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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia Commons/Mike Boehmer

12 things that Chicagoans are weirdly proud of

Written by
Time Out Chicago editors

Chicagoans are a proud bunch. It's not uncommon for folks who live here to tout the city as the greatest in the world—because it is, damn it. But aside from our amazing restaurant and bar scene and the amazing architecture around town, we can be proud of some pretty strange parts of the city. Chicago might be a place worth boasting about, but it's equally weird. With that in mind, are 12 things that Chicagoans are weirdly proud of.

1. The Chicago flag: Apparently people in other cities do not know what their municipal flag looks like.

2. How clean the city is (relatively speaking for a metropolis): A lot of towns and cities take their cleanliness for granted, but our alleyway system just makes us happy that we don't have to keep our trash on the street.

3. Our corrupt politicians: At this point, the history of corruption in Chicago is laughable. 

4. The Jungle lives: Chicagoans have an uncanny ability to put meat in pretty much every dish, and it's amazing.

5. Our adorable Midwestern charm: Whether it’s real or not is up for debate, but we're pretty sure we're not assholes. 

6. Our lovable losers and ability to love terrible sports teams: "There's always next year" has become an enduring phrase in Chicago (that could change for the Cubs this year), but every year there's a sports team that's downright terrible. We love winning, but we seem to love losing just as much—it means cheaper tickets.

7. Having amazing beaches in the middle of the U.S.: Chicagoans get super pumped about the beaches across the lakefront during the summer, mostly because it's hard to fathom how much gorgeous waterfront we have access to when there is no ocean within 800 miles.

8. The miserable weather: Our winters make us stronger, or at least that's what we keep telling ourselves.

9. Our accents: On the East and West Coasts, people tend to hide their accents. In Chicago, we try to sound as much like a car dealership owner as possible.

10. Our ability to navigate the city underground like rats: Whether it's the pedway system or the subway, we know how to get around the city's downtown area without ever having to step foot outside.

11. The fact that our city burnt down: If the Great Chicago Fire hadn't left about a third of the city's population homeless in 1871, the city would not have been as well-planned as it is today. Also, we get to compare ourselves to a phoenix. 

12. That we're the home to the country's first serial killer: H.H. Holmes became America's first serial killer during the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, killing more than 100 people in a hotel now dubbed a "murder castle." Martin Scorsese is even making a movie about him.

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