On Sunday, March 4th, Chicago turned 175! The Chicago History Museum and the DuSable Museum of African American History both held events celebrating the official incorporation of the city on March 4, 1837 and the city’s first resident, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable. The Chicago Sun-Times has recommendations for 175 Chicago activities in honor of 175 years, but we’d like to honor the city in our own way. One of the very first JOT pieces we posted on the blog was “I Was Born in Chicago,” by Eunice Taylor Favors. We’re reposting it today in honor of Eunice’s personal, ground-level celebration of Chicago. We’re also posting some images from The People’s Atlas of Chicago. The People’s Atlas is one of our wonderful partner organizations,(learn more about our partnership here), and their personalized maps are another way to claim the city for your own through personal and artistic experiences.

Eunice Taylor Favors

I was born in Chicago
Lived here most of my life
Worked in a variety of public schools
Worked at banks, at the post office, and many other offices
But there are many things in this huge city
I have never done
Never went to Riverview Amusement Park
The Regal Theater
Never rode a Metra train
Never shopped at Lord & Taylor or I. Magnin apparel stores
Never went to Taste of Chicago
Never visited Brookfield Zoo as a child
And seldom went to the movies
Anywhere at any time
Never went to any casino boats
Never went to the Olive Garden for dinner
Very seldom gambled on the lottery
And actually went to only a few beauty shops
To have my hair done
Never got a gold chain, a pedicure, a manicure, or a tattoo

Yet there are many places I have been
And things I have done that others have never known
I love going to the Cultural Center
Many libraries throughout the city
Especially the futuristic one downtown
I’ve been to Oak Park on public transportation
Various locations on the North Side, the East Side, the South Side
And other downtown areas

I’ve gone to Navy Pier, the Aquarium, the Art Institute,
Chicago Historical Society, and the Museum of Science & Industry
Many times

I’ve eaten at Red Lobster, Old Country Buffet, Bakers Square,
Friday’s, Northwestern Hospital, IHOP,
And so many all-you-can-eat buffets
Some that don’t even exist anymore
It would fill your stomach just to know a few of them

In my years
As a resident of Chicago
I’ve known those with no phone at all
No home at all
As well as persons with mansions, plush carpets, and marble furniture
So just because you live somewhere
You should never think
Everyone in your environment
Has an experience that is the same
Our days are as varied
As the makeup of snowflakes
Even though in the end
It all just looks like a lot of snow

Map of Chicago highlighting McDonald's locations


Click on the images for a close-up view!

What does your Chicago look like? What makes you want to celebrate 175 years?