By: Jasmine Stewart
The strength and the beauty of Chicago doesn’t just lie within the buildings and the scenery. Sure, we have the Willis Tower, the Bean and Navy Pier, but there is much more to know about this renowned metropolitan than meets the eye. The vivacity that vibrates through the city, our city, is unparalleled.
Those of us who eat, sleep and breathe Chicago knows what it truly means to be a Chicagoan. We always see the good with the not so good. Walking downtown has its beautiful sightseeing, but not without witnessing those who are less fortunate up and down the sidewalks. The tall inner city buildings are marvels, but what about the ones that have been neglected and have yet to be fixed? Driving down Lake Shore is beyond gorgeous yet, the restless traffic and endless pot holes have been proven to be disastrous. However, none of this is being said to take away from the beauty of Chicago. The bits and pieces of Chicago’s notorious history is very prevalent in our day-to-day lives.
The Chicago Fire of 1871, for instance, left behind devastation. Hundreds of thousands of people were left without homes. However, the population in Chicago grew immensely once it became rebuilt. We became one of the top inhabited cities in the U.S. Chicago would be nothing without its people! So many names have come from this city and made an impact on the world. We’ve got Kanye West, who has sold over billions of albums and left his unique mark in the music and clothing industry. In regards to history we have Hugh Hefner, who created a whole new outlook on sexual liberation and capitalized on it. What would this list be without including the United States’ 44th president, Mr. Barack Obama? He forever changed America’s political history as being our first African-American president.
Like anyone else, our well-known Chicagoans had to work hard to gain their success. Many had to endure adversities in order to make it. Chicago is no stranger to hardships. It has been deemed as one of the most violent cities in America. Chi-raq is just one of the nicknames that our city was given due the terror that gang and gun violence has left behind. Whole families ripped apart because of these ongoing tragedies.
However, none of that has stopped Chicago nor the Chicagoans. Day by day, people continue to press forward in their daily lives. As tourists come through and enjoy a Cubs game along with our Chicago-style hotdogs and deep-dish pizza, I invite them to add one more stop to their list: Be sure to ask one of us what being in Chicago means to us. They may hear about how many buses and Ls one is willing to take daily in order to reach their dreams. They may hear about celebrities that visit Chicago more than they could imagine. That’s what makes Chicago, Chicago; so many lives and endless stories that have yet to been told.