As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. 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 over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Saturday, July 22

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Fuel

Andrew / September 10, 2007 12:28 AM

Let's see if we can build up a good email forward for our parents to send around to relatives.

Clayton Roche / September 10, 2007 6:08 AM

You hear no less than 5 different languages on your trainride to work.

pat / September 10, 2007 7:10 AM

... you shop over by the Jewels to pickup a couple-a, two, tree, four sah-sahges for da bears game at soldiers field.

steven / September 10, 2007 8:05 AM

... you're scared as shit to walk out onto your back deck.

CTA Rider / September 10, 2007 8:15 AM

...you find it's faster to walk from your home to your school/office than it is to take public transit.

Lily / September 10, 2007 8:42 AM

You wear gym shoes and drink pop

You've been towed by Lincoln Towing

You know that there is not "more than corn in Indiana"

Your area code is a status symbol

You know a sentence can end in a preposition, as in "We're going to the movies, want to come with"

You can understand the traffic report on WGN

MB / September 10, 2007 8:48 AM

You grew up in Chicago if you can tell anyone what something used to be, before it became a Starbucks/Potbelly/Condo.

If you still have your "No Lights in Wrigley Field" button or t-shirt.

If you speak in coordinates, like "3200 North, 2200 West."

editorkid / September 10, 2007 8:58 AM

... you've voted for Mayor Richard M. Daley every election, yet you've never left your home on election day.

Doyle / September 10, 2007 9:10 AM

If you spend a good portion of your paycheck on concerts and domestic beer

If you feel a slight twinge of pity for the tourists waiting in line at Pizerria Uno/Due

If you are elated at a 1 hour, 30 mile reverse commute (b/c it usually takes 1-1/2)

If you know that on the west side, stop signs are "optional"

If you complain frequently (about traffic, politicians, parking, gentrification, etc), but deep down know that Chicago is really the best city in the US

Doyle / September 10, 2007 9:12 AM

Sorry: Pizzeria

JohnnyQ / September 10, 2007 9:21 AM

...you wear T-shirts & shorts at the first prospect of 50 degrees and sun in February or March.

Pedro / September 10, 2007 9:35 AM

The only directions you need are north, south, west, and lake

Kelly / September 10, 2007 10:09 AM

- You have cab numbers saved in your phone.
- You've been towed at least twice on your own street.
- You own a rape whistle.

mike / September 10, 2007 10:09 AM

You have a system for scraping ice off your windshield.

You can parallel park faster than you can say the words "parallel park."

You know a better route than your cab driver.

frankie / September 10, 2007 10:37 AM

you've dated both someone from poland and someone from puerto rico.

winediva / September 10, 2007 10:39 AM

You greet people in your frunchroom. Then offer them sahsige sammiches and beer to watch da Bearsss.

hannah / September 10, 2007 10:46 AM

You happily remember the red line chime of "This is grand"

jah / September 10, 2007 10:48 AM

If you know that there's a statue of Lincoln in Grant Park and a statue of Grant in Lincoln Park.

Leelah / September 10, 2007 10:52 AM

Your union sells you out to the Mayor.

Lily / September 10, 2007 10:53 AM

"If you know that there's a statue of Lincoln in Grant Park and a statue of Grant in Lincoln Park.

and this makes complete sense to you

Josh / September 10, 2007 11:02 AM

You have a preferred spot for pizza or Mexican food when you're drunk at 2 am.

You pass through the old neighborhood, see a condo unit, and often say to yourself - "that used to be..."

You know to not take the Red Line south past Roosevelt Ave.

You consider streets like Milwaukee, Elston, Clybourn and Archer unusual because they are diagonal.

You understand that although it's 80 degrees one day, it very well may be 40 degrees the next day.

Justin / September 10, 2007 11:09 AM

You are a TRUE Chicagoan if you remember the days when 12" softball was for high school girls and 16" softball was for men with no gloves (and depleted livers)...

Justin / September 10, 2007 11:13 AM

And another one...
If you have a more familiar relationship with your favorite T.V. anchor than your next door neighbor.

Justin / September 10, 2007 11:16 AM

And another one...
If you can track the shuffling of T.V. news anchors over the past 20 years more easily than you can track the shuffle of transplanted suburbanites in and out of that next-door condo.

p / September 10, 2007 11:23 AM

..your mom's voice sounds like a freight dispatcher

..reading about successful robberies in the paper makes your day

..you have an f.o.p. sticker on your bumper but think cops are jerkoffs

..you would punch john belushi in his dumb face on sight, on principle

..you've bought weed off a 12 yr. old on a bicycle before (or sold weed off a bike when you were 12)

.."take a left on crawford...sorry bout that...take a left on pulaski"

..you know half of one of the muffin lady's muffins will be just fine

..you've gotten pregnant in a car in front of the planetarium

..you partied w/ jackie bang in the mid-90's

..you know michael flatley's got a fake accent

..you know how bad a maxwell street polish will smell up your car, and that's why everyone stands there eating them

-you pull up on somebody's right at a stop sign, then gun it in front of them. and repeat this at every subsequent stop sign

..you're from wisconsin

..you've shared a pair of "drinking gloves" with someone to more comfortably drink outside

..you instinctively get up and start dancing whenever you hear "it's time for the perculator" even if your in a meeting or something

