When it comes to Chicago visitors' guides, it is typically blindingly apparent to locals (a) how much time its author actually spent in the city and (b) whether that time included any time spent more than a 20-foot radius away from the Mag Mile Cheesecake Factory.
And to describe some recent high-profile attempts as "atrocious" would be putting it mildly. (How's it going, Stephanie Rosenbloom?)
But in his "How to: Visit Chicago Like a Chicagoan" essay, published Monday on Go-Go-Go.org, Ed Hirsch just might have broken the cycle of awful.
Hirsch, a self-described "huge nerd, rap enthusiast, and homesick Chicagoan currently stationed in Dallas" describes the Second City -- which apparently is at risk of an imminent demotion -- in the sort of expletive-laden terms that those who call the city home can truly appreciate. Trust.
Below are seven of our favorite pieces of advice from Hirsch's nearly flawless* guide to your next Chicago visit.
"If you take a cab from the airport to downtown you’re a coward. Get on the El. Smell public transportation, you baby."
"... nobody worth a dime gives a shit that you roomed where some princess or Oprah or whoever stayed. You didn’t get treated like them anyway."
"Chicago museums are in general the types of museums you have to commit a day to, and I think the Art Institute probably does that experience the best."
"You don’t have an outlet store in your state?"
"If they have PBR you should have at least two. Same with Schlitz. If you want to do the beer snob thing, you’re welcome to it. Same with scotch. No wine. Vodka is OK."
"Ohhhhhhh hmmmmmm yeah no. Half the places out there are chains, and you aren’t mafia enough to pull off being in the ones that aren’t."
"..you were probably mostly sober. In no way is that how you approach eating a Chicago-style pizza." Read the whole essay here.
*In our opinion, Portillo's and Demera are not the tops when it comes to meats and Ethiopian eats.