Only In Chicago
How a true Chicagoan refers to the Chicago Bears. This term made famous by Saturday Night Live's very own Bill Swerski Super Fans.
Home to one of the largest LGBT communities in the Midwestern U.S., Boystown is a bustling neighborhood in West Lakeview. It has hosted Chicago’s annual Pride Parade since 1971 and has charming coffee shops, cool record stores and trendy boutiques along its tree-lined streets. Known for its comedy clubs and offbeat theaters, the area also draws young, hip crowds to its vibrant cocktail bars and nightclubs.
There’s a good chance that the taste means something different to you in other cities. But, in Chicago, it refers to the Taste of Chicago, which is the annual festival held each summer that the entire city seemingly shows up to and tastes flavors from local restaurants. It’s a scene worth checking out—if you haven’t been before—and is held right by Grant Park by Lakeshore.
It’s no secret that Chicago is known for its filling, cheese-gooey pizza, better known as the deep dish. Unlike the paper-thin style that New Yorkers boast about, when you have pizza in Chicago, it is deep dish, looking like a table that just falls off a few feet from its crust down—and it’s delicious.
Coined by legendary Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka, when he called his team a “bunch of Grabowski’s,” he meant they did all the little things to get the job done. A blue-collar, lunch-pale type of group, Ditka’s players embraced the term by being toughminded and tough-nosed.
What do you get when you have a group of older, affluent men who hang out in a popular North side bars and restaurants? You get the nickname Viagra Triangle, which is exactly what I described above. Look out, all you single, mid-twenties ladies, because if you visit here, you’re getting hit on by guys old enough to be your uncles.
Madhouse on Madison
As a major sports town, Chicago doesn’t just say where they’re going in literal terms, but, as other places do, disguise their whereabouts through nicknames. That’s why telling someone that you’re headed to see “Da Bulls” or “Hocks” play at the Madhouse on Madison is slang for seeing the NBA’s Bulls or NHL’s Blackhawks in action—even though the arena is actually called the United Center.
No, I’m not referring to the drug, rather the freeway that runs down the coast of Chicago, Lake Shore Drive, which many North Siders take to get into the loop or other parts of the city. Unfortunately, driving on the LSD might make you feel a little funky, at times, as it is typically backed up and slow-moving depending on when you try and drive it.
The home of the Chicago White Sox. The stadium was once named U.S. Cellular Filed or "The Cell"
Located in Millennium Park, everyone is obsessed with the bean. A silver sculpture in the shape of a bean, it’s design makes reflections look like a circus mirror, stretching and scrunching people’s bodies as they stand by it. Taking selfies and posing in front of it are encouraged—and, well, pretty much mandatory.
I’m On the El
While some people think that the “El” is actually the “L,” many might not be aware that the train system in the city is short for elevated train, which runs above the streets through many parts of the city. As one of the most reliable public transportation systems in the country, the El is an ideal way to go from Lincoln Park to the Loop in just 15 minutes on the brown line. If your’e from Chicago, you know exactly what that means.
The Friendly Confines
Although there are two MLB teams in Chicago, there is only one that can call the Friendly Confines their home park—the Chicago Cubs. Playing in Wrigley Field, the place is a shrine for baseball fans and bleacher bums, giving sports fanatics memories that they can’t seem to remember once the game actually ends. As great of a place to see a game as anywhere in the United States, Wrigley just can’t be beat.
The Second City
Before being overtaken by Los Angeles, Chicago was the second-largest city in the United States, trailing only New York City. In addition to that, because of the famous Chicago fire years ago, many refer to the Windy City as the Second City because it, get this, had a second resurgence following the building up of it once the ashes were swept away. In Chicago, though, they would refer to anywhere but Chicago as the second city, so don’t be a tourist by saying this too often.