Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The BIG City

A good number of my posts have talked more about the positives of Montreal, than those of Chicago. That may be my sub-conscious trying to come to terms with moving. I don't know and hope not. On the heels of our trip , here are some positive points about Chicago.

Chicago is a bigger city and is more diverse. There always seems to be something going on. Every weekend there are multiple things to offer, especially in the summer. So many things. Lectures by famous architects, Art exhibitions, Street festivals, Sporting events, Big Museums, Two Zoos, Navy Pier, Milenium Park. My sister has been going to the free dance lessons in Grant Park that I always used to see walking back from softball. There are also the large travelling exhibits (science or art) that either only make it to very large cities or only US destinations. We saw the fascinating and stomach churning Body Worlds exhibit of real bodies and parts plasticized in order to see the many layers and diseases inside. Then there are the big big events, the Taste of Chicago, the Air & Water Show, July 3rd fireworks, Xmas shopping downtown. Being back there for a couple weeks, it reminded me of the energy and hustle not only downtown, but in neighborhoods like Lincoln Park. Granted Montreal has many of these things, but at a smaller scale. The fireworks are more spectacular (and more often), but you're not watching them with two million of your closest friends.

Whereas in Chicago, minority cultures make up a larger part of the population, here it is primarily French (70%), British Isles (15%), then some Mediterean countries to a much lesser degree. There are some interesting positives to being less diverse, but you still lack some variety. The interesting thing is that having grown up with so many of the different cultures in Chicago (Black, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Irish, Italian, Polish, Philipino, Greek), I know much about them, so it is not like I would go to a festival to learn more about them. Though the diversity reaches farther than the ethnicities mentioned. Also, people living in Chicago seemed to come from all over the US in addition to the world. Honestly, I kinda enjoyed being from there having a bit of inside knowledge of the place and history. Here, I am an outsider which is the topic of the next post. It's fun to learn more about the new place, but our trip back reminded me of some things missing here.

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