New to Chicago? Here’s some cultural stuff:
The Work Ethic: Chicagoans work hard and play hard. This translates to drinking. A lot. Every activity must have a drink break or you can drink throughout the activity. Even the CSO has intermissions where you can belly up to the bar and grab a cocktail. Brew and View, anyone? You will pay $7 beer for an Old Style at Cubs games, which might drive you to drink even more.
The Baseball: So, I guess lots of people care about baseball? But I don’t. So ask someone else.
The Weather: Summer is awesome, and it seems even more awesome because the winter is so horrible. Some days it may be excessively hot, but citizens are just grateful not to need 3 layers. The North Face does very well here. During the winter, the city can seem to be populated exclusively by homeless people because everyone just wears all the layers they have.
The Dogs: Dogs are everywhere. There’re dog beaches, dog parks, dog costume contests, dog owner meetups. It’s harder to rent an apartment with a dog, but getting a dog will help you make friends.
The Bikes: There is a strong contingent of slightly sweaty people bike everywhere. Among the many bike oriented activities or organizations are: Bike the Drive; the irritating but also great bike parades to “raise awareness” and stop traffic; dangerous, foolhardy idiots who bike wearing earbuds (DON’T be that guy); Working Bikes; intense bikers who bike even through the winter. (A note on biking everywhere: this may be a reaction to being annoyed with the expenses of having a car or an urge to leave a smaller carbon footprint, but mostly I think it’s addiction to feeling smug of passing a long line of cars in the bike lane, judiciously ignoring traffic signals, and living outside the law.)