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To which of the following midwest cities does Chicago have the strongest relationship

  • Miwaukee

    Votes: 42 82.4%
  • St. Louis

    Votes: 4 7.8%
  • Minneapolis

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • Detroit

    Votes: 2 3.9%
  • Indianapolis

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • Cleveland

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Cincinnati

    Votes: 1 2.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which city in the middle west do you think Chicago has the strongest relationship? To which are we most connected?

I'm thinking in terms of...

Milwaukee: backyard neighbor, our only one, with a similiar layout of lake, parks & beaches, and river

St. Louis: 18th century rivalry for dominance in Mid-America that still lasts to today. Huge Cub-Cardinal rivalry. Besides, we live in a state that is attached to only two metro's: Chgo and StL

Detroit: closest parallel to Chicago in late 19th-mid 20th c. industrialization and ethnic mix. Even by the 1950's, these two were frighteningly enough similiar to each other

Cleveland: mainly because it comes across as a "Mini-Chicago" more so than any other midwestern city

Minneapolis: many view Chicagoland and the Twin Cities as the most thrieving metro areas in the Middle West today

Cincinnati: historical link related to Chgo/StL relationship. Cincy was the first city west of the Appalachians to be the great city of the west (prior to the LA Purchase). Chicago, obviously, holds that role today.

Indianapolis: aggressive Indy has no qualms about going up against the Chicago big boys....as in fighting over the Big Ten tourney site.

So which one of these major cities is most closely related to Chicago, has the most dominant relationship with our Windy City (and why did you choose it). If you want to throw in Kansas City and Columbus into the mix, that's fine (but, let's face it: I left them off here because their inclusion would be dubious, as best)
 

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Detroit. The two biggest midwestern cities. As we both have a close and similar history, Detroit very early stages of renissance are bringout out our Chicago-like nature...just walk around lower Woodward nowadays
 

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Certainly not Cleveland, where I lived for many, many years - Clevelanders think & talk alot about NYC, but Chicago might as well be in another country, for the limited amount of attention it gets. When I have heard Chicago come up in conversation, it is usually something like "Oh, yeah - Chicago - its like a big Cleveland...by the way, I'm going to NYC next month to see Les Miz..."

Not Detroit, either, where I was born and where my Mother's side of the family is from. Detroit is really insular, like a city-state. It astonishes me how seldom Detroiters venture down to Chicago, given its proximity (come to think of it, it astonishes me how seldom many Detroit Metro residents ever venture into Detroit...) Drive on the interstates in Michigan & you'll see lots of distance markers to, say, Kalamazoo, but precious few to Chicago, which isn't that much farther away.

Even though Cadillac Tower is my favorite "looks-like-it-belongs-in Chicago-but-isn't" building, IMHO ;)


Cincinnatti & St. Louis are old river towns that lost most of their connections to Chicago when the railroads & interstates replaced rivers as trade conduits (and, while neither is a Southern city, they both have a Southern edge to them, esp. Cincinnatti).

Also, all of the above towns (Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis & Cincinnatti) are considerably older than Chicago and were able to forge their own identities prior to Chicago's explosive growth in the Mid-19th century.

Minneapolis, I haven't a clue (never stayed there, alas, just driven through
:( )

Indianapolis isn't part of Chicagoland, but a big chunk of NW Indiana is. My Dad's family is from South Bend, and they often took the South Shore into Chicago when he was a kid...

Milwaukee is right on the cusp - it may not be part of Chicagoland today, but probably will be within 10 years or so, as Chicagoland continues to grow & expand.

So, my vote goes to Milwaukee.
 

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wrabbit said:
When I have heard Chicago come up in conversation, it is usually something like "Oh, yeah - Chicago - its like a big Cleveland...by the way, I'm going to NYC next month to see Les Miz..."
Seriously, that must be cultural over there. I knew someone from Cleveland and I asked them if they were going to move to Chicago after college, and their response was "I feel like I've already done Chicago. It's just a bigger version of Cleveland." Then they actually visited the city and were blown away.

But yeah, its hard to categorize Ohio as midwestern. It's more mid-midwestern. They definitely look to New York for culture, and they think of Chicago as having gangsters.
 

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UrbanSophist said:
Seriously, that must be cultural over there. I knew someone from Cleveland and I asked them if they were going to move to Chicago after college, and their response was "I feel like I've already done Chicago. It's just a bigger version of Cleveland." Then they actually visited the city and were blown away.

