When I first moved to Chicago I was a bit nervous to take on the Windy City. Growing up in the suburbs, I was quite content with my fenced-in yard, being on first name basis with the mail lady and ample parking wherever my little heart desired. Now that I’ve been here for almost a year, I’m starting to realize that big city lovin’ is not something that big cities take lightly. Take Chicago and Boston for example:
On April 15, 2013 during the Boston Marathon, two bombs were detonated leaving several killed and wounded. This, I’m sure, is news to no one. What might be news (no pun intended) is that two days later, the Chicago Tribune sent over dozens of boxes of pizza to the Boston Globe newsroom. The note read:
“We can only imagine what an exhausting and heartbreaking week it’s been for you and your city. But do know your newsroom colleagues here in Chicago and across the country stand in awe of your tenacious coverage. You make us all proud as journalists. We can’t buy you lost sleep, so at least let us pick up lunch.”
I’ve read that article several times and I still get the goosebumps each time. In response, the Boston Globe sent hundreds of donuts to the Chicago Tribune newsroom:
“More than ever, we’ve been honored to be journalists these last weeks, helping our community understand and process the Boston Marathon bombings and related events – but, as you guessed, the experience left us exhausted emotionally and physically. Then your surprise lunch arrived, feeding our appetites and lifting our spirits. From one team of tenacious journalists to another, thank you so much for the gesture of journalistic camaraderie. Since you keep us going, let us return the favor.”
So what’s the big deal? Well. First, nobody had to do any of these things. It was (or so I like to think) all out of the goodness of everyone’s heart. Understandably, we all come together in times of despair and build ourselves back up together. But, we also celebrate together – whether it be with your coworkers after a successful project, your significant other after a milestone or the crème de la crème, winning the Stanley Cup.
This summer after a short season and long battle, the Boston Bruins faced the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. After six grueling games, the Blackhawks were victorious and the Stanley Cup returned (rightfully) to Chicago. However, not forgetting that big city bond, some more magical things happened.
The week of the Stanley Cup, President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks John McDonough alongside Chairman of the Wirtz Corporation, Rocky Wirtz took out a full page ad in the Boston Globe with a letter addressed to the Boston Bruins and the city of Boston. If you’re interested, the full letter can be viewed here to which the first paragraph reads:
“Hockey is a tough game. As impressed as we were by the strength, talent and competitive spirit of the Boston Bruins on the ice, we were deeply touched by what happened off the ice. Rarely have we experienced the hospitality you afforded us throughout the playoff series between two incredibly gifted teams…”
Alas, the companionship between the cities does not end there. Sports Producer for CBS Boston, Mike Hurley penned an article entitled, “From Boston to Chicago: Hats off to You” which circulated around the web at lightning speed. Mike says it best:
“Yet on the grandest stage in hockey, in a hard-fought six-game series, the Bruins and Blackhawks battled for nearly two weeks without incident, and nothing has brewed between the cities of Boston and Chicago except for even more respect than when the series began.”
Aside from the obvious love between Chicago and Boston, what does it all really mean? Well, that I cannot really tell you. But I can say, if two of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas can be there for one another – in good times and in bad – there is no reason that I can’t be on first-name basis with my mail lady or say hello to my neighbors, even if I live in Chicago. Like they say, it’s a small world after all.