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Unread 12-30-2011, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Chicago
382 posts, read 309,401 times
Reputation: 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
you do realize that some people...and I'm not saying I'm one of them because I'm not.....might look at the above as a 312 attitude.

New York has its bridge and tunnel people. Chicago has its collar counties. And let's face it: both New York and Chicago are loaded with attitude.

so for the life of me, I'm not sure why anyone would care if a suburbanite gives Chicago as his home. Indeed, nobody has yet to explain to me why live changes when crossing Howard Street into Evanston or Austin Blvd into Oak Park. Am I to assume that the mere crossing of a street totally changes a lifestyle?
Can someone living in Windsor, Ontario, Canada call themselves an American because they live just across the river from the USA? If someone lives in Hammond, Indiana say they are from Illinois because their town touches the border? I say no because boundaries matter. If you are travelling overseas I think I could give it a pass but if you are in the United States virtually everyone will be aware of the difference between a city and it's suburbs. Oh and I say this as someone who lives clearly in the 773 area code, in fact I live one block from the city limits and to me the people who live across Harlem Avenue don't live in Chicago, they live in Summit or suburban Cook County or Chicago area/Chicagoland. My church is in Summit and I patronize businesses there all the time but since they have a different Mayor than me they aren't really Chicagoans.

Now it isn't black and white to me, someone living in Summit is much closer to being a Chicagoan than someone living in the exurbs but when it comes to city limits I am strict about it, someone living in a trailer in Hegewisch is a Chicagoan, someone living in Evanston, Oak Park, Berwyn or Cicero, etc. is not. Also another distinction is claiming your live IN Chicago as opposed to saying you are FROM Chicago, the later being a bit more vague and the word "FROM" meaning where you were born and/or raised and/or your family's primary geographic heritage of recent generations. In other words can you trace your family roots to the city of Chicago. If you were born in Chicago or recent generations of your family (parents, grandparents) were born or lived in Chicago most of their lives then you can claim you are from Chicago regardless of where you live right now. Most people living in suburban Cook and probably the collar counties as well can probably trace their ancestry back to the city of Chicago within the last 60 years. However if your family has lived in Evanston or Summit or one of the collar counties for 100+ years than that is your geographic heritage but I don't think many people are in that category, most people have at least one parent or grandparent who was born in the city in those places.

If you are a fresh transplant from Atlanta and have moved to exurban McHenry County then hell no you are not FROM Chicago. If you are a yuppy who moved to the city from Michigan and have lived here for at least a year with plans on staying long term then you can say your are FROM Chicago regardless of where you were born/raised, however you live "IN" Chicago from the first day you moved to the city. Obviously only allowing native born Chicagoans is a stupid standard since in that case three of my four grandparents were never Chicagoans because they were born in Europe but lived in Chicago for most of their lives, so a transplant intending to stay in Chicago and put down roots is the same as my grandparents no longer being Germans or Poles once they became citizens. So in short if you live in the suburbs but your family heritage is in the city it is fine to say you are "from" Chicago, if you are a transplant you pretty much have to live in the actual city in order to have any cred.

Last edited by chicago103; 12-30-2011 at 06:46 PM..
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Unread 12-30-2011, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
7,042 posts, read 7,941,938 times
Reputation: 2206
This is a topic that I have long thought about. Since I now live in the southern part of the US (Charlotte, NC), when I hear a faintly familiar midwestern-sounding accent, I usually strike up a conversation with that person. I ask where they are from. "Chicago", they will say and I respond with the grin of someone having found a long-lost family member. (Southerners are difficult to swallow sometimes, so, finding what you think is a compatriot is a bit exciting) "What part?" I'll ask excitedly..."Oh, Carpentersville" or "Mundelien" they'll answer. "Right". "Yeah, I'm from the city. Logan Square." I answer. To which they nod politely and go on their merry way.

Most suburbanites don't even know where Logan Square is. They are comfortable living in the mass-suburbia that is Charlotte because it is practically the same thing. The weather is just better here.

So, is there a difference? Heck yeah! City people and suburbanites are very different. You can tell a true city person (of any city, really)...and, they cannot be confused with the suburbanite...some of the people that I count as good friends here are from various cities in Jersey or NYC as well as a few actual Chicagoans.

