By Ariana Portalatin
I have so much to thank you for: Your community, your culture, your history, your essence. You’ve taken many forms and so many have called you home in your lifetime: the Danish, Italian, German, Norwegian, and the Scandinavian to name a few. And for decades, Puerto Ricans. Ever since my family stepped foot on your concrete, generations have called it home. You are a familiar face from our origins, different but similar.
Your Chicago winters don’t compare to the sunny palm trees and waterfalls of Puerto Rico, and we trade the quiet lullabies of the Coquis for the sounds of the big city. Your reputation is questioned but many still love you, flaws and all.
I feel a connection within your boundaries I don’t feel elsewhere. I seek solace in your resilience and ability to be a second home to myself and so many. The time I’ve spent there as a resident and visitor will be cherished forever, the moments forever engraved in my memory. When I think of you, I think of family and comfort. So, again, I say thank you.