Princess and I had the best time in Chicago! There’s a very charming innocence about the city, though it’s terribly sophisticated and gorgeous, too. Every time someone heard we were there just as tourists, they were absolutely delighted (and a little surprised, which struck me as odd; it really is a first-rate city).
Almost everyone asked what we thought of their city, and more than a couple folks said, “It’s just as good as New York, isn’t it?” I thought that was really cute. On the river boat tour we took, the docent said, “I think our skyline is even better than Manhattan’s.” There was a New Yorker on the tour, and we smiled at each other (because, please…there’s no skyline in the world that’s better than Manhattan’s, no matter how gorgeous Chicago’s is).
Chicagoans apologized for the chilly weather, saying you just couldn’t depend on what you get (though it’s exactly the same in New England). They recommended pizza places, since Princess and I are from the Church of the Thin Crust and had never tried the Chicago variety. It was excellent, for the record. Not what I’d call pizza; it’s more of a pizza casserole, but we loved it (and left very, very full).
The city is cleaner than most; whether that’s due to the wind whisking all the trash away or Midwestern conscientiousness, I’m not sure. It is indeed the windy city, sometimes punishingly so.
Fire trucks are louder in Chicago. I swear, their sirens make 50% more noise than our fire trucks. I think New York and Boston must have air pollution laws that Chicago doesn’t have. Also, Chicago firefighters can drive on the wrong side of the street, which Princess and I found quite thrilling.
So thanks for the hospitality, Chicagoland! It was awfully nice getting to know you.