And, then there are those that think Chicago is a state unto itself. SIGH.
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Unread 12-30-2011, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
7,042 posts, read 7,941,938 times
Reputation: 2206
oh, and, chicago 103, in the south, you are only considered "southern" if you were born/raised here. I gave up trying to fit in when I was told repeatedly that I was "too much of a Yankee". Now, that is something that would bring the Chicagoan out in me...I am a Chicagoan, I am Midwestern, but, I am NOT a Yankee!!

I was born/raised in Chicago in the Logan Square neighbourhood. At this point in my life, I have actually lived in the South longer than I lived in Chicago, however, that attitude, that Chicago-style of being hangs on....and I am very proud to say that I am a Chicagoan (and a Cubs fan!)
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Unread 12-30-2011, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Chicago
382 posts, read 309,401 times
Reputation: 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagocubs View Post
oh, and, chicago 103, in the south, you are only considered "southern" if you were born/raised here. I gave up trying to fit in when I was told repeatedly that I was "too much of a Yankee". Now, that is something that would bring the Chicagoan out in me...I am a Chicagoan, I am Midwestern, but, I am NOT a Yankee!!

I was born/raised in Chicago in the Logan Square neighbourhood. At this point in my life, I have actually lived in the South longer than I lived in Chicago, however, that attitude, that Chicago-style of being hangs on....and I am very proud to say that I am a Chicagoan (and a Cubs fan!)
Well to me your situation is easy to define. You obviously don't currently live "IN" Chicago but you are definitely "FROM" Chicago. Also I am willing to bet many of the people who say they were from Mundelein or Carpentersville were born in the city (if they are older especially) or one of their parents was born in Chicago, especially if they have a Chicago accent. People need to realize that when the city was at it's peak population in 1950 the vast majority of Chicagoland's population was in the city itself so if someone has roots in the Chicago area dating back to 1950 or earlier chances are they have city ancestry in their family.

You are so right about the differences between a suburban lifestyle and a city lifestyle though, honestly on one level the sprawling outer suburbs of Chicago have more in common with the Charlotte metro area than the city of Chicago. That is why it is so easy for people who say they want to move to Texas or somewhere in the south because "taxes or cost of living is lower, weather is better" because essentially their lifestyle is suburban sprawl already so I can understand why they want less expensive sprawl. If you live in the city of Chicago it can often be a huge lifestyle change moving to the south, in fact even moving to Naperville is pretty much the same thing.
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Unread 12-31-2011, 06:40 AM
 
Location: St. Augustine
9,094 posts, read 10,281,269 times
Reputation: 6994
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
Indeed, nobody has yet to explain to me why live changes when crossing Howard Street into Evanston or Austin Blvd into Oak Park. Am I to assume that the mere crossing of a street totally changes a lifestyle?

When crossing Austin Blvd. one runs into a town full of pretentious, self congratulatory stuffed shirts; "Doopers" as the saying goes.
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Unread 12-31-2011, 06:42 AM
 
Location: St. Augustine
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I was born at St. Anthony's and baptized at Lady of Sorrows and grew up in Resurrection and St. Catherine's: wherever I live I'm from Chicago.
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Unread 12-31-2011, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Chicago
2,837 posts, read 2,481,344 times
Reputation: 2038
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicago103 View Post
Can someone living in Windsor, Ontario, Canada call themselves an American because they live just across the river from the USA? If someone lives in Hammond, Indiana say they are from Illinois because their town touches the border? I say no because boundaries matter. If you are travelling overseas I think I could give it a pass but if you are in the United States virtually everyone will be aware of the difference between a city and it's suburbs. Oh and I say this as someone who lives clearly in the 773 area code, in fact I live one block from the city limits and to me the people who live across Harlem Avenue don't live in Chicago, they live in Summit or suburban Cook County or Chicago area/Chicagoland. My church is in Summit and I patronize businesses there all the time but since they have a different Mayor than me they aren't really Chicagoans.

