1. Spending almost $100 on new music leaves one feeling completely guilt-free. This principle is true because the record shop is still a living, breathing mammal in Chicago. On Saturday, Reckless Records in Lakeview brought me back to a happier place: the pre-Napster era. Also, on a side note: when I am in a record shop, I always get this strange urge to buy half the inventory. I think this happens because I personally believe I have very sophisticated, indie-alternative tastes that impress people. These tastes need to be satiated by me spending at least $70 at any given music retailer.
2. Having a backyard is not a privilege, but a goddamn right. Sure, in New York, we try to substitute our losses with fire escapes and rooftops. But when was the last time you could play a safe game of wiffle ball on a fire escape? After 2007, my robot leg and I found out it was an urban myth.
3. A bicyclist never has to worry about dying in Chicago. I am convinced of this, because Chicago clearly wants everyone riding a bike versus driving a car. Since I never learned how to ride a bike, I now understand Charlton Heston’s position in Planet of The Apes. And I’ll only say this: I will shoot any biker that threatens my way of life.
4. Chicago is the land of the Chicago Hot Dog and taco stands. God bless America.
5. Even if it is part of the gay culture, The Market Days Street Festival is for all Chicagolanders. If you truly don’t get why gays are fighting for equal rights in this country, Market Days will show you that they are people, too. Also, if you’ve never been to a gay club, Market Days will do its best to fix that with throbbing, deep bass house music, a ton of shirtless men, and me being all out of business cards. Oh well… there’s always 2010.
6. Midwesterners are the most down-to-earth people you’ll ever meet. So down-to-earth, that they’ll ask you to babysit their teenagers at O’Hare International Airport. True story: the morning I flew back to New York, I’m standing on line at baggage check. I strike-up a brief conversation with a mom and her 15 year-old son, who was traveling alone to New York City. The mom then takes me (a total stranger) aside, and asks me to keep an eye on her kid as we fly back to New York together. I’m running on no sleep and no coffee, and now I’m stuck making awkward conversation for two hours about illegal file-sharing and Phish. I’m almost beginning to wonder if God tattooed “Professor John Keating” on my forehead, and I just can’t see it.