I realized today that I haven’t posted yet since my arrival last week in Chicago. It’s been a busy last few days, but I’ll attempt to summarize my initial impression of becoming a Chicagoan.
Most of my drive from Fargo to the Chicagoland area was smooth. I avoided all the major rush hours, until I hit the suburb of Des Plaines, which is the home of Chicago’s O’Hare airport. It was gridlock. After an hour, I finally made it to my new apartment and moved in. My parents came over from their hotel (it was mom’s birthday and they bought my car from me) and we went to dinner at Flaco’s Tacos.
The next day, Michonne and I slept in and then we drove to the Ikea in Bolingbrook, southwest of the city. We are the proud owners of a new dresser and two new bookshelves. That night, we went out for dinner with my parents at Cafe Spiaggia, which shares a kitchen with Michelin one-star Italian restaurant Spiaggia, on the far north end of the Magnificent Mile. It was spectacular. Especially the gelato, but that’ll get its own post on the food blog.
The day after, we took the Red Line train up to Lincoln Park/Old Town and visited my new place of employment. It’s a massive store (easily six times as big as my old store), and it’s kind of dirty and in disarray. My first day was the next day, and it was quickly apparent to me that, as M put it, “the level of don’t-give-a-fuck is pretty high” among my new coworkers. The store manager barely remembered me, and my supervisor is lazy and unsafe. Most of the people I work with would clearly rather be elsewhere (so would I but I don’t show it). I will not be working there long.
After our initial visit, we discovered a huge Whole Foods Market. It will definitely become a regular trip for us. The place was so huge, it has restaurants inside the store, including a wine and cheese bar and a diner.
If there’s one thing that makes me realize how good a choice it was for me to come here, it’s this: everybody who lives here loves it here. The number of activities available daily are unlimited, pride in the city is incredibly high, and I’ve already heard several languages in the past few days that I either don’t speak or don’t recognize (just on my one-block walk home from Target tonight, I heard Portuguese or Spanish and also German). This is a global city, a marvel of modern engineering, the epicenter of a culinary and cultural revolution, and a metropolis packed to the rivets with beauty at every street corner. The world is evolving, and part of that evolution is happening right here in Chicago.
This is the Windy City, and this is what we do.