The blog of ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE and Urbangeneralstore.com. Featuring products, pop culture, current events and the happenings in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood.
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
7 [Rejected] Reasons We ENJOY Chicago
We’ve been counting down the 7 reasons we ENJOY Chicago online and in our store, and every week through mid-April we’ll be highlighting the things that make Chicago great. We thought we’d share some reasons that came to mind but got the big REJECTED stamp—because as Chicagoans, we’re definitely familiar with these daily realities, but we’d have to be FOOLS to love them.
The breadth and depth of potholes in Chicago after our Polar Vortices has provided a new medium for artists. As funding for the arts continues to decline, artists who hang their heads in misery need only open their eyes to the asphalt canvas under their feet. A gallery opening is great. An opening in the earth is better!
6. [Rejected] Reason - Polar Vortex 2: Electric Boogaloo
Despite over 30 days of sub-zero temperatures, the Second City was forced to play third fiddle to our Boston brethren's Snowpocalypse. As we watched the Patriots once again win the Super Bowl through the snowscreen of our SuperBlizzard, we were reminded that our football team wasn't there, their former non-World Series winning baseball team has since won the World Series (thrice) and our big Polar Vortex: The Sequel was more "Grease 2" to the East Coast blizzard's "Godfather 2." It seemed familiar but just wasn't as fun. Or exhausting. Or crazy making. Or just plain awful. Why are we always taking sloppy seconds?!?
But, on the bright side, there's always a chance that it will snow in April in Chicago!
5. [Rejected] Reason - Parking Meters and Traffic Control
Are you really a Chicagoan if you haven't gotten a ticket for "Parking in a loading-zone, between 4 and 6 pm, between April 1 and March 31, non-rush hour, residential zone, street cleaning on days that end in -day"? It is a rite of passage for your rights of passage in Chi-town. Chicago even has its own Parking Ticket Geek.
Radical proposal of what to do with the maligned Red Light Cameras: use them as traffic volume sensors to time the lights on major arteries. Maybe then traffic on Western Avenue wouldn't suck so badly.
With 2007 the passing of Joseph Zeman, the "Pigeon Man of Lincoln Square," Chicago may have lost the last true lover of Chicago pigeons. In fact, the city has unleashed some bad ol' peregrine falcons to help control our "flying rat" population. Seems we prefer to view wildlife without them carrying entire pizza crusts or chicken wing bones.
Every time we hear "Chuy Rahm" it sounds like a delicious, nougaty, caramelly candy. It's not. But now we're hungry.
Did you know that most people in other parts of the United States don't know what an alderman is? In Chicago, aldermen are such characters that Schadefruede's Justin Kaufmann has spent years portraying a fictional city council member—Ald. Ed Bus of the equally fictional 53rd Ward (the triangle of land at the corners of Belmont, Lincoln, and Ashland). And if his seat was contested, we think he could actually win! Like, in the real election.
2. [Rejected] Reason - Lake Michigan and the Chicago River
Sure, they're pretty. And provide water. Or in the river's case "water." And being one of only a few major metropolitan cities on such a large body of water is nice. But Lake Michigan has seriously put Chicago at a disadvantage—we only have three sides! Since the founding of the city over 175 years ago, have there been any plans to expand the East Side of Chicago? Why not a new agency—the Land Reclamation from Water Reclamation Department? Or maybe George Lucas should forget the museum and focus on a new underwater neighborhood called "East Atlantis."
And we love the Chicago River. Except on a warm day when it smells like it needs to wash.
Why must we always defend our pizza? Yes, sometimes we cut it in squares. Yes, a single deep-dish pie can weigh up to 25 lbs. And, if you can forgive the double negative, it's NOT not as good as New York style pizza, it's DIFFERENT. And if you don't like it, we know a squirrel who will happily take a crust off your hands. (After all, who hasn't seen a Chicago squirrel carrying a piece of pizza larger than its entire body in its mouth?)
To quote (ahem) Chicagoan Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers, "It's a great band, it's a bad band, it's like pizza, baby. It's good no matter what."
Why do you #ENJOYChicago?
There's still time to share why you #ENJOYChicago with us for a chance to win a Chicago Natives Prize Package. Tag us @ENJOYChicago in a photo with the #ENJOYChicago now through April 15, 2015 to be entered.