I love the West Coast. I was born here, raised here, lived the majority of my life here, ~adult~ here, and see myself living here for a considerable amount of my future. Admittedly, I have a lot more Wild West exploring to do, hence, the upcoming trips I have booked (Portland, here I come!), however, I have a very ingrained soft spot for the Midwest. And yes, this is much easier to say during this time of year. 🙂
Like the middle child, the middle of America is often overlooked (horrible analogy but I had to). What a lot of West Coasters don’t understand is that the Midwest is actually really awesome. People (aka West Coast natives) tend to look at me funny whenever I talk about the Midwest, particularly Chicago, because I get pretty emphatic: “Chicago??? I LOVE Chicago!!!!” “I gain 10 pounds every time I go to Chicago because all I eat is Portillo’s.” “I usually get a wet Italian beef sandwich with cheese fries, and if I’m feeling up to it, a chocolate cake shake.” “Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza is TO DIE FOR. SO GOOD.” “The Chicago Mix at Garrett’s Popcorn is my JAM.”
If you think I’m exaggerating, I’m actually not. I get really really really excited. I really do.
I lived in the Midwest for a total of 8 years of my life: 4 when I was a young child in the heartland (that’s the nickname for Ohio in case you didn’t know) and 4 when I went to college in good ole’ Indiana. Due to these 8 years of being a resident Midwesterner, I think I’ve grown to become a really interesting mix of West Coast + Midwest.
Over the years, I’ve heard some hilarious comments/complaints that I’ve admittedly been victim to. For instance, West Coasters often gripe about how the Midwest is flat.
Please. The land will not change it’s natural geological structure depending on West Coast opinions.
If you didn’t get what I was saying earlier, the food is bomb. Portillo’s and Lou Malnati’s are Chicago classics and a definite must-visit for any visitors. I have to go to at least one of those restaurants every time I visit.
My strong connection with the Midwest really goes back to the people. I am still in contact with classmates from my youngin’ days through social media and my college friends, who mostly live in Chicago, are my absolute best friends. Friendship truly never ends.
I’ve created some awesome and very fond memories from when I lived in the Midwest. I swear, everyone there is just so nice and polite. While Chicago may not necessarily be as ~chill~ as the West Coast (and I would say I’m pretty ~chill~), I love Chicago and I love the Midwest.
As my co-worker recently said, “You’re just a Midwesterner at heart.”
The USofA is beautiful like that. You can learn a lot from the people you meet whether they lived right next door to you your whole life, were born and raised on the complete other side of the country, were immigrants, sat next to you in class that one time, or simply visited or lived in another place for a period of time. Every person is a unique blend of all these backgrounds which makes America a continuously teeming and flourishing melting pot that is destined for some pretty great things.