I'd spent the first 21 years of my life in Dallas, and before my big move, the Windy City was just a kaledeiscope of images from movies that I'd watched: mostly a weird hybrid of The Untouchables and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Three and a half years later, I finally feel like a "real" Chicagoan. I graduated from my South Loop arts college in 2012, and could have easily returned to Texas, but there was no doubt in my mind that I would stay. Looking out over the Michigan Avenue bridge on a beautiful summer night, I knew in my heart that I couldn't leave.
Six years ago, rising teen idol Amanda Bynes went on The View to talk about how "normal" she was in comparison to other fallen child stars like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan:
Just in time for summer bike season, Walk Score (the company best known for rating the walkability of neighborhoods across the country) awarded Chicago the number 10 spot on its list of most bikeable American cities. Sure, we lag behind Portland, San Francisco and New York, but we beat Austin! Hipsters unite.
Of course, not all Chicago cyclists are hip young people riding vintage Schwinns or fixie conversions with neon aerospokes. Some are newbies (a.k.a the people who had no idea what I was referring to just now), while others are hard-core athletes accustomed to flying down Lakeshore Drive at maximum velocity.