2010 Lessons

A parking spot. It's a big deal.
Things I've learned my first year in Chicago.

1. Clark St. is a shit-show after a game at Cub's Stadium.

1a. People hate it when you call Wrigley Field, "Cubs Stadium."

2. A native Chicagoan's loyalty to the Cubs is no match for a female Brewers fan with short shorts.

3. Fall back.

4. The midwest ponytail is standard issue in Chicago. California girls, please forward the memo regarding how lazy and unflattering the ponytail is.

5. Despite its hair-disrupting tendencies, wear a helmet.

6. If a Chicago team wins a championship of some sort, Wrigleyville turns into Mardi Gras. Pray you don't need the 22 bus for anything.

7. Parking on the northside of Chicago, east of Ashland, is like vehicular Russian roulette. Play enough and you'll lose. You will get violated.

8. No matter what the weatherman says, in Chicago, there's always a chance of rain.

9. When marooned outside a theatre with your bike during torrential rainfall, hail a handicapped-accessible taxi for you and your temporarily useless mode of transportation.

10. If you sit far enough back in the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, you can't even tell who's talking. It's like trying to watch the conversation between a pitcher and the coach on the mound. Invest in decent seats.

11. Good vegan food is possible. Most vegan food is good in a qualified way (e.g. this vegan cake is delicious as compared to other vegan pastries). Karyn's Cooked in downtown Chicago is good food. Period.

12. House shows are the same everywhere in the United States. Punk rock is universal.

13. Doing improv in your underwear is a tough beast to wrangle.

14. Time apart is of no consequence to really good friends.

15. Missing your dog is an unfillable void.

16. If you love something, don't set it free. Tell it you fucking love it.

17. If you're at a CTA stop that services multiple bus routes, motion to the driver as she approaches if you'd like to be picked up. Otherwise, she will drive straight passed you.

18. You're not supposed to put ketchup on a hot dog.  At Flub a Dub Chub's on Broadway they will publicly shame you for doing so.

19. Time and space in Chicago are vastly different than time and space of other cities. In Reno, traveling twenty miles takes roughly twenty minutes. A twenty mile commute in Chicago may as well be interstellar travel.

20. Dad was right.  You really do need to get to the airport two hours before take-off. I almost had a heart attack waiting in a four hundred person line to get through security.

21. Learned how to ride a fixed-gear bicycle. I figure it was something I should know how to do, like drive a stick shift and swing a golf club. What feels inhumanly unnatural at first can become second nature in three days. I can get used to anything.

22. Pay attention. Love your iPhone, Evo, MyTouch or what have you, but when you're in Brooklyn at 2AM, need to take the train home, and your battery dies, you'll wish you looked around to establish landmarks instead of texting.

23. Hibachi leaves your clothes smelling like the orient for days.

24. If you think about it too hard, you will fuck it up.

25. Girls in Chicago don't like the word "date."

26. Even when just getting water, you should tip your bartender.

27. When you  move two thousand miles from your friends and family, Netflix makes a good wife.

28. 180s are fashionable ear muffs for the inhuman Chicago winter.

29. Cabs don't like taking credit cards. 

30. Start any customer service complaint with "I would like to cancel my..." and things are more likely to go your way.

31. If you want Craigslist tickets for a show that's been sold out for months, get to know your browser's refresh button and have a pre-written e-mail message ready to be pasted. 

32. CTA Bustracker App is the best dollar you'll ever spend.

33. If you move, don't start drinking the best coffee in your neighborhood immediately. Build up to it or you'll be ruined. Damn your perfectly crafted coffee drinks, Intelligentsia.