I am sick and tired of your bullshit. Scratch that—your inherent flawlessness and endless adoring masses has been making me physically ill for decades. Your tanned blonde sirens, leather-skinned Orange County housewives, New Age medical professionals and frivolous surfers have hypnotized the world. The Beach Boys have urged the country’s entire female population to emulate your example. John Steinbeck published hundreds of pages describing your utopia of ripened fruit and American Dreams. Chefs both aspiring and adorned flock to your delicious hillsides just to smell your wine and feast on your harvests. Children from distant nations reenact gunfight scenes in the streets, shooting each other with invisible pistols from Hollywood’s infinite cinematic offerings. Hippies and freethinkers migrate from every state just to bask in Berkeley’s stale pot smoke. Everyone wants a piece. Everyone wants that chance to go west and claim stake in a place where the sun never sets, the earth shakes, and gold and gay rights flow like bong water. I’m fatigued with your fanaticism.
I am a Chicago Girl, born-and-raised. I like my hot dogs toppling with needless condiments, pizza slices inflexible (food should not fold), weather ever-changing, and city centers near man-made beaches. I want my wind to be stinging and my seasons up for debate. I relish in corrupt and melodramatic politics, thrive on rickety elevated transport, and swoon at the unfathomable architectural marvels that await every corner. I am of the Second City, the Windy City, the City of Big Shoulders—Chicago is a force to be reckoned with. We are fed up with being a forgotten metropolis.
Look, I realize you aren’t in this alone. Everyone knows you are working quite closely with your accomplice (New York) but it is your monopoly on the Pacific—and the coolness factor of an entire nation—that I take issue with. You two simply cannot have the whole country. I’ve had it with the way you waltz into the cafeteria with your supermodel cohorts, smug freedoms, and scenic geography—acting like the Pied Piper of Suave as residents of other states rise up and dance to your tune without looking back. Your debonair countenance entrances our promising youth and talented idols until they are powerless to resist—leaving our once vibrant land increasingly barren. Most of your army in vogue were once of other cities and lands. You steal our best and brightest then brand them with California’s finest. It simply isn’t fair.
Yes, I too will soon journey to Magicland and see for myself what all of the fuss is about. Eventually I’ll be among millions of misplaced and newly enchanted San Francisco inhabitants frolicking in the vertical streets trying to find my footing amidst creative homeless and stoned dwellers. I will feel the ground shake and squint in the rapid clouds of fog—feeling the sea breeze on my face as my legs ache from dramatic elevation. Perhaps an anti-war academic will feast on my flesh, transforming me into a California-loving zombie and I will succumb to the frenzy. They will find me wandering aimlessly along the Golden Gate Bridge with glazed over eyes and dreadlocks muttering about dilemmas like gig indecisiveness or having spoiled fine wine in my cellar. Regardless of what happens to me know this: I love the City by the Lake and you will never take my freedom.
With Love and Spite,