OOC Reference What's it like in Illinois / The Chicagoland area?

Discussion in 'Lore Information' started by Lucky Duck, Jan 31, 2018.

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  1. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck Quack
    Map Builder Rubber Duck

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    Hey, New Dawn! As your friendly Illinois resident, I'd like to give you all a helpful guide chock full of things you should / would possibly know playing a character living in Illinois! Some of these things are obvious no-brainers, others are just weird, interesting facts or places of interest + intrigue.


    FIRST THING YOU SHOULD KNOW!

    Illinois {il-uh-noi} ... yes, Stare hard at that pronunciation. Do not. Pronounce. The fucking. S. ... . do not. DO. NOT.

    ----

    Now that we have that cleared up, lets start with ...


    CHICAGO
    [AKA: "The City", "Downtown", "Chi-Town" (shy-town), Lesser: "Chiraq"]
    "The Windy City"

    [​IMG]

    (image taken from this helpful wiki article, do check for more information that I don't simply have the patience to elaborate on
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_areas_in_Chicago )

    There are a whopping 77 recognized divisions of Chicago, divided into 9 different "sides". HOOO boy, yeah, I know. That is a LOT. I'm not going to dive knee-deep into every single one, but if you're living in the Chicagoland area, there are simply some places and sections you have to know, in order to know where exactly someone is talking about!

    First, lets start with Central. Locate the
    purple section on that map, and place your finger on the number 32. This is the area known as "The Loop", where the three areas of the Chicago River meet. 08 and 33 are "Near Northside" and "Near South Side", respectively. This area, combined with the green and the yellow, along the border of Lake Michigan, is what most people picture when they think of Chicago.

    North Side, West Side, Central and South (Purple, Green, Orange and Yellow) are generally the four areas someone is referring to when they're saying that they're going out to The City.

    ~ Sears Tower ~
    (The Loop)

    [​IMG]
    The name was actually changed to Willis Tower ages ago, but, well, nobody actually calls it that. This is the most iconic building in the city of Chicago. It is the 2nd tallest building in the United States, 16th tallest in the world.


    ~ The Bean ~
    (The Loop)

    [​IMG]

    It's actual name is Cloud Gate, but *everyone* calls it the bean. It's this.. well, you see it. It's a huge, reflective.. bean, a piece of contemporary art in Millennium Park (Which is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Midwest... Millennium Park I mean.. not the bean itself.)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Park

    Right next to Millennium Park is The Art Institute of Chicago

    [​IMG]

    Another thing to note! When someone says LSD, they're *probably* not talking about drugs! LSD is short for Lake Shore Drive, the very long road along the river.

    Section 8 - Near North Side
    - This is the oldest part of Chicago. It's here that you'll find sights such as Navy Pier (which is Chicago's biggest tourist attraction), The John Hancock Center, Tribune Tower (The Chicago Tribune
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/ ), Chicago Shakespeare Theater, as well as a plethora of museums.
    If you want little bits of history, I do suggest checking Wikipedia.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_North_Side,_Chicago

    Navy Pier
    [​IMG]


    Section 33 - Near South Side
    The Near South Side is where you'll find a lot of amazing places to visit, be it The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, or Soldier Field, where The Chicago Bears play.

    One of my favorite people to watch on youtube actually works at The Field Museum!


    Adler Planetarium
    [​IMG]

    Soldier Field
    [​IMG]

    Back to the Loop (32). One of the most well-known streets is Chicago is called Wacker Drive.

    [​IMG]
    It is a multi-level street, so you have Upper Wacker Drive, and Lower Wacker Drive. Upper Wacker Drive is where local traffic moves around the city, and Lower Wacker Drive, which was originally a dock, is more commonly used for trucks. One of the most common things you will see if down on Lower Wacker Drive, is the striking amount of homeless people that have taken up residence in the alcoves and on the walkways.
    Even further down, below Wacker Drive, is a little-known are called LOWER lower Wacker Drive, far below the hustle-n-bustle of the city. You'll find even more of the homeless population down in this area - a fair few of them struggling with drug addiction.
    Warning: This link contains imagines that aren't good for those with a weak stomach or soft heart, but it's going to give you a harsh look at lower wacker drive, Chicago's homelessness issue, and most importantly, Chicago's serious heroin epidemic (which extends far out from Chicago itself).. http://beltmag.com/opioid-migrants/
    This is also a common area for high octane drag races late at night / in the wee hours of the morning. ..Your average person generally only takes a visit to this difficult to access catacomb, if their car gets towed and taken to the impound lot deep below the city.
    https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/lower-lower-wacker-drive


    Section 21 (North Side) is where you'll find Chicago's Polish Village. Fun little fact, Chicago has the largest demographic of Polish people outside of Poland.