..you know Twista is like 54 yrs. old and also heard one of his baby's mamas airing his dirty laundry regarding not paying child support on power 92 about 3 yrs. ago

..you're racist

..you've used the phrase "the fat cats upstairs"

spook / September 10, 2007 11:40 AM

you feel more comfortable around your “own kind”

wearing cubs and bears apparel
gives you a comfortable sense of identity and belonging

You think of Richard Daley as an every day man who represents your mainstream values


You’ve never really travelled any where, but deep down you know Chicago is really the best city in the US and you avoid those who no better

You read the Red Eye because deep down it makes you feel good

You think homeless people choose to be homeless like poor people choose to be poor

d. / September 10, 2007 12:21 PM

...you never go to the taste of Chicago even when summer is in full swing.

k / September 10, 2007 12:25 PM

You know who will answer if you dial 588-2300.

Watching Son of Svenghoulie with 3D glasses made your week as a kid.

emjava / September 10, 2007 12:57 PM

You have a special Winter Ironing Board/Lawn Chair (for parking).

You know that Dan Ryan and Kennedy and Eisenhower are highways.

You are drunk in the street any given weekend during the summer--legally!

peta / September 10, 2007 1:21 PM

You know that Wrigleyville is really Lakeview.

You only eat Vienna hot dogs.

You never say Chi-town.

You never use an umbrella except in a cloudburst.

n / September 10, 2007 1:24 PM

...if, half of the time that your friends tell you where they just bought a condo, you have to stifle your thought of "there are condos THERE?"
...if you know how pan pizza is different than stuffed, and if you distrust thin crust pizza - at least here.
...if you still think of the el lines as their non-color names...the ravenswood, the howard-dan ryan, the congress-douglas, the skokie swift...

Allan / September 10, 2007 1:44 PM

You buy lottery tickets because you want to help a failing public school system.

Even though you are a grown man you still won't wear black and yellow because you are afraid you will get shot.

You know that Lincoln park is the best place to publicly masturbate and Grant park is the best place to buy fake weed.

of course I am only guessing.

Jill / September 10, 2007 1:44 PM

....you can use both "heat index" and "cooler by the lake" in the same sentence.

....you're still mourning the loss of Rose Records and Kroch's & Brentano's.

mike / September 10, 2007 2:50 PM

You know that humor and sarcasm die west of the Mississippi, except for those pockets of L.A., which are made of ex-Chicagoans.

printdude / September 10, 2007 3:11 PM

Your father and his cronies identify things by "Dese, dem and Dose"

You use the word "Cronies"

You get to work early in the day, work hard, and live your weekends like they are you last.

You can't tell much of a difference between a wake and a wedding.

d. / September 10, 2007 3:12 PM

i have a good one!

You might be a Chicagoan if you love Eagle Man! And the Victory Auto Wreckers guy!

bucky / September 10, 2007 3:14 PM

i second the "chi-town" comment - no true chicagoan would use the term. ever.

butterfly / September 10, 2007 3:19 PM

I've lived here all my life and lots of people who are as Chicagoan as it gets say 'Chi-town'. Many of them happen to be black. Maybe you don't know any?

And, plenty of people (of all colors) say "Chi" , as in "you've got to come see us in Chi sometime."

printdude / September 10, 2007 3:35 PM

p- ..you've shared a pair of "drinking gloves" with someone to more comfortably drink outside

I've just come from the Jewels, where I saw a pair of Drinnking Gloves emblazoned with a Bears logo. At least, that what I saw them as while they hung there in the Bears Aisle.

mike / September 10, 2007 3:38 PM

You know that humor and sarcasm die west of the Mississippi, except for those pockets of L.A., which are made of ex-Chicagoans.

fluffy / September 10, 2007 3:58 PM

you know all the 4am bars

on Thanksgiving and Christmas - you stay in Chicago.

you don't get lost at OHare

you know some chicago history and architecture

you're familiar with ALL of Chicago, and not just downtown and the near north side.

julie / September 10, 2007 4:22 PM

...you know that your old patio furniture is more useful in the winter than the summer

editorkid / September 10, 2007 4:25 PM

... the phrase "the night sky" makes you think of the color yellow.

Cheryl / September 10, 2007 5:18 PM

Chicagoans of a certain age will always think of Garfield Goose before they think of Elvis Costello when they hear the phrase "King of America."

bibliogrrl / September 10, 2007 7:00 PM

you know that Chicago does indeed have an East Side. And that it is really far South.

-----

Also...what the HELL is a "frunchroom"? Seriously. I've lived here my whole life and I've never heard that term before.

matty / September 10, 2007 7:06 PM

You remember every jam b96 used to play from 1988-1993

you remember that b96 was previously z95

you went to the old comiskey night games and walked through the robert taylor homes to get to the green line at 2am cause the redline was being renovated

you remember when clark and belmont was the place to be for any subculture

you went to medusas

man i could go on forever.

matty / September 10, 2007 7:07 PM

also you remember when chicago was not full of heavyset midwesterners.

ataraxy / September 10, 2007 7:12 PM

You cringe when someone gives directions to drive on "Lake Shore" and you immediately ask them if they mean the outer drive.

