Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Chicago- My kind of town

Every year when baseball spring training begins I have the same thought- the Cubs will never win the World Series...not that I mind, I'm a Yankees fan (the all-time winningest franchise in the world), but I have a sense of sympathy for the poor people of Chicago and all the pain they feel yearly. I've been to Wrigley many times, it's a cool place, if you don't get one of the seats behind the steel beams.

I had the privilege of living in downtown Chicago for four years. Since that time, I try to get back to the city at least once a year. I love Chicago, the place has many great memories for me. One of the best features of Chi-town is the people and their attitudes. New Yorkers are supposed to have "attitudes"...well they're not the only ones. Here's a humorous depiction of "Chicago people" followed by some secrets to navigating the windy city:
Seasonal Differences in the USA as compared with Chicago -

60 above - Floridians wear coats, gloves and woolly hats.Chicago people sunbathe.
50 above - New Yorkers try to turn on the heat.Chicago people plant gardens.
40 above - Southern cars won't start.Chicago people drive with the windows down.
32 above - Distilled water freezes.Lake Michigan's water gets thicker.
20 above - Californians shiver uncontrollably.Chicago people have the last cookout before it gets cold.
15 above - New York landlords finally turn up the heat.Chicago people throw on a sweatshirt.
0 degrees - Californians fly away to Mexico.Chicago people lick flagpoles and throw on a light jacket over the sweatshirt.
20 below - People in Miami cease to exist.Chicago people get out their winter coats.
40 below - Hollywood disintegrates.Chicago's Girl Scouts begin selling cookies door-to-door.
50 below - Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.Chicago people get frustrated when they can't thaw the keg.
60 below - Microbial life survives on dairy products.Illinois cows complain of farmers with cold hands.
460 below - ALL atomic motion stops.Chicago people start saying, "Cold 'nuff for ya?"
500 below - Hell freezes over.The Chicago Cubs win the World Series.
If it's 100 degrees, it's Taste of Chicago.
If it's 10 degrees and sleeting/snowing, it's opening day at Sox Park.
If it's rained 6 inches in the last hour, the Western Open Golf Classic is in the second round.

-First, you must learn to pronounce the city name. It is Chi - ca - go, or Cha - ca - ga, depending on if you live north or south of Roosevelt Road.
-Next, if your road map is more than a few weeks old, throw it out and buy a new one.
-Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Chicago has its own version of traffic rules..."Hold on and pray!"
-There is no such thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in Chicago - we all drive like that!
-All directions start with "I-94..." which has no beginning and no end.
-The morning rush hour is from 6 to 10 (give or take an hour or so). The evening rush hour is from 3 to 7 (give or take a couple of hours). Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday morning.
-If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended, cussed out and probably shot.
-When you are the first one on the starting line, count to 5 when the light turns green before going to avoid crashing with all the drivers running the red light in cross-traffic.
-Car horns are actually road rage indicators.
-All old ladies with blue hair in Mercedes have the right of way. Period.
-If asking directions in Cicero, you must have knowledge of Spanish. If in Bridgeport, Mandarin Chinese will be your best bet....If you stop to ask directions on the West or South sides, you'd better be armed.
-A trip across town (east to west or north to south) will take a minimum of 4 hours, although many north/south freeways have unposted minimum speed limits of 75.
-The wrought iron on windows and doors around Englewood and Austin is not ornamental.
-The Congress expressway (aka: Eisenhower, Ike, I-290) is our daily version of NASCAR.
-The minimum acceptable speed on the Dan Ryan is 85. Anything less is considered downright sissy.
-The Dan Ryan is also called "The Death Trap" for 2 reasons: "death" and "trap".


Frontier Forest said...

We actually drove right into the heart of downtown Chicago back in 94. What was a mess back then… “forget-about-it” today!! Makes our Friday afternoon, 435 traffic excursions look like abandoned farm roads. But here’s a providential twist of blessed proportions; right in the middle of rush-hour traffic, we were trying to find the “La Sale Club” hotel! Praise the Lord, before us stood a beat-cop, directing traffic. Seeing our frustrated lost-look of total desperation, he quickly approached us. When we told him we were totally lost, he offered to escort us to the hotel. And what’s more blessed, he even spoke the Kings English. Once we arrived at our destination, the car was parked! It didn’t take much to agree, the safest way to get around was via taxi. I think the first name of every cabby was either Amad or Mohammad. Indeed, Chicago is a fun place! But my 2 cents, it’s best to go with someone who know where the heck they are going!

Kampfgruppe Hoppa said...

I've only been tow Chicago twice. Both times, stranded due to the weather. I can honestly say, the only thing I like about Chicago is Old Blue Eyes' song about it.

greystone said...

I also enjoy going to Chicago, although I haven't make the annual journey since getting married. If you fly, fly to the Midway airport and take the short ride on the Orange Line into the "Loop". My wife and I honeymooned in Chicago and planned to do this, unfortunately, her bag didn't come out of Midway's luggage carousel, and in midst of the stress of a misplaced bag, I elected to use a taxi instead. We also used a bus route, 146, to take us from State Street to the Shed Aquarium in one direction, and Michigan Ave shops on the other. We left Chicago on Amtrak from the historic Union Station just blocks from the Sears Tower, the Board of Trade, and the Chicago Fed Money Museum. A great city as long as I don't drive!

Chicago escorts said...

I chose to utilize a taxi rather. We likewise utilized a transport track, 146, to take us from State Street to the Shed Aquarium in one bearing, and Michigan Ave shops on the other.