    Within Section 06, Lake View (East) (Green, North Side) is where you'll find Boystown, which is the first officially recognized gay village in the United States. Our annual pride parade goes through here, drawing in a crowd of over a million people. North Halsted Street is a hot-spot for Chicago night life, having more than 60 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

    (Here's a couple pictures I've taken at Chicago Pride Parades)

    The crowd is.. massive..
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This guy feels just as passionate about Chipotle as I do!

    Lake View is also where Wrigleyville is, which is the nickname given to the neighborhood surrounding Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.


    [​IMG]


    Moving into the West Side...

    Section 24 is West Town, where you'll find more Polish communities (Polish Downtown, Pulaski Park), as well as the Ukrainian Village.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Town,_Chicago
    - Also, if you're looking for an awesome punk bar to visit, the best place to go would be The Exit.
    https://www.exit-chicago.com/

    Section 23, Humboldt Park had a very high level of gang activity and violence up until the 90's, gentrification and police activity have lessened the severity. It has a large Puerto Rican population. Though the demographic number has been dropping over the past 30 years, it is still home to Fiestas Puertorriqueñas every summer.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humboldt_Park,_Chicago

    Section 28: Little Italy, also home to Greektown and Tri-Taylor
    - Little Italy is more commonly called University Village these days. Though there are many Italian communities within Chicago, this neighborhood earned it's nickname from the heavy influence of Italian culture in the area. Today, this is where the University of Illinois stands, but Italian restaurants and shops still thrive in this area.

    Section 31: Heart of Italy, Heart of Chicago, Pilsen
    - Heart of Italy, as you can guess, strong Italian presence.
    - Pilsen had a large, thriving Mexican population, however, since the year 2000, it has been declining due to gentrification of the area. It is home to one of Chicago's largest art districts, sporting beautiful murals, street art, and is also where you can find the National Museum of Mexican Art.

    http://interactive.wttw.com/my-neighborhood/pilsen/murals

    [​IMG]


    South Side!

    Section 34 (Yellow) Armour Square, home of China Town! Also Bridgeport, and Wentworth.
    - China Town, as you probably guessed, is home to a lot of citizens of Chinese decent. This area is not to be confused with what is called "New Chinatown" up on the North Side, which.. shouldn't even be called China Town given most of the Asians out that way are Southeast Asian.. anyway. If you want some damn good Chinese food, China Town is the place to go. The amount of Chinese restaurants, gift shops, the architecture and Ping Tom Memorial Park make this a really awesome part of the city to explore.

    [​IMG]

    - Bridgeport has a very hearty mix of different ethnic groups, the oldest and most well-known being the Irish, but you'll also find a lot of Italian, Mexican, and Chinese Americans here, plus some Polish influences. This is also where you'll find the heart of Chicago's Lithuanian population, part of it even once being known as "Lithuanian Downtown".
    Another fun fact about Bridgeport, is 5 of Chicago's mayors were born here.. though I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing, considering
    Chicago has a very long history of having corrupt mayors!
    https://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/wa...nois-History-The-Complete-List-138128988.html

    Section 37 - Fuller Park
    - Fuller Park is south of Guaranteed Rate Field, where the Chicago White Sox play. It is one of the smallest community areas in the City, and also, one of the worst. Poverty is high, as is the unemployment rate (nearly 40%). Fuller Park has a (violent) crime rate of 13,456 per 100,000 people. It is considered one of the most dangerous parts of Chicago. Oddly enough, it also has a higher concentration of churches than anywhere else in the city.

