Posted Dec 19, 2014

You Know You’re a Chicagoan When …

When you’ve lived in Chicago for awhile, you start exhibiting behaviors your friends from other cities might find odd. However, they just don’t get it!

You Know You're a Chicagoan WhenThe Windy City is a unique spot full of traditions, features and sights that no other city can rival – that’s right, I said it. Whether you’re a Chicago native or have only recently joined our ranks, you’ll know you’re a Chicagoan when …

Chicago Sports Can be a Deal Breaker

You Know You're a Chicagoan When -Chicago Sports Can be a Deal Breaker

You’re hanging out in Wrigleyville, drinking with some friends, when a cute guy walks over. He buys you a drink and things seem to be going well until he drops a bomb. The man is a White Sox fan. You, carrying a lucky Cubs keychain, just can’t.

He might be handsome and charming, but you know you’re not compatible (besides, what’s he doing in Wrigleyville to begin with?) All those nights arguing over which team is best and whether the Cubs curse is real are just going to be too much of a strain on your relationship. So, you turn the guy down.

People from San Francisco or New York City would never understand the intense rivalry of Chicago sports, but as a resident, you do, and you respect it.

You Can Talk L Like No One’s Business

You Know You're a Chicagoan When - You Can Talk L Like No One's Business

“Yeah I just get on at the California blue stop, then transfer to the green at Clark and Lake. I get off at Clinton to go to work.” A Chicagoan knows exactly what that means, can picture the stops and even the twists and turns the L train takes to arrive at its destination. They also know that the Clinton green stop is in the West Loop while the California blue is in Logan Square.

Because Chicago has an amazing train system, residents prefer to use it over a car (who has time to idle in the ridiculous traffic just to almost get hit like five times?). The CTA is a blessing from the heavens, though the frequent construction is not. And don’t even ask us about Ventra. Just don’t. Seriously.

You Can Tell a Lot About a Person by Where They Live

You Know You're a Chicagoan When - You Can Tell a Lot About a Person by Where They Live

Let’s start with a caveat: Not everyone will fit the bill of where they live, but many Chicago neighborhoods do have a reputation. That being said, one of the first questions you ask a new acquaintance is what neighborhood they live in.

For instance, if someone says they live in Logan Square, chances are they’re a hipster sporting tattoos who drinks at Revolution Brewery and chills at Cafe Mustache.

Wrigleyville residents are thought to be bros, extending college into their 20s, and anyone who can afford living in the Loop must be beyond wealthy.

While I generally agree that stereotyping isn’t cool, Chicago neighborhoods do have their own, unique cultures, which tend to draw like-minded people. Those looking to join the ranks of us residents should look for a community vibe that suits them.

Your Apartment Resume is Ready to Go

Renting is a competitive sport in Chicago, as vacancies fill quickly. When the last few months of their leases approach, Chicagoans refine their rental resume and grab their checkbooks. They often have to apply for an apartment the day they see it, and have everything they need on hand. That means they carry a folder filled with recommendations from prior landlords, IDs, proof of employment, etc.

Dog-Friendly is High on Your Rental Priority List

You Know You're a Chicagoan When- Dog-Friendly is High on Your Rental Priority ListChicago is a dog city filled with the furry friends. As such, renters with pups look for dog-friendly places, and generally find them – many landlords know residents have pets and so allow the animals in order to get more tenants.

Having a Chicago dog also means looking for apartments near parks (apartments just don’t have the yard a pooch needs).

You probably also recognize the dogs in your neighborhood and have made up your own name for them (I always pass Mr. and Mrs. Grumpers on my way home from work).

Pitchfork and Lollapalooza are Your Jam

You Know You're a Chicagoan When - Pitchfork and Lollapalooza are Your Jam

Every year, Lollapalooza and Pitchfork provide Chicago with a weekend full of live music. These events are known around the country, but us Chicagoans have lived in the middle of the excitement for awhile, and we know how to make the most of either event.

We hop online just as tickets are available, and snag a three-day pass for us and our friends – easy peasy!

Deep Dish Has a Special Place in Your Heart

You Know You're a Chicagoan When - Deep dish has a special place in your heart

The only pizza is deep dish pizza. That flimsy cardboard you call “thin crust” is just weakness incarnate. But if you’re a true Chicagoan, you go in with your fork and knife, ready to eat the king of pies.

Ketchup is Taboo

You Know You're a Chicagoan When - Ketchup is Taboo

Your hot dog is built the right way: with a poppy seed bun, pickles, mustard, onion, an all-beef frank, relish, tomato and celery salt. Anything else is blasphemy, so don’t defile our presence with your alternative dog (kids these days). But most importantly, don’t let that red liquid devil touch our frankfurter, or there will be hell to pay.

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You Know You're a Chicagoan When... - Are you a true Chicagoan- Find out!

Photo credit: Trey RatcliffRon CogswellKristin WallRamón DuránJason KositarutMark MoschellKyleWiThstacey shintani

Jen Jackowski


Jen Jackowski is a graduate of Illinois State University, where she studied theater and English. Her experiences in the theatrical arts left her with a love for storytelling that she breathes into her writing. She’s also passionate about art, gaming, sustainability and fashion. Her work has been published in the literary magazine, Euphemism.

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