After I graduated from college, I got my first teaching job in Will County and needed to live near where I worked. I lived in Southern Cook County most of my life until my first marriage ended. My employment, financial means, taste and personal preference led to housing choices.
Living where it's best for me, now that makes me Sew happy!
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Is this my only post about places? No! I have a whole collection on quilt stores. Check it out here.