CHICAGO. “Paris On The Prairie”, “That Toddlin Town”, The Windy City and other terms of endearment grace my hometown of nearly 40 years.
I am enamored by its history, enthralled by its trivia and captivated by its diversity. I am one of the biggest fans of Chicago — ever! I have studied the architecture in this city so keenly that I could probably start my own tours and, for the record, Chicago sports teams will forever grace my Championship bracket….win or lose. Some of the most prolific and talented people hail from the Windy City. By the way, did I mention that I pass the home of the leader of the free world whenever I want?
Recent events and disparaging media coverage have cast a bad light on my fair city. “Murder Capitol” and other names have replaced the titles that once evoked romanticism and respect. They now throw any old derogatory name against the wall just to see what sticks and I, for one am a little tired of it.
Chi-Town wrestles with the same demons as any other major city in the U.S. It has the same struggle for Federal attention and balanced legislation as Newark, New Jersey or Streetsboro, Ohio. The needs of law enforcement are the same, albeit more fortified in recent years. Our Education and Infrastructure systems need as much overhauling as any other. So why do I feel a negative shadow has been cast on the city that debut the ferris wheel, the elevator and invented the skyscraper?
In this week-long series, I will look at five major thorns in Chicago’s side from a citizen’s standpoint. Some of my points will be a bit more poetic than usual. Some will be far more candid than regular readers are used to. It’s all out of passion for a city that I hold dear. This series will not be the prescription to cure the city’s ills. It only serves to shed light on a few things that have been gnawing at me for some time now. In 2014, I took an in-depth look at these talking points. Perhaps you will agree with some of my thoughts and my sincerest desire is that you will share your thoughts in the comments section..