Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, July 21

Gapers Block

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Mike / April 21, 2004 1:58 PM

Lake Shore Drive at Streeterville, the rivers and Sox Park

thefirstcomment / April 21, 2004 2:01 PM


thesecondcomment / April 21, 2004 2:02 PM

oops i guess i wasn't the first!

Paul / April 21, 2004 2:02 PM

The El. (Home is the overall feeling, though, and not the 'thing' that comes to my mind.)

Pat / April 21, 2004 2:04 PM

When I think of Chicago I think of wrought iron. Twisted and old. I think of big cemetaries filled with grandfathers and their father's mothers. I think of city streets with cool names. Big beautiful parks that you used to go to but can't anymore- Same with movie theatres. I think of cops who all look like my uncle. When I think of Chicago, I think of a windy city, not labeled as such for it's weather, but even still, I'll hold 2 to 1 it's windier than New York, Paris and L.A. When I think of Chicago, I think of urban folklore and stories that couldn't possibly be true. And even though they aren't, they are. When I think of Chicago, I think of a small town the size of DeBuque which happens to hold 3 million. Probably more, but our burroughs are called suburbs.

Pat / April 21, 2004 2:18 PM

Strangely enough, Channel 9 and the Bozo show with Bob Bell. Guess it all goes back to being 3 years old.

Ian / April 21, 2004 2:52 PM

Rod iron

Brenda / April 21, 2004 3:03 PM

The skyline, from LSD driving north.

miss ellen / April 21, 2004 3:59 PM

yep, growing up on the south side, that view you would get rounding the bend at mccormick place - SWEET! that's MY city.

pretty much, the lakefront & skyline in general. what a wonderful world....

robin.. / April 21, 2004 4:14 PM

the smell of the wooden el platforms in the rain. the sound of my morning commute on that train. signs in four languages in three blocks. the lakeshore. skinny 3-flats and squat single-family bungalos (disappearing?). walking and walking and walking.

when i moved to chicago i thought it was the city of Yes and i've not yet been wrong.

Carly / April 21, 2004 4:24 PM


Andy / April 21, 2004 4:58 PM

Chicago style hot dogs. Salad on a bun.

patsy / April 21, 2004 5:25 PM

architecture. the blues. FOOD.

myrrh / April 21, 2004 6:56 PM


in the institutions and in the people.

Charlene / April 21, 2004 7:37 PM

Architecture and hot dog stands.

I miss my pork chop sandwich guy on Halsted before they took down Maxwell Street. After 2:00am tasty stuff. I'll always remember that aroma.

amyc / April 21, 2004 10:26 PM

Sweet, sweet freedom.

Mike / April 21, 2004 10:38 PM

Ditka. Sahsage. Ditka. Da Bears. Ditka.

jp / April 22, 2004 2:59 AM

... looking fer the ghost of Mike Royko at the Billy Goat.

jennifer / April 22, 2004 9:00 AM


jmo / April 22, 2004 9:10 AM

My adopted home after my escape from NYC. Dog beach. All the fun with less garbage on the sidewalks. Easy access to live music, the arts, museums. The city of good food. Prairie-style. Lots of parks versus one big one where you can't go at night. Postage-stamp sized backyard gardens and hanging out on a porch with a glass of wine. Big little city.

emily / April 22, 2004 9:19 AM

BIG city. And my home. And hot dogs (haht dahgs). And icy cold wind whipping off Lake Michigan.

Naz / April 22, 2004 10:37 AM

Before I moved here: Michael Jordan.

Now that I'm here: My first real view of Chicago. I had arrived for the first time after a 32 hour journey from half way across the globe, sick, tired and about ready to crawl into my skull and explode. I was picked up from the airport, and felt supercold air for the first time in 9 years (it was the first week of January). I was fed and given a place to sleep.

The next morning, I awoke early, due to jet lag and wandered out in the living room and saw the view out of the windows, out of the 16th floor of the apartment building at 6230 N. Kenmore in Rogers Park. Lake Michigan was harshly beautiful, her vastness encompassing and I could see all these cars make their way on Sheridan. Hot air bellowed from the tops of roofs, visible in the cold.

It sounds like I'm romanticizing this, but it was a great first (daylight) view of Chicago. It was gritty, stark and gorgeous. That's what I think of when Chicago comes to mind.

jim / April 22, 2004 11:24 AM

1. Food, specifically Pizza Puffs (which DO NOT exist outside of Chicago) and Beef Sandwiches (which are never as good outside of Chicago). Though Chicago has good food all around.

2. Parks, plenty and plenty of parks and green space for such a big city.

3. Citizens who, in general, are not flakey.

These are the things I miss most when I have lived in other cities.

dce / April 22, 2004 12:14 PM

Chicago is a beautiful woman with a broken nose (to quote Algren) and a "don't fuck with me" attitude. She is simultaneously inclusive and racist, yuppie and working class, learned and base.

She's got that "I Will" and "The City that Works" ethic captured by Sandburg and realized by people like Burnham, Sullivan, Terkel, Royko, Hull, Washington and McCormick.

She's totally hot, and I miss her terribly when she's not around.

Michael / April 22, 2004 1:05 PM

Home. Family. Good food. The lake. The hunky, midwestern men everywhere.

chris / April 22, 2004 1:44 PM

Sitting on the balcony at Crate & Barrel overlooking N. Michigan Avenue, watching the city move below. Decent local network news in which the first story is rarely, if ever, college football. Cold beer and hot dogs in the sunshine at Wrigley. I'm so homesick right now that it hurts.

Siobhan / April 22, 2004 2:24 PM

Wrigley Field followed closely by Lake Shore Drive near Oak Street on a sunny June day.

But not that far off the mind's radar would be burly cops wielding batons, cursing obscenities ready to arrest; high-rise housing projects like Cabrini Green; and the Blizzard of '79.

'That Ian' / April 22, 2004 3:14 PM

I think of weather fluctuations. I think of sunny summer days down by the lake, baking in the sun and coming home toasted and pink. I think of coughing soot and scraping bits of gravel from my shredded and bleeding knees.

But mostly I just think of your mom....

Shasta MacNasty / April 22, 2004 8:33 PM


laura / April 22, 2004 9:12 PM

-Fannie May

clodius / April 23, 2004 9:08 AM

All of those hits: 25 or 6 to 4, Saturday in the Park, Beginnings, Wishing You Were Here...Peter Cetera's hair. So many memories...

jima / April 23, 2004 9:40 AM

Frank Sinatra singing "Chicago".

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