I'd been meaning to do something with the picture this poster is based off of for the last two years. Seeing some show on Hulu, that I can now no longer remember the name of that was set in Chicago, acted as a reminder - some scene where they were down in the Loop area walking under one of the L-train bridges. While working on this poster, I got to thinking that Chicago would be a pretty cool city to live in for a year or so.
I'm not much of a city boy, preferring my exposure to the larger collections of humans in short doses. However, living in Europe has changed my perspective on this somewhat. In most European countries I've visited, almost all towns over 1,000 people have something in common. It doesn't matter if you're in the Alsace of France or Bohemia in the Czech Republic. I think it is so cool that you can walk to get almost all of your basic necessities. Most of these towns have their butcher, their baker, and their..... a small grocery store (no candlestick makers, unfortunately) that are easily accessible on foot. You don't find that in small town America much anymore. With the proliferation of the big box stores and the death of downtowns, automobiles are almost always a necessity.
It's only in the bigger cities of America that one can live a more Euro type lifestyle. I'm not talking about wearing scarves year round or clothes that are two sizes too small. I'm talking being able to walk to get fresh fruits and veggies nightly, being able to get fresh meat every day, fresh flowers, fresh baked bread, the daily newspaper, sit at a cafe sipping an espresso and watching the world go by.......
The downtown Loop Area of Chicago has all of the above and more. Since I was mainly in the city for work, the six days I spent there simply wasn't enough. However, I felt at home in Chicago. It just seems like a place that will keep on surprising you and a place that would be a lot of fun to live, if only for a short time. Ultimately, the flatness and extremely limited access to actual mountains, would be deal breakers for planting roots. Not even the tasty fresh water waves of Lake Michigan can make up for the absolute lack of terrain variation. Still, Chicago is one of the top cities I've visited in the US, perhaps even number one. I hope to get the chance to go back to explore the city a bit more thoroughly in the future.
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