1. Ryzin
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    Ryzin New Member

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    Chicago Residents Needed

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Ryzin, Jun 9, 2011.

    I'm currently writing a story based in Chicago. I've visited the city a handful of times and plan on visiting again in the near future. However, I feel that my view of the city lacks the type of depth a long-time Chicago resident would be able to provide.

    For the benefit of my story, I was wondering whether any Chicago residents would be kind enough to post anything in regards to the city. Landmarks, architecture, culture, weather etc. Any information, whether it be a sentence or a paragraph, would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Have you ever watched the show "ER"? It takes place in Chicago.

    I have a friend who lived there, and she said that oftentimes it has the big-city feel of people being rushed and sometimes rude. Like the stereotypical cold New Yorker but more so. (Not to insult anyone, but I've just heard plenty of anecdotes that support this; of course, there are lots of Chicagoans and NYers who are really nice, too.)

    Also I've heard it can get pretty cold. And, in winter, one major source of irritation is if you spend a long time shoveling out a parking space for yourself, then someone else takes it.

    Sorry this is so short and trivial.
     
  3. Ryzin
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    Ryzin New Member

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    There's no need to apologise, it's exactly what I need.

    Thanks for responding.
     
  4. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    I was born and raised in Chicago, lived there until I was 18 so I can maybe be a bit of help.

    First of all, the winters are terrible, brutally cold with blustery winds, almost always gray and overcast. Usually no snow for Christmas, but then you'll get dumped on in January/February - and yes, shoveling a LOT. Always fun when we'd shovel and then the snow plow would come through the streets and plow our driveway right back in LOL :D The main roads were full of salt in the winter, too, to melt the ice/snow - it'd make your car nice and dirty-salty :D

    A drive down Lake Shore Drive, from downtown up to the north shore (where the big homes are), is one of the prettiest anywhere.

    Four words: Chicago deep dish pizza... ok, fifth word, YUM :D

    You can get most places in Chicago by using the "L" (elevated train), and when that doesn't work, there's buses (or taxis) - public transportation is everywhere.

    The architecture of the buildings downtown is very neat, in my opinion. Downtown landmarks include: Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower), Navy Pier (with the gigantic ferris wheel), Water Tower (very nice shopping on the "miracle mile"), the Chicago River ("architecture" boat tours on the river are pretty neat, and of course the river is died green for st patty's day - oh, fun piece of trivia, the Chicago river used to flow into Lake Michigan, but the flow was reserved to take sewage AWAY from the lake), the Wrigley Building (with the giant clock tower), Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park (with the gian reflective "bean" and the talking/spitting fountains). Those are just downtown landmarks. I could go on and on about Wrigley Field in Wrigleyville, I'm also very familiar with the suburbs.

    Let me know if you need anymore specifics :D
     
  5. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    This might help, too. Growing up there, we used to pass this email around because it is all so TRUE. This might give you a (humorous but honest) insight into living in Chicago:

    And here's a link on "speaking Chicagoan"
    http://foreignlanguageclass.org/?p=241
    (Example: Living room/front room is often pronounced "fronchroom", garage keys "grotch keys", laundry "landry", etc. These are people with hardcore Chicagoan accents mainly, not all of us living there have it - I grew up nearer to the suburbs and don't believe I have much of a Chicagoan accent LOL)

    I can vouch for the validity of ALL of this :D
     
  6. Irontrousers
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    Irontrousers Member

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    30. You know what goes on a Chicago Style hot dog. [Relish and onions, no ketchup]

    Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa. No mention of celery salt? Sport peppers? What the hell, man? You even forgot the pickle! I mean, okay sure, relish AND a pickle might seem a little redundant, but damn it that pickle is the keystone upon which the weight of all the other, ahem, "fixins" rest. I'm not that hardcore a Chicagoan (why should I give a damn about the Cubs when baseball is boring?), but when it comes to Chicago fast food, I'll argue til my throat is raw about what is acceptable. Go to Clark Street Dog, order a hot dog with everything (okay fine, I skip the tomato) along with an order of cheese fries, the shrimp basket, and a chocolate shake, and tell me it's not the awesomest meal you've ever had.
    Goddamn I am so hungry right now.
    Also, homeless people peddling Streetwise magazine. There's a detail that'll make your story ring true.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You could always google Chicago and read all you can about the place. But that won't give you an authentic feel for the city.

    But wait. That's about the same depth of awarfeness you'll get by asking members for their perceptions and anecdotes.

    There's no substitute for first hand experience, especially with cities like Chicago, Boston, New York, Los Angeles -- cities with a distinct "personality."
     
  8. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    LOL just stating the basics - specifically the fact that a New York style hot dog has ketchup, but a Chicago style one does not. Oh, and nothing beats Superdawg :p
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A Chicago dog without the peppers is unworthy of the name.

    Also, Chicago without the jazz clubs and great restaurants wouldn't be the same city. Also the surrounding flat countryside. Andthe way everything sprawls. There is plenty of room to spread out, and Chicago takes full advantage, Unlike NYC, where the only direction to grow is up, or Boston where everything was laid out for foot travel and draft animals, in a confined space between rivers and hills, ocean and swamps.
     
  10. roseberryse
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    roseberryse Member

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    l live in Chicago so I'll give my thoughts...

    1. Winter is awful and there is no spring. The only reason people move to Chicago is for the summers. Period.

    2. The World's Fair took place here...I'm blanking on the date...but it was a huge deal. The tragedy is that almost all of the buildings were built so quickly and of such poor quality that nothing remains.

    3. The city is haunted and there are tours to prove it.

    4. When people want to live in the city but hate the downtown feel (aka the beggars and the way it shuts down on the weekends and after 6:00 pm) they move north. Lincoln Park and Lakeview have more families and the like than downtown.

    5. Sports are VERY important. Love them or get out.

    6. Public transportation isn't frowned upon. Everyone takes it.

    7. It's not uncommon to pay $1700/month for a 1 bedroom apartment.

    8. People have their own carts they take to the grocery stores so they don't have to lug their things home. Most people who don't have them get their groceries delivered.

    9. A movie costs $11.00.

    10. A ton of the population is from either Michigan or Ohio. Young people just out of school just flock here for good paying jobs. Which is also why there is an obsene amount of twenty somethings with way too much money and nothing to spend it on.

    11. If you're a runner, you probably run by the Lake every chance possible.

    12. You don't go to Navy Pier unless you're an out of towner.

    13. Corruption is acceptable.

    Hope some of this helps!
     
  11. Ryzin
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    Ryzin New Member

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    I just want to thank you all for the great responses. All these chunks of detail will definitely prove helpful in crafting my setting.
     

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