The Gull Reef Club

8/10/2007

Grass is Greener Where?

Filed under: — Jaime @ 11:40 pm

A little more on our Illinois excursion…

While it was a pleasure being able to see friends and family, every time I go back up there, I am more and more convinced that I couldn’t live there any more. Well, maybe in Chicago, but never ever ever ever in the suburbs again. The suburbs are crowded, treeless, expensive, and all alike. Is having an all white neighborhood in a ‘good’ school district worth sacrificing your soul? Apparently to many it is. I’ll keep my soul, thankyouverymuch.

Traffic is a beast up there. Every highway is crowded and under construction. The roads that aren’t under construction are ridden with pot holes and tar snakes. The concept of tollroads have become foreign to me. What a sham that whole I-Pass thing is. I’ll concede that the abilities of Illinois drivers far exceed those of Georgia drivers. Georgia drivers are slow, rarely pay attention, and are under insured.

The terrain up there has changed so much from when I was a kid. The far south suburbs used to be Tinley Park and Orland. Now it extends well south of I-80. Corn and bean fields used to ring the burbs. Now it’s just rows and rows of cookie-cutter houses. Another concession I’ll make to Illinois is the quality of the lawns. My god, are the lawns beautiful. Lush, green, soft, fire ant free. Sure beats the hell out of the sandy, insect-ridden sawgrass that passes for lawns down here. Of course, the rest of our vegetation is enough to put Illinois to shame. Trees with out moss or fronds are just funny looking.

One thing I didn’t miss while I was up there were the southern accents. I love hearing the raw blue collar Chicago accents. It’s not just the accents, either. It’s the whole way of speaking. There is this no nonsense, straight up way of talking that Chicagoans and suburbanites have that I really miss. Southerners can really beat around the bush and be rather phony in their niceness sometimes. Sometimes I just don’t care how you’re doing and I hate to have to ask.

Moving away from the suburbs and into the city, Chicago is hands-down, one of the finest big cities in the nation. Not that I have a lot of experience with big cities, but do I need any? Chicago’s awesomeness speaks for itself. The architecture is stunning. The lakefront is exquisite. The public transport is to be envied. Grant Park feels like home. I made my first excursion ever into Millennium Park and was none too impressed, however. It was a mish-mash of corporate sponsorships masked as bridges and walkways. The Bean was unimpressive and the water-park/fountain seemed like a disease outbreak waiting to happen. Still, a great city overall. Too bad winter happens there the way it does.

I’ve covered about all I can cover for tonight. I’ll try to post a few pics later and then stop dragging you through my vacation memories. Thanks for riding along, beachcombers.

One Response to “Grass is Greener Where?”

  1. Doc says:

    Natalie had a similar experience when she returned home. So much has changed and I think you forget how conditioned you become to the traffic and other big city pains. I had similar experiences in Houston (though obviously Chicago is a little bigger).

    I was also non-plussed about Millennium Park. So much hoopla, so little to experience.

    LOVED Wrigley and Arlington Park, though :)

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The Gull Reef Club