I live in Rogers Park, one of the four corner neighborhoods of Chicago. Last Saturday, on a whim, I decided to visit the other three corners of Chicago — Edison Park, Mount Greenwood, and Hegewisch — all on public transportation. I wanted to see if it was possible to circumnavigate the entire city in a single day. I found out that it is, but when I got back home, my neighbors could hardly believe how far I’d traveled. Here’s how the journey went down.

11:05 a.m.: Board the 290 Cumberland bus at Howard Station with a big book — Stephen King’s The Dead Zone — for the long trip ahead. Ride through Lincolnwood, Skokie, and Niles just to get to Edison Park.

11:57 a.m.: Get off the bus at Touhy and Ozanam in Park Ridge, walk south toward Northwest Highway, watching for the street signs to change to let me know I’m back in Chicago.

12:11 a.m.: Emerald Style is Edison Park’s t-shirt headquarters. They’re really proud of being Irish in Edison Park. There’s a “Chi-rish” t-shirt. An “Edison Park Irish” t-shirt. A “North Side Irish” t-shirt. Being Irish myself, I buy a green “Edison Park” t-shirt with a shamrock-shaped Chicago flag. Right next door is a bar called Emerald Isle, with $3 Hamm’s drafts.

12:31 a.m.: I drink a beer at the Edison Park Inn, the neighborhood’s oldest bar, while watching the NASCAR race and waiting for a Metra train. I wanted a sandwich from Tony’s, the Italian deli, but sadly, it’s closed for the holiday weekend.

1 p.m.: Catch the UP-NW train from Harvard, the first leg of my trip to Mount Greenwood.

1:15 p.m.: Change to the Blue Line at Jefferson Park.

1:41 p.m. Change to the Orange Line at Clark and Lake.

2:22 p.m. Catch the 52A 115th/Springfield bus at the Kedzie Orange Line station.

3:03 p.m. A two-hour journey from Edison Park to Mount Greenwood! I step off the bus right behind a guy wearing a Trump 2024 baseball cap. Mount Greenwood is one of the few neighborhoods in the city where you can safely advertise your support for Trump. It’s a conservative neighborhood, heavily populated by cops and firefighters. Almost every precinct here voted Republican in 2020 — and 2016, making it the Trumpiest neighborhood in Chicago. I stop in at the Blackthorn Pub, which has the seals of Ireland’s four provinces painted on the front. They’re really proud of being Irish in Mount Greenwood. I’ve heard some great political discussions here, since half the patrons are for Biden and the other half are for Trump. Today, though, the talk is about the White Sox, who are losing to the Miami Marlins.

“The Nashville White Sox,” says a man at the end of the bar. “They need to move to Nashville and let a real baseball team take over in Chicago. Leave the White Sox name here, though.”

Unfortunately, I fail to buy a t-shirt in Mount Greenwood. Schools R Us sells shirts for every Catholic school on the South Side — Brother Rice, Mount Carmel, Mother McAuley, St. Margaret of Scotland — but it closes at 3 p.m. on Saturday. I peer through the window of MG — closed for the holiday weekend — and see a “Police Lives Matter” shirt. That’s a very Mount Greenwood sentiment. Also closed for the holiday weekend is a store selling Chicago Fire Department shirts — another very Mount Greenwood sentiment. In the windows of all three stores are portraits of Officer Luis Huesca, the Chicago police officer killed in an off-duty shooting in April. Mount Greenwood supports its police.

4:11 p.m.: Mount Greenwood and Hegewisch are only eight miles apart, but to get from one neighborhood to the other on public transportation takes an hour and a half, on three buses. I call bullshit on the CTA, and call an Uber instead. I’m tired of buses, and I’m hungry. I ask to be dropped off at Pudgy’s Pizza in Hegewisch.

“I’ve always wanted to try this place,” I tell a man in an apron sitting out front.

“Never been here before?”

“No. I live in Rogers Park.”

“You came all the way from Rogers Park to eat here?”

“Not exactly. But it’s where I wanted to eat in Hegewisch.”

I order a 9-inch junior pizza with onions, tomatoes, and peppers, and sit down to eat it at one of Pudgy’s two tables. They don’t skimp on the cheese, but the crust isn’t as crisp as I’ve come to expect from Chicago tavern-style pizza. Still, when the man in the apron asks if I’d give it a good review, I hold up four fingers.

“Four stars!” I say. He smiles with satisfaction.

I wander over to the Old Time Tap, at Brandon and 135th — Chicago’s southernmost bar. There’s a t-shirt behind the bar with a shamrock in place of the “O.” They’re really proud of being Irish in Hegewisch. I buy a baseball-style shirt that reads “Old Time Tap. Hegewisch.” I want people to know where I’ve been.

6:34 p.m. I catch the South Shore Line to Millenium Station.

7:32 p.m. I change to the 147 Howard Station bus on Michigan Avenue. By now, I’ve read 100 pages of The Dead Zone.

8:07 p.m. The bus drops me off outside the Lighthouse Tavern, my neighborhood pub in Rogers Park. I walk in wearing my new Old Time Tap t-shirt. An acquaintance reads the logo.

“Hegewisch?” he asks. “Is that in England?”

“No!” shouts another man at the bar. “It’s on the South Side, you know, underneath the Skyway.”

“I’m sure there’s a Hegewisch in London,” a woman says. “Maybe it’s Hegwich. Nope. You’re right. Hegewisch is in Chicago.”

“I’ve never been to Hegewisch,” says a third man.

“I went there today. And Edison Park and Mount Greenwood. All four corners of Chicago.”

“That’s amazing! Let me buy you a drink!”

“I’m just sipping water here. I’ve been to too many bars today.”

Chicagoans in their neighborhoods can be so provincial. I’ve only been gone for nine hours. I barely set foot outside the city limits. Yet I’m being treated as though I visited a foreign country. I guess the North Side and the South Side do see each other that way.