Stuck in a city state of mind

I was sitting in a bar in Chicago over the weekend when it hit me and I owe it all to a cop and a cab driver.

I spent the weekend in the Windy City with Kate and her two best friends from college, which they all attended in Chicago (Northwestern to be exact).

I realized over the course of three days, that I am and forever will be a city kid. I love the city, everything about it. I love the fact that there are other people, I enjoy the idea of culture and people my age running rampant. I adore the notion that I have every potential option I could ever want or need within a 10-block radius.

I can get doughnuts, ice cream, hand lotion, condoms, a lube job, pens and Moo Goo Gui Pan all in the same place - that my friends, is my version of heaven.

It has always been this way, even for most of my childhood spent in the burbs - I wanted the city.

This caused issues with the parental units because they wanted nothing to do with the city.

While my goal was to get to ever bigger and bigger metropolitan areas, their's was to reach the point that they couldn't even seen neighbors without binoculars.

And, wouldn't you know it, they did - in Kentucky. They have captured their American dream, as demonstrated by the fact that my dad will soon retire and be able to sit in his underwear while whittlin' and guarding the compost heap - although not at the same time (that's a safety violation.)

Those redneck jokes aren't nearly as funny when you have personal examples to back them up.

No, for me it has always been the city. I don't want a yard, give me a balcony of an apartment over a crappy Chinese restaurant. Forget acreage, I want public transportation, diversity and the feeling that there is always someone more important and less important than me in my vicinity.

The point was really driven home that I belong in a city during a Saturday night outing at a bar called Finn McCools.

We were sitting against the window facing Rush street drinking our Tower of Beer when a homeless woman walked into the bar. As the bouncer attempted to usher her out the door, she began to make a scene - apparently the (bleeping) space visitors were (bleeping) with her brainwaves and she needed to be indoors so she could smoke her God-(bleeping) cigarette to make it go away.

As she left the bar, I noticed out the window a police car parked at the curb with two officers inside. The driver was watching the computer and the passenger was sitting with his window down watching the street.

Well homeless Harriet starts screaming obscenities at the policemen, working herself into a fervor.

Then the passenger side cop did something I never would have expected.

He looked at homeless Harriet, looked back straight ahead and then -


He rolled up his window.

Awesome. As the bar patrons rose to give him a standing ovation, I realized that only in a city would this happen, not only the action, but the reaction.

I was home.

My point was further reinforced the next morning, when after taking a cab from my hotel to the Magnificent Mile, the cabbie said, "Enjoy the city, hope to see you again soon."

He will, if I have anything to say about it.

Are you a city kid?? Tell me about it on the Party of One blog at

• Jarid Shipley is the Features Editor for the Nevada Appeal. Contact him at or 881-1217.


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