Back to Chicago

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I love Chicago. I grew up there, and being a bit of a late bloomer, I mean that I lived there from age 24 to 42. I had only known Seattle before Chicago, and they are quite different cities. A few typical examples:

  • In Seattle, people take great pride in their political correctness, but rarely develop the sorts of intimate friendships that spring up in other cities. Chicago is the opposite on both fronts, in my experience.
  • Chicago has a massive and wellun train system, as every city should have; Seattle just had the half-mile gimmicky monorail until a few years ago, and now we have a single line from downtown to the airport.
  • Seattle is surrounded by mountains and spectacular wilderness. In Chicago, the only vantage points are up in buildings, and the only place where you can get more than 100 yards from the nearest group of people is the forest preserve, which is also a popular place to dump bodies.

When I moved to Chicago, I found myself annoyed by the aggressive driving style of the locals. When I moved back to Seattle 22 years later, I found myself annoyed by the timid and inefficient driving style of the locals. But I sure loved getting back to daily views of the Cascades and Olympics!

Anyway, tonight I landed in Chicago for a few days at a conference. The event is PHP-Tek, and it’s at the Sheraton near O’Hare. I’m hoping to have a chance to get into the city at some point, but I need to play it by ear since I have a list of people to see here and only three days to fit it all in.

But we’ll be back this summer for a longer visit. And again and again, I’m sure. Megan and I spent our honeymoon in Chicago, and I’m glad she loves this city as much as I do. For what it’s worth, other cities we’ve both fallen in love with include San Francisco, Budapest, London, and Butte, Montana.

A few photos from my SEA-ORD flight this evening …

leaving Sea-Tac, rain clouds approaching

the western suburbs of Chicago

taxiing to the gate at O'Hare

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