Christopher Sebela

writer, wronger, rearranger

Eight years ago, when I took classes at Harold Washington College to become a Chicago cab driver, one of the things we were told to memorize was that a taxi driver is an “Ambassador to the City”. The idea being that we were a visitor’s first contact and it was incumbent upon us to represent our city well. As corny as that might be, all these years later, I don’t entirely disagree. My problem is the part where they ask for recommendations or suggestions. If they ask for a restaurant, there’s few cities in the world that can match ours, so where do I start? If it’s a more general “what to do”-type question, I’m even more lost; what do you like to do? How would I know? Do I show them the puddle that caught my eye in some alley the night before? Do I take them to the place I eat at every other day? The things that are worthwhile to someone who’s lived in a place a long time would be of no interest to a tourist. Over the time I’ve spent here some insight has likely been gained, but my way of sharing it is by painting and writing about it, not pointing out landmarks to newcomers.
Chicago Hack

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