You give directions for people to take the Kennedy, the Edens, or the Dan Ryan, not being completely sure if you're talking about the 90, 94, or some other number.

ataraxy / September 10, 2007 7:15 PM

I second bibiogrrl's eastside comment!

Also: you remember taking the red line A or B train. And you still spot A or B signs at random train stations and know what they mean.

spook / September 10, 2007 7:36 PM

You know that parts of the east side is sometimes called "The Low end"

and Roseland is called the "The wild hundreds"

and you've had at least one drink in both hoods including South Chicago, which is sometimes called "The Bush"

jgs / September 10, 2007 9:14 PM

if you know:
that "jackoff" is properly spelled and pronounced jagoff.

that you could smoke on the L platforms, and there used to be smoking cars on the metra.

that there was a golf course between wacker and randolph and lake shore drive.

and that lower wacker used to be a huge homeless encampment.


and i'm guessing that if you know or are related to anyone who has an honorary street named after them, that you are a truly genuine chicagoan.

Benjy / September 10, 2007 9:19 PM

You can't hear or see the suburb Berwyn's name without saying "BERRRRWYN!!!"

leigh / September 10, 2007 9:55 PM

You're a regular to The Tamale Guy (Claudio).

frankie / September 10, 2007 10:08 PM

you will never put ketchup on a hotdog.

frankie / September 10, 2007 10:13 PM

...and hot doug's has a special place in your heart.

Steven / September 10, 2007 11:37 PM

...you never say Lake Shore Drive. It's just the Drive. The Outer Drive, the Inner Drive, but never Lake Shore Drive.

b / September 11, 2007 7:17 AM

You're in your 30s and you've never owned a car.

You talk about Tom Skilling like he's your friend - or your enemy.

elitist / September 11, 2007 8:06 AM

Frunchroom? Phonetic for front room.

...you read most of the posts on this list and smarmily say to yourself, "this person obviously wasn't born in Chicago."

...you think it's weird/annoying that so many transplants compete to be the most legit "local"

mike / September 11, 2007 9:03 AM

you remember that b96 was previously z95

I seem to recall those being two separate stations. I could be wrong.

But I do remember that the best rap station of all time was WBMX.

And I remember Murphy in the Morning.

Wendy / September 11, 2007 9:30 AM

You listened to Steve Dahl on WLS AM.

You remember when there was nothing at Navy Pier except ChicagoFest in the summer.

You can point out places in the Loop where things like the old movie houses and the Greyhound stations used to be.

Jim / September 11, 2007 9:40 AM

-- You dropped your friends off late at night in Humboldt Park... you saw the lights go out and you backed all the way out of the street to get the hell out of there! The lights getting blown out at night... generally a bad sign.

Xander / September 11, 2007 12:01 PM

You estimate distances in two times: with traffic and without.

bkm / September 11, 2007 12:20 PM

You know the difference between sahsage and sausage, and see no reason to eat sausage.

peta / September 11, 2007 12:44 PM

Garfield Goose was "King of the United States" not "King of America".

You listened to The Studs Terkel Show at 10 a.m. weekdays.

You remember "The station with the Girls" (WSDM).

skafiend / September 11, 2007 12:57 PM

...you still think that urban myth about the kid cursing out Bozo is true.

...you miss Bob Luce wrestling on Saturday mornings and swear you saw the Crusher coming out of Ben's Auto Sales one day

...you don't call them "The Cubbies"

...you sort of envied the public school kids getting out of school for "Clean Up Week" even though they didn't clean up shit

...you remember when there was pretty much only one bar open on Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park after 1 a.m (Club Dreamerz)

...you miss hearing Eric Hewett, The Gemini Prince on WNUR

...you went to Cool Runnings, the reggae bar that was replaced by the Smart Bar

...you nodded off during a twi-night double-header at Comiskey and only the centerfield shower kept you awake.

vit / September 11, 2007 1:39 PM

"Also...what the HELL is a "frunchroom"? Seriously. I've lived here my whole life and I've never heard that term before."

My landlord uses that term. It cracks me up.

- you don't have an irrational self-righteous hatred of the suburbs

- you saw a baseball game at 'old comisky'

- you find all of these 'you might be a Chicagoan lists cringeworthy'

skafiend / September 11, 2007 1:57 PM

…it's been four long years since you last saw the Cubs in the playoffs.

...your favorite Cub from the past is Sammy Sosa

…you get nostalgic about those days you got up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning to go to Fakey McIrish’s bar to watch Michigan State games with your friends

…you remember before there was a Pink Line.

…you sorta remember what was there before Millennium Park but you’re not sure.

…you remember when there were only 20 bars in Wicker Park

…you get most of your history of the city from Time Out Chicago magazine

...if other than that one White Sox/Cubs game, you've never had any reason to travel south of Roosevelt Road.

...if Lakeview and Lincoln Park were the first two neighborhoods on your "List of Places to Live in Chicago"

Oh, wait, sorry... that was meant for "You know you're a NEW Chicagoan"

Jill / September 11, 2007 3:01 PM

B96 and Z95 used to peacefully coexist with one another--Z95 was 94.7 on the FM dial.

Sigh. I miss Z95 and Barsky's Morning Zoo.

Speaking of radio:

--you miss Uncle Bobby Collins

--you listened to Murph in the Morning when Q101 didn't play alternative music.

mary / September 11, 2007 3:23 PM

You estimate distances in two times: with traffic and without.

hilarious !

