Chicago has a reputation. Actually, a lot of reputations — some we’re proud of and some make us cringe. You might think you’d piss off someone from Chicago by talking about our corrupt politicians, rampant gang activity, or how the Cubs are one of the most losing teams in baseball. But most of us won’t argue with you about that stuff.
Here’s what’s likely to really piss us off:
Say “Chicago is a great city, for the Midwest.”
There’s nothing we hate more than having our city described as the second city to New York. Not as cosmopolitan, not as edgy, not as cool. We’ll say we don’t care, but we really do have a chip on our big shoulders about this.
We don’t need to be compared to anywhere else. And on that subject, do not:
Claim that New York pizza is better than Chicago pizza.
Really? You’re telling me you’d rather eat that skimpy foldover while standing on the sidewalk, when you could sit down with a knife and fork to a majestic triangle of Chicago deep dish, piping hot, filled with Chicago pride and love? Does that skinny New York slice even make your eyes roll back in your head?
I didn’t think so.
Mention the last skyscraper built in Chicago was Trump Tower.
Have you ever met anyone who likes Donald Trump? Me neither, but I live in Chicago. He’s all New York arrogance, and he built a very tall, shiny new skyscraper on our breathtaking Chicago skyline.
Actually, it’s quite a handsome building, and we have to admit we kind of like it. But Chicago invented the skyscraper, and don’t you forget it.
Don’t stare out the car window with your mouth open as we drive down Lake Shore Drive.
You should be flabbergasted, mouth agape. This is as good as cities get.
The sun is glistening off Lake Michigan, dotted with sailboats. Runners, bikers, and skaters fill the lakefront path in an expressway of cardiovascular happiness. There’s Soldier Field, three of the country’s most magnificent museums, Buckingham Fountain shooting water 150ft into the air. Amazing skyscraper after amazing skyscraper. Millennium Park, the Bean.
Yes, we’ll try to slow down — we never get tired of it either. You’re welcome.
Ask if we’ve ever been shot.
The media really glommed onto Chicago being named the murder capital of the country last year. We know. It’s not cool. And it’s not the takeaway we want you to have from our city.
Disrespect the ’85 Bears.
If you don’t have an almost holy reverence for Coach Ditka, Walter Payton, Jim McMahon, Refrigerator Perry, and the best defence of all time (yes, this is a fact), you should just sit back and listen when this topic inevitably comes up.
Saturday Night Live’s “Superfans” sketch, the Superbowl Shuffle, Ditka moustaches, and sweater vests saying “daaaa Bears” — we still love it all. Don’t say something stupid like, “That was almost 30 years ago, are the Bears still any good?” or question why we get so geeked out about the team. You’ll just get a look of confusion and indignation.
We’re starkly divided about our baseball teams (south side = White Sox, north side = Cubs), but everyone loves da Bears. And if you’re a Packers fan, you should really just keep that to yourself. Trust me.