    Section 41 - Hyde Park
    - Hyde Park is located near the shore of Lake Michigan, and is where The Museum of Science & Industry and University of Chicago are located. It is one of Chicago's most racially diverse areas. Here you can also find The Smart Museum of Art, and The Oriental Institute – an archaeology museum (mostly focusing on the ancient Near East) which are both within the University of Chicago, as well as DuSable Museum of African American History.




    Southwest Side

    Sections 67 + 68 - Engelwood and West Englewood
    - Englewood is about the same level of bad as Fuller Park. High poverty, high crime rate. The population in Englewood consists of a staggeringly high number of African Americans, due to what was called the "White flight" in the 50's and 60's. ((
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_flight )) This is one of the places in Chicago where you can see institutionalized racism at it's ugliest.
    A place known for a plethora of gang violence, Englewood has seen a drastic improvement in the past 2 years. Shootings have fallen 44%, homicides down by 55%. However, keep these numbers in mind.. Since 2000, there have been more than 4,800 shootings in Englewood.
    If someone says the word "Chiraq", there is a high probability they are talking about Englewood.

    ((As a personal note:
    I have a friend who grew up in Englewood, and still frequently went out there to visit his grandmother and other relatives from time to time. One night, he came over, still shaken with fear, and told me about what had happened while he was out in the city. He and a friend were paid $30 each to help with some roofing work for a few hours. Another man left after only 20 minutes of work, but came back much later in the evening demanding to be paid. My friend and his buddy told him, you didn't stay and do the work, so the guy just paid us and left. .. This guy pulled a gun on them, and they started booking it - shots fired. That bullet hit his friend in the face, straight through the cheek, lodged into his teeth / jaw. My friend just kept running.. .. Imagine. This, over 30 dollars. Thirty. Dollars. That's the kind of money struggles going on out in places like Englewood.))


    Another nasty thing to tack onto Engelwood's bad track record, is the popularity of dog fighting in the area..
    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20121126/englewood/dogfighting-is-fact-of-life-for-many-chicago-kids
    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/tag/dog-fighting/




    Draw your attention back up to where the number 76 is, that big salmon-pink "island" (Note: it isn't an island). That is O'Hare, where you'll find O'Hare Airport, which is one of the largest international airports in the world. If someone is flying into the US, chances are this is where you're landing to catch your connecting flight. This place is MASSIVE, and a real headache to find your way around.

    O'Hare Airport
    [​IMG]


    The L
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_"L"

    Basically, if you want to get anywhere in the city, you're going to want to take the L. Rapid transit FTW!

    Another fun Chicago Fact: Lower Lower Wacker Drive isn't the only "underground" area of the city. A long time ago, the city, yes, the CITY had to be raised between 4 and 6 feet due to issues with living so close to so much water. Not only that, but there's a giant network of underground tunnels leftover from the days of old.
    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/201...nels-fills-chicagos-underground-history-books

    For more on Chicago's History, check these videos:
    Fair warning: they contain images and perhaps video clips of violence
    Chicago - City of the Century
    Al Capone and the Mob Revealed (Documentary)


    Or, for the lazy man's route, for the random curious tourist, check this short video:



    The Grid System
    [​IMG]

    When my dad first told me that Chicago is really just one big grid, I looked at him as if he were completely batshit crazy. Even now, if I were to go into the city, I'd get lost in a heartbeat. However, if you take the time to read up, and study the map.. well, holy shit, he's right. In fact, it was specifically designed this way because originally, Chicago, after annexing in multiple townships around itself, was an absolute nightmare to navigate. This neat little video explains how exactly that came to be.





    Cicero

    Almost Chicago, but not quite. The industrial city of Cicero is bordered on two sides by the city of Chicago, and you can't even tell where Cicero ends and Chicago begins. It is made up of eight neighborhoods: Grant Works, Hawthorne, Warren Park, Drezel, Clyde, Morton Park, Boulevard Manor and Parkholme. It has a RICH mob history, given the place was once considered Al Capone's headquarters, and criminals would often flee to Cicero to escape Chicago law enforcement. The underground thrives in this area. It isn't uncommon to see prostitutes lingering on the corners, and finding your drug of choice is just as easy in these parts. Two horse race tracks, 24 hour taverns, and still-lingering mob presence (though not as in-your-face as it once was) doesn't give a good name to Cicero.

