Friday, May 20, 2016
"Fourth City" just doesn't sound right
"Third City." Chicago hasn't quite wrapped its head around that one yet, have we?
"The Third Coast," yes. Particularly the fine Thomas Dyja history of Chicago of that name. Read it; you'll be glad you did.
Otherwise, "Third Coast" is a bit shared, a bit greasy, like one of those loaner jackets at a fancy restaurant: too many other folks slip it on for anyone to be comfortable in it. Lots of cities on the Great Lakes use the "Third Coast" moniker. Cleveland has a number of "Third Coast" businesses. Milwaukee too.
To be honest, Chicago is still leaving claw marks on "Second City." We were second in the United States in population for so long, starting in 1890 and for most of the 20th century, following New York, which was humiliation aplenty. We got used to it, with a little brother swagger. New York was so far ahead, almost triple the population, there was no hope of catching up. So we might as well turn the silver consolation prize into a point of pride.
Then Los Angeles scooted past us in — wait for it — 1982, which shows you just how hard we cling to former glory. We ignored the shift out of ego and because Los Angeles really isn't a city at all, not a proper one but a vast agglomeration of contiguous places....
To continue reading, click here.