Perhaps I am just a nice innocent boy from Maine. When I think of living in a city, I believe it means that there are tall buildings, lots of great bars and restaurants, you can walk to anywhere of significance,getting transportation on the off chance you don’t walk involves simply raising your hand and a cab appears, and people are too busy living out in the city to stay inside and obsess over the latest episode of “CSI: Wherever”. However, Chicago seems to have this massive city boundary blurriness. The city is so great, that people who obviously reside nowhere near the city still claim to be in Chicago.
If you live south of the White Sox or north of the Cubs, you aren’t really in the true city area, you live in the burbs. I understand University of Chicago is down in Hyde Park, but that is kind of like how most football teams claim to be from the major city of the area, but are actually 30 miles outside of the town they claim to be from. Hyde Park is the burbs. You are “Chicago” by name only. If you live west of United Center, sorry, you are in the burbs.
I met a girl for a drink a month ago. She explained she lived in Chicago. I asked where, she told me north of irving park. I could not hide my horrified look. Think of the face that someone makes when they bite into a piece of fish and suddenly find out it is under-cooked and/or has a nice bone that just pricked the back of their throat. That was my grimace of disdain. I felt guilty but why bullsh*t my feelings on the subject? And I am not saying it is not really pleasant up there, great deal on your condo, 2 good restaurants and an occasional cab, yadayada yawning reason #35 why people justify living in the burbs, whatever. It is simply geographically undesirable for a city person to have any ties to the burbs. Rather than debate geographical dimensions until I am blue in the face, it’s easier to break down suburban vs. city living as a mindset and way of life…there is no dispute, arguments dissipate, the facts are black and white when you look at the debate this way.
If you have to call for a cab, you live in the burbs. A city person thrives on not planning much of anything, and simply deciding “Hey let’s go to new restaurant xyz” and then walking outside and raising their hand to get a ride if the restaurant is not a 3 block walk away.
If you get excited about going to Outback, and are even willing to wait for the “Denny’s of steakhouses”…you live in the burbs! Chicago, the actual city of Chicago, and anyone living in it, would not be caught dead at an Outback when you have so many delectable choices to eat your slaughtered cow. Although I will give respect yo the burb that had the intelligence to open a Wildfire, that is a truly great burb steakhouse, but it is a statistical anomaly.
If your cell phone plan doesn’t have 1000 texts per month, you live in the burbs. Or you are a trust fund baby and you can afford to pay 25 cents a text. City people live on text, burbs people are too busy sitting in their cars in traffic talking on their Bluetooth headsets, so they don’t need to text. Plus there is not much going on to text about.
If you have finished eating dinner by 730pm, you live in the burbs. I haven’t even contemplated what I feel like eating for dinner until 730pm, which I then text around to a few folks to coordinate a dinner gameplan for 830-9pm. Which reminds me, if you have no place to grab a bite to eat after 10pm except the local Mobil mini-mart, you live in the burbs, I hope you at least realized it by now.
If you haven’t spontaneously done a vodka shot on a Tuesday night, you undoubtedly live in the burbs. I feel sorry, and yet my heart goes out to you, that if you do live in the burbs, and took a shot at your local Applebees on a Tuesday night, you have the spirit of a city-dwellar and I salute you. But you were at an Applebees, so you live in the burbs. Move already.
If you spent a Sunday raking leaves instead of having 1pm brunch with some friends rehashing the weekend, you live in the burbs. But it’s not like much went on in the burbs to rehash, so you might as well tend to the leaves.
I hope this clears up the confusion. And I am sorry to break it to those poor souls in “Chicago” that are stuck outside of the 3800 north X 2000 west X 3600 south X the lake…you are in the burbs.