Welcome to the Chicago Trends Scoreboard, brought to you by Logical Media Group (and Google Trends, of course)! Based out of the historic River North neighborhood, we hold firm to the belief that we live and work in the greatest city on earth. Therefore, each week we’ll dig into the data provided by Google Trends (a free tool!) and social media outlets that outline the topics most frequently searched by Chicagoans that week. We’ll also provide any relevant links to content surrounding those topics around the internet that might be of interest to our neighbors around town. We’d love to hear from you about our scoreboard, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.
Happy Paczki Day, Chicago!
If you’re still acknowledging your New Years Resolution and corresponding diet, think again – it’s Paczki time. It’s a fairly popular tradition this time of year for the city’s Polish speaking citizens to politely explain to the people in their lives how to pronounce certain words.
For example, “decadent fried doughnuts: paczki is plural (POONCH-key); one pastry is a paczek (POON-check). Also, they’ll add that the Polish community celebrates on Fat Thursday (Tłusty Czwartek)” explains an article in the Chicago Sun-Times that offers detail about the holiday.
This week different religions or interest groups around Chicago celebrate Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day, depending on where you live in the world. For Christians it’s the day before Ash Wednesday, the time to indulge before observing Lent and the season of fasting for 40 long days. The Paczki has an interesting origin story, one of necessity rather than gluttony.
So where did the delightful paczki come from? Originating from necessity, cooks had to figure out how to use up all the lard, fat, sugar and eggs in the pantry before the holy season of penitence and restraint. If anyone brings cookies into our office it’s pretty much a mad dash. Happy holidays, however you choose to observe them, from Logical Media Group!
The Luck of Irish
Speaking of holidays, the big one is just around the corner. The river will turn green and the suburbanites will flock downtown to drink and be merry. One cool piece of news, is that Chicago has recently been named as the top city in America in which to celebrate.
Personal finance site, Wallethub, has named Chicago as its top 2019 city for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The holiday is fairly well known for being among the biggest celebrations of the year in the city, and the annual dyeing of the river and parade are two of the biggest, most highly anticipated attractions of the year.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ranked just below Chicago in the number two spot, followed by Madison, Wisconsin. Boston, Massachusetts – the city where many believe the first St. Paddy’s Day Parade took place – came in fourth place. The fifth spot went to Tampa, Florida. This chart on the Wallethub site breaks down the math that goes into their determination.
WalletHub used 17 “key metrics” to determine the best play to wear green on March 17. The metrics included tradition, cost, safety and accessibility as well as projected weather forecasts.
Sister Act 2?
2018 wasn’t the best year for Chicago’s professional sports team, but one of its local college programs delivered in a big way. Loyola-Chicago and their favorite fan, a school employee/nun by the name of Sister Jean, shocked the college basketball world by advancing to the Final Four. It was obviously a big moment for the Ramblers, not to mention fans of the small school. The city itself found time to get behind the team as well, adopting the March darling as its own.
Coach Porter Moser and his team have left the window open for a second act to this fairy tale, winning their second Missouri Valley Conference title in as many years. Two years ago, the Loyola men’s basketball team was handing out flyers trying to encourage fans to show up. They offered free food and T-Shirts at times as incentives. But Saturday showed just how far the Ramblers have come, according to an article in the Sun-Times after the game.
The team will have to win its second Missouri Valley conference tournament championship in a row to make another appearance in the dance. If it’s anything like last year, buckle up for the ride.
This past February, a referendum was proposed by the Student Government board at the University of Illinois suggesting that “Alma Otter” would become the school’s new symbol. Now, as students prepared to vote Wednesday and Thursday, a campaign to make the river otter the face of the university is going mainstream — and the otter may join other Big Ten mascots from the same animal family. In response to the University looking to more officially move away from its previous symbol, Chief Illiniwek, which was deemed “hostile and abusive” by the NCAA in 2007.
Alma Otter, a riff on the U. of I. campus statue, Alma Mater, by sculptor Lorado Taft, has gained mass support from the student body, thanks in large part to a grass-roots social campaign. Alma showed up last year as a meme around campus. A picture of an otter wearing Illini orange and blue, rising up from the water, furry paws in the air, burrowed into students’ social media – according the article the in the Tribune.
A Change.org petition in support of Alma as mascot has more than 600 signatures around campus, with some classically college-kid quotes to show support. One, directed at Chancellor Robert J. Jones says, “The chief is racist and otters are dope.” “Otters are the mascots we deserve,” says another. The power of social media is strong, you otter know.
That’s all for this week’s Chicago Trends Scoreboard, we’d love to hear your thoughts or suggestions! We compiled these stories using Google Trends, Social Media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Reddit) and the Google News feed. Feel free to email email@example.com with any news you’d like to see covered or suggestions on how to improve the Trends scoreboard!