Sixteen days after my arrival in the town that Carl Sandburg dubbed the "City of the Big Shoulders" I am still fascinated; still excited.
It's July and Chicagoans are just adorable. The blistering, humid heat makes everybody on foot soak through their shirts in less than a block, though it is only 8 a.m.
Most of us lug computer bags and backpacks as we walk the streets of Chicago. Most of us wear loose cotton shirts and pants to work. A lot of men wear shorts. You see very few suits, sport coats and ties. That's smart. After just sixteen days even I know those suit-and-tie guys are business travelers trying to earn their freedom, comfort and confidence.
Mid-Westerners are smart and practical. We dress as comfortably as we wish while still looking respectable; neat, clean and simple.
My wild West-Coast Hawaiian prints have no place here except in a box.
We have many destinations but one common goal: to just get where we're going.
Chicagoans don't complain.
The City of the Big Shoulders doesn't suffer weather, it wears it with a shrug, a wink and a wry grin.
Everybody here loves to warn me about the coming brutal winter. They tease and bait me. I think they're trying to goad the guy from Southern California into whining about the heat and humidity; they want me to worry about snowfall and the coming icy Arctic wind
I'm having no part of it. I have big shoulders.
I'm a Chicagoan.