Chicago, According to 20 People Who've Never Been Here

The Second City is the greatest city in all the land, yet, for some reason, there are people in this world who have not been here. So, we asked people (some Internet people, some in real life) who’ve never been to Chicago what they knew about our great city, and said people had some interesting ideas... mostly about pizza. Here are 20 blind assumptions about Chicago and our assessment as to how far off the mark they really are.

“It's a 'deep dish or die' kind of town.”

- Josh P., Los Angeles, CA
False: Let’s get this out of the way because it came up repeatedly, from, “you get to eat deep-dish pizza!” to “you eat some sort of casserole that you call pizza.” Apparently the whole world thinks we survive on deep dish alone, but even according to GrubHub only 9% of pizza orders in Chicago are of the deep variety. Chicagoans rarely eat it, but we’re happy to argue about how deep dish is the best because it is.

“Everyone there thinks the Bears are a good football team.”

- Adam B., Pinckney, Michigan 
 False: Not everyone thinks the Bears are good. Even Virginia McCaskey was embarrassed by the team last year and she’s 92.

“Home of Balki Bartokomous and his cousin, Larry Appleton.”

- 2TecsIHave2Tecs, Reddit Toronto
 False: Larry was from Wisconsin and Balki was from the pterodactyl-filled island of Mypos. Moving to Chicago in your 20s doesn’t make it home. Just ask Kristin Cavallari.

“Everyone's got dreads like Chief Keef.”

- trollaccount14, Reddit London
False: I don’t have dreads. I might be the only one without them though. People really love Chief Keef here.

“It’s home to Oprah.”

 - Jackie L., New York, NY
 False: Thanks for reopening the city’s greatest wound since the Chicago Rush ceased operations.

“Corruption… Richard J. Daley and the '60 election, Rod Blagojevich, Jim Ryan, Jesse Jackson Jr.”

- kent_dorfman, Reddit SF 
Fal($)e: My new one-day government contract with full benefits ($) requires that I tell you that there is no corruption in the great city of Chicago ($$). Our fiscal practices are simply misunderstood, and the city’s leaders are doing everything they can ($$$) to ensure ($$$$) the vitality of Chicago ($$$$$$$$$$$$$).

“Al Capone.”

 - s-Ranks, Reddit London
True: Sure, Al Capone was from New York, but he founded the Chicago Outfit, which was way better than New York’s Five Families.

“Inferiority complex.”

 - thanjf99, Reddit NY
False: Says who? No, seriously, which one of you New Yawkers with your dirty rat-trash sidewalks and boiled E.coli hot dogs said this?

“You're going to go bankrupt soon.”

- NewEnglanda143, Reddit Toronto
False: Chicago can’t legally declare bankruptcy. It’s all a political stunt.

“Everyone in Texas thinks Chicago is very dangerous.”

- Kate S., Houston, TX
True: Chicago’s a lot like Texas; everything’s bigger here. Our buildings, our traffic jams, and that 9% of our pizza I mentioned earlier. Why shouldn’t our danger be bigger too? And it’s safer than you think. Just look at all the “no guns” signs on store windows.

“Ferris Bueller had a day off in Chicago.”

 - RebozoNixon, Reddit Toronto
True: And it was the greatest day any Chicagoan has ever seen.

“You're extremely uppity about how hot dogs should be served. And nobody can hear their obnoxious accents.”

- Cass A., Sarasota, FL
Proudly true: Just because we’re the only ones who know how to correctly put encased meat on a bun doesn’t mean we’re uppity. We just hate everyone who does things differently than us. And we don’t have an eahccent... ahem, I mean eahccent... eaaaaaaaaahccent. We talk like normal people!

“There are neighborhoods that are too dangerous to drive through.”

- TheAntiPedantic, Reddit SF
False: Cars go very fast. Stop signs are optional in some neighborhoods, though.

“It's not the Sears Tower.”

 - Mike J., Royal Oak, MI
Technically true: BUT IT WILL ALWAYS BE THE SEARS TOWER! Just because Sears abandoned the city more than 20 years ago doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still give them free advertising from their giant building-shaped billboard.


 - Michael D., Evansville, IN 
 True: Yes, he still regularly messes up our traffic.

“Chicago is very flat.”

- yanquiUXO, Reddit SF 
True: But try telling that to the Chicago Marathoners who discover a random hill after rounding the last corner before the finish line. We’re why everyone obnoxiously corrects you, saying, “26.2,” when you congratulate them on running 26 miles.

“Your airport is horrible.”

alovelymorning, Reddit Toronto
False: The airport is glorious. O’Hare’s frequent delays are intentional so that you have time to stop by Bubbles, drink all the prosecco, and charge your phone with the under-bar outlets.

“The Cubs suck but many of you guys still love them. As a Toronto sports fan, I have no idea what that must be like.”

- TheArgsenal, Reddit Toronto
False: No one loves the Cubs anymore. People just refuse to give up on them in the off chance that they actually win someday. Rooting for a bad team is a badge of honor. Just look at all the old-school Blackhawks fans complaining about the bandwagoners. Also, Chicagoans like drinking outside in uncomfortable chairs.

“There are secret detainment facilities in Chicago.”

- NotFromKentucky, Reddit SF
False: It’s not a secret if you keep telling everyone.

“Tough motherfuckers.”

- ada42, Reddit NY
True: Between the winters, the mediocre sports teams (except for the ‘Awks), and the sheer lunacy of our beer/meat/cheese diet, Chicago is packed with tough mother fornicators.

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