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Happy 186th Birthday, Chicago!

Chicago was incorporated as a city on March 4th, 1837 – with an optimistic population of 4,170 in a little more than 10 square miles, bounded to the east by the Lake (of course!), 22nd Street on the south, Wood Street on the west, and North Avenue on the north.

Photography by: Jesus Corral (@j.larroc)

My how you’ve grown! Chicago developed from a determined muddy swamp trading center on the edge of the vast Great Lakes and prairies, into a world class music, architectural, culinary and arts destination defined by it’s multicultural neighborhoods, glittering lakefront and global influencing skyline.

Now consisting of 234 square miles of land, Chicago has literally risen from its own ashes, reversed the flow of rivers, invented skyscrapers, learned to sell air rights – and has a firm opinion on how much ketchup belongs on a hot dog (answer: absolutely NONE!)

Photography by: Jesus Corral (@j.larroc)

It’s a welcoming, vibrant, dynamic city that our office and most of our staff call home.

So we asked them – what do YOU love about Chicago?

Thinking deeply, Juelin says “The People of Chicago! People are incredibly kind here, in different ways – and that makes me want to be a kind person too! There was one time I was buying coffee and the card reader broke, and I didn’t have cash – and the lady behind me paid for me. I really appreciated that! Then I started paying it forward.”

Photography by: Tai Kojro-Badziak

Kyle moved to Chicago from Dallas and would like to point out that even the cool part of Dallas doesn’t begin to compare to Chicago. His number one love about the city? The Walkability – and being able to walk and take the train wherever he wants to go. The convenience is closely followed by: The Grid – so easy to navigate and understand! And of course, the Lakefront! And his favorite building is the Inland Steel Building, but there’s so much great architecture in the city – how to choose?? Let’s also not forget that culinary treat – Giardinara!

Photography by: Bridgette Bramlage

Bridgette declares: I LOVE the tavern cut pizza. Full stop. All of it.

Ben offers his Chicago faves in no particular order:

  • Our lovely mix of fermented veggies and oil, our claim to condiment fame: Giardiniera!

  • Our drawbridges.

  • Our flag, rated a near perfect 9.3 out of 10 by the North American Vexillological Association

  • Patio szn (and its close cousin, rooftop szn)

  • Our distinct neighborhoods and their distinct distinctness

  • Our national treasure and weather guy extraordinaire, Tom Skilling

  • PIZZA!!! (literally every kind imaginable, and good examples of each type)

Photography by: Tai Kojro-Badziak

Natalie points out that micro breweries on just about every corner is a highlight, and the pulled pork sandwiches at the White Sox Park are worth a trip.

And that led us to another love - our stubborn insistence on holding on to old names: Sears Tower and Comiskey Park FOEVAH!!!

The Principals, Adam, Anthony and Tai, can’t be reached because they are taking part in another favorite Chicago event: The Chiditarod, Chicago's 100% volunteer-driven Epic Urban shopping cart race, charity food drive, costumed beauty pageant, talent show, fundraiser and chaos generator all in one. It's probably the world's largest mobile food drive, benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the CHIditarod Foundation. That said, the proliferation of street festivals – rain or shine, snow or summer – is certainly worth noting!

Photography by: Tai Kojro-Badziak

Looks like pizza, lakefront, and a beer is the order of the day!

HBD, Chicago!

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