Ryan S. / September 11, 2007 3:28 PM

...you've heard the beautiful roar of hands on the boards at the old Stadium

spook / September 11, 2007 3:37 PM

Although you were too young to vote, you campaigned for Harold Washington!

J D / September 11, 2007 3:43 PM

If you hate Sammy Sosa

bkm / September 11, 2007 6:25 PM

You went to see the Sox for free because you got straight As or had perfect attendance.

And...

You learned everything you ever needed to know about anything from Mike Royko

pallav / September 11, 2007 7:19 PM

You've realized that it's better to walk 45 minutes to work, and deal with the massive sweat stains through your dress shirt, then it is to take the CTA.

Mikey / September 11, 2007 7:59 PM

You know that Celozzi-Ettleson Chevrolet was the place to go "Where you always save more money!"

Not only do you not put ketchup on your hotdog, you get offended when other people do...

You know the answer to the riddle, "What three Chicago street names rhyme with vagina?"

While still pregnant, your mom signed you up on the waiting list for tickets to Bozo's Circus, hoping you would get on before puberty started kicking in...

You know how to properly pronounce "Goethe."

One of the first questions you ask somebody whom you've just met is "Where you from?"...as in their ethnicity...

You went skitching as a kid, and if you grew up in the city proper, maybe you even did it off the back of the "green limousine"...

Your remember Bill Buckner for many other (positive) things besides blowing the World Series for that other team...

You know the difference between Peoples and Folks...

Emily / September 11, 2007 8:19 PM

- You know when Pulaski Day is.

- You know that 710 East Green in Bensenville is "near O'Hare"

- You just expect elected officials to be corrupt, and are a little surprised when people are outraged about it.

Flips / September 11, 2007 9:52 PM

Oh heck yeah on the Perfect Attendance Sox tickets and Berrrrwyyyyn.

You remember when that guy in the Victory Auto Wreckers ads was in style and know when they change the voiceover!

You remember Animal Stories with Larry Lujack.

You've looked up the lyrics to "When The Lights Come On At Wrigley Field" recently and get annoyed that you can't find them. Anyone know what I am talking about??

You wonder if there is anything you'd be caught dead wearing from Your Snappy Shop but are secretly charmed by the little older ladies in the commercial.

Rip 'n Read / September 11, 2007 10:12 PM

You remember old Uncle Lar and his Clunk Letter of the Day.
Left hand turn lanes or signals were virtually non existent.
When you thought of pigs you weren't talking about the animals.

bibliogrrl / September 11, 2007 10:51 PM

JILL!

to this day - they are not ambulances.

They are BAMBALANCES.

damn I loved Murphy in the Morning.

and to whoever asked - Yep, B96 and Z95 were totally different stations. US99 was a good station too, for a while. I can't remember the original call letters, though.

Andrew / September 11, 2007 11:58 PM

...you remember when WMAQ-AM played music.

...the Magikist lips were an important landmark.

...you say "couple two-tree."

...you still refer to UIC as "Circle Campus."

Brian / September 12, 2007 6:53 AM

You know the answer to the riddle, "What three Chicago street names rhyme with vagina?"

OK, I'm a native and I'm stumped. I've got two: Paulina and Melvina. What's the other one?

Brian / September 12, 2007 7:02 AM

You know to not take the Red Line south past Roosevelt Ave.

...you know that there's no Roosevelt Ave.

...you know it's Roosevelt Rd.

...you can remember when most people in the city pronounced it roo-zuh-velt instead of rose-uh-velt.

Brian / September 12, 2007 7:17 AM

...you don't consider the city boundaries to be Howard to the North, Roosevelt to the south, and Ashland to the west.

...the house you grew up in has been torn down and condo units built in its place

...you know that the Eisenhower and the Tri-State are both two-ninety-something, but get their numbers mixed up.

mary / September 12, 2007 8:28 AM

brian- the third street is Lunt.

Brian / September 12, 2007 8:47 AM

brian- the third street is Lunt.

D'oh!

I fail.

vise77 / September 12, 2007 8:48 AM

--You merely shrug at corruption, as though letting others steal your tax dollars was an OK thing to do.

--You give transplants grief for not having the good sense to be born in Chicago, forgetting that much of what made Chicago great--architecture, literature, finance, retail---was accomplished by transplants.

--Are second- or third-generation American but wear your watered-down ethnic identity on your sleeves (Irish, Italian, Greek, Polish whatever).

--You label every person who wears khakis and makes some scratch as an evil yuppie who is destroying the city.

--You have this absurd notion that ketchup is the devil's juice when it comes to hot dogs.

--You still smile at the thought of the cops beating the hell out of the long-haired commie hippie agitators.

--You secrectly hope Harold was the last black to ever reign from the fifth floor of city hall.

--You think Chicago is better than New York City, yet harbor the old Second City insecurities that it is not.

citified / September 12, 2007 8:51 AM

You estimate distances in two times: with traffic and without.

Yeah, because no other city has traffic.

That is the dumbest thing I've read on here.

Emerson Dameron / September 12, 2007 8:59 AM

You got a head-butt from Wesley Willis BEFORE he was a big deal.

Lighten up, Francis... / September 12, 2007 8:59 AM

Somebody piss on vise77's corn flakes this morning??

