Market Conditions: Sign(s) of the Times and the “Starbucks Generation”

This picture was taken on Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park over the weekend.

I was struck by the sheer number of for sale signs all in a row.

Will we be seeing scenes like this all winter long?

And on a different topic- but in an area we have chattered about before- why DO people choose to live in Chicago?

Is it just like Cincinnati or St. Louis only just more expensive and with a Lake?

Billy Corgan, of Smashing Pumpkins fame, who, if you’ll recall, is trying to sell his Gold Coast vintage 2-bedroom, believes that the boom stripped Chicago of its character.

From a recent interview in the Red Eye:

Do you still feel the same connection to Chicago you did in the past?

No. I think we had a massive influx of yuppie types—the Starbucks generation—that really changed the complexion of the city, in my eyes, for the worse, because they had no connection to the local culture. It’s a homogenous class that might as well be living in Charlotte or Indianapolis.

Are there still places you can go that have that same energy you remember from the past?

Oh, of course. You still run into a lot of the people who are salt-of-the-earth.

Where in particular do you go when you’re looking for that taste of home?

There’s nothing like being in the city and seeing the hot dog stand on the corner. You know it’s gonna be good, so you go in and the guy behind the counter recognizes you and the next thing you know you’re talking about the Bears. I still have that, but I still feel over the last 10 years we’ve lost something that’s not going to be easy to get back.

Is he right? Is Chicago now a homogenous place?

You can read our prior chatter on Billy’s Gold Coast unit, which has now been on the market 3 years and 1 month, here.

It is still priced at $2.85 million.

Q&A: Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan is ready to stop being the aggressor [Chicago Tribune Red Eye, Andy Downing, October 11, 2011]

294 Responses to “Market Conditions: Sign(s) of the Times and the “Starbucks Generation””

  1. “that really changed the complexion of the city, in my eyes, for the worse,”

    For the lighter.

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  2. boo hoo hoo, it’s called progress

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  3. “I think we had a massive influx of yuppie types—the Starbucks generation—that really changed the complexion of the city, in my eyes, for the worse, because they had no connection to the local culture.”

    So much self-important drivel, so little time. Is he referring to formerly edgy areas like BT, WP or Logan Sq? And he’s what, recalling a particular period in his short life? Nonsense. Don’t worry, though, this sort of nonsense isn’t limited to Chicago. Go to NY and ask Lou Reed or Thurston Moore what think of the LES or EV these days.

    What’s “local culture”? Hot dogs? Da Bears? And these are the views of a white guy who owns a lakefront home in Highland Park and a condo off Astor? In spite of all his rage he is in fact still a rat in a cage. As are all the other edgy-white-guy-ages-30-to-50-the-real-Chicago-was-Ditka-and-Albini-then-you-yuppies-with-your-2/2’s-ruined-it types. From where this working-class-steel-city/union-raised-guy-who-at-first-resisted-liking-the-Pumpkins-because-they-were-such-yuppie-friendly-radio-shills-from-the-midwest sits, spare me. Spending my teens and 20’s rocking out without an education or any money, my default stance, everywhere I’ve lived around the country, was to sneer at the yuppie-Starbucks-types in their blue dress shirts who did nothing for the world but drive up real estate prices. Puh-leeze. Get some perspective. You were never that cool; things weren’t better or more “authentic” back-in-the-day; and regardless of how cool or edgy or authentic you ever were, you can be sure that there were/are folks who thought you were a kook, an inevitable yuppie or their oppressor.

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  4. “And on a different topic- but in an area we have chattered about before- why DO people choose to live in Chicago?

    Is it just like Cincinnati or St. Louis only just more expensive and with a Lake?”

    Can’t speak for Indy but in terms of Chicago vs. Cincinnati: Cincinnati’s comparable GZ is about 1-2% the size of Chicago’s in terms of walkable neighborhoods close to nightlife, cultural attractions, starbucks, etc.

