Travel weekly: Next stop, Chicago

Home to Chicago sports teams, Lincoln Park, and the Chicago-style hot dog, SMC student Jon Ball says the city of Chicago is definitely a place to visit. After living in the western suburbs of Chicago, Ill. for nearly 14 years of his life, Ball says the passion for the seasons and holidays of Chicago were some of his most memorable experiences.

"They go all out on Christmas and on Halloween too," said Ball.

He said that the neighborhood houses in the windy city are much more decorated than in California and that driving through a neighborhood during Christmas is like "going through a stream of lights."

Ball lamented the Los Angeles weather, saying that it seems to remain hot no matter what season it is, unlike Chicago, where it is hot during summer but snows during winter.

"Here in California, it is always hot, and it never rains," said Ball, who feels that the clouds do not pour water down enough on Los Angeles.

He said that the seasons in Chicago are like nothing he has seen in California, and that he found the rain beautiful and refreshing despite what others might feel about rain.

One of his favorite things to do while in Chicago was driving into the city to visit downtown and Lincoln Park.

Ball said he and his friends would frequently visit the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, to get a view of the city lights.

With all the beauty and wonders within the windy city, Ball said that the passion for sports in Chicago burns much greater than what he has seen in Los Angeles.

"People usually invite their friends to their houses, throw parties, just to watch the game," Ball said.

"There is no passion for the teams," Ball said of some Los Angeles sports fans. "They just want to say that they've been to the games, but they don't care that they've been to the games."

After moving to Los Angeles, it took Ball a while to adjust to different social customs. While he enjoys the diversity in Los Angeles, He said it hasn't been as easy for him to make friends since he found people to be more open in Chicago.

Other places Ball has visited include Hawaii, where he enjoyed the relaxed nature of the state, and where he went scuba diving for the first time. He said he wants to continue traveling to new places.

"Everyone tells me to visit New York for at least one year because it makes you a different and independent person; it changes you," he said.

After spending five years in Los Angeles and two at SMC, Ball said that for everything different between Chicago and Los Angeles, there is one key injustice that must be rectified.

"Whenever they say, here in Los Angeles, that a hot dog is a Chicago-style hot dog, it's not," said Ball. "You have to go to Chicago to get the real Chicago-style hot dog."

CultureJonathan RamosComment