But yeah, its hard to categorize Ohio as midwestern. It's more mid-midwestern. They definitely look to New York for culture, and they think of Chicago as having gangsters.
Yup, exactly! Many Clevelanders are disinclined to relate too closely to another Midwestern city, perhaps because they feel (erroneously) that doing so will somehow marginalize Cleveland's status. Cleveland took some awfully hard PR hits in the 'Seventies and 'Eighties, and this left the city with a bruised ego and a big inferiority complex. Cleveland is very sensitive to its image nationwide.

(BTW, Cleveland is a great town with some wonderful architecture and a tremendous number of world-class cultural assets, esp. for a city of its size (500,000) - it has nothing to feel inferior about - I'm just trying to get a handle on the mindset...)
 

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How could it not be Milwaukee? The two metro areas basically share a border, airports, vacation spots, colleges and maybe even the olympics. Chicago people also consider Miller Park, Wrigley North. It is also possible to travel between the cities for as low as $1.50. How could it be anyother city?
 

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Milwaukee for sure!

Milwaukee is to Chicago what Philadelphia is to NYC, Providence to Boston, San Diego to LA. Milwaukee has developed in the shadow of its bigger neighbor.

Both cities share Lake Michigan. Both have made good use of their lakefronts with parks & parkways, Chicago moreso than Milwaukee. Both cities are divided, & their downtowns split, by canal-like rivers. Both are are divided into big north & side sides, with smaller west sides. Both have almost identical street grids. Major difference is that Milwaukee numbers its north-south streets. Both cities have generally same ethnic-demographic mix, with relatively similar proportions of whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians, etc. Both are still rather notoriously segregated.

Of course, Chicago has many more of almost everything than Milwaukee: a much bigger skyline, airport, mass transit system etc. But Milwaukee has one advantage over Chicago: It has quite a few hills.

Of course, Chicago is much more important to Milwaukee than vice versa.
 

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Probably Milwaukee by default, because in 10 years it's likely that the two metros will merge. But beyond the Chgo-Milw sphere, I think Chicago has closest ties to St. Louis. STL-Chi is the busiest Amtrak corridor in the Midwest, the stretch of I-55 is the busiest interstate corridor in the Midwest, and there are so many business/leisure/sports ties between the two cities, dating back to the old rivalry. The Cubs/Cards is every bit as classic a rivalry as the Reds/Yanks, and the fact that you guys got Harry Caray after St. Louis kicked him out is even more proof.

Chicago and St. Louis are brothers who pretend to dislike each other but in fact share a mutual affection, especially from St. Louis's end.
 

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Milwaukee
 

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JivecitySTL said:
STL-Chi is the busiest Amtrak corridor in the Midwest, the stretch of I-55 is the busiest interstate corridor in the Midwest,
jive, i would in no way deny that chicago and st. louis have very strong ties, but everything that i have ever heard regarding amtrak routes and interstate corridors in the midwest has conflicted with what you claim.

as far as i know:

- amtrak's hiawatha service between chicago and milwaukee is their busiest route in the midwest.

- the volume of traffic between chicago and milwaukee along I-94 exceeds that of any other intercity stretch of interstate in the midwest.
 

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JivecitySTL said:
The Cubs/Cards is every bit as classic a rivalry as the Reds/Yanks
Sorry to burst your bubble but the Reds and Yankees are the farthest thing from a rivalry! they're not even in the same league...
 

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^I meant Red Sox.

And Steely-- I know the traffic between Milwaukee and Chicago is the highest, but I'm talking about outside the Chicago-Milwaukee megalopolis. The two are going to be considered one within a decade IMO. Chicago and St. Louis have the next-greatest relationship in the Midwest.
 

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It's gotta be Milwaukee. I have lots of family from Wisconsin (mostly in Kenosha and Racine). Spending lots of time with them combined with growing up in the north suburbs, close to Milwaukee made me identify with Milwaukee a lot. I think to this day I've been to as many Brewers games as Cubs and Sox games combined. But Chicago is still #1.
 

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Milwaukee. We have Chicago Tribune boxes all over downtown and its sold at pretty much every newstand/gas station. :)
-Chicagolanders are buying all kinds of property in Milwaukee and make up much of our tourists.
-There is also a likely probability that Milwaukee will have Metra commuter trains going to Chicago--perhaps by 2010. We currently have the busiest Amtrak route.
-Cubs-Brewers games are Cubs home games.
-Very similar diversity, locations, city layout, etc.

Outside Milwaukee, obviously St. Louis--its sports rivalries are quite deep. Plus there is that whole 18 century rivalry thing. Its also quite close to Chicago. PS, Jive--do you think St. Louis has a stronger connection with Chicago than Kansas City?

And how about Madison? How many people from Chicago on here have UW-Madison roots?
 
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