Sweet (adopted) Home Chicago

Thursday, August 19, 2010

In the words of the great Frank Sinatra…

Chicago, Chicago--that toddlin' town.
Chicago, Chicago--I'll show you around. I love it.
Bet your bottom dollar you'll lose the blues in Chicago, Chicago.
The town that Billy Sunday could not shut down.

On State Street that great street, I'd just like to say -
They do things that they never do on Broadway.
They have the time, the time of their life
I saw a man, he danced with his wife.
In Chicago... Chicago... Chicago.
That's my hometown!

After five and a half years, the time has come for me to say goodbye to the Windy City. And while I’ll always be a Pittsburgh gal for life, Chicago will have a special place in my life and I couldn’t imagine a better place to spend growing up after college.

So much has happened since I moved to Chi town on New Year’s Day 2005.

I rented my first apartment and lived alone for the first time ever, I received my own health insurance, I had a cocktail 96 floors above ground in the Hancock Building, I saw six states from the top of Sears Tower, I drooled over real Van Gogh’s, I met a new best friend, I started shopping at farmer’s markets, I watched the White Sox win the World Series, I saw Vince Vaughn, I took a dip in Lake Michigan, I tried Chicago-style Pizza, I saw a game at Wrigley Field, I rode the Navy Pier ferris wheel with my sister, I wait in line to meet Charles Barkley, I watched the Steelers win the Super Bowl with that Best Friend, I jumped for joy when Brady moved to Chicago, I met Gov. Blago at the United Negro College Fund Black and White Ball, I went to a gay bar, Vanilla Ice poured Jaeger into my mouth, I saw Jenn Scheft (the former Bachelorette), Dana begins the tradition of celebrating St. Pat’s in Chicago, I got bottle service, I saw Kim Kardashian’s ass in person, I became a certified liquors expert, I break my finger playing 16-inch/no glove Chicago-style softball, I sat in the famous bleachers of Wrigley Field with Amy, I buy a couch, I saw Kayne preform at Lolapoloza, The staff at Starbucks learned my name, I sat in the audience of Jerry Springer, I started shopping in Whole Foods, I watched the Penguins play in Chicago on my Birthday,I saw Stevie Wonder in concert (but he didn't see me), I was super happy that Sacks moved to Chicago, I watched 4th of July fireworks from Navy Pier and on the beach with my family and Steve, I visited Six Flags, I witnessed Barak Obama make his victory speech in Grant Park, I got engaged!, I forced Brady to go to the zoo…a lot, I watched the Steelers win another Super Bowl, I watched the Penguins win the Stanley Cup at the “Pittsburgh” bar, I get a new job, I watch WVU play at DePaul, I met Kenneth Cole, I get a new/old job, I watched the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, I see the Stanley Cup, I bought a cupcake from a food truck, Brady and I get married, Brady finds a job and we found a new home in Pittsburgh.

What a crazy ride it has been these last 2,058 days, 177,811,200 sections, 294 weeks that I’ve been a resident of Chicago’s Gold Coast. I will really miss Chicago, but things have a funny way of working themselves out and I think the time is right for the Smithkowski’s to say goodbye to Sweet Home Chicago for now.

Looking back, I will highly encourage everyone to move away from their hometown – even if it is for one year. It’s really cheesy to say, but you really learn a lot about yourself, what you like, dislike and what you want in life.