    The real estate in this small area is still cheaper than Chicago’s GZ though LOL. But not by much.

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  5. Get over it. People made bad investment decisions and need excuses. The city will survive and thrive especially as oil proces go up and commuting becomes more gruesome and we shed some of the whiners. After more than 30 years here I miss some of the torn down fabric but life is about change.

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  6. Wait. Are we really listening to Billy Corgan as the authority on Chicago’s character? This is a very sad day for Cribchatter [TMZ Edition].

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  7. Yay Annony.

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  8. Billy Corgan looks like that guy Powder in the movies.

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  9. It is funny because of who is saying it. I didn’t realize he’s a native, since what are the chances that a Cub’s fan is? Only thing funnier is whose panties it will put in a twist here. It’s already started…

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  10. Some of us on cribchatter don’t live in the greene zone, we live in Dro City.

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  11. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 5:51 am

    great food.. theater and music…summer festivals practically every weekend… Lots of great shopping… Airport with direct flights to almost anywhere, which for business is crazy important… Nice people… The fact you can actually feel the sun as you walk through the skyscrapers… The lakefront..

    I lived in chicago, briefly, on 2 occasions, 10yrs apart. City got better.

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  12. Isn’t Corgan from the burbs and isn’t he the exact type of loaded, corporate yuppie he is railing against? What a doucher.

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  13. Yeah, Billy. Preach on! Astor used to be so bohemian and REAL!

    /snark

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  14. formerroscoevillager on October 13th, 2011 at 7:09 am

    best comment so far (setting aside anonny’s fantastic trieste):

    “Yeah, Billy. Preach on! Astor used to be so bohemian and REAL!”

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  15. Didn’t he date Jessica Simpson? Who could take a man seriously that dated that dip shit.

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  16. too big to fail on October 13th, 2011 at 7:17 am

    i think he is referring to the ridiculous influx of michigan/big 10 transplants who flock to the mecca of the midwest (chicago)

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  17. He might not like those people but who does he think is going to pony up the kind of cash he’s expecting for his place? If he wants to bring back ‘salt-of-the-earth’ types why not give his place to a few of them? Yeah, thought not.

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  18. Billy Corgan = self-important has-been. Really, no one cares about him.

    Why Chicago? Been here so long I’ve got to calling it home.

    Big city feel, lots of culture, reasonable housing prices and a relatively strong job market.

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  19. Dro City, Brau.

    Which big ten school did these guys go to?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW7VIPtj79c

    Drexel & 61st

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  20. ps nsfw

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  21. Yes, because the gold coast is known for salt of the earth types….

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  22. “Big city feel, lots of culture, reasonable housing prices and a relatively strong job market.”

    Is Billy talking about the wild 100’s?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al6mkw0iC_M

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  23. And, if that douche Corgan has had his mini-mansion on the market for over 3 years, it is proof that he doesn’t see reality for what it is.

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  24. I don’t see how anyone can believe that Chicago is becoming homogenous. It’s incredibly diverse if you leave your enclave.

    As to why people live here…I wonder the same thing every time I hit a pot hole or get stuck in traffic or during the entire months of January and February or look at what you get in a house for $650K or see how much I am paying in taxes. I still believe that people ultimately vote with their feet.

    As for real estate…last I checked (end of August) months of supply was really low. However, contract activity has picked up relative to 2008, though closings are anemic and very disappointing for September.

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  25. Sweet link, HD.

    Looks like they’re rolling in Jefferson Park, except there only are african-american people. Maybe it’s a parallel universe.

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  26. “reasonable housing prices”

    Maybe for a big city but not in general: http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2011/09/whats-the-real-difference-in-housing-prices-across-the-country/

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  27. Um, yeah…for a big city. We’re not talking about Iowa here

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  28. Chicago is a friendly city and seems to welcome all. The result is that it is constantly changing and there are no guarantees that the types of people you live next door to will always be the same. We could take the opposite approach and be complete a-holes to visitors and new people moving in. Make them feel so unwelcome that they will want to leave ASAP and never come back except to visit. There are cities like that and Boston is a great example IMO.

