Growing up in Chicago makes you a certain type of person. Every Chicagoan experiences these 13 weird side effects that may make us a little odd. From road rules to food preferences, our expectations run high. Keep scrolling to check out these undeniable habits.
1. Expecting every city to have a flag.
Chicago is super proud of its flag. We display this symbolic representation of our city all over the place here, so you might think that's normal everywhere if that's what you're used to.
2. Calling historic structures by their original names.
Many Chicagoans still call this iconic skyscraper the Sears Tower, even though it renamed the Willis Tower in 2009. Other original names include Weegham Park, Northwestern Station, the Amaco Building, and Cook County Hospital. Do you know what they are called today?
3. Putting cheese on everything.
Sandwiches, pizza, pasta, burgers, fries, and a slew of other great eats are even better with a mess of cheese on top! Being so close to Wisconsin has its perks; we're able to get ahold of some of the best creamy, melty goodness there is to be found.
4. Remaining loyal to Chicago sports teams.
Though they may lose time and again, a true Chicagoan can't help but continue to root for teams like the Bears, the Cubs, and the Bulls, regardless of their records. Wearing your favorite team's jersey is one of many side effects of growing up in the city.
5. Needing to live near water.
Many Chicagoans have the luxury of living near the lake, and even those who don't are likely close enough to visit. Once you've lived near a great body of water like Lake Michigan, it's hard to reside any other way.
6. Thinking this is normal pizza.
To the rest of the world, this is known as "Chicago-style" or "deep-dish," but here it's just pizza. We have many types to choose from, and what you get depends mostly on where you choose to dine.
7. Only drinking local beer.
Growing up in Chicago makes you accustomed to always having local brews around. It's one of our weird side effects, but we just don't do Budweiser and Corona.
8. Always having a sweater in your car or bag.
Mom's voice rings in your head every time you go to leave the house: "Did you pack a sweater?" You never know when it's going to get cold here, and eventually, you just start stashing hoodies and jackets all over the place.
9. Using lawn chairs to save parking spots.
This only applies to street parking spots where a person had to dig their car out of the snow. The chair denotes "dibs" on the spot so that it is still there when the person returns.
10. Never expecting roads to be nice.
Your car rumbles and bumps as you drive up and down Chicago streets. Whether it's a pothole, a sewage drain, or poorly laid asphalt, your chances of a smooth ride are slim.
11. Always expecting traffic.
Some side effects of growing up in the city are actually very helpful (with the right attitude, that is). Chicagoans are used to leaving early in order to arrive on time because traffic is often a nightmare. It's a good rule of thumb to add 15 to 20 minutes to your commute no matter what Google Maps says.
12. Hesitating to trust politicians.
Illinois has been called one of the most corrupt states in the nation, and Chicago has certainly played a part. Fred Roti, Isaac Carothers, and William Carothers are well-known names we'd all rather forget.
13. Only eating seasonal produce.
Another one of our strange side effects is expecting to find a fresh market around every corner. The city is filled with farmer's markets in the spring and summer, several of which just move indoors for the cold season. There are not many food deserts around here.
What other side effects do you get from growing up in Chicago? Share your thoughts with us!