This past week I went on a 2-day business trip to Chicago. The trip was training for newly hired Sales-Reps, I’m not a sales-rep, but the IS-Dept was invited to go, so we tagged along. We got in Tuesday night, at around 9PM CST, so it was dark at that point outside, and I couldn’t see any of Chicago on our descent. After finally managing to get a taxi to our hotel (16 miles away from the airport), Chicago started to appear in the distance. Now, I’ve never been to Chicago before, but heard a lot about it. I’ve been to New York, Paris, London and LA, so I’m familiar with those cities, so I couldn’t wait to experience Chicago. Finally the freeway opened up, and there she was. It was if, from within my taxi, I was looking at Gotham City. I’m not sure what Gotham City was modeled after, but I’d have to say it was New York meets Chicago. The buildings were tall and very close together. Not like any other city though, these buildings were smack dead next to each other. What I really liked about the freeways entering Chicago, was that they didn’t just end before the city, and break up into smaller cross roads. No, Chicago’s freeways went directly into the city, at 80mph we were passing the 10th floor of someone’s condo, it was awesome! Getting off the freeway, the hotel was literally 3 blocks away. We stayed at the Downtown Marriot.
My room was on the 29th floor, everyone else’s floor was below the 20th, suckers. My view was incredible. Given that Lake Michigan was on the other side of the hotel, I still had a bird’s eye view of Downtown Chicago. Getting settled into the room, I changed (put on my Arsenal Jersey, need to represent anywhere I can), and headed down to the lobby to meet up with everyone else. We all decided we needed to check out Chicago’s deep dish pizzas. Where did we go, none other than Chicago’s finest, Uno Pizzeria. If you’ve been to New York City, then chances are you’ve been blessed enough to have a New York style Pizza. I’m talking about those 25” plus inches of pizza goodness. Well, take that, and stuff it into a pan about 15 inches wide, 2 inches deep. It’s literally a cardiac patient’s nightmare. Words can not describe how amazingly awesome that pizza was. That, and a draft beer, made my night. Now, the walk to Uno, although pretty good, didn’t show much of Chicago, mainly because it was 12AM, and desolate.
The next day, after our training seminars, we decided to head out again. This time it was prime time Chicago. We headed out at 5PM, into the lovely chaos that is the city; Chicago baby. Being a city-boy at heart, I immediately fell in-love. I don’t know how to describe why I love the City life so much. Explaining it to others, who don’t know what I’m talking about; turn their head like a confused dog at a weird sound. Could it be the 10,000 plus people also walking around? Could it be that everything is within walking distance, and conveniently available at any time? Could it be that the city represents a Mecca of cultural wealth, and diverse richness? Is it the unique architecture abundantly flourishing? No, it’s all of the above. It takes a certain type of person to appreciate city-life, one who loves organized chaos, one who can take the deafening ring of a million car horns. You get lost in the mass amount of things going on at once, its brilliant, your lost in becoming a singularity in an organism that never stops. Its not that you lose your individuality in the city, your uniqueness actually comes out full force in a place that appreciates it.
It isn’t for everyone, city life. Clearly, my girlfriend is from California. “Laid back” is most people’s jobs out there. Although I mentioned L.A. earlier, its not really close to the more eastern cities, you still need to own a car to live in L.A. The life of the city is one of immense pace, if you’re too slow, it passes you by and you’ve missed out. Lucky for you, you can try again the next day. Walking around, to any location was a blast. A million different types of people, all with different styles, cultural backgrounds and lives all passed me by. It’s no NYC in terms of population, but damn near close. The Jazz artists playing their clarinets on the sidewalks added a beautiful soundtrack to my time in Chicago.