Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Northwest Side Love

I've often written that one of the main reasons I love living in Bridgeport is because it reminds me in many ways of growing up on the Northwest Side of the city. Even though Bridgeport is much closer to downtown than Hermosa, Jefferson Park, Cragin, Galewood, Avondale, et al., many of the same traits and coming-of-age experiences are shared.

I found this from a facebook group called "I Grew Up on the Northwest Side of Chicago." Something tells me that longtime Bridgeport residents can relate to more than a few of these. My experiences are highlighted in yellow.

  • You went to a Catholic grade school
  • You went to a Catholic High School, and chances are it was a same sex school
  • Your eighth grade graduating class went to at least 5 different high schools
  • If you're a girl, you have no problem wearing plaid wool skirts
  • You hung out at a park (ie. Oriole Park) For me it was Hermosa Park
  • You rode your bike everywhere, every day, and it was probably either a GT, Dyno, Haro, or Redline
  • You are either a Cubs fan or one of the few people in your circle of friends who like the Sox
  • You don't mind the sound of airplanes flying overhead at any given hour
  • At least one person on your block is either a cop or fireman (Uncle Stu was a cop)
  • You shopped at the "HIP" (Harlem Irving Plaza) before it was ghetto (and spent many lazy Friday nights at Rolling Stones Records trying to pick up girls.)
  • You very occasionally went to the Brickyard, but it was usually only to buy basketball shoes (I also worked at a Musicland in the Brickyard)
  • You took the train and bus to the Cubs game without adults at a very young age
  • An ideal summer afternoon was spent swimming at your friend's above ground pool
  • You, or someone close to you, had a bike stolen at least once in your life
  • You have heard stories of scary things that go on in the forest preserves
  • You are either Italian, Polish, Irish, German or a combination of any of the above
  • You couldn't wait for "Carnival Season"
  • You partied on Harlem Ave. after one or more of the Bulls' titles
  • You didn't go to Chuck E. Cheese; you went to Caesarland
  • You loved TBK (that's the Taco and Burrito King on Harlem and Belmont) before you ever had your first beer, but now you rarely walk in there sober
  • You used to "peg" for your liquor
  • You have an alley
  • Your alley has a yellow sign warning you about rats
  • As a kid you drove by the huge Gold Domed Church on Cumberland and thought it was the Taj Mahal that you read about in school.
I'm feeling wistful.

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