As 2015 comes to a close, it’s hard to imagine this being a year of anything but infamy in Chicago. But that overlooks the fact that many of us live in and love this city in spite of its politics and social injustices. Consider its culture. We do, here in and more than a hundred Top 5 lists throughout our virtual and real pages. See you in 2016! (Brian Hieggelke)
Top 5 Cultural Events of 2015
Doris Salcedo at MCA
The Herd at Steppenwolf
An Evening with Kurt Elling at Grant Park Music Festival
The Secret Garden at Court Theatre
Grupo Corpo at Auditorium Theatre
Top 5 WTF Moments Living in Chicago in 2015
Chicago’s fifth-largest blizzard in history
Rahm Emanuel is reelected as mayor
Chicago’s City Council passes the city’s largest property tax
Laquan McDonald shooting and video tape go public
“Back to the Future 2” disappoints as the Cubs make it to the second round of the MLB playoffs and lose to the New York Mets
Top 5 ways living in Chicago is like chronically being on vacation
The Midwestern easygoingness
Top 5 excuses given by Jeff Samardzija for his horrible season in 2015
Realized he was pitching for the White Sox
Still hurt over not having the chance to blow the All-Star Game for the National League in 2014
Wanted to match Jason Hammel in pitching in-game batting practice, a ritual the two started in Oakland
Aftershave fumes from weak, porn-star mustache obscured his vision of home plate
Worried about “Dear Jeff” email from Manti Te’o’s ex-girlfriend.
Top 5 Places to Disappear
SpaceTime Flotation Tanks
Great Hall at Union Station
Heart of Italy
Harold Washington Library
Garfield Park Conservatory
Top 5 Blue Line Matrons of Commerce
The lady at the Whirlaway Lounge, who eyes your dates skeptically
The lady at the Scrub-A-Dub Laundromat on Fullerton, who gave me a bag of candy on Halloween
The lady at El Habanero, who always says “see you soon” and seems concerned about your nutrition
The lady at Sunrise Cafe, who tells you to stop reading and start eating when she brings the food
The lady at the J&M Tap, who will make cupcakes for your birthday party there if you ask ahead of time
Top 5 tiny nice things you should do this winter even though you can’t brag about them later
Hit the heat button on the El platform first.
Smile at someone when they slip on the ice, but not in a creepy or mean way, just enough so they know you saw and it’s cool and you aren’t making fun of them in your head.
Do a courtesy wipe of your table after you eat something crumbly at a cafe.
Walk around tourist pictures instead of through them.
Just shovel the ten feet of tiny sidewalk in front of your apartment building before it becomes an icy death trap. Please. You can brag about that one.
Top 5 Puns of Our Mayor’s Name
Top 5 Unconventional Ways to See the City
Puttering along in the Chicago water taxi
Exploring Chicago’s old telegraph, freight and coal tunnels
Sailing along Montrose Beach
Walking Chicago’s sixty-plus drawbridges
Out the window of the tail-end Metra car