On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of about 200. Within seven years it grew to more than 4,000 people. On June 15, 1835, the first public land sales commenced with Edmund Dick Taylor as U.S. receiver of public moneys. The City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4, 1837 and for several decades was the fastest growing city in the world.
I was driving down lakeshore burlington today (one of the most expensive places to live in Canada) to get to work and I saw two university aged guys in nice winter-sprng clothing literally holding hands and their faces looked so……at peace….and I just drove by and exhaled and my heart clenched. I’ve seen like three or four gay couples since moving to probs one of the most liberal places in Ontario and each one has impacted me so much. I love them and support them and hope they find happiness and I hope I do too
chicago remembers. you go to a sox night game with an out-of-town friend, and offer to buy the tickets to comiskey. they laugh, thinking you mean the cell, but when the players drift through the stadium out into a glowing field where time meshes together and space phases out, they will know how wrong they are.
the lake is clean now, some will say. it is safe. people swim in it all the time! you stare out at the beach, smothered in sunblock and litter and shining human flesh, and mutter that you never said what contaminant you were avoiding.
if you go out to the end of navy pier, they say you might see phantoms in the old ballroom or out in the water. there are no legends about the sky above the lighthouses on the other side, or the sharp chill in the air that licks through your spine if you stand too near the edge no matter what temperature it is.
drive down lakeshore drive as the sun rises and you can see the sun sparkling off the skyline. drive down lakeshore drive as the sun sets and you see the city come alive, glamour and grime and raw, beautiful energy. drive down lakeshore in midday in a thick fog and no one knows quite what anyone else sees, but no one wants to talk about it.
people make jokes about the spaceship that landed on soldier field, but never joke about the ones that take off from it.
When I was about 11 or so, my dad decided to move us to the Pine Barrens of South Jersey. After a very long and almost unfruitful search for his “perfect house” (Leos, yanno), our realtor suddenly pulled the rabbit out of the hat – a bungalow on a respectable piece of land at the end of a very short cul-de-sac branching off of North Lakeshore Drive (yes, there was a lake – a miles-long one, in fact). My dad fell in love with it instantly.
The original address was 13 Mockingbird Lane – which should put some of y’all in mind of The Munsters, who lived at 1313 Mockingbird Lane – but the previous owners didn’t want to live at an address with such a notorious number.
So they had the post office change it to 19 Mockingbird Lane.
(Out of the frying pan and into the fire, as they say. But I can’t blame them. Back then, The Dark Tower wasn’t exactly big yet.)
Lakeshore Drive is closed according to the announcements. Of course you only found out about this after your cab driver already turned onto Lakeshore. News outlets claim the cause is flooding. You shiver and sink deeper into the seat in the back of the cab. You ignore the ghostly fingers tapping against the glass.
Only tourists really hang out in Millenium Park. Most locals are smart enough to know that the distorted reflections in the Bean are more than just a gimmick.
It’s always frightening when the L transitions from its underground tunnels to the elevated tracks. We recommend you don’t look too closely at the shadows.
Every year, the ivy on Wrigley Field seems more dense. It snakes across the stadium in a Sleeping Beauty choke hold. Some say Nike is trapped in those tangles and that’s why the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in so long. The groundskeepers know better. Stragglers shouldn’t get too close to the overgrowth.
You’re in line at the hottest new club in River North with your friends. It feels so slow, but maybe that’s just because you pregamed hard before going out. You don’t remember when you got in line or how long you’ve been standing there. You don’t think it’s ever moved, but surely it’s your imagination as snow falls and melts, the spring thaw hits, mosquitoes swarm for the summer, autumn winds chill you and winter comes again. The Red Eye said this club was good.
You’re at the bar surrounded by friends. The waitress comes to take your order. “I’ll have a three-hundred-and-twelve,” you say, barely taking your eyes off the draft beer list. Silence falls. All you can hear is the sharpening of a knife.
“25 Things Only Real Chicagoans Will Understand.” You click on the link, snorting your disdain for clickbait even as you submerge yourself in it. You laugh and call your colleague over to read it. More laughter, more exclamations. Soon the whole office stands around your desk. They can never know you moved here from Naperville.