John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #126: What is the most interesting thing about where you live? "Thing" in this case would be a famous landmark, a famous current celebrity or historical personage from your home town or county, a notable celebration or sports event -- basically, anything that makes where you're from interesting and unique.
Many people think I live in the city
of Chicago. So a velodrome seems kind of lame as a unique place. You can tell from one comment in particular that somebody
thinks I could have come up with something, anything, more
That's one of Lance Armstrong's teammates
in the picture at a charity race in my town, by the way. So, it's a
pretty high class velodrome, not one of those namby pamby places.
Meanwhile, back to why I picked the velodrome. I do work in Chicago and consider myself a Chicagoan, but I really live in a town OUTSIDE the city.
So, all things considered, I think the
velodrome is pretty unique. Most towns my size are lucky to have a
village green and a McDonald's. The Drome is not much to
look at when there aren't any bikes racing around it, because it's just
circular quarter mile track. But in the summer there are races every
week. And big crowds gather hoping to see accidents and crazy spills.
Our town also has Jim McMahon and Gale
Sayers if you're into famous retired athletes who show up at the
grocery store occasionally. A couple of speedskating Olympians grew up
here, too. Speedskating and shorttrack bike racing are complementary
sports, often used for cross training. So when you're good at one,
you're often good at the other.
Director John Hughes [Sixteen Candles,
Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club] grew up here. He and his wife also stopped
in at the grocery store one day. Years ago, he shot
parts of Ferris Bueller's Day Off at the high school.
For several weeks the huge water tower that looks down on our shopping
area and train station also had "SAVE FERRIS" painted on it,
which only served to confuse people who had no idea what, or who, a
Hmmmm, I don't know how long that
Googled picture of our velodrome is going to last so I better get out
and take one of my own. Maybe I'll run into Jim McMahon at White Hen Pantry. Again.
OKAY ALREADY -- HERE'S A CHICAGO
LANDMARK THAT'S KINDA COOL. AND ONE THAT'S BECOMING MORE AND MORE
FAMOUS. NOT FOR IT'S REAL NAME, CLOUDSCAPE OR SOMETHING, BUT FOR THE NAME CHICAGOANS GAVE IT, "THE
BEAN." HAPPY NOW, BOSOX?
Google Images ucchicago.edu