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A Judgmental Map of Ottawa, IL

Anyone from Ottawa knows we’ve got a love-hate relationship with our town that’s-not-really-a-suburb-eh-fuck-it-just-say-Starved-Rock. We’ll gloss poetically about hearing the football game PA echo through the crisp air on a fall Friday night in the same sentence we mention Central School moving to a hollowed-out Walmart after it got flooded for the 50th time. The town either glows with pride or radium, so let’s dig into the nitty gritty if some judgmental asshole took to a map of Ottawa.

Click to enlarge, dummy!

The Party Cave:
According to party boat boy lore there is a party cave, or something, somewhere on the river where “total raves” used to happen because there ~weren’t any parents around~. Who knows if it’s actually there, and what kind of actual parties happened that weren’t shirtless dudes in camo khakis slamming Bud Lights and trying to break big sticks. It’s a mystery only a select group of Ottawa’s finest know. 

Old Slave Owner Mansions:
Ottawa Avenue: The finest avenue this side of the Illinois River and plush with historic mansions that Abraham Lincoln probably slept one night in, a fact our town tightened its knuckles around and never let go, like a Louisville Slugger going full speed at the head of a flying Asian carp. Just keep your head turned southward, because, well, let’s just say Abraham Lincoln didnt sleep in those houses (*whispers* because they’re shit-holes). Oh hey Naplate is that way too, so while you’re still here, don’t make this a total waste of time and donate. 

To Streator:
Here’s a judgmental normal map of Streator.

I’d say something here about the death of the small town and Trump’s America, but literally everything about Streator is too depressing. #MAGA

Stoners Throwing Frisbees:
Nearly every public recreational area Ottawa creates will soon be inhabited by bored and stoned teens. It’s just what happens when you live in a small town where adult social life relies heavily on alcohol and the youth are left to, you know, play football or fuck off. So it’s no surprise when one wanders down to the Frisbee golf park near the river to find 3-9 high teenagers scratching their heads and throwing branches into a tree to get a rogue Frisbee down. If you’re one of the leathery moms reading this, aghast that such a thing happens where you power walk along the canal with other leathery moms, don’t worry. Just ignore them and soon enough they’ll wander over to Mr. J’s. 

The Land of Awkward Moments:
So many awkward hugs and fleeting bouts of eye contact happen in this area we should find a way to collect it, bottle it up, and kill horses with it. It’s a sort of yearly tradition for freshly-21 year olds to come back from college, strap on their finest drinking boots, and head downtown to stare and/or flirt reminisce with their old teachers/coaches/high school chums. Before this gets weird, let’s take a moment to bow our heads and wonder why the fuck there isn’t Uber in Ottawa yet. Hey, sober high schoolers — this is your chance to make money and see your teachers drunk!

So now that you’re thoroughly pissed off or sad, remember that everyone loves to hate (and hates to love) ol’ OTT-AWA. It’s a great town where the fun happens or whatever the slogan was, and the hospital is still around, so let’s consider that a win. If you have additions to the map or are mad online, save your energy and again, donate to Tornado relief, since we all know you didn’t the first time.

And while you’re at it listen to our podcast, featuring the dumb author of this dumb article!

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