Now it isn't black and white to me, someone living in Summit is much closer to being a Chicagoan than someone living in the exurbs but when it comes to city limits I am strict about it, someone living in a trailer in Hegewisch is a Chicagoan, someone living in Evanston, Oak Park, Berwyn or Cicero, etc. is not. Also another distinction is claiming your live IN Chicago as opposed to saying you are FROM Chicago, the later being a bit more vague and the word "FROM" meaning where you were born and/or raised and/or your family's primary geographic heritage of recent generations. In other words can you trace your family roots to the city of Chicago. If you were born in Chicago or recent generations of your family (parents, grandparents) were born or lived in Chicago most of their lives then you can claim you are from Chicago regardless of where you live right now. Most people living in suburban Cook and probably the collar counties as well can probably trace their ancestry back to the city of Chicago within the last 60 years. However if your family has lived in Evanston or Summit or one of the collar counties for 100+ years than that is your geographic heritage but I don't think many people are in that category, most people have at least one parent or grandparent who was born in the city in those places.

If you are a fresh transplant from Atlanta and have moved to exurban McHenry County then hell no you are not FROM Chicago. If you are a yuppy who moved to the city from Michigan and have lived here for at least a year with plans on staying long term then you can say your are FROM Chicago regardless of where you were born/raised, however you live "IN" Chicago from the first day you moved to the city. Obviously only allowing native born Chicagoans is a stupid standard since in that case three of my four grandparents were never Chicagoans because they were born in Europe but lived in Chicago for most of their lives, so a transplant intending to stay in Chicago and put down roots is the same as my grandparents no longer being Germans or Poles once they became citizens. So in short if you live in the suburbs but your family heritage is in the city it is fine to say you are "from" Chicago, if you are a transplant you pretty much have to live in the actual city in order to have any cred.
Yes, I would agree that Windsor and Detroit are not the same place, as would be true for Tiajuana and San Diego. International boundaries still do affect the nature of place.

State boundaries, well...not so much. And it depends on which boundaries we're talking about. So unlike you, I can see the Calumet region considering itself Chicago. The Jersey shore of the Hudson is very much a part of the world of NYC. And both the VA and MD suburbs of Washington are very much "inside the beltway" relating more to Washington than to their own states.

You brought up Evanston as an example. I'd say one could make a real argument that those living in Evanston, particurlarly along the Purple Line, may have more of a Chicago existence in their finely grided neighborhoods with easy el and Metra connections with the heart of the city than you'd find in places like Sauganash or Beverly which come across more like suburbs within city limits. Evanston is far more city than is Sauganash and Chicago's core is much more accessible.

But let's look at the nature of suburban Chicago itself. What does it see as its sense of place? To start with, community attachment exists on both sides of city limits. Winnetka and Hyde Park both have a sense of place. And while there is some regional identity past municipality in the suburbs (there is some degree of interconnection of North Shore suburbs), generally speaking the truth lies more in suburban Chicago doesn't see itself a part of suburban Chicago but a part of Chicagoland. Its identity is regional. City limits between it and Chicago or suburb and next door suburb aren't very relevant.

I'll speak as a guy from the suburbs (even worse....a collar county guy in Lake County, although I am a block north of Cook) Suburban Chicago roots for the Bears, Cubs, and Sox. When Chicago went after the 2016 Olympics, it was our Olympics. O'Hare is our engine of growth, an airport within city limits. We were outraged when Marshall Field's became Macy's. If we have a major event going on in our lives, like a wedding, we very well may choose a downtown location for it. When family or friends come in from out of town for a visit, they don't have to ask where we're from. They themselves, as far as they are concerned, are coming to Chicago. And staying with us makes that possible.

The missing link that nobody has answered for me here is simply this:

What's the skin off of your back?

What could possibly be threatening to a "real" Chicagoan, born and bred, who never lived north of North Avenue, south of McCormick Place, west of the United Center, and lever had any area code other than 312 whether or not those immediately past city limits, throughout the heart of suburbia, on to the edge in the exurbs or even into the vast field of merely "within the sphere of Chicago" that stretches across parts of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and even into Michigan?

