Come on! Feel the Illinoise!
The ACBN's Fifty States Project continues, just as promised.
I wasn’t kidding, you know.
Last Friday, I announced that, in homage to indie-folk singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens’ work, I would be launching a “Fifty States Project” of my own, dedicating a single newsletter to each of the fifty US states. Like Stevens, I started with Michigan. Like Stevens, I’m going to follow that up with Illinios. And—like Stevens, who abandoned the project after completing those two states and admitted a decade later that it had all been a bit—I have no intention whatsoever of actually seeing this project through beyond that.
With that in mind, let’s talk Illinois.
The big, partially-blocked heart of the Midwest, Illinois contains multitudes, and most of those multitudes are in Chicago. Yes, I know downstate is there, and we’ll touch on that a little bit today, but let’s be honest: Illinois is defined by its largest city, home to 40% of the state’s population and a host of unique and widely-beloved cultural and culinary touchstones.
If you count yourself as a Midwe…