City Lights

by Amogh Raula @atraula The Voice

Living in the suburbs gets you adjusted to the calm lifestyle. You know where everything is, often driving to the grocery store or going to the gym for those 12 A.M. workouts. The suburbs are filled with all the convenience one could desire from places like McDonald’s to Wendy’s or from XSport to Planet Fitness. However, these points on the mental map are routine locations that have been exhausted over time. Across the nation, most teenagers live in the suburbs, away from big cities and unique landscapes. But, Aurora and Naperville are special exceptions to this exclusive rule.

Chicago. The Windy City. The city with infinite opportunities. I often think how lucky we are to live less than an hour away from the great city, filled with rich history and culture, a city that lights up and illuminates the night sky even in the darkest of times. Chicago is a city that makes you feel warm in even the coldest of days. I’m definitely not a Chicagoan, but there’s no harm in admiration.

I always look forward to my family trip to Chicago during Thanksgiving break every year. We leave Tuesday evening, driving down I-94, the street lights flashing over the sunroof of the car. We always visit this Thai restaurant, Star of Siam, and make it a point to spend the rest of our evening there. We spend the rest of our days visiting the numerous attractions in the city such as The Bean and the Hancock Tower. But, my absolute favorite thing to do in Chicago is to drive down Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive at night. The city is quiet and almost empty, the Christmas lights are all on, and Buckingham Fountain is lit up. Looking at all the buildings as they pass by just makes me realize how beautiful the city really is and how lucky I am to live so close to it.

I may not be a “Chicagoan” by its true definition, but I am lucky to be so close and look forward to being a true “Chicagoan” one day.