I need thoughtful Chicago insights!
May 27, 2007 12:41 PM Subscribe
I'm from Chicagoland. Me and my Canadian gal are soon moving from Toronto to the City of Big Shoulders so she can go to grad school there, and she's been asking me all kinds of questions about the character of the city. Though I consider myself a Chicagoan, I am embarrassingly tongue-tied. Please give me your insights on the character and atmosphere of the jewel of the Midwest!
posted by Lieber Frau to society & culture (23 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Pictures of architecture are lovely, but what do they end up really saying? We tried renting movies shot in Chicago, but invariably, they mostly focused on the money shots of the Wrigley Building, Sears Tower, Hancock Building, or swooping camera action over the Chicago River, completely eschewing more intimate representations of Chicago's great neighborhoods and history. Because I lived and went to school in Hyde Park, I can accurately describe that particular area to her, but even areas I frequented, like Wicker Park, Boystown, Andersonville, and Rogers Park are difficult for me to describe. She is a very observant woman who likes rich details, and most of the time, I am happy to provide them, but I'm having some trouble here. I have a few insights, but I'd like to gather more.
I would like to tell her what the residences are like, what attitudes people carry, how the idea of community plays itself out, how its industrial/social history figures into the present-day behaviors, what the art scene is like, how city planning figures into the general "feeling" there, how it compares and contrasts to Toronto or our previous home in Brooklyn, NY, how its issues with segregation manifest themselves, how you can generally expect to be treated, if many people are polite, laidback, neurotic, conservative, liberal, blue collar, white collar, etc. and just as many details as I can possibly cram in before we make this huge move.
Oh, and I encourage the use of metaphor and lyrical language.