Big Chicago: My Experiences In the Melting Pot

DSC_1324I’ve heard Chicago described as a melting pot. Of course when people refer to cities as melting pots, they’re only referring to the diversity of a group of people. However, it’s more than a melting pot of people. It’s a mix of music, cultures, architecture, art, fashion, food, and yes, of course, people. Simply walking down the block you can identify all of these different things. I’ve lived in the Chicagoland Area for most of my life, but this is my first time living in the actual city. In my first two weeks, I’ve experienced more than I have ever before.DSC_1332

As in any major city, fashion is always one of the biggest topics. When you think of Chicago, you imagine all of these beautiful, expensive people in these beautifully expensive clothes. While I have experienced that, I’ve also experienced a lot of other interesting fashions. I’ve seen young people walk down the streets in their pajamas, in full winter dress, or even their summer clothes with a long puffy coat. I understand it’s cold in Chicago but it doesn’t get really cold till December or so, so why are people always wearing a coat? I’ve also seen a lot of baggy jeans and boxers from adolescent males. I never understood why that was, and still is, as fad for men and the occasional woman. DSC_1178

Chicago has been known all over the world for it’s jazz music. Some people would even go as far as saying that Chicago is the home of jazz. However, Chicago is home to much more than just jazz music. Chicago is home to festivals like Lollapalooza, Spring Awakening, and Pitchfork and home to many famous artists like Kanye West, Nat King Cole, Buddy Guy, and many more. Sometimes when people are asked to describe what kind of music they have in the city of Chicago, they give you a concrete answer like “Oh, there’s a lot of hip hop” or “I’ve heard only the jazz music is good.’ I don’t know how people give such a generic, on-the-surface answer. Chicago is so much more than that and that’s where the idea of Chicago is a melting pot of not only people, but music as well.

Being a student at Columbia College Chicago, I obviously care about the arts and Chicago is one of the best places to learn about art. We have galleries and museums at our disposal 24/7. There’s the Art Institute of Chicago where you can view  works by artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Henri Matisse. You can visit the Museum of Contemporary Art where there have been exhibits like David Bowie Is or an exhibit by Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys. The diversity in Chicago’s art scene is, in a word, incredible. In just one visit to any museum, you can see all different works from impressionism to abstraction to contemporary. This, personally, is one of the greatest things I’ve experienced in Chicago thus far.DSC_1387

Another great diversity in Chicago is the diversity of cultures. You’re able to walk down the street and hear a multitude of different languages; ranging from Spanish to French to German. I can pass someone on the street wearing a hijab or traditional middle east fashions. You can travel to neighborhoods and experience different cultures. You can go down to Chinatown and see the Chinese culture in practice or to the Little Village and enjoy the traditional Mexican experience. The simple and blunt point is this; Chicago, in the truest sense, is a melting pot in the sense it is meant to be understood.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Let’s talk food. Everyone loves food and everyone will be happy living in the city because you can find any kind of food you want. Personally, I love a good trip to Chinatown to chow down on some stir fry chicken. If you love fresh organic food, you can find that. If you love Chinese food, you can find that. If you love Mexican food, you can find that, too! To be blunt, you can find anything food related you want. One of my favorite spots for a quick coffee stop is the French Market right below Ogilvie Transportation Center. There, you can find fresh and organic foods from oranges to apples to lettuce, find your favorite greek yogurt, and there’s even protein bars. What I love the most about the French Market is the pattiserie that’s right in the center. They bake fresh croissant every morning along with brewing fresh coffee. Who doesn’t love a good cup of joe and a croissant? I almost live off of those things.
One of the best things about living in the city is the great architecture. The city has all kinds of buildings ranging from small to large, old to new, and just downright amazing. In the city of Chicago we have buildings such as the Trump Tower, the Willis Tower, and the John Hancock building. We also have such great monuments like the Buckingham Fountain and the Millennium Park Pavilion. One of my favorite buildings, however, is none of these. My favorite building just so happens to be the Carbine and Carbon building on Michigan Avenue. I love it’s classical architecture with the concept of early skyscrapers. I’m also in love with the strips of gold and the golden peaks. It brings the building into the modern century but it doesn’t overtake the gothic architecture.

DSC_1338As you can tell, I’m passionate about my new city. I’m excited to see where my journey as a student will lead me and I’m excited to experience more of the Chicago melting pot. The art, music, architecture, food, and all of those other things mean nothing if you don’t experience them yourself. Take on the city and see all it has to offer! I know I will!

Updates

Hello to all!

I haven’t posted in a while and let me tell you, ever since moving into college, I’ve had a writers block.

No, not the kind of writers block where I have no ideas whatsoever. The kind of writers block where I have so many things to say and ideas to put out there that I can’t even begin to type them out in a space. Is that still called writers block?

Anyways, since I’m still trying to figure out how to put all of my little whimsies out there, I’ve decided to do something drastic and share the short stories I started writing over a year ago. These stories were actually inspired by the book Palo Alto by James Franco and I’m still waiting for him to respond to all my fan mail. I know you can read, Franco, and the whole world knows you can write.

Now, that being said, please be kind. These pieces are no where near perfect, nor are they no where near complete, I still have pieces to fill into the story as a whole.

I’m also starting to get into the groove of photography in the city and I’m hoping to have some of those pieces up soon, as well as some sketching. I can’t wait to share all of my different creative outlets with you all. Over the next few days, I will be posting my short stories.

Signing off for the night, this has been Neutrality.

2 AM

Here I am. It’s two a.m. and I’m no where close to being able to fall asleep. Stress really starts to hit me like this. I become an insomniac for weeks and weeks. Maybe I should just give sleep up all together. Anyways…

I have two weeks till I move into my apartment for college. Maybe the stresses of leaving are getting to me, or maybe it’s the stresses of another four years of schooling. Growing up in this tiny town, it’s unheard of to not go to college. It’s a norm. But it’s only just started to hit me, what if I don’t want to go to college? Am I just scared to grow old? Am I scared to grow old and follow a normal lifestyle? Am I just afraid of being normal? Or is there just something wrong with me?

It was pointed out to me one day that I’m what you would call the ‘outcast’ of the family. I’m going to art school and I do think exceptionally different than the rest of my family. It gets kind of lonely sometimes.

Only then did I start to realize maybe I’m just the outcast of this town. I hate this tiny town, with it’s tiny people, and fake houses, and fake lives. Everyone, no matter how different on the outside, is the exact same on the inside, and I don’t mean anatomically. And then there’s me. I have never met anyone who thinks the same way I do besides my small group of friends. Even then I still feel different, like an outcast.

It’s actually really scary to me to think that I’m getting old. I’m afraid for what life has in store for me and I’m afraid of being a normal adult with a normal desk job. I never want to be that person.

If I ever become that person I don’t think I could forgive myself. I don’t like normality. I tried it for a while in high school and then I got involved in the art scene, as I like to say.

While I don’t post often on here, I think you’ll be seeing a lot more late night posts from me and my inner-neutral spaces thoughts.

This is Neutrality, signing off for the night.