And this is the point where I should write. While it’s still fresh in my mind and I have things to say. I should be writing, but my mind is half in this really good Captain America fanfic. When am I not waist-deep in a Captain America fanfic? I should be writing them at this point. However, I have resigned myself to being a newly converted Hulk fan. I suggest you all read Planet Hulk.
In any case, I should finish telling you all about Chicago, it was a complete departure from Houston.
One thing that I have learned is that they don’t seem to have a lot of one story buildings out here. They seem to like building things tall and long out here, like a store in a strip mall. My friend tried to tell me something about the city having always been a city, and maximizing space and stuff, but I tuned him out while looking out the window. Alleyways seem to be a thing out here in a way that it never was in Texas.
The architecture seems to have hopped around a few decades despite the uniformity of all of the buildings. One the one hand, you’ll have the iconic designs of the 1920s and ‘30s – my friend even pointed out the theatre where John Dillinger was shot in front of. Then you’ll see houses reminiscent of the Winslows’ from Family Matters – I can’t reconcile their house with what I’ve seen, but I have yet to go into any. And finally there’s the sleek, almost futuristic design of these contemporary condos – we have those in Houston, but everyone seem more keen to build apartments you might actually expect someone to live in.
(I’m not saying people don’t live in them, I’m just saying they don’t look very homey).
Things started to look a little bit more familiar the more we went out into the suburbs, but even the schools seem to be multi-floored. Roberto Clemente High School has a main building that is basically a block that consists of 8 floors. I’m not too sure why a school needs to look like a corporate office, but if it works for them then I love it. The rest of the schools are built like college campuses, but then I’m used to the uniformity of Texas schools so I have no idea what everyone else’s looks like.
Also, I don’t know a thing about Frank Lloyd Wright, but I would have loved to have had a house built by him. Those designs are gorgeous.
I didn’t do much the first day, I was too interested in going back to sleep. I did however take in breakfast at Batter and Berries (or is it Berries and Batter?), and I can honestly say that a crab omelet and cheesy hash browns are something everyone should try at least once.
The next day we went to see a White Sox game. It was against the Astros, so of course I thought it was fated for me to be in Chicago to see my hometown play against one of theirs. We lost, but that’s not really relevant to this post.
So apparently Chicagoans are really about their sports – and they’re hot dogs. I did not know that in order to make a real Chicago-style hotdog, one absolutely had to use Vienna Beef (and a host of other things, but Vienna Beef is key). There is literally one company that has a monopoly on Chicago-style hotdogs, and making it with anyone else’s hotdogs is basically sacrilege. I don’t know how this came about, but I am just in awe of this culture.
I kind of have a soft spot in my heart for baseball because it is the only sport I enjoyed as a child, and I have no qualms about watching it even as a spectator. Don’t ask me for favorite teams or players, because there’s no real knowledge of baseball put into it. I am an Astro’s fan by default; my father gave me a Cubs jacket as a child, so they have my sentiment; and I like the White Sox’s colors . . . and history. Can I tell you how it warms my little fangirl heart to be able to say that I saw the Sox play at The Cell? I feel so dorky and yet so cool at the same time!
Also, the White Sox set off fireworks every time they make a home run, then they do a whole show of it when they win the game. How awesome is that? I’m honestly mad that we don’t do stuff like that in Houston. People actually got up and stretched during their Seventh Inning stretch – does everyone do that, or is that just a Chicago thing? In Houston, during the Seventh Inning, we play “Deep in the Heart of Texas – after the prerequisite “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” of course – in Chicago, they play “(Chicago is) My Kind of Town”.
Can I tell you how cocky this city is? “Chicago Over Everything” is almost a way of life out here.
Before the game, my friend took me out for pizza. I almost feel like I didn’t know what deep dish was until I had Giordano’s. I kid you not, that pizza was a feel inches deep. I have no idea if that is what is “officially” considered Chicago-style deep dish, but lord help you if you try to eat a small on your own.
We spent the rest of the weekend exploring. We were supposed to see Avenue Q, but there was always one issue or another. I did see Navy Pier and the Gold Coast, as well as that one theater where John Dillinger was shot. I got to try Thai food at this really trendy place, which Chicago seems to be in abundance of – trendy places, not Thai food. I also saw my first real life Tesla. I’m always hearing about them, but they always seemed like unicorns so I was never sure if they really existed.
We checked out a food festival, and I tried some Goose Island Beer. It was the Green Line, so I can’t pass judgments on all of their selections . . . but it’s definitely not Ziegenbock.
All in all, I can honestly say that I had a lovely time in Chicago. Part of me wants to go live there, but my friend keeps reminding me that I wouldn’t make it in the winter. Unfortunately, this body was not meant for below zero weather.