It has been about three months since Marcia moved to Chicago, with me following behind her a few weeks later. We then moved from temporary housing into our long-term apartment about a month ago, so we’re starting to feel settled in our work and residence, and are beginning to develop the routines and identify the favorites that make a place feel like home. We’re figuring the City out, and enjoying the experience.
That being said: there are still some things about Chicago that remain mysterious to us. Here are some of the early, obvious ones for us — though I am sure there will be many more to follow. Any help or perspective from long-time Chicagoan to get these things figured out, or are they actually mysterious to the natives too?
- Why do the streets in the Loop named after Presidents exclude Jefferson and favor John Quincy Adams’ place in the sequence over that of his father?
- Why is eating breakfast out such a big deal here, with people patiently waiting in line well over an hour for a pancake?
- Does the Purple Line really exist, and if so, why would anybody get on it?
- Why the obsession with caramel and cheese popcorn being mixed together, creating an end product that tastes like Captain Crunch with a yeast infection?
- Why do street lane lines appear to have been painted by a drunken random number generating robot?
- Why are pizzas made out of pie crust, and why are the toppings all out of order?
- Why is the City’s most famous, most trafficked downtown Avenue named after the state on the other side of the Lake? And for that matter, why is the Lake named after that place, too?
- Why is the per ounce price for meat at Chicago Steak Houses similar to that of many precious metals?
- How did the Chicago political machine produce Chicago, while the Albany political machine produced Albany?
- Bicycles on the sidewalks? Really?