Most of you already know that Chicago is home. Even though I moved away from town in 1992, I still consider it home. I visited the city over the weekend and made some observations.

Here is a list (in no particular order) of why I love the City of Chicago:

  • Food - where else can you grab Chinese, Polish, Lithuanian, Greek, Thai, Moroccan, Italian, and Mexican all in the same day. Actually, you can probably get all of that on the same street (Milwaukee Ave.)
  • Water - I love Chicago water. Some people that are not used to it says it tastes like chlorine. There is a water fountain at the local kiddie park 1/2 block from the house in which I grew up. Every time I visit town I have to drink from this fountain. (There is a funny story about how I stole a bolt from the fountain in 1978, but I won't get into that here.)
  • The smells - each neighborhood has its own smell, mostly from the restaurants. But there are specific areas of the city that, when I inhale, I know I am at home. For example: the corner of Milwaukee and Des Plaines. The Blommer Chocolate Company sits there spewing a smell that I have not sensed anywhere else. The lakefront also has its own distinctive smell.
  • Chicagoans like to drive fast! I like to drive fast too, so it is a perfect fit. But living in this area for so long, I think I may have slightly lost my edge . For example: I was driving on the Tri-State Tollway. Speed limit is 55, I am driving 77, and many people were flying past me.
  • Assorted crazy stuff - where else are you going to find graffiti in polish

Or this kind of sign on a panhandler:

Or this funny story: I went into this gas station to purchase ice

and asked where the restroom was. The girl behind the counter said "there is a port-a-potty next to the building".

I can't make this stuff up...