Darren, Darren, Darren ... the Hancock? Really? Was Trump Tower too expensive? Not that it’s a bad place, mind you. People live there. But you do know about the elevators, yes? Cables snap, people get stuck, and that 84-story plunge ... best not to think of it. I understand the problem is under control now, mostly.
You’re moving to Chicago ... why? As a display of courage? You said, to immerse yourself in the culture. Fair enough, Darren Bailey, let’s get to it. You can’t just spend the next ... umm ... eight weeks rushing from the Hancock entrance, surrounded by a phalanx of linemen from Xenia Junior College into a pair of waiting black SUVs. What does that prove?
Nothing erodes fear like experience. We need to get you out on the town, over to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen. Founded by teachers, you know. C’mon, I’ll take you, and even pick up the admission (ote-nay oo-tay eaders-ray: ission-admay is ee-fray). Then lunch at 5 Rabanitos. I love that place. Or “5 Radishes” in Spanish. See? You’re learning already!
Nor will we limit ourselves to one part of the city. We’ll ride the L, we’ll wander around Bronzeville, unafraid. Over the past 35 years, I’ve pretty much ranged across the entire city. From South Avenue O, within spitting distance of the Indiana border, to streets below Lower Wacker Drive. And let me tell you a secret: You can go anywhere in Chicago. It’s OK. Back when there were high-rise public housing projects — the Robert Taylor Homes, Cabrini-Green — I visited them all. At night. You know who lived there? Not demons with pitchforks. People. Working folks. Women lugging groceries. Some places are more dangerous, some less, but my personal rule is: If people can live there, I can visit. Never got shot once.
We can do something fun, rack ’em up at Chris’s Billiards on North Milwaukee Avenue — they filmed “The Color of Money” there, you must have seen that. Or if that’s a sin to your brand of performative Christianity, we can visit the Art Institute; I can steer you quickly by the paintings of nekkid ladies, though we can linger by the Monet haystacks and a few Christs crucified. You’ll feel at home.
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