Logically, the most important city on the planet Earth, without any competition whatsoever, besides maybe from London. Seeing that New York is an overgrown superhigh-density monstropolis, and Los Angeles being just a sprawling collection of coincidentally nearby suburbs, Chicago also holds claim to the title "The only real city in the United States".
Living Rooms are Front room, Bathrooms are Washrooms, Athletic Shoes are Gym Shoes (there's nothing sneaky about your "sneakers"), Soft Drinks = Pop, and the transit system (The El or "L"), unlike its counterparts in New York and London, actually makes sense. Despite what CNN would like you to think, Chicago is NOT actually the most dangerous city in the Universe, nor is it the murder capital of the United States. Unlike New York, its ugly cousin, housing is reasonably affordable.
Chicago is also home to the most skilled drivers in North America. With its underground streets (wacker drive), habitual (but also skilled) red light runners, and 80 mph (130 km/h) unposted minimum speeds on all expressways (especially the Eisenhower), absolutely impeccable driving skills are required of all residents and visitors. Traffic Jams are almost always caused by drivers that mistakenly view speed limits as maximum speed suggestions, and also by those who swerve dangerously and ungracefully between multiple lanes in a single merge (drivers from wisconsin and minnesota, respectively).
If one says, "Wanna come with?" or "Where's that at?" you are to interpret that as "Do you want to come with me?", and "Where is that?" but you will never say "Wanna come with me?" because that would be weird, ending sentences with prepositions is perfectly acceptable.
Pedestrians are demigods, and have right-of-way in all scenarios. Period. Attempting to run over a Chicago pedestrian would be about as dangerous as attempting to collide head-on with a 18-wheeler semi truck. "Pedestrian rage" is far more prevalent than "road rage", and jaywalking and crosswalk are both equally unknown terms to Chicagoans.
Macy's is regarded as the invasive alien force that ended the amazing quality and customer service Chicago called "Marshall Field's".
Chicagoans find "New York Style Pizza" to resemble oversized pancakes, as opposed to true "Chicago style deep-dish pizza", which, like Marshall Fields, is far superior.
And finally, do not dare criticize a Chicagoans pronunciation of their hometown. There are two acceptable pronunciations (depending on your neighborhood):
Chicago (Shih-kAAH-go) --the "aah" sound is far more pronounced than the east/west coast A. most frequent and stereotypical pronunciation, used by most residents and burbies close to the city.
Chicago (Shih-KAW-guh), less common, found only in some areas of the northside (pronounced norsside), and more frequently among older residents.
Chicagoans will also claim to have a "neutral" and "normal" accent. Do not challenge that claim.
Visitor to Chicago: "Do you ever go to Iowa?"
Chicagoan: "No. That would be silly."
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