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You Know You’re A Chicagoan (Part 1)

It’s snowing again. It’s March 23 and it is snowing. And…it’s sticking to the ground. It’s supposed to snow tomorrow also. It’s not a lot of snow, but still it’s snowing. Why?

Because this is Chicagoland!

And, you know you’re a Chicagoan if…

  • You know why to "wait five minutes."
  • You think 35 degrees is great weather to wash your car!
  • You refer to Chicago as "The City" or "downtown"–even if you live elsewhere.
  • You know the difference between Amtrak and Metra, and know which station they end up at. You have ridden the "L."
  • You can distinguish between the following area codes: 847, 630, 773, 708, 312, 815, and 224.
  • You say "Wanna go with?" when you mean "Do you want to come with
    me?"
  • You know what Kennedy, Dan Ryan, Eisenhower, Edens, and Bishop Ford, have in
    common and curse one of them daily.
  • You know what "the Hillside strangler is."
  • You can name three or four extra taxes nobody else pays.
  • You expect corruption in local politics.
  • You know why they call it "the Windy City." (Hint, nothing to do with weather; although we can have wicked windstorms.)
  • You know dead people who voted. (not personally, but in general, yes)
  • You’ve never been to Springfield (actually, I have, but only as a child) and you know which city, Chicago or Springfield, is the state capital.
  • You know what Giordano’s, Lou Malnati’s, and Gino’s have in common.
  • You know when the last time the Cubs won a pennant.
  • You know exactly how many cars are "legally" allowed to turn left after the light turns red.
  • You refer to Lake Michigan as "The Lake" and give directions such as, "Turn right, The Lake will be in front of you"–even though The Lake is 20 miles away and not visible.
  • And, last for today, you know how to pronounce the current governor’s name, but wish you didn’t. (see the one above about corruption)

These are elsewhere on the web, but they’re good enough to repeat. More of them later.

5 comments to You Know You’re A Chicagoan (Part 1)

  • sounds like rather a cold place to live… :) definitely missed a few of those chicago-isms… :)

  • December this year was very, very cold, but January was warm. So warm that the Great Lakes didn’t freeze much. There was a lot of snow for November and early December, but after that we only had rare, but dramatic snowfalls. I think, but haven’t heard, that we might have had more snow in March than in February–so, it’s been an odd year. The results: the water level in Great Lakes are below normal.
    I’d be happy to explain any of the Chicago-isms you didn’t get. ;-)

  • Are you sure..? :) * You know what Kennedy, Dan Ryan, Eisenhower, Edens, and Bishop Ford, have in common and curse one of them daily.
    * You know what “the Hillside strangler is.”
    * You can name three or four extra taxes nobody else pays.
    * You expect corruption in local politics.
    * You know why they call it “the Windy City.” (Hint, nothing to do with weather; although we can have wicked windstorms.)
    * You know dead people who voted. (not personally, but in general, yes)
    * You know what Giordano’s, Lou Malnati’s, and Gino’s have in common. (pizza??)
    * You know exactly how many cars are “legally” allowed to turn left after the light turns red.
    * And, last for today, you know how to pronounce the current governor’s name, but wish you didn’t. (see the one above about corruption)
    … altho the windy city one I *should* know, as I’ve heard it before, but just can’t recall now without consulting google.. :)

  • Well, let’s see:
    * You know what Kennedy, Dan Ryan, Eisenhower, Edens, and Bishop Ford, have in common and curse one of them daily. **These are the names of the highways going in/out of the city or around it. They all have numbers and they are not special landmarks–but they all known by their nicknames. I’m sure this is very frustrating for out-of-towners listening to radio traffic reports! Why do we cuss them out? See http://missyisms.typepad.com/missyisms/2005/11/two_seasons.html **
    * You know what “the Hillside strangler is.” **This is a spot in the western suburbs where the East/West Tollway and the Eisenhower merged a very short distance from the ramps to a 3rd highway. The Tollway was “strangled” down to 1 lane right next to mall with a huge sign “Hillside Mall.” They just spent hundreds of millions trying to untangle the Strangler. Map here: http://www.isgs.uiuc.edu/esa/StranglerMap.htm **
    * You can name three or four extra taxes nobody else pays. **I think a lot of this has been cleaned up, but as a resident of Cook County, which Chicago is also part of, I pay an extra couple hundred dollars in taxes when I buy a car–but the name is slipping my mind right now. Sorry, not the best explanation.**
    * You expect corruption in local politics. **This goes back to the Roaring ’20s and mobsters, and the Democratic Machine in Chicago that supposedly collapsed in the 1970s. But even today, the previous governor, a republican, is currently on trial for a few nasty issues. And the current governor and some of his family politicos are (or are rumored to be) under federal investigation. And at least one former suburban mayor was jailed recently. But somehow these idiots keep getting re-elected. (Must be the dead voters!) This isn’t to say all our politicos are bad, but we do seem to have our share!**
    * You know why they call it “the Windy City.” (Hint, nothing to do with weather; although we can have wicked windstorms.) **Actually, a lot of people don’t know this one. The nickname refers to all the hot air/wind from politicians back before 1968 when tons and tons of political conventions were held in Chicago. These conventions left town after this ugly event: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_Democratic_National_Convention. There wasn’t another major convention in Chicago for almost 30 years. But the politicians still create a lot of wind with their big promises.**
    * You know dead people who voted. (not personally, but in general, yes) **It was a common practice into the 1970s for the Democratic Machine to register dead people to vote. Then, on election day, they’d pay losers to go vote as that registered dead person. Their saying was, “Vote early and vote often.” This is widely believed to have impacted the 1960 U.S. Presidential election. And honestly, I think it’s still too easy to show up and vote; I show my picture ID, but the election officials hardly glance at it!**
    * You know what Giordano’s, Lou Malnati’s, and Gino’s have in common. (pizza??) **You got it.**
    * You know exactly how many cars are “legally” allowed to turn left after the light turns red. **Exactly the number of cars so you get through also. ;-) I don’t do this!**
    * And, last for today, you know how to pronounce the current governor’s name, but wish you didn’t. (see the one above about corruption) **The current governor is democrat Rod Blagojevich (blu voy ah vich). At worst, he’s under federal investigation (widely rumored), at best, completely disengaged and not doing much as governor. His nickname: Blowjo.**
    Does that help? (Ignore any typos, I was hurrying.) I must say, this is all very depressing when spelled out this way!

  • Coolness :) thanks for that :):)

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