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  29. Gary, last I checked Chicago is a big city. And quite affordable in that category.

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  30. Gary, check out taxes in LA, NYC, DC, SF. Then let’s discuss taxes here.

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  31. I wonder why all those for sale signs on the first picture. Looks like Lathrop homes.

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  32. Yes, we’ll be seeing For Sale signs all winter long, and for the next few years, not only in Chicago but across the nation. There’s a huge overstock of housing, new, existing, foreclosed. Party’s over.

    We live here because no other city in the US can match the combination of job availability, diversity and cultural institution/events, while remaining relatively affordable compared to NYC, DC, SF.

    Re: Corgan: People have been complaining about Chicago becoming yuppified or homogenous for decades. Get over it. Whatever it’s becoming, that’s what it is. You can’t freeze a city’s demographics to some personal ideal you may hold. Anyway, I can’t believe a guy in a rock band would ever buy a place in the Gold Coast.

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  33. Vlajos, I think the picture is probably from those 70s era townhomes on Larrabee, between Armitage and Webster, east of Oz Park.

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  34. LOL at Billy Corgan here. I love the music and respect the huge number of charity gigs these guys do, but this:

    “No. I think we had a massive influx of yuppie types—the Starbucks generation—that really changed the complexion of the city, in my eyes, for the worse, because they had no connection to the local culture. ”

    Sort of ignores the fact that Billy and his crowd had little connection to the culture they displaced in Wicker Park. Over time they tried, but it was kinda too late. Urbis Orbis was no Starbucks, but it wasn’t exactly a Latino Chicagoan’s hot spot.

    But then again, a lot of Wicker Park was pretty run down in the late 80s, and the existing poorer residents showed neither the inclination nor had the resources to fix up the increasingly-dilapidated properties. The only constant in cities like Chicago is change.

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  35. Actually, even when compared to big cities in that survey Chicago was kinda expensive. Almost the same cost as San Jose and higher than Washington. The question is whether or not Chicago is worth 2.5 X the cost of a home in Dallas where the weather is nicer and you can get in your car and drive most places with ease and there is no income tax and no estate tax and no potholes and parking is a cinch.

    I think cities are over-rated. It’s hard to maintain a concentrated infrastructure.

    So the obvious question is why do I live here? Inertia. But I won’t retire here.

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  36. Well the Smashing pumpkins music started to really go downhill in the early 2000’s too but we aren’t here complaining to the newspapers about that either. I think what needed to be said has already been said by writers far more clever than I above

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  37. Bob 2 (Not Bob) on October 13th, 2011 at 8:03 am

    “Maybe for a big city but not in general:”

    No one is stopping you from moving to Dallas, Richmond, Orlando, Las Vegas, Phoenix or Detroit… Dallas in particular might be more to your liking.

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  38. DC is not cheaper than Chicago.

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  39. hope you like the summer heat in Dallas and thousand dollar AC bills

    hoooo boy its crazy hot there

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  40. Dallas is cheap, but you have to live there.

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  41. Just pulled down some data. In the last 10 years the Dallas area has grown by 23.4% while Chicago has grown by 4%. In general, smaller towns in warmer climates are growing faster. Of course, someone will point out that it’s easier for a town of 400K to grow by 30% than for a city of 9 MM but that also reflects the fact that at some point a city gets too big.

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  42. “I think cities are over-rated. It’s hard to maintain a concentrated infrastructure.”

    Cities for the most part of human history have been disease infested, rat & flea infested, tepid open sewer nasty and dirty and unsafe places to live. Anyone with any resources or money whatsoever bought themselves a villa in the countryside, and traveled into the city only as necessary or required.

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  43. And Dallas is not that small either. The DFW area is 6.4 MM.