Brian / September 12, 2007 9:31 AM

--You merely shrug at corruption, as though letting others steal your tax dollars was an OK thing to do.

The corruption started long before your time. Hell, it started long before my time. Doesn't make it right, just makes it what it is.

--You label every person who wears khakis and makes some scratch as an evil yuppie who is destroying the city.

All stereotypes have at least some basis in reality.

--You have this absurd notion that ketchup is the devil's juice when it comes to hot dogs.

It is. If you want to put ketchup on a hot dog, go to Indiana where they won't blink an eye at that.

--You think Chicago is better than New York City, yet harbor the old Second City insecurities that it is not.

It is. But to be fair, New York gave us that complex.

Ketchup on hotdogs is for five-year olds and New Yorkers... / September 12, 2007 9:50 AM

I'll go out on a limb here and suggest vise77 is a ketchup-on-his-hotdog-eating, khakis-wearing, Macy's-shopping, anti-Daley transplant who has no idea what the hell the the Magikist lips are.

Most likely, he lives in a downtown high-rise condo and on weekends can usually be found carousing in the Viagra Triangle or in the bleachers of Wrigley Field with his work buddies.

Furthermore, he probably grew up 2 hours outside of the city limits, but would still tell people he was from Chicago whenever traveling--we all know the type.

Emily / September 12, 2007 9:56 AM

- You know what a precinct captain is (and you've probably met yours)

- Nothing will take you back to childhood field trip memories like the smell of the Mold-A-Rama machines.

- it makes sense to you when people say "twenty-hundred" for 2000

vise77 / September 12, 2007 10:04 AM

Ketchup: No to all of them. I mean, you didn't get one thing right.

Here's are a few others for the list:

--You mistake nostalgia for a dead department store for actual civic pride.

---Your standard repsonse to criticism of your fair city is "move to Naperville."

--You couldn't tell a corn field from a soybean field, even though trade in and processing of agriculture products helped build this city and still provides much energy to the economy.

--You think old man Daley's "shoot to kill" order was a highlight of modern Chicago history

--You still get pissed when the blacks stray too far into Bridgeport

--You think getting drunk in March is the best way to express your Irish pride

--You think nothing makes a street look prettier in winter than some old furniture or milk crates lined up by the curb

--You think real men wear chin fat

--You don't care how much Daley lets his buddies steal as long as at least one of the sports teams has a good season

--You won't mind when Pat Fitzgerald gets forced out of town

p / September 12, 2007 10:17 AM

yesterday i made some hot dogs for lunch and i put on some dill relish, sport peppers, diced onions, mustard, feta cheese, some saracha sauce and yes some ketchup and if you don't like it you can go touch yourself. that includes my dad and anyone else who's ever tried to shame me out of my ketchup. jerks.

G.P. / September 12, 2007 10:55 AM

I remember some kind of trash-talking war between the DJs at Z95 and B96. Soon the press revealed a rivalry was created because they were both facing extinction from ratings. B96 kept with the kind of music they still play (at the time it was probably Wham! and Lisa Lisa). Z95 stuck with the rock and pop music, and lost.

- You played ding dong ditch and sneaked away through gangways.

- You knew all the lyrics to the "Super Bowl Shuffle".

- You remember the paper transfers printed with the face of a clock on them.

- You can still name every member of the 1984 Chicago Cubs because of the season they had that year.

- You went to the Gingerman Tavern and saw Steve Goodman perform for only a few bucks.

- You felt like Carol Marin, Ron Magers, Jim Thompson and Mark Giangreco had been delivering the news together...forever.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane, guys!

fluffy / September 12, 2007 11:03 AM


I think visey is overcompensating for whatever insecurities plague him/her/it

Tonic / September 12, 2007 11:19 AM

...you laugh when someone relatively new to the city (10 years? 12?) drags out every stereotype they remember from the "Superfans" skit on SNL as proof of the "closed society" that is Chicago .

Chicagoans.... xenophobic and proud of it.

Mikey / September 12, 2007 11:24 AM

You remember when the "rooftops" across from Wrigley Field were precisley that, with nothing more than a picnic table, some lawn chairs and a Weber kettle grill or two...

You still miss seeing the Torco billboard beyond the right field bleachers...

You remember when your only concern after a Cubs game meant getting out of "Wrigleyville" before nightfall for your own safety...

Your fond memories of grammar school field trips include screaming in unison on the yellow school bus while passing through Hubbard's Cave, giggling upon seeing the "Playboy" sign while riding north on LSD, and God, yes--the intoxicating smell of Mold-A-Rama machines...

You remember playing and waiting for hours alongside some long-forgotten street to catch a glimpse of Pope John Paul II passing by in his convoy in 1979...

You don't own a car and don't understand what the big deal is...

Mikey / September 12, 2007 11:48 AM

...giggling upon seeing the "Playboy" sign while riding north on LSD...

So yeah, before someone jumps all over me, I obviously meant riding south on LSD (coming from the north).

PMan / September 12, 2007 12:56 PM

Saul Bellow said something to the effect of

As a Chicagoan, I feel a strange comfort in reading eye-popping accounts of corruption. It confirms my worldview.

butterfly / September 12, 2007 12:57 PM

...if you argue mercilessly amongst yourselves about what "real Chicago" is, but will defend everything about your city (because it is your city, dammit) to the death against any haters out there.