    [​IMG]

    Suburban gangs started rising up in the 60's, and gang activity hit it's peak in the 90's.

    Pulled from "Chicago Gang History":
    "I was also told a story once by an acquaintance that had a friend that went to Cicero and got lost, he then pulled up to a gas station to get directions, a gang member overheard he was lost and also spotted a rival gang member at the same time. The gang member that overheard the man was lost pulled out a gun and blew the rival gang members head open killing him instantly then kindly turned to the lost man and gave him directions then said “have a good one” then left."
    https://chicagoganghistory.com/suburb/cicero/

    There are many stories of law enforcement brutally beating gang members into submission, and perhaps their vicious tactics work, because gang activity in the area has been declining since the 90's.

    On Cicero Avenue, technically in Chicago, is also where you will find Midway Airport. A much smaller airport than O'Hare.

    [​IMG]



    There are a lot more areas in the city I could talk about - but quite frankly, I'm not being paid for this tour. If you want to find out more about all these places in this massive, massive city, by all means, have at it! But for now, lets head to Union Station and catch a train out towards the suburbs...


    Remember.. It's always cooler by the lake! ... No, really, it's called The Lake Effect. Google it.
     
    #1 Lucky Duck, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  2. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck Quack
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    Springfield is the state capital of Illinois

    Winter: In a Nutshell
    [​IMG]

    FOOD


    Is it Soda, or Pop?

    [​IMG]
    If you're from Chicago, you most likely say pop. However, outside of Chicago, Soda and Pop are used rather interchangeably.
    When you cross the invisible line that separates Northern Illinois from Southern Illinois, you'll start hearing people use the word... "Coke" ... to describe their carbonated beverages..


    If you live in Illinois, especially in the Chicagoland area... you know what an Italian Beef Sandwich is.


    You know what's on a Chicago Style Hot Dog
    [​IMG]
    Notice the lack of Ketchup

    You know what Portillo's is... where you can get both of the things listed above, plus some bomb-ass cheese fries.
    [​IMG]

    You've probably had deep dish pizza at least once in your life. (Probably from Giordano's)
    [​IMG]

    You'll also know you go to White Castle for sliders
    [​IMG]
    ..and then proceed to shit your brains out, crying, "It was worth it, It was worth it."

    That's why they're called sliders, you know.

    OPE!
    This is a straight-up midwest thing. If someone bumps into you, you drop something, you say, "Ope!" / "Ope! Sorry!" .. it's an exclamation of surprise. We barely even realize we say it.

    Chicago Slang

    * OMS is "On My Soul" not "On My Shit"
    * "Woo out the Bam" is kinda like saying "Long story short"


    :cig:Cigarette prices in Chicago range from $9 - $11 a pack. YIKES!
    They are much cheaper in the suburbs, ranging between $5 - $7.



    The 5-0, The Po-Po, The Cops

    This probably comes as no surprise, but your average citizen isn't exactly the biggest fan of the police force. Now, I'm not saying there aren't good officers out here - I've met some friendlies, hell, there are even officers that participate in the gay pride parade. But, the general consensus of the average police officer in the Chicagoland area ... is that they're racist, and potentially quite shady. I've seen them snoop around my neighbor's property while they were on vacation, they've targeted and harassed some of my african american friends. There are even accounts of chicago officers raping women - proving it, of course, is a challenge all it's own. Needless to say, the Chicago Police Force has a long history of corruption.
    https://pols.uic.edu/docs/default-s...ruption_reports/policecorruption.pdf?sfvrsn=2


    Even suburbia isn't safe from officers who abuse the badge. Has anyone ever heard of the Drew Peterson case? It was national news about 10 years ago. The officer's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, went missing. The wife before her? Died mysteriously due to an accident in the bathroom. The case of his deceased third wife was re-opened, but what did him in was actually hearsay evidence. Illinois adopted a hearsay law in 2008 tailored to Drew Peterson's case, dubbed "Drew's Law," which assisted in making some of the evidence admissible.
    On top of that? Recently, Peterson was found guilty of trying to hire a hit man to kill Will County State's Attorney, James Glasgow.

    https://www.biography.com/people/drew-peterson-259248

    Anyone remember when I said I participated in a search party? It was for Stacy.
    She was never found.

