The Windy City is home of the blues and Oprah. It’s an exciting town with haute eateries and simultaneously world famous street food. Much like any big city with global cultural appeal and influence, Chicagoans hold great pride for their city and most things associated with it. Also, like many big city dwellers that pride will prompt them to defend their city vehemently. Here’s a list if you feel inclined to piss off a high strung, super stressed, Windy City inhabitant.
Explain to them (or attempt to) why it’s called the ‘Second’ City
For all of you uninitiated and peace-loving folks I would like to point out the long fracas between Chicago and New York. They are both very cultural with tons of museums, theatres and live music venues, they both have world famous eateries both very high class and curb-side fodder, they both have powerful financial districts and they both have the most suicidal bicycle messengers in the world. For this reason they see each other as bitter rivals, so never ever compare Chicago to New York to a Chicagoan; this is a cardinal rule when you’re on the coast of Lake Michigan (which runs along the length of the city and is so much cleaner than the Hudson Bay). If you really want to rub a local the wrong way say you’re from Boston or New York and tell them the weather sucks in Chicago compared to other two cities. You’ll have them spitting their dirty water hot dog to berate you with dirty water supplemented words.
Compare any food item/ restaurant to one in New York (fine… and Boston)
Chicago is a very diverse city, with offerings to please the most simple of cravings or the most discerning of palettes. Most big cities do, and both the inhabitants and the visitors know that. No need to reiterate, worst case scenario is you wearing one of the famous local delicacies as a hat, and trust me that’s not a good look. The first thing that comes up when you Google “New York vs. Chicago..." is New York vs. Chicago pizza. Yeah, they’re that serious about it.
Don’t mention Trump Tower
This is a point of great contention for Chicago inhabitants; the city is so famous for its architecture that it even has a couple of architectural styles named after it: Chicago School and Second Chicago School. When you visit Chicago you’ll understand why Trump Tower has strummed on the locals’ last taunt nerve. To many people’s chagrin it permanently altered the city’s very iconic, very historic skyline. It’s imposing, shiny and just a bit Freudian if you catch my drift.
Bad Mouth the Bears or the Bulls
If you’re unfamiliar with American sports, the Bears are Chicago’s football team (yes American football, don’t scoff) and The Bulls are the city’s (very famous I should mention) basketball team. When it comes to baseball, Chicago has two teams: the Cubs and the White Sox, and there’s a bit of a Capulet to Montague atmosphere surrounding to two teams, so maybe stay away from that unless you want to end up like Mercutio with a dagger in his gut.
Chicago is a densely populated city that is constantly on the move and inhabited by people that are constantly trading various commodities. Unfortunately, anywhere in the world that is densely populated will inevitably have crime. Chicago is not impervious to this, sometimesits higher than other large urban centers and other times its lower. People are not proud of this and are very reactive and proactive about quelling violence in their city. So don’t mention it.
Are you a Chicagoan? Let me know in the comment section below what bothers you. Da Bears, does that?