Pop Culture Savvy: The Windy City

Savannah Sawyer

Last weekend, my co-workers and I were given the opportunity to travel to Chicago, Ill., for the National College Media Conference.

Being from Chicago, I loved being able to inform my friends about great places to eat, shop and sightsee. However, Chicago has so much more than meets the eye.

There are so many movies, books and bands that have come out of this great city. Here are my top five favorites.

1. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

Possibly one of my favorite movies of all-time and definitely my favorite John Hughes film, the movie really gives you a great idea of what Chicago is all about. It’s probably Matthew Broderick’s best work. It’s about a teenage boy, Ferris Bueller (Broderick), who plays hooky from school to spend the day in the city with his best friend and his girlfriend. They go to swanky restaurants, visit museums and even join in on the fun in a parade.

2. “The Blues Brothers”

One of the films that has been a result of a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, “The Blues Brothers” takes place all around the Chicagoland area. Starring John Belushi as “Joliet” Jake Blues and Dan Aykroyd as Elwood Blues, it’s about a band of brothers on the run from the law all the while wanting to just play their music for the sole purpose of raising money for the home in which they grew up. It’s one of the best movies made from a “Saturday Night Live” sketch.

3. “The Time Traveler’s Wife”

Out of the abundance of books I’ve read, not many have taken place in Chicago. “The Time Traveler’s Wife” is a great book itself, beside the Chicago references.

Being able to picture the Art Institute of Chicago along with the other references to the Windy City only added to how great the book was. Oh, and the movie, per usual, was nothing compared to the book.

4. Alkaline Trio

I’ve always loved music but it took me a while to develop my own individual taste. When I finally did, Alkaline Trio was one of the first bands to whom I took a liking. In fact, they were the first concert I attended back in 2006 along with My Chemical Romance and Reggie in the Full Effect (I went through an “emo” stage, okay). The members are actually from the Chicago suburb of McHenry, Ill., about 20 minutes from my hometown. If you are interested check out their fourth album, “Good Mourning.”

5. Pearl Jam

I wasn’t always a fan of Pearl Jam but as soon as Eddie Vedder stepped onstage with Bruce Springsteen when I saw him back in September, I knew I had a brand new obsession headed my way. Even though the band formed in Seattle, the lead singer, Vedder, is actually from Evanston, Ill., a northern suburb of the Windy City.

Column by Savannah Sawyer, Assistant Features Editor.