Ask a Chicagoan where something is or how to get somewhere and they will invariably offer you a very distinct path that's predicated on Chicago's very orthogonal grid system.

Where's the pancake house?

Oh, dat's up at 45 west and "tirty-tree" north, about 4 blocks up and 3 to the right.

They have programmed the city's coordinates in their brain and everything just turns into a big game of Battleship for them.

And rightfully so. The Chicago grid system is nearly perfect and one of the best in the world. 

Commander Tim Kopra/NASA
Commander Tim Kopra/NASA

It has inspired countless YouTube videos and other documentaries. This one is one of my favorites.

That whole guy's channel is great, give some of his other videos a watch.

But it almost wasn't this perfect grid system that everyone from Chicago knows and loves.

I stumbled upon this video today while I was procrastinating from doing other things and if you have 20 minutes to burn, you can do a lot worse than this video.

City Builder explains the reconstruction efforts of the city after Mrs. O'Leary's cow burnt down a third of the city. Or was it caused by a cow? There's some disagreement.

No matter how it started, it needed to be rebuilt. Several plans were considered, and this one:

YouTube/City Beautiful
YouTube/City Beautiful

It's a very Washington D.C. or European vibe with the spoked streets radiating out from a central building. A little bit too French for my tastes and while it might be pretty, it doesn't allow for easy navigation.

There's a deep history to a lot of what Chicago is today, hop in that YouTube rabbit hole and find out some more stuff.

5 'Must-Have' Chicago Hot Dog Experiences That Will Change Your Life

One look at these five Chicago hot dog spots and you will start to feel something move inside you. That's your hunger. Come eat and your life will never be the same.

25 True Crime Locations: What Do They Look Like Today?

Below, find out where 25 of the most infamous crimes in history took place — and what the locations are used for today. (If they've been left standing.)



More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5