My buddy Paul has officially moved from Boston to Chicago, leaving Beantown residents weeping hopelessly in the streets. They entire town is upset. I’m talking 2003 Red Sox losing in the playoffs sad.
It’s the end of an era. A damn good era. It was a period of time that included drunkenly riding laundry carts down winding roads and narrowly avoiding death by bus, parties on buses, parties on Thorndike and Glenville, amazingly misunderstood parody music videos, and TITS! No – not those kind of tits. I’m talking about Tavern in the Square for those of you who aren’t familiar with the legendary Brighton Avenue haunt.
Moving on is tough. A clean break from anything is a myth. No matter how things end, it’s never easy. Especially when you’ve got a group of amazing friends in Boston.
That being said, Chicago is awesome. And since Paul is a lifelong Northeasterner, I figured I’d give him a few things to keep in mind/look forward to in this new exciting era of his life. I might live in L.A., but part of my heart is, was, and always will be in the Windy City.
First things first. We don’t have “soda” in Chicago. It’s “pop.” No one will look down at you if say soda. Just giving you a heads up.
The “W” flag you see around Wrigleyville is what they hang up when the Cubs win. You probably won’t see it too much this year. God damn it. I’ll still play “Go Cubs Go” when I come back and visit.
The water is actually a really big lake, not an ocean. And it’s way easier to get to a nice beach spot than it is in Boston. Plenty of good-looking 20-somethings hit the shore each weekend. It’s time to perfect your football overthrow nice-to-meet you routine.
Deep dish. Whether you’ve lived in Chicago your whole life, or have relocated, deep-dish pizza is just the fucking best. We know we talk about it too much, and we know it annoys the shit out of people, but you might start to relate as you eat more and more of it. I suggest Pizzeria Due once a week.
People are really nice. This of course is a generalization, but you’ll find that Chicagoans don’t have the hardness that East Coast locals can sometimes have. I wouldn’t expect free drinks every time you go out, but I can promise some good conversation.
Outdoor summer house parties are the shit. Boston doesn’t have as many apartments with expansive front or backyards as Chicago. Please take advantage of this by hosting your own parties. Buy a cheap grill. Soak in the Chicago summer because Chiberia will be back come late November.
312 instead of Sam Summer. I know this is going to be a rough transition. Samuel Adams beer is damn good. But in Chicago, it’s all about Goose Island. You can still have Sam whenever you want, but if you’re looking to buy a pretty lady a nice beer, err on the side of 312.
Public transportation letter change. You’re moving from the “T” to the “L.” This will come in handy, as calling the “L” the “T” would confuse people. As crappy as the L can sometimes be, it’ll get you where you need to go. And no one really calls you out if you have a 312 on your ride. That’s a bonus.
Chicago Bears fandom is a religion. Most services are on Sundays, sometimes Monday or Thursday nights, and the city shuts down during them. Our relationship with Jay Cutler is a complicated one, as he’s the best quarterback we’ve ever had this side of Jim McMahon. He’s no Tom Brady, but he’s our guy. He’s like that guy who is kind of a dick in your group of friends, but you still love him for whatever reason. And now he’s got guys like Marshall, Jeffery, and the Black Unicorn to throw to. We’re hoping for big things this year.
While we’re on sports, we’re hoping to lure Melo in the next few days. Bulls and Blackhawks fandom is pretty similar to that of da Bears. We will never understand why free agents continue to spurn Chicago. You want to win a ‘ship? Go play for Thibs with Jo, Gibson, and a (hopefully, please sports gods) healthy Rose.
Grant Park is a lot of fun. It hosts Lollapalooza, free concerts, softball games, etc. Make your way there once in a while.
16-inch softball is the only kind of softball. No gloves. Use your hands and a wood bat. It’s just the best.
There’s a lot more I could say about Chicago, but you’ll find out more in time. Don’t forget: You can steal a laundry cart and ride it down the streets of Chi Town, too.