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:
- Winters are cold here. No, really – it gets down below zero! And I had to learn what wind chill meant!
- 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.
- Do not ever, and I mean EVER, order ketchup or grated cheddar cheese on a hot dog here. ~shudder~
- It’s really, really, really, really, really flat in the Midwest. For a mountain climber, this is disorienting.
- Squirrels are mean when you have a dog. This may not be unique to Illinois.
- Our state capitol building has a silver cupola. It’s silver on the outside! Totally cool.
- We have a mostly Republican state with a densely populated urban area that votes Democrat. The only other state like that is New York.
- 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.)
- You can get very rural, very fast here – there are farms around Chicago within an easy drive of less than two hours.
- 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?