A to Z Challenge, Day 9:  I Is For Illinois

Illinois.  Home of the Pizza Wars, the Chicago Bears, the Lincoln Trail, and some pretty darn fine neighbors.  I’ve made it my home since 1998 after moving here from the west coast.  Here’s some things I’ve learned about my adopted state:

  1. Winters are cold here.  No, really – it gets down below zero!  And I had to learn what wind chill meant!
  2. Pizza is Religion.  If you don’t believe me, ask two Chicagoans which is the best Chicago style pizza, then tell them what the other one said.  Stand back.  There may be thrown fists.
  3. Do not ever, and I mean EVER, order ketchup or grated cheddar cheese on a hot dog here.  ~shudder~
  4. It’s really, really, really, really, really flat in the Midwest.  For a mountain climber, this is disorienting.
  5. Squirrels are mean when you have a dog.  This may not be unique to Illinois.
  6. Our state capitol building has a silver cupola.  It’s silver on the outside!  Totally cool.
  7. We have a mostly Republican state with a densely populated urban area that votes Democrat.  The only other state like that is New York.
  8. The Great Lakes, if considered together, are the largest fresh water source on the planet.  (Since they’re considered five lakes, Lake Baikal in Russia is the largest.)
  9. You can get very rural, very fast here – there are farms around Chicago within an easy drive of less than two hours.
  10. College ball (as in, football) is religion here too.  I got yelled at by a manager at a former job because I said I was an Ohio State fan (my mom went to Ohio State and what the hell do I know about football??).  Turns out he’s a Michigan alum – those Ohioans and Michiganers are nuts about their football.
What interesting things have you learned about where you live?

4 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge, Day 9: I Is For Illinois

  1. What I learned about Noony’s home state on my last visit was all about Goose Island Beer. It’s founded in Illinios and we toured and ate at the brewery and pub there, had lots of fun.
    There’s an actual man-made island in Chicago created by the river and a chanel that was dug to get clay to make the bricks needed for the buildings. The city planners feared another fire and when they were done they diverted the Chicago River- thus making an island. It’s named Goose Island from when the early Irish settlers had their geese roam the marshy river area.

    1. Wow! I didn’t remember that the name is because they let their geese roam; cool! 🙂

  2. J E Oneil says:

    No ketchup on a hot dog?! Then how are you supposed to eat it?

  3. With a tomato, onions, celery salt, and pickle.

    Here’s a cool article by Chicago’s own hot dog maker: http://www.viennabeef.com/history-of-the-chicago-hot-dog

    It’s a real trip. I like my dogs with hot mustard, grated cheddar, and fresh onions, but apparently that’s not cool.

    Oh, and there’s a gourmet hot dog place here that perpetually has a line, I kid you not, down the block: Hot Dougs. http://www.hotdougs.com/

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