About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view FarhajSOC's profile
    Posted March 6, 2014 by
    HELMETTA, New Jersey
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What do you love about Chicago?

    What being "of" Chicago is


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     FarhajSOC told me, 'Chicago is one of America's most beautiful cities but underneath the glittering exterior is a living breathing mass of people from one of its many neighborhoods. Almost each one has its own pluses and minuses, and I found out on a recent drive through - the inhabitants know who's who, and my case, who doesn't belong. Now what does that tell us? It tells us the neighborhoods are full of people who look after each other, weather people know it or not. It tells us big bad brawler types hanging out on a stoop do in fact look for oncoming traffic when a tyke on his big wheel from across the street is riding by. It shows OWNERSHIP. Thats a great thing (I find lacking in the New Jersey suburbs).'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    I was born right off Lake Shore Drive some 37 years ago. After a messy divorce, my beloved Mother and younger brother moved to Jersey to be closer to family. So I grew up in Jersey, and that fact is very dear to me - but my heart and soul will always belong to my Chicago. A *true* person with Chicago roots will always love and have affection for our city. The "City of broad shoulders" that Sandburg proclaimed Chicago was, is a description of what a true person from Chicago must have themselves - a "City of broad shoulders" in ones' heart for people to experience; Its a call to action.


    We of Chicago have the fortitude, and will, and drive to be a "City of broad shoulders" for our loved ones in need. We know we will overcome the travails of life - its in our very DNA. We have no choice. The cold is unbearable, but we *are* that gorgeous city, standing against the lake, shivering, but standing tall. That is who we are. Chicago doesn't just reside in our heart - it *is* our heart. Chicago is us, we of Chicago *are* Chicago.


    Although New Jersey is my cherished home, I am a Son Of Chicago and will always be. Cant shake it, theres no need trying - I (and those born and or slightly raised there) *are* Chicago.

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