I LOVE Chicago. Ask anyone. I am almost annoying announcing my love and pride for being a Chicagoan. Whenever I travel, I quickly tell people I am from here. Well, if they don’t guess first by just hearing my voice and accent. However, there are places that I could do without here. I’ve written before about other places I'd like to avoid. I guess Chicago and I have that relationship like some do with their significant others. They love them, but still complain about them. Without further ado:
The Loop when it’s raining:
Trying to walk through the Loop during either the morning or evening work rush while it’s raining is like an Olympic sport. This said sport would be called “The Umbrella Dodge”. I think this is more difficult than than performing backflips on the balance beam. I’ve nearly lost an eye about 12 times while walking down Washington while raining as people have no regard for where they swing their umbrellas. If you make it out unscathed, you are a champion.
The Lake Street Red Line stop:
Ok, so when I used to get off here during the morning rush hour, I felt like I needed battle armor similar to that of one in World War II. No one has any regard for pushing, shoving, civil human contact. It is like a bunch of vultures swooped in for their prey at one time, and, that prey, is in fact, the escalator to get out. Are you REALLY that excited to get to work? If you are, God bless you.
I’ve mentioned “exiting Lollapalooza” before as a place I’d like to avoid. Now, I’ve decided I’d like to avoid it altogether. I used to love Lollapalooza, don’t get me wrong. Back in the day when I was younger (wow, I really am getting older for just using that phrase) it was a fun festival mixed with both classic bands and new bands on the scene. This year, it was full of, um, “influenced” teenagers wearing neon sunglasses and crop tops who were probably not even born when the Red Hot Chili Peppers were popular. Also, there is some curse on this festival that even if we have an unseasonably cool summer in Chicago, it will no doubt be 106 degrees the entire weekend for Lolla. Lastly, I’ve never seen more hideous port-o-potties in my life. I think I caught dysentery, Oregon Trail style. (Not that any port-o-potties are really luxurious?....anyways…)
The Eisenhower expressway, a.k.a. 290, a.k.a “the depths of hell”
I grew up spending a lot of time on the Kennedy back and forth to the city, as I am from the Northwest side. There is bad traffic on the Kennedy, yes. However, I’ve never seen ANY type of traffic like I have on 290. Sitting at the Hillside strangler at 6pm on a Friday is a good preview of what it will be like if I go to hell when I die. When you move at one inch per every ten minutes it starts to wear on your sanity, just a little bit. When you also realize it took you two hours to go 20 miles, it also drives you a bit looney.
The Hangge Uppe:
If you are here, I am going to use the quote that my grandmother always used to tell me: “Nothing good happens past midnight”. When I walk by there in the morning, as it is right near my apartment, I seem to somehow develop a hangover instantly even if I haven’t been drinking. It’s weird. On that note….
Anywhere on the Division Street bar circuit, Saturday, 11pm: (The Gold Coast one, not the Wicker Park one)
Do I even have to explain? If I do, you probably go out there, so never mind. (Exception: Butch McGuire’s. I do love that place, damnit.)
I love this city but, as we all know, love is never perfect. And really, who is without flaws?
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