That's the real issue to me. Why should you care if someone uses Chicago as part of their identity? Isn't fine to have one's own definition of who a Chicagoan is without having any concern about how others define it? In other words, your answer to the guy in Gurnee who says "I'm from Chicago" is more "I have a different opinion on what being from Chicago is than you do" than "You're wrong; you're not from Chicago"

Last edited by edsg25; 12-31-2011 at 07:05 AM..
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Unread 12-31-2011, 07:03 AM
 
Location: St. Augustine
9,094 posts, read 10,281,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
Why should you care if someone uses Chicago as part of their identity?
Why should you care what someone else cares? And 'round we go.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Chicago
1,176 posts, read 599,883 times
Reputation: 1168
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
..The missing link that nobody has answered for me here is simply this:

What's the skin off of your back?

What could possibly be threatening to a "real" Chicagoan, born and bred, who never lived north of North Avenue, south of McCormick Place, west of the United Center, and lever had any area code other than 312 whether or not those immediately past city limits, throughout the heart of suburbia, on to the edge in the exurbs or even into the vast field of merely "within the sphere of Chicago" that stretches across parts of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and even into Michigan?

That's the real issue to me. Why should you care if someone uses Chicago as part of their identity? Isn't fine to have one's own definition of who a Chicagoan is without having any concern about how others define it? In other words, your answer to the guy in Gurnee who says "I'm from Chicago" is more "I have a different opinion on what being from Chicago is than you do" than "You're wrong; you're not from Chicago"
I will give this a shot.

People, from what I can tell and what I have read on these forums, don't live in the city because of:

1. Schools
2. Safety
3. Space

Those seem to be the big reasons given for moving to the suburbs. So then people will go on to conclude that they are, infact, having the best of both worlds. The city is close, but far enough away to not have to associate with it. And the suburb, while not technically in the city, still has a "City-ness" to it that couldn't be found in a comparable sized town not near a major city.

Saying you live in Chicago does not conjure up the "Win-Win" situation that people living in the suburbs have created. Living in the city means you're taking the good with the bad, and dealing with it on a daily basis. So when people say, "Chicago", a variety of things could enter a person's mind, of which I doubt a sliver of those thoughts are suburban in nature.

For example:

When we told family that we were going to be moving to Chicago, the family's reaction was along the lines of:

" YOU'RE GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

If we had said we were moving to a suburb of Chicago, Wilmette for example, I would imagine it would have been more along the lines of:

" Do you have to go?"

There is a difference in perception when someone says they live in a city instead of a suburb, and vice versa. So when people live in the place that is the "Win-Win" situation and try to make it sound like they live in a place that is a, "You win some, you lose some" city, it seems a bit like people are once again trying to have the best of both worlds, with none of the effort. Claiming the city as your home, while not actually living with the same rules, elected officials, schools, neighborhoods, taxes, etc. is a tad overreaching, to say the least.

And so, it really becomes puzzling to me that people wanted so badly to physically and legally distance themselves from the city and all the negatives that go along with it, only to use that same city with all it's negatives as a way to describe their place of residency, which is a "Win-Win".

Furthermore, why not be proud of what you have accomplished in life and where it has brought you? If you are able to buy a house, live outside the city, and still be able to do whatever you want, why not be proud of that?

I'm proud that I live here. In fact, it's an indication of how good I am at what I do. Only LA and NYC would be considered more "prestigious" than Chicago. If I go to San Francisco, it's a step down. Philadelphia? Step down. Miami? Step down. Etcetera. If I work in the suburbs that's a few flights of steps down.

I've worked, and continue to work, to be where I am. I've paid dues. For someone to say that they work in Chicago, but are actually employed in, let's say Joliet, it flies in the face of everything I have done to get me where I am. Education, hard work, and perseverance are things that went into me saying, "I live in Chicago", not just moving my lips and saying the phrase, "I live in Chicago".

Those are some of my thoughts.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 08:34 AM
 
Location: St. Augustine
9,094 posts, read 10,281,269 times
Reputation: 6994
Quote:
Originally Posted by A2DAC1985 View Post
I've worked, and continue to work, to be where I am. I've paid dues. For someone to say that they work in Chicago, but are actually employed in, let's say Joliet, it flies in the face of everything I have done to get me where I am.

Living in Chicago is an accomplishment? I had no idea.
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