By: AYP Student Blogger: Rabita from Indonesia
There’s something about arriving in a new city, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for arriving, and I know I’m born to leave, but not this time, not in Chicago. Chicago is an October type of city even in spring, and I must confess, I love Chicago best in the cold. Chicago divided your heart, leaving you the joint for keeps. That is how much I love Chicago, the city that took my soul.
Before I visit Chicago, all I know about the city are just pizzas and Mike Ditka. Sure the pizzas were great, and Mike Ditka is legendary, but Chicago has its own thing that you can only feel when you are standing there. What a phenomena we find in a great city, all we need to do is stroll around with our eyes open. You see skyscrapers, Michigan Lake, Millennium Park, and you see the people living in pride. “I set foot in this city, and just walking down the streets, it was like roots, like motherland” – Oprah
Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody. That’s the thing, Chicago was built by the people of Chicago for the people of Chicago. Chicago don’t seek for attention and it didn’t have to. Everything here is meant to be here, the skyscrapers wasn’t built for competition. The river wasn’t built for attraction. The people wasn’t here for fame. It offers you authenticity. Unlike some other big cities like NY or LA, the people living there aren’t even from there. Chicago has culture and roots, it has the city vibe for those who wants to wander and get lost.
One of the hallmarks of Chicago is that they do so many things in an original manner. What other city has made a river flow backwards? What other city makes traffic flow backwards?
As Neil Gaiman said, “Chicago happened slowly, like a migraine. First they were driving through countryside, then, imperceptibly, the occasional town became a low suburban sprawl, and the sprawl became the city.”
It was a city revived from a huge fire, turning their grief into a spirit. It was a city built with pride by its people, and I have never seen a city with such authenticity, and that is how I fell in love with Chicago. My soul is trapped in the city vibe and I can feel Chicago pulling me even deeper.