The expressways are the Edens, Kennedy, IKE, Stevenson and Ryan. They are not those Interstate numbers shown along the highway. Many Chicagoans will not even know those numbers. The junction of the Kennedy, IKE (aka Eisenhower) and Ryan expressways is the Byrne Interchange (aka Circle Interchange) near the University of Illinois at Chicago, aka Circle Campus. If you think these expressways are all named for politicians by politicians, you are right.
Lake Shore Drive along our lakefront is known as The Drive. We don’t call it LSD but if someone does, we know what they are talking about.
Lake Michigan is The Lake, period
Chicago has a north side, a south side and a west side. If you are on the east side you are in The Lake.
If you are a baseball fan, you are a Cubs fan or a White Sox fan. You are not both under penalty of banishment from the city. No mayor who wants to be re-elected would ever claim to be both. The President of the United States is a White Sox fan.
Every one is a Chicago Bulls fan. Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player ever so don’t give us any of your LeBron crap.
To prove we are open-minded there is a Milwaukee Avenue and a Green Bay Ave. You can even find the intersection of Milwaukee and Chicago Avenues. It is OK to live on Green Bay Avenue. It is not OK to live in Green Bay.
We all think Soldier Field looks ridiculous from the outside. It is a rather good place to see a game. Of course being on The Lakefront in January does have its drawbacks. On the other hand, we rarely play a home game in January.
If you call the stadium Soldier’s Field or Soldiers Field, you will earn a lecture from a real Chicagoan on the name of our stadium. It is Soldier Field, a memorial, and it is small by NFL standards.
Only the owners of Wrigley Field think that renovating the park is a good idea. There is no explaining that. It is just the way people feel. Anyway, the Cubs are under the curse of the Billy Goat and will never win a World Series in that ball park.
Ernie Banks is the most popular Cub in town. He retired after the 1971 season and is 83 years old.
Minnie Minoso is the most popular White Sox in town. He played in 5 decades and got a hit at the age of 50. He is 89.
Wrigley Field has a statue of Ernie Banks and US Cellular Field has a statue of Minnie Minoso.
The United Center is also called the UC for short. It has a statue of Michael Jordan. If you have out-of-town guests you take them to the statue to have their picture taken with Michael. If you do not take them to the statue, you are not a good host.
The official Illinois state bird is the Cardinal. This is a travesty as far as Cubs’ fans are concerned and should be corrected.
The sculpture called Cloud Gate in all the guide books is to be known as The Bean. No other name is acceptable.
Few Chicagoans call this Chi-Town and I suspect they are really from the suburbs.
Downtown Chicago is The Loop. We are not sure how it got its name but all of the elevated train lines through downtown travel the same loop of tracks.
The Picasso sculpture in the Daley Plaza (downtown civic center) is ridiculous looking and we have no idea what it is supposed to be, but it is ours and we love it. So stay off of it!
The tallest building in the country is the Willis Tower, aka Sears Tower. This is determined by the highest point off the ground a person can stand on the building. If you put a tall spire, that is a big chunk of metal, on top, it does not make it taller. It means it has some ridiculously tall decoration.
Chicago is not the windiest city in the country. It is not even in the top ten. It is the Windy City because of its politicians. Of course, if you are in downtown Chicago in January and the wind is howling down The Lake, you will swear it is the windiest of cities. By the way, we do not call the wind, the hawk. Out of town announcers may call it that during sports games, which causes us to scoff and throw things at the television set.
If you need more information before visiting our fair city, just ask. By the way, Al Capone does not live here, we are not the murder capital of the country (Flint, Michigan is according to the Pew Research Center) and we are not even in the top 10.
Frank Sinatra may have sung a popular song about New York, but it is OK because he sang two about Chicago.
Note: Click on the photos for larger versions.