Cbermud1 | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Whatever happened to the ‘cannabis candidate’?

It is painfully obvious this was written by a very green reporter. It never occurred to Stuart that someone who claimed he was an FBI agent, State Department official, human rights professor, doctoral candidate in psychology, and restaurant owner might have strained credulity? But hey, if you're a good-looking guy, it turns out 9,500 people will believe the tall tales you spin.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Cbermud1 on 04/20/2018 at 9:44 AM

Re: “A comedian's goodbye-to-Chicago rant goes viral for all the wrong reasons

I grew up in this city, left for the East Coast in 1999 to go to college and for work and lived out there for about 14 years, came back to Chicago close to three years ago, and I travel around the country a ton for work. Here are my scattered thoughts.

1. There are many cities with far worse public transit than Chicago. LA? SF? Houston? I used to live in D.C., and for the last two years I lived there, there was always long delays and construction. What used to be a great public system became terrible. NYC is now a shitshow and sometimes it takes almost 90 minutes to get from one borough to another. It's not like the NYT hasn't been covering the growing fury among residents over a system that's old and crumbling. Chicago's transit system, while far from ideal, is a lot better than most places where you still have to heavily rely on a car. Granted, it depends on the neighborhood you live in, but having two 24-hour train lines is not a small thing.

2. You get so much more bang for your buck here in terms of housing and restaurants. Even expensive restaurants are a lot cheaper than they would be elsewhere. I don't understand the homogeneity argument. My guess is this is a case of not venturing into neighborhoods like Albany Park or Little India. My new two bedroom in Noble Square with central AC, in unit W/D, and a balcony is cheaper than a studio in DC, NYC, or SF. Quality of life here as a decently paid professional is sky high. I have friends in NYC who routinely entertain moving because of ever-escalating housing costs.

3. Theater and culture. There are lots of storefront theaters and random spaces that stage interesting work. The Goodman and Steppenwolf do not have a monopoly on excellent theater. There's also the Trap Door, Remy Bumppo, Strawdog, etc. It's not like Broadway promotes adventurous fare across the board. It has its fair share of schlock, too.

4. I will echo the frustration transplants have felt about feeling like there is a lot of blind civic pride and a sense of provincialism. Chicago has a lot of Midwesterners who have never lived anywhere else and whenever I've pointed out the issues Chicago has (cops, lack of great jobs, segregation, politics, no real vision for the future), it's like people cover their ears and go, "LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!" Chicagoans are hyper focused on local issues and less so on national and international affairs. It doesn't help that there are two world-class universities disconnected from the rest of the city that we don't regularly source for ideas like Stanford for SF or Columbia or NYU.

5. I'll also echo the sense that Chicagoans are polite but still fairly closed off. I think there's a wariness of the unfamiliar and a preference to stick to well-trod conversational paths: tacos, sports, Rahm. For all the diversity that does exist in the city, you see packs of people of one race (FWIW, I'm not white and I'm female) and that's disappointing.

On the whole, though, Chicago is one of the last affordable urban frontiers in this country and if you have a decent group of friends and a steady job, your quality of life here is pretty high compared to other cities. I've certainly found this to be true in my case. That said, I also travel extensively and appreciate getting out of the Midwestern bubble because it can feel claustrophobic at times. My two cents.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Cbermud1 on 09/11/2017 at 4:29 PM

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