I absolutely love this week's topic--probably because I am in love with my city. For me, Chicago is the best city in the country. I've been to New York, Los Angeles and most other major cities and they just don't compare. For me, Chicago balances the opportunities of a big city with laid-back midwestern values.
First off, the city itself is beautiful. Situated on Lake Michigan, the entire skyline comes alive on a sunny day thanks to the reflections off the water. It's also a remarkably clean city, as we have the alleys that NYC does not, so there are no piles of garbage bags on the sidewalk. (I was in NYC a couple of years ago, in July, the day before garbage day. Just thinking about the smell still turns my stomach!)
Second, we have some of the best restaurants in the country. From Charlie Trotter's to Moto to the Gibsons Steakhouse, you will eat well when you're here. And let's not forget our famous deep dish pizza. It will induce instant food coma. At the American Library Association's conference in Chicago this summer, some fabulous members of the St. Martin's crew were asking me about Gino's East pizza, eyes-wide. They simply were astounded that people actually choose to eat a pizza as thick as an apple pie.
And finally, we have some amazing sports here in Chicago. Well, after the Bears game this Sunday, maybe we'll just say amazing fans. But seriously, we have two major league baseball teams, a football team, a basketball team and a hockey team. As I've mentioned before, my favorite sports team is the Chicago Cubs--who haven't won a world series in over 100 years, but still pack the stands 40,000 deep every game.
Which is not to say that everything is perfect. Our traffic will kill you, or at the very least take a few years off your life. In the winter, it's not insane to experience windchills in the -20 range. And I won't even get into all of our infamous former politicians such as Rod Blagojevich, our ousted governor.
But, my love for my city is what prompted me to set A Bump in the Road and the sequel, Not Ready for Mom Jeans, in Chicago. And you'd better believe that my hometown will be featured in future books!
So, tell me, have you guys ever been to Chicago?