Boy, Trib Nation had a few things to say about DePaul Professor Rachel Shteir's Sunday Book Review article on Chicago, drawn from three books written by people from here, and which appeared this week in
I have to admit, I read Shteir's review Tuesday without much interest until the responses began. Then, like the laziest cat on the couch, I felt compelled to chase the dot from the Shteir's laser pointer.
Here were Shteir's opening lines, which were provocative and challenged many from the area to offer their own definition of Chicago:
"'Poor Chicago,' a friend of mine recently said. Given the number of urban apocalypses here, I couldn't tell which problem she was referring to. Was it the Cubs never winning? The abominable weather? Meter parking costing more than anywhere else in America — up to $6.50 an hour — with the money flowing to a private company, thanks to the ex-mayor
"Actually," Shtier continued, "'poor' seems kind. And yet even as the catastrophes pile up, Chicago never ceases to boast about itself. The
The piece in The New York Times, topped online by a picture of the
DNAInfo quoted Mayor
The Tribune's Rex Huppke called her up to ask, essentially, Did you mean it to come out that way? Shtier said, essentially, Yes.
Of course, Shteir's observations are her own, and all are true. So, too, are the things going well for Chicago, which Chicagoans point out and Shteir called "boosterism." Also true: No one with any degree of sophistication likes having their hometown summed up by broad brush strokes, whether it's Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland -- or New York.
-- James Janega