Monday, October 11, 2021

Will Bears move ease suburban shame?

If this cute puppy can call Arlington Heights home, so can the Chicago Bears.

     Last week Ald. Harry Osterman said he wants the city to try to keep the Bears so he won’t have to drive to Arlington Heights to see them play.
     Mr. Alderman, you do know that Metra goes to Arlington Heights, right? Of course you don’t want to drive there to watch the Bears. Who wants to see the Bears? Or drive anywhere? Hop on the train, if you must. It makes life so easy.
     The other day I wanted to go to a reception at the Newberry Library. The event was an hour long, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and I paused, considering the “getting there” part. Leave home ... what? ... 2:30 p.m., to be on the safe side. Crawling down the Edens because everybody has to slow down and watch some idiot change a tire. Squeeze onto the Kennedy. Overland to Bughouse Square.
     Three hours of driving, round trip, for an hour’s mingling.
     Or ... I thought. There’s the Skokie Swift to the Red Line. Lets you off two blocks away, on Chicago Avenue. Also 90 minutes each way. But at least I’d be sitting down, reading.
     So that’s what I did. The reception was in the Newberry parking lot, and conversation was as interesting as I had hoped: about the history of handwriting (with the curator of a future exhibit), avant-garde women (with the curator of the current exhibit) and lots about Dante — OK, that was a logorrheic spiel I delivered to the head of adult classes, volunteering myself to give a talk on how the Divine Comedy is funny. I tried to stop, particularly when I noticed her shooting those little “Please somebody save me from this” glances in all directions. But once I get going, it’s hard for me to hit the brakes.

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  1. I like dags!

    (sorry, I got nuthin' for the Bears...)

  2. The Bears moving to Arlington Hts will involve skullduggery and deceit of that we can be sure. Churchill Downs started the process with a deliberate destruction of Arlington Park racing, a tanking on a par with the Ricketts first years with the Cubs. Unlike Churchill Downs, the Ricketts had a long range plan to improve the business. Arlington Park is closed because the Kentucky company wanted to close down the track rather than risk it competing with their pathetic version of a casino in Des Plaines. Rather than courting the Bears, Arlington Hts should be taking Churchill Downs to court for sabotaging the business. Let Churchill retreat to the land of Mitch McConnell, a politician more vile than a century of alderman, elected by a confederacy of dunces who applaud ignorance.

    1. If Arlington Height sued Churchill Downs for tanking the races, they would be laughed out of court, as they have no standing to interfere with how a private business operates.
      Now it's possible a stockholder could file a derivative lawsuit for diminishing the value of the place, but by putting it up for sale, which will increase income that kills that off.

  3. Your column illustrates a phenomena I've experienced first hand since I moved to St Louis after 35 years in the Chicago area. Chicago is one of the great cities of the world, with countless cultural and entertainment opportunities on any given day. But - the high cost of parking and entry tickets, the gut wrenching, maddening hassles of traffic and finding parking tend to limit the desire to take advantage of all Chicago has to offer. Most days it just doesn't seem worth the hassle - and heaven forbid you'd try to take in two events in one day. In the past couple of weeks here in St Louis I've been to the wonderful St Louis symphony, several Cardinal games, a fantastic play, the history and art museums, several walks in the remarkable park system, and eaten in the famous Hill restaurant district. Most of the cultural institutions are free, you rarely pay for parking, and, the traffic is a non issue. You decide to do something and 20 minutes later you are parked, your wallet is still plump, and you are in the venue. As much as I love Chicago, I find I do so much more in St Louis and I'm not stressed out in the process. Of course their is no lakefront and I miss bike riding along the Lake Michigan shore. Still, there is the Katy Trail along the Missouri River, and rolling hills above the path dotted with wineries. When one door closes, another opens.

    I love the Newberry Library, but, as you not, getting there and finding parking is a stress fest when you don't live close to public transportation. I did a summer of research there and about half of my day was spent getting there and parking. Chicago, the city of big traffic.

    1. I was born and raised in Chicago, and then lived there for 17 more years as an adult, before leaving in '92. Substitute Cleveland for St. Louis, and my story is the same as yours. Do I miss the expense, the parking hassles, and the traffic? Nope. Not a bit.

  4. I spent a few years in London, at several different residences, and found the public transportation to be a revelation after Chicago. I had a car, but only used it for trips out of town. There were few locations in that vast metropolis that couldn't be reached, not always comfortably but fairly quickly. Generally true of most European cities, where the congestion of ancient streets and the high cost of petrol usually make the automobile a less preferred means of getting around.



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