Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cool Stuff I Get to Do Because I Live in Chicago

I'm going to be completely honest with you here. I'm not always totally crazy about living in Chicago -- only because it's still the Midwest and well, I was trying reeeeaaallly hard to get out after graduation. And I really still want to live on the East Coast and maybe even down South before I finally settle down. And because all we're known for in the Midwest is auto factories and farms (odd, now that I think about it). And because no one considers it a mecca of culture or class. And because those on the coasts expect us to be fat and slightly ignorant, driving only tractors or made-in-the-USA cars. That's all.

OK, with all of that said, I truly think Chicago is awesome in its own right. Especially when I let myself forget that I'm living in a state named Illinois. Anyway...this city is so vibrant and full of culture and is really the best of the Midwest (besides Ann Arbor, of course. My heart will always belong to you, city of my alma mater!). Proving that point, this weekend I had the chance to partake in a little bit of big city life when I attended the Gay Pride Parade! I was a women's studies major at liberal Umich, but I never really got too involved in the LGBT stuff. I like to think I'm fairly open-minded and, at school, I did have LGBT friends/acquaintances but because the issues never directly affected me, I kind of took on a "meh" attitude. Kind of a "live and let live, but that's about it." Selfish. Naive. Whatever you want to call it. Anyway, not saying I'm going to go all activist on you, but I now have a greater appreciation for other people's lifestyles. And the HUGE turnout of the parade as well as the awesome amount of participation from all walks of life from Chicago really had an impact on me.

I actually had no one to go with but I went by myself because a) This was a once a year opportunity, b) It was a chance to be a part of something going on across the country, and c) It was LITERALLY outside my window. No, really. RIGHT OUTSIDE my second-floor, crappy, above-a-neon-sign-that-keeps-me-awake-at-night window. Much to my chagrin (most of the time), I live on the main drag (ha, sorry, no pun intended... you'll get it when you see some of the pictures...). But in this case, living on one of Chicago's busiest streets was awesome! I not only got to see the whole parade when I walked down the street, but I was able to see everyone getting their floats ready before the festivities from my living room table (the parade actually started a few blocks up from me).
So, without further ado -- pictures!

The news was there, of course!

One of the many crazy, awesome floats in the parade.

I wish I could upload the video from phone --these dancers were amazing!

Do you get my terrible pun from earlier now?

This made everyone standing around me cheer!

Everyone there had so much SPIRIT!

(What's that? You think I should stop with the jokes?)

Another group of awesome dancers from a community organization.


United Methodists, Lutherans.....



...every faith was showing its support!

There was just something so perfect about this.

Hot boys who couldn't be interested in me if they tried... Sigh.

I took quite a few pictures of this one when the parade was stopped for about half an hour. How can you not love it?

Loved it.

These nice ladies saw me documenting the parade in the rain and called me over to give me flowers from their float! I was smiling all day from the amazing vibes from everyone there.

HA. Nothing more to say.

I have SO many more pictures, but this one just says it all:

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