Jen / September 12, 2007 12:58 PM

You know the Empire Carpet phone number off the top of your head.


yummm / September 12, 2007 1:10 PM

you truly love the taste of a good white castle cheeseburger.


oh how i love themmmmm.

(people not from here think they're grease pucks, but i don't care. nope.)

yummm / September 12, 2007 1:11 PM

you truly love the taste of a good white castle cheeseburger.


oh how i love themmmmm.

(people not from here think they're grease pucks, but i don't care. nope.)

yummm / September 12, 2007 1:13 PM

(sorry... technical difficulties)

Oketo! / September 12, 2007 1:27 PM

You pronounce names such as Racine and Diversey differently than every other city in America. It's Rah-cine and D-EYE-versy, not Raaaacine and Diiiiversey.

mike / September 12, 2007 1:28 PM

You know the Empire Carpet phone number off the top of your head.

Sadly, Empire has gone national, so this no longer applies strictly to Chicagoans.

A truer test would be if one remembers the equally catchy Lincoln Carpeting jingle.

Oketo! / September 12, 2007 1:29 PM

Oh and you don't think of bicycling as only recreation - it's a mode of travel.

E / September 12, 2007 1:37 PM

You've never called Comiskey anything other than 'Comiskey'.

skafiend / September 12, 2007 1:42 PM

why do people think Chicago has a monopoly on provincial behavior? putting furniture on the street after it snows to save a parking space isn't just a Chicago thing. It happens in Philly, even in Denver! When the Hudson's flagship department store closed in Detroit, there a-weeping and a-wailing and gnashing of teeth. And you wanna talk about blacks straying too far into the wrong neighborhood, allow me to point you in the direction of Howard Beach in NYC or most of Boston. Besides, Bridgeport residents are too concerned with the condo invasion to worry about blacks as anyone who's been through there recently could tell you.

And as far as political corruption, how many people have takento the street to protest corruption n NYC (the Bloomberg bribery scandal a year or two ago) or LA (the mayor banging a TV reporter), or any other city for that matter. Why would someone mistake lack of vocal outrage for acceptance? And, yes, Daley is still mayor, but considering the most recent alternatives (Dorothy Brown and Bill "Doc Who?" Walls), can you blame the voting populace for staying home. Present a viable candidate and the people will vote.

So, yeah, some people here are fat and get drunk on St. Patrick's day. sue us.

cliff on rosedale / September 12, 2007 1:47 PM

I'm not a native, nor will I ever claim to be, but I do love Chicago. I have had 2 different friends tell me that there are two things you have to do to become a Chicagoan:

1. Steal a CTA "L" map off of a train.

2. Get towed.

peta / September 12, 2007 1:49 PM

You know how to find out where you are by looking at a lamppost.

You know all the angle streets.

You've walked through the heart at MSI more than a few times.

You played Pong because pinball machines were illegal in the city.

roderick / September 12, 2007 1:57 PM

- if you've ever parked directly in front of Midway airport; hell, if you remember how small it was before the renovations

- if you still have unused CTA tokens

- if you know which St. Patty's day parade to go to

- if you still recognize the science exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry from your field trip in 1st grade

- if you have pictures with Sue at the Field Museum at varying ages

Man, great memories of Z95/B96, the Sox tix for good grades, and Beerrrwyyyn.

DUKE / September 12, 2007 1:59 PM

January 26, 1986, my friend.

Brian / September 12, 2007 2:10 PM

January 26, 1986, my friend.

That was an eventful week, if you recall.

vise77 / September 12, 2007 2:12 PM

--Upon listening to another tiresome complaint of corruption, shrug and say all cities are corrupt, (whatcha gonna do?) apparently ignoring the depth of corruption here; the level and scope of corruption here; the number of FBI officials dedicated to fighting corruption here based on other major cities, even on a per-capita basis; and the experiences of people who have lived in other cities and been close observers of their civic cultures, and who know that Chicago and Cook County are more corrupt than all but New Orleans, Newark, East St. Louis, Miami and a very few other places.

--Upon listening to another complaint of corruption, shrug and say come up with a better candidate, ignoring the way the Machine has over the past 100 years rigged election laws and the local election system (judges, poll watchers, etc) and the art of political deception to make the odds better that the connected stay in local political jobs, no matter their qualifications (see: Todd Stroger).

Ah yes, to be a true Chicagoan.

Mikey / September 12, 2007 2:46 PM

Blah. Blah. Blah.

I really think you're missing the point of this exercise.

bhailey / September 12, 2007 2:47 PM

you remember the Andy Frain ushers in their yellow polysester uniforms at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park

You know Roosevelt is a Road not an avenue (reference to Josh's post earlier)

You remember the awesome Christmas window displays on state Street at Wieboldt's, Sears,
Carson's, Marshall Fields (stores that no longer exist

You know the east and west number coordinates when someone gives you cross streets (foster and Damen = 5200 north and 2000 west

jen / September 12, 2007 3:55 PM

What is the point of this exercise, exactly, Mikey?