     
    #2 Lucky Duck, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  3. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck Quack
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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #3 Lucky Duck, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  4. El Cid

    El Cid The Old Man (apparently)
    The Old Man

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    Wait, can I say the "s" if i'm making noise? Like ILL-UH-NOIIIIIIIISSSSSEEEE!!!! Actually nevermind, I'm saying the S anyways.
     
  5. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck Quack
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    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
     
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  6. Chaos Theory

    Chaos Theory Active Member
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    ilu-oh-nos
    Yes.


    Well, to those having locals as their characters this will be helpful.
    ....
    ....
    ....
    ... illi-uh-nois
     
  7. El Cid

    El Cid The Old Man (apparently)
    The Old Man

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    Here's everything Lucky put, but in a condensed form:

     
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  8. Andrew Noah

    Andrew Noah Lore Assistant - Admin
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    Gah, stupid Illinois. STAY ON YOUR SIDE OF THE RIVER! YOUR LICENSE PLATES ARE UGLY!


    - Person from Missouri
     
  9. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck Quack
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    I cannot argue this fact. LOL
     
  10. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck Quack
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    I plan on talking about some areas outside of Chicago, going over some lingo, FOOD .. and some other random stuff.. I'll probably throw all of that together tomorrow.. hopefully. lol
     
  11. Bill Chompski

    Bill Chompski New Dawn Lifer

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    What's the homeless situation like?
     
  12. a rabbit

    a rabbit Administrator
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    it's pretty bad, they're all without homes
     
  13. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck Quack
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    "Chicago officials estimate that 5,889 homeless people live in the city, according to its 2016 Homeless Count and Survey. Of those, 79 percent are in shelters, and 21 percent were unsheltered. But the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless places the numbers much higher. The coalition estimates that 125,848 Chicagoans were homeless during the last count in 2015. Their numbers also include people living in overcrowded homes due to hardship."
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...-homeless-bridge-glanton-20170314-column.html

    CHICAGO (WLS) --
    "The new face of homelessness is families. An estimated 140,000 homeless people live in the city including thousands of public school students in shelters, in tents, in parks or just in whatever place they can find across Chicago."
    http://abc7chicago.com/news/chicagos-new-face-of-homelessness-/894464/

    Neither of these are an accurate count of the homeless population in Chicago, given a lot of homeless people go to great lengths to avoid being seen.

    Every time I go to the city, there is at least one pan-handler with a cardboard sign, if not more. It is really fucking hard being homeless in Chicago, half the reason they stay under Wacker Drive is because it at least provides -some- shelter from the wind and snow, a laughable amount.
     
  14. Legion

    Legion Your tears sustain me
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  15. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck Quack
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    Thank you for moving the post to a better location, I wasn't sure where to post it initially. I still plan on adding more to it, too, even if it's just little shit here and there.
     
  16. Legion

    Legion Your tears sustain me
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    Before now, there really was no better place for it. Normally admins start posts like this but its rare for a player to so now, there is a place on the forums for players to make things like this because after seeing your post, it just makes sense to have a spot like this.
     
    Lucky Duck likes this.
  17. Jpurts776

    Jpurts776 Member

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    Thank you for making that. Gave me a really good look into Chicago life
     
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  18. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck Quack
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    I could have gone more into detail into suburban life, but since joining staff and doing map on the work I just haven't had the time to tend to this post as much as I wanted to. If you got any questions though, don't be shy, you can feel free to message me. :)

    ... map on the work.. as you can see my brain is fried LOL
     
  19. MissAnach

    MissAnach New Member

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    As a roleplayer who lives in the north of England I found this super helpful! Pretty cool how we share calling fizzy drinks pop too. Thanks for this :D
     
  20. Andrew Noah

    Andrew Noah Lore Assistant - Admin
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    THEY'RE CALLED SODA
     
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