If you received this new post as an email from Marla in the Kitchen, listen to Chicago by clicking on the post title, “Big city girl.” You’ll be redirected to the blog’s website where YouTube videos can be played.
We’re getting used to living in downtown Chicago. The background din has softened; the audible impatience of a honk, the hum of too many cars, and the urgency of intermittent sirens are all blending in. If I open the window of our 11th floor room, the sound is harshly symphonic—both intrusive and soothing; close the window and I am hermetically sealed. When I step out into the streets, I become part of the beehive swarm and the noise is manageable.
The view out of our window
We don’t have a clock in our room, but we do have the Wrigley Building’s clock tower. How cool is that!
Here we are.
I’ve never lived downtown in a big city before. Here are a few impressions from this small-city rube.
- The majority of pedestrians are under 30, dressed in black-casual (if you want to stick out on the streets of downtown Chicago, wear a bright color), carrying backpacks. The stereotypical “old”, bent over a walker, doesn’t exist. Chicago “grays” stride with purpose in stylish sneakers, wear black, and carry backpacks—maybe it’s survival of the fittest.
- There are few noticeably overweight people walking on the sidewalks. Again, natural selection at work, I assume.
- Oncoming pedestrians don’t move to the side. Shoulder brushes, met at home with a murmured apology, are run of the mill (no offense given/no offense taken) encounters.
- Street birds are scruffy and sad.
- Pre-made, grocery-store food, whether from Whole Foods or 7-Eleven, is mediocre.
- Don’t be fooled by a sunny day—if it’s after Halloween, it’s cold.
- Chicago pedestrians don’t wait for the walking man’s go-ahead light to cross the street and they don’t hesitate to jay walk. Chicago police have meaner fish to fry.
- Big-city hotel rooms are small.