It’s just short of a month that I’ve been back in Sweet Home, and it’s been, well…it’s been.
Moving home to a city I love, but where I haven’t lived in six years is nothing short of: wonderful, confusing, intimidating, challenging, comfortable, uncomfortable, and exciting. All rolled up and mashed together, like a complex and strange—yet very tasty—burrito.
And who doesn’t love a burrito?
Yeah, that’s right. I just compared the city of Chicago to a burrito.
Though I’ve only been here a short time, and though I do miss DC quite a lot (except when I don’t), I’ve quickly realized that there are things that I’ve missed so much it makes my head spin in glory that I don’t have to miss them any longer.
In no particular order:
WXRT: Putting aside the fact that I interned for this station the summer between my junior and senior years of college, I can honestly say that this is the best radio station I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. The DJs seem to actually like the music they play, and if you’re a musicphile XRT is one of the best sources for new and interesting bands and songs that span the gamut of genres.
When I smile at people they actually smile back and sometimes even say hello and in general do not act like my smiling at them is a precursor to me shanking them or stealing their wallet: Take note, East Coasters.
Restaurants: Sometime in the last five years Chicago’s restaurant scene simply exploded. Well, then again, I think this actually happened in a lot of cities. Or maybe I just started paying attention. Either way, what I love about Chicago’s restaurant scene is that it—much like my beloved Baltimore—doesn’t give a flying fuck what LA or New York seem to be doing. Chicago’s restaurants are doing their own thing, taking chances and creating a gastronomic wonderland in the city jungle. It’s scintillating and enticing and I want to go everywhere at once.
Lower Wacker Drive: I will master this Bat Cave-like thru-way during my living here this time. I will. I will be that knowledgeable citizen who can maneuver through the underbelly of the city with ease. Because I’m all about avoiding the absurd traffic.
Gary Glitter*, The Fratellis, and Journey: If you are from Chicago, you understand completely the swell of pride I feel when I hear these songs. Last week when I was driving up Lake Shore Drive after work, the city skyline stretched in front of me when Gary Glitter came on the radio. And if you think I didn’t start clapping my hands over my head in time to the music and almost drive my car off the road in the process, then clearly you don’t know me at all.
*Though some may find this one to be more appropriate than Gary. But to me, Gary Glitter is Michael, Scottie, et al., through and through.