As you might imagine, Peter and I get some interesting reactions when we tell people we will be leaving San Diego in the spring to move back to Chicago.
The most common response:
“Are you out of your mind?!?!”
I get it. Who would choose to leave San Diego, where each day we are reminded that we live in paradise, for the cold winters in Chicago?
Listen, if weather was your single criteria for selecting a place to call home, then San Diego would likely get your vote. But as I always say, no one lives in Chicago because of the weather; they live there in spite of the weather and in favor of all the many other wonderful things the city has to offer.
I admit that I sound like a bit of a brat complaining about living in San Diego. It is a perfectly lovely place to be.
It’s just not Chicago.
One of my San Diego pals, a former Chicagoan herself, sent me this from Buzzfeed – a beautiful pictorial rundown of why Chicagoans love Chicago.
51 Reasons Living In Chicago Ruins You For Life.
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) October 4, 2014
The author, Jennifer Schaffer, is clearly a brilliant gal. She hits the nail on the head, highlighting many of the very best qualities of our city.
- The pizza
- All the other taste treats
- Da Bears
- Yes, even the Cubs
- The art and culture
- The architecture
- Every single inch of the gorgeous lakefront parks
Even the weather, as Ms. Schaffer points out, adds to Chicago’s perfection.
- Summers spent at the beach, enjoying a music festival or drinking beer on a friend’s boat
- Fall spent taking in the beauty of autumn’s colors and tailgating at Soldier Field
- Winter spent ice skating in Millennium Park or strolling down Michigan Avenue as the glittering lights reflect off the freshly fallen snow
- And Spring – the payoff for making it through winter – spent celebrating renewal and the beauty of a city in bloom
As we count down the months until Peter and I return to our city, I’d like to respectfully add a few examples of how Chicago has “ruined” me:
- The Botanic Garden
- Lincoln Park Zoo
- Rick Bayless
- Stephanie Izard
- The Blackhawks
- The Bulls – especially for those of us who lived through the glorious reign of Michael Jordan
- The Air and Water Show
- Chicago Gourmet
- The late, great Steve Goodman
- The very first Paper Source Store
- And more and more and more
But the quality that makes Chicago the most special place? The number one reason that I or anyone else would consider it to be paradise?
If you’ve ever spent any time in the Windy City you know it’s true. You will not find a more welcoming, friendly bunch.
Maybe it’s the good old fashioned midwestern values. Maybe it is because we are well fed. Maybe it’s because, after a lifetime of futility rooting for the Cubs, nothing can really get us down.
Most likely, though, it is the sense of bliss that comes from living in the very best city in the world.
Sweet home Chicago.
Please enjoy the incomparable Steve Goodman performing his classic, “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request”.Thanks for stopping by,
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