For everyone to enter into a pissing contest as to who is more real Chicago?
I haven't been here too awfully long, but I know all the angle streets, can give you coordinates, have never called it "Chi-town"... etc. I know that Damen was once called Robey, and all about the Haymarket riots and the Union Stockyards, the Pullman community, that it hasn't always been called Wrigley and that Soldier Field hasn't always looked like a flying saucer. I've certainly been south of Roosevelt Rd. But because I wasn't born here I'm not a "real" Chicagoan, right?

I would think that all of from here would be able to learn from history and want to make this city the best that it can be, rather than shitting all over each other for who's been here the longest.

But maybe I don't know the real Chicago.

madachode / September 12, 2007 4:03 PM

When Halsted was normal.

mike-ts / September 12, 2007 4:45 PM

- you remember that WGN is at 2501 West Bradley Place from all of the postcards you sent to Bozo's Circus when you were a kid

- you know it's always "cooler by the lake" (cooler temperature and cooler period)

- you have porch parties, not rooftop parties

- you know that Old Style is really not a Chicago beer

- the bar you go to still has Fearless Falstaff stickers and pictures of Da Coach and Da Mare (Daley I) on the walls, and maybe, maybe, a Schlitz globe in the brick outside, and the neon signs are in only one color - red

skafiend / September 12, 2007 4:46 PM

ok vise, we get it... Chicago and "true" Chicagoans suck. And I'm sure you're working hard to change this corrupt system because if you're just posting here and doing nothing that would make you... gasp!... a "real" Chicagoan.

And look! I'm not even telling you to move to Naperville!

Mikey / September 12, 2007 5:53 PM

What is the point of this exercise, exactly, Mikey?

Um...I thought it was supposed to be a humorous and light-hearted forum about the common threads that unite all Chicagoans, both natives and transplants...

Unfortunately, some people including vise77 and yourself, are taking it way too personally and seriously, or using it to make political statements.

yURI / September 12, 2007 7:33 PM

You can name every location in High Fidelity.

You got caught stealing at Woolworth and had to be picked up by your mom.

Orange slices and graham crackers were you favorite part of Saturday morning AYSO games.

You've been eating Potbelly since there was only one location.

You used to have to lock your doors when you drove through Cabrini

You know what Ziggys or City Sweats is.

You know how to answer the question "what you be about?"

yURI / September 12, 2007 7:34 PM

You can name every location in High Fidelity.

You've read Bomb the Suburbs

You got caught stealing at Woolworth and had to be picked up by your mom.

Orange slices and graham crackers were you favorite part of Saturday morning AYSO games.

You've been eating Potbelly since there was only one location.

You used to have to lock your doors when you drove through Cabrini

You know what Ziggys or City Sweats is.

You know how to answer the question "what you be about?"

matty / September 12, 2007 8:16 PM

This is the best thread ever. Memories are pouring back. I don't know anyone "from chicago" these days and I miss the old guard terribly.

Rip 'n Read / September 12, 2007 10:03 PM

You have a garage built by Danley and it's got a little carpeting in it from Empire along with a refrigerator from Polk Bros. But, your car isn't there becuase Lincoln Towing got a hold of it.

Future Cup Champ / September 13, 2007 9:22 AM

When you know it's more economical to give a pan handler 50 cents when they ask you for a cigarette.

When you know any simple comment (How about... Bears, Cubs, Sox, Daley, weather...etc.) to a stranger could lead to a two hour conversation and a long friendship.

Cubfanfalife / March 23, 2008 7:46 PM

If 18 degrees is a little chilly

If you hate Rex Grossman

If you say distance in time

If you've been to the Southside Irish parade and you are not Irish

If you have a story about Al Capone

If you know whats on a Chicago style dog

If you think Jordan or Mark Grace or Louie Apparichio is God, and used to think that of Sosa

You hate soccer

The Blackhawks mean nothing

You average 10mph over the speed limit

You have connections for everything anywhere

If you know what Kitty O'shea's or Lizzy Mcneils is

Conor / March 23, 2008 7:47 PM

If you don't help people with "Broken down, or run out of gas" cars

Conor / March 23, 2008 7:52 PM

You use the word "Duchebag" alot.

Sarah / March 24, 2008 3:23 PM

Okay this is probably for people form Canaryville more but oh well-

Yout a Hotdog at Deans or PoorBoys(and cried when they closes){the people remembered you and how you want you hotdog after you moved away 4 years ago)

You know that when someone in the neiborhood gets sick or dies, you can count on people to give money or hold a charity thing.

You watched thme build a stop concrette ting to stop people form going 80 down Emerald.

Your dad was famous in the neiborhood.

Peter / March 26, 2008 10:29 PM

If you are a Chicagoan,
You might eat your own weight in hot dogs and pizza.

meg / June 24, 2008 6:20 PM

773-202-LUNA


or Empire Carpet commercials.


