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Notes About Chicago:
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Notes about Chicago:
Chicago has always seemed to be the type of place where people were curious about what you were. In traditional neighborhoods and in traditional politics your race and ethnicity matter. In many of the newer “trendy” locations “diversity” is lauded. But, when you are in other areas at the wrong time bad things will happen. It’s like that in all big cities, I guess.
Wicker Park, Bucktown, and the Ukranian Village/East Village, have undergone a radical transformation in the last 10-20 years. When I worked as a cash carpenter those places housed an arts community. Then came the re-hab. Then came the yuppies. Then came the clubs. The artists moved – usually west.
Again, that seems like the same sort of thing that happens in all large cities: an ethnic group is gradually replaced by an arts community, an then the arts community is gradually replaced by a more affluent quasi-professional class: A) ethnic group, B) arts group, C) wealthier whiter group. Call it gentrification – call it what you will.
The Mexican, and Puerto Rican, and Polish families who were forced to move when the rents were raised have, in some cases, a lingering animosity towards the people who came after them. Just know that it exists, and know why it exists. Again, the people who dress in black and carry sketchpads around are aware of the cycle too – they are just very much less likely to do anything to you or your property.
There is a city – suburban dichotomy too. There was a period of “white flight” from the city in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. In the 80’s people started moving back in to the city. It became desirable again. It is very cool to look down upon suburbanites – not good I say, but even the people who have just arrived in the city do it, as though they had a history here.
The city is laid out on a grid – State and Madison are the baselines. You might think of the area between Roosevelt and North as the center of the city. It is an awful thing to say, I know that better than most, but people will refer to the south and especially southeast portions of the city as Black. And they will tend to think of the north side as being White. When you hear people say a neighborhood is “changing” they are talking about race. Remember when MLK came here he said that he had never seen such racial hatred before. Things are changing – slowly.
Here's some advice...(not author’s)
The Chicago Reader is the best free paper in the city. The new ones are about on Thursdays. They're also online at http://www.chicagoreader.com . They have decent apartment listings on it. Also it's a great source for concerts and entertainment. Plus I like the comics at the end.
The Hideout is my (not author’s) favorite bar in the city. http://www.hideoutchicago.com . I also like http://www.abbeypub.com , http://www.schubas.com (I'm into alt-country/americana...not sure what you're into)
Summer is the BEST time to live in Chicago. Go to street festivals, go to the air show, go to the Lincoln Park Zoo, go to the Taste of Chicago and other a hundred summer stuff.
Hmmm...now I'm drawing a blank. What's bringing you to the Windy City...which is not "windy" except because of the politics. A friend of mine from the East Coast hates wind and seems to think because it's the "Windy City" we always have 90 mph winds whipping through the city. Uhhh no.
Oh and my one big tip to anyone who is visiting or just moving to Chitown: Don't go to the top of the Sears Building (Tower). Yes, it's tall and famous. It also costs I think $10-15 and gets silly crowded. Instead take that money and go to the 95th floor of the John Hancock building. Almost as tall. View is better since it's very close to the lake. It's free so that $10-15 will buy you a nice cocktail or two at the bar there. Oh, and if you bring a gal with you have her go to the bathroom. I'm not joking. The women's room has a solid glass wall with an amazing view. I don't know why the men's room got cheated out of this feature, but it is seriously the best bathroom ever.
2) This is hardly an exhaustive list. But, there may be some useful information here, someplace.
You may be able to listen to local Talk Radio here. Again, it isn't necessarily the best, but you may learn something useful.
This is the page maintained by the City of Chicago.
And this page has many useful links for those interested in art, and architecture, and such things. You know: Tourism
This article has been viewed 11961 times in the last 11 years
Jamie: 20th Apr 2002 - 22:02 GMT
-// I don't know why the men's room got cheated out of this feature
Cus chicks spend so damn long in there that's why. They even queue to go to the damn toilet. They nuts.
Nadia: 21st Apr 2002 - 11:20 GMT
Well I dunno... if you gotta go, you gotta go, ain't no point ignoring the call of nature.
Jamie: 23rd Apr 2002 - 09:57 GMT
corsakti: 23rd Apr 2002 - 23:05 GMT
in amsterdam there are public urinals outside because they were having a seriously city -wide problem with what they call 'wild pissing'.
Peter: 26th Apr 2002 - 20:21 GMT
i can only imagine what things would be like if they did that in nyc; i passed a man just last night urinating on my street. hmm...
zagg: 22nd Jun 2002 - 21:28 GMT
peter, where was your camera at this time? if thats not a worthy picture to amuse people (atleast me) i don't know what is!
MrPenny: 10th Mar 2005 - 21:34 GMT
Re: Notes about Chicago:
I will be moving to Chicago fairly soon and wanted to know what neighborhood you would recommend me living in. I want to avoid yuppies, and live around artists like myself. The type of people you say used to live in Wicker Park. Thanks.
Chino: 14th Sep 2005 - 05:42 GMT
I love you Chicago and everything in it. The good, the bad and the uuugly!
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