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Quintessential Chicago

August 22, 2011

“My quintessential New York moment? I’m standing beside a sculptor in the Museum of Modern Art gift shop a few days after the Tiananmen Square massacre. Her next piece is going to be about that horrible event, she tells her friend. “I mean, I’ve got to do something!”

My quintessential Los Angeles moment? A waiter asking me if I know anyone at Second City who might be interested in producing his movie script.

My quintessential Chicago moment? I’m at a loss. Drunk Cubs fans pissing in the alley under my bedroom window? People describing anything that pleases them, even slightly, as “awesome”? Affluent white folks listening to the blues? CTA riders ignoring one another? Fat cops being unhelpful?

After 29 years here, I’ve yet to pick up on a vibe that typifies Chicago. It’s the most comfortable, attitude-free big city I’ve ever visited—a place where most residents go about their lives with little interest in fitting into a Chicago lifestyle. The essence of Chicago is that it’s got no essence, except maybe shitty weather.”

-By Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, August 11 , 2011

Categories: Chicago, Uncategorized
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