Folkie Sandy / July 23, 2008 11:58 PM

I've been here 30 yrs. and grew up in Brooklyn--and FWIW, NY'ers also think ketchup on hotdogs is an abomination. So how about a different tack:
YOU KNOW YOU'VE BEEN HERE LONG ENOUGH TO BE A CHICAGOAN WHEN:
You accept that it's okay to steam instead of grill hotdogs, put stuff other than mustard & sauerkraut on them (NOT KETCHUP) and have stopped calling them "franks."
You take the "L " without spelling it "El." even when it's a subway.
When you land at LaGuardia, you no longer think, "I'm home."
You don't find it weird to see only bare trees in winter or not smell saltwater on the waves.
You stop feeling compelled to drive the Ravines or in Beverly just so you can use your automatic trans' second gear again.
You remember when Boys Town was called Newtown, and Lakeview was a much smaller neighborhood than everything between Lincoln Park and Uptown.
You remember when Lincoln Park's western boundary was Sheffield--and anything west of there was sorta no-man's land--nobody but junkyard dogs lived there,
You went to hear live music at Barbarossa, Orphan's, Ratso's, The Earl of Old Town, Somebody Else's Troubles, No Exit, Quiet Knight, Holsteins,The Spot, Amazingrace....
But you always referred to them as the Barb, the Earl, Troubles....
You remember when Metro was Cabaret Metro and Cabaret Metro was Stages.
You took the Chicago & Northwestern to Northwestern Station (Ogilvie was a shampoo or some ex-Governor); or Union Station was your destination on the Milwaukee Road or the Burlington, and there was no such thing as Metra.
You flew out of Midway before there was even a Midway Airlines, and you had to drive or cab it to both airports (all three if you count Meigs).
You cringe at signs that say "Museum Campus"
Only Comiskey was "Comiskey," and you gladly call the Sox' new home "The Cell" because it never deserved a name anyway
You probably saw your first rock show at the Uptown Theater or the Stadium (never "Chicago Stadium") and figured they'd never finish the Rosemont Horizon for all the roof collapses and leaks.
You still can't bring yourself to say Allstate Arena.
You grew up eating White Castles in NY, but now wouldn't dream of calling them anything but Sliders.
You don't go to the movies, you go to the show.
You don't go to the supermarket, or even the grocery, but to the store--whether it's Dominick's, Jewel or Treasure Island.
(Whole Foods, however, is NOT The Store--it's a giant blob that sucks money out of your wallet and replaces it with wheatgrass)
Not only do you know your precinct captain, you've been or are one.

Folkie Sandy / July 24, 2008 12:14 AM

Oh yeah:
You remember when First Midwest Amphiteatre was Tweeter Center (which you still call it) and when Tweeter Center was the World Music Theater (which you only stopped calling it three years ago) and when it was nothing but a big muddy cornfield.
You keep calling the Sears Center "Poplar Creek" even though Sears Center is only a coupla years old, Poplar Creek has been gone for more than a dozen years, and you remember when it first opened.
You went to the Taste when it was a few booths on two blocks along Michigan Ave.
You still miss Chicagofest.
You wish you'd arrived here before they tore down Riverview.
You remember eating at "The Greeks" across from County (which you can't call "Stroger Hospital" without gagging).
You've stopped complaining about how they hack up thin crust pizza into little squares instead of slices, because you now think of thin crust as floor tile anyway.
Lou Mitchell has personally given you a box of Milk Duds.
You still can't believe Steve Goodman, Fred Holstein, and Tom Dundee are gone.

Sara Leach / July 30, 2008 5:20 PM

If you call it pop, not soda

You love the Bears, and anyone else that beats the Packers.

You add unnecessary words to the end of a sentence EX. Are you coming with? Instead of Are you coming?

Poppy / November 12, 2008 10:56 AM

You remember that there was a pretty cool Maxwell St. market area before UIC destroyed it.

You remember the Chicago Stadium, and when Soldier Field wasn't a horrible eyesore.

Lonnie Hubbard / February 4, 2009 5:34 AM

-The Blagojevich scandal didn't at all surprise you.
-You know who Eagle Man is.
-You've been to a taping of the Jerry Springer show.
-You ALWAYS went to school no matter HOW hard it snowed, and you had to take gym class every year without fail.
-You remember the Empire commercial when the phone number was only 7 digits and Lynn Hauldren wasn't just a voice over in it.
-You run errands on a 2 hour time limit so your CTA transfer will still be useable.
-You're proud of the saying, "Chicago is the New York that went right".
-You remember the show "Steppin @ Club 7".
-You prefer pink lemonade over regular lemonade and Pepsi or RC over Coke.
-You truly wonder whether Sarah Palin is really from Alaska or Joliet, IL.
-You've bought boiled peanuts while in your car at a stop light.
-You didn't get your driver's license until you were at least in your 20's.
-You remember Cabrini Green.
-You know curse words in at least 5 different languages.
-You still listen to music on bootleg colored cassette tapes.
-Outside of Chicago, no one has ever heard of your favorite DJ.
-You go to Indiana to buy your gas.
-If a car playing loud house music passes you by you start dancing right where you are without any shame.
-You miss the old design of the escalator at Water Tower.
-Your like your hot dogs with mustard, onions, nuclear relish, cucumber, a tomato wedge, a dill pickle spear, a pickled pepper, all on a poppy seed bun, but NO KETCHUP!
-You remember Demon Dogs under the Fullerton "L" station.
-You pay almost 10 bux for a pack of "squares".
-You always ate the Fannie Mae or Brach's candy at the "store" and never paid for it.
-You can give directions to places in Chicago you've never even been to.
-You used to play at the arcade at North Pier and always seemed to bumped into Macaulay Culkin.
-You used to LOVE your K-Swiss "gym shoes".
-You know how to pop your tongue exactly like when you open a bottle of Snapple lol.

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15