Thursday, July 21, 2011

And you say Chi city, we don't stop naw we don't quit

Please excuse my tardiness, I've been having a love affair with Chicago. My long weekend in the city was nothing short of incredible. Chicago and I went through a lot together in that short time. Dollar beer nights, scenic runs on Lakeview Drive, roof top cook outs, live blues clubs, the worst whiskey hangover of my life, my first Cubs game at Wrigley Field, burritos the size of my head at 4 in the morning, a steady intake of bloody mary's, iced coffee and deep dish pizza, and the hottest day of the summer at the Pitchfork Music Festival.

How does one accurately put that experience into words besides that I love Chicago so much I want to throw it in the back of a baby blue Cadillac convertible, drive to Vegas, marry it in an Elvis chapel with a drunk homeless man as a witness while we drink whiskey from a flask with a mustache on it, accidentally get knocked up with triplets on our honeymoon in Tijuana, and live happily ever after with two dogs, three more kids, matching tattoos, and an affinity for making out in public? And right now I'm considering getting on to CafePress to make a t-shirt that says just that. Oh what the heck.

You're welcome, Chicago.

As predicted, Chicago was by far the friendliest place I've ever been to in my life. Everyone says hello to you. EVERYONE. When you make eye contact with people, they smile. When you're waiting -- in line for the water fountain, at the stop light, for the bathroom, to get in a door, on the bus -- strangers engage you in cheerful conversation. When you walk into stores and restaurants, you're greeted by people who actually seem happy to see you. When you drunkenly slur to the doorman that you believe deep down in your heart that the women's bathroom attendant does a very good job and is probably underpaid considering her level of thoroughness and not to mention that most people probably don't tip her, he smiles and promises that he will deliver this message to his manger, as you requested. And not just a doorman get the fuck out of my face smile. A REAL smile. Friends of friends greet you as if you were all old chums. Groups blend seamlessly. Everyone who lives there gushes about how much they love their city as if you were discussing a new boyfriend who totally impressed everyone when he showed up with flowers for you and a thirty pack for your friends. I can't figure out if everyone is so nice because they're so happy to live in Chicago or if because they love living in Chicago so much because they're nice and love everything. It's like the chicken or egg conundrum of the great Midwest.

So as to not give myself away as the east coast asshole I am, I jumped right on the friendly train ... perhaps a bit too enthusiastically. Granted, after a few drinks I tend to get pretty chatty anyway. But in Chicago, it's like I went into Operation Don't Be an East Coast Asshole hyperdrive. And in Chicago, I was pretty much a few drinks deep at all times. I talked to strangers in elevators. I chatted with doormen. I stopped people in the lobby of their building to roll around on the floor with their three-legged dogs and discuss society's misconception of pitbulls. I had conversations with cashiers. I cooed at babies and complimented children on their super rad sneakers on the bus. I discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with my cab driver. I practiced my Spanish with the cooks at the burrito place. I WAS A WHOLE NEW ME, YA'LL.

I can't tell you how pleasant and relaxing this was. Vacation Bridget was certainly in full swing. Whenever someone asked me for my opinion, I let my usual assertive, opinionated self take a back seat and just shrug. Every option presented seemed like the perfect thing to do. Do I want to have fun or should we have fun? It's like I couldn't lose. Do you want to take the bus or walk? I don't care, I'm on vacation. Should we go to this bar or that bar? I'm happy with either, I'm on vacation. Oh my gah we lost half of the baseball tickets, this is a disaster! It's okay, we'll figure it out, I'm on vacation.

Then there's the little fact that Chicago is pretty much overflowing with hipsters with tattoos. And you know what I love? Like, love love? Hipsters and tattoos. Drop me in a crowd of with a bunch of people in homemade skinny jorts, Toms shoes, and sleeves of tattoos on a hot summer day and I will pretty much have to keep checking my pulse because have I died and gone to heaven?! It's like Chicago was designed for us. Live music everywhere, an abundance of outdoor drinking spaces, clean beaches crowded with sunbathing 20-somethings, a beautiful juxtaposition of old and new architecture everywhere you look, clean city streets, a highly functional transportation system that will take you anywhere, bustling neighborhoods, good beer ... everywhere. Good gah excuse me I need to change my underwear. Again.

Not to mention, whenever I'm with my friends, I'm pretty much laughing from the moment I wake up -- disheveled, hair askew, with a taste of late night debauchery in my mouth -- to the moment I throw myself face down onto a bed, fully clothed, sometime around 5 in the morning. As my friend Conor put it, "we're pretty much the most ambitious group of alcoholics ever." We may be taking shots of whiskey at 3 a.m. on the dance floor of a blues club somewhere in Lincoln Park, but you can bet we'll be out of bed by 8 to go for a jog, grab some brunch where we'll drown our hangovers with mimosas and bloody mary's, and get going on a full day of sight seeing and engaging discussions of current events, philosophy, and orgasm jokes. OH!

Lucky for me (unlucky for my liver, sleep schedule, and general health) I'll be seeing these Very Good Friends and more again in a few weeks because I'm suffering through such a friend hangover of overwhelming love that I can barely function. It's like I just gotta throw my head back and OH!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved this post! you really make me want to visit "The Windy City" now. I always thought that urban cities in the United States, would have a less friendly of an atmosphere, but you have changed my ideology, thank you :)


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