31 Things Only True Chicagoans Will Understand

1. The many possible reasons for the nickname, “Windy City” (Hint 1: It’s not solely because of the weather. Hint 2: Politics.)

2. The dispute for the history behind its other nickname, “The Second City.” Is it called that because of having to rebuild after the Great Chicago Fire? Or is it because of the “first city” complex New York has had about us since the 1950s? (An A. J. Liebling published an article about us being the Second City.) Meh, I prefer to tell people the former reason.

3. We are extremely tired of being compared to New York. Like, stop it. Please. (Our rent is WAY, WAY cheaper, for one thing. And they’ve also got nothing on our pizza, hot dogs, or summers. Okay, I’m done.)

Chicago Style Pizza with a rich tomato topping. Credit: caribb
Chicago Style Pizza with a rich tomato topping. Credit: caribb

4. The peasants who think it’s okay to put ketchup on hotdogs. Well, I guess we don’t understand them.

5. Complaining about the weather year-round is how we show solidarity. When we’re not freezing, we’re pouring with sweat from the humidity.

6. Speaking of the weather, it is indeed quite possible to experience all four seasons in one day.

7. No one who considers themselves a self-respecting member of the Chicago community, would ever refer to The Sears Tower as “The Willis Tower.” NO ONE.

8. Everyone ALWAYS wants to see downtown from The Sears Tower. But it actually looks more spectacular from Chicago’s fourth tallest building, the John Hancock.

Chicago from the 96th floor of John Hancock Center. Credit: Lol19
Chicago from the 96th floor of John Hancock Center. Credit: Lol19

9. “Where do you live?” is code for “Which neighborhood do you live in so that I may judge the content of your character and whether or not we will actually be friends and ever hang out.”

10. St. PADDY’S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Whatever you’re doing on St. Paddy’s day, we’re doing it better.)

11. We’re in the Midwest but we don’t really think of Chicago as a “Midwestern city.” I don’t know how to explain this one; life is weird.

12. The feelings toward Kanye are divided into, “What an embarrassment to our city” and “Kanye is the greatest rapper alive.” (And a minority of us who are neutral.)

13. You better not say anything bad about Chief Keef. (Even if someone would have to pay you to listen to anything he puts out.)

14. There is no such thing as “The subway.” It’s “The L” or “The train” or the name of the line. Get it right.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofy5gNkKGOo&w=584&h=390%5D

15. Taking the Red Line with packs of college students is a form of cruel and unusual punishment.

16. A moment of silence for the people who talk loudly, take calls, and/or DO NOT KNOW HOW TO MOVE TO THE BACK ON THE CTA.

17. You can figure out wherever you are as long as you know which way is East! (The lake is East.) And we’re on a grid system.

18. SOME neighborhoods in the South Side and West Side in particular have problems but nobody (with any sense) is proud of #Chiraq. And contrary to what the news might report, the city’s homicide rate went down drastically in 2013.

19. Also, the city’s skyline is indeed most beautiful from the South Side.

20. In God we trust. Followed by the Blackhawks.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-h46vxck4g&w=584&h=390%5D

21. The never-ending solemn saga that is the life and career of Derrick Rose.

22. The North Shore as depicted in Mean Girls is the North Shore in REAL LIFE! (I may or may not be half-kidding.)

23. The potholes have just been out of control this year. Woof.

24. The faithful day you find yourself sober in Wrigleyville before, during, or after a Cubs game. Think of a frat house with thousands of bros. Does that sound like hell? Yes? No? Either way, you’re probably in Wrigleyville.

25. If you’re actually interested in understanding the game of baseball, you go to a Sox game. No one actually watches baseball at Cubs games. (Also, no one expects them to win. Ever. Not even Cubs fans.)

Wrigley Field. Credit: Rdikeman
Wrigley Field. Credit: Rdikeman

26. That one 4 am bar (example: Big City Tap, pronounced “Big Shitty Tap”) you decide to go to at 2 a.m. will ALWAYS be a bad idea. So will the 24-hour food place you inevitably decide to stop by afterwards. Many stories of shame have come out of Cheesie’s.

27. No matter how hard you resist calling Chicago’s beaches “beaches,” you will eventually start calling them beaches.

28. The Bean, is overrated, not as a piece of art but as a MUST-SEE. Don’t worry, we’ll still take you to see it when you visit.

Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com
Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com

29. Rahm Emanuel…you either love him, hate to love him, love to hate him, or just flat-out hate him.

30. Our summers really are as great as we say they are.

31. Unlike some cities that shall remain un-named, if you love it here, respect the history, and just go about your business and do you, you’re a Chicagoan, end of story. Unless you live in the ‘burbs. Like, um, no. Bye. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – Shutterstock

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