    I grew up there. The heat never bothered me nearly as much as the cold here does. It’s a dry heat :) When we were kids we played outside all day without sunscreen and water bottles.

    Going back has always been an option but it’s a bit too sterile for me now. My point is that in general people like it as evidenced by the population shifts.

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  44. Michelle, I know, I was being cheeky. But those buildings look like public housing.

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  45. Growing up in Chicago, we played outside all the time as well, including winter.

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  46. I haven’t found too many cities to be significantly cheaper than Chicago. Obviously, Chicago as a whole is cheaper than Boston, SF, NYC, LA, etc. However, even when I’ve looked at properties in smaller cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Austin, Seattle, etc urban living is pretty similar to Chicago.

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  47. Let’s not forget that over the past 5-10 years Texas has attracted a large number of transplant companies from other states because of their business friendly tax approach. Besides NY and CA, they have the highest number of Fortune 500 HQs in the country. The oil and gas industry, historically their largest employment sector, was not affected as badly by the recession. The economic climate facilitated alot of movement into the state. In comparison, IL is very business unfriendly and manufacturing has been hammered by the recession. So it’s not surprising that Dallas is seeing so much growth. What is surprising is that Chicago hasn’t a higher loss of people / businesses/ etc. Goes to show the resiliency of the city in my opinion. If I was to start a new company, I wouldn’t hesitate moving to Dallas. The salaries are comparable / higher but with stronger support for small business and less corruption. Also, fake boobs. However, I don’t think its comparable culturally and won’t be for a while.

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  48. HD makes good points on older cities, and clearly *some* cities are over-rated, but these days it’s the opposite in general – maintaining SPRAWL is what is so hard.

    This is why the exurb developers are always trying to piggyback their “planned communities” on to existing electrical grids, water supplies, etc.

    “I think cities are over-rated. It’s hard to maintain a concentrated infrastructure.”

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  49. “Cities for the most part of human history have been disease infested, rat & flea infested, tepid open sewer nasty and dirty and unsafe places to live. Anyone with any resources or money whatsoever bought themselves a villa in the countryside, and traveled into the city only as necessary or required.”

    LOL. They were, like today, also places where commerce flourished (attracting business owners and workers alike) and culture was created. Sure if you could afford a villa in the countryside and could afford to spend most of your time there (presumably not working), you might do just that. But historically, what percentage of the population could afford such things? 5% strikes me as a very high estimate.

    Methinks your current focus on crime and the cultural problems of “other people” is skewing your historical perspective. Watch your back! Dro and his crew might getcha!

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  50. DC is insanely more expensive than Chicago

    Average income there is way higher too thanks to the out of control rampant federal spending and pension whoring going on there

    I like to call DC ‘Porktown, USA’ since the feds spend $102,904 per capita there

    To give you some perspective on that astronomical number, Alaska gets $17,761 per capita, North dakota gets $12,929, Illinois gets $8,570, Texas gets $8,976 per capita

    Since most here won’t believe me, these numbers are from the most recent census and you can look it up here http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/cffr-10.pdf )pages 23 & 26

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  51. “In the last 10 years the Dallas area has grown by 23.4%”

    That is mostly from lots, and lots, and lots of government spending (drying up). Mexican immigrants, and Katrina relocations

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  52. I suspect most people live in Chicago because they were born here. Or found work here. I was born here AND found work here. I’m retired and have four children here and that’s one reason I’ll stay here; when you get older you can use the help.

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  53. “i think he is referring to the ridiculous influx of michigan/big 10 transplants who flock to the mecca of the midwest (chicago)”

    so you must be in the 0.4% of chicago that is native american? seriously, we are all transplants from somewhere. if you didn’t move here from elsewhere, your parents did, or their parents, etc. let’s put a limit on the “ridiculous influx of michigan/big 10 transplants” and THEN look at the real estate market here

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  54. I live in Chicago simply because I have a tiny family and would rather not move away from them. I don’t really care for Chicago in general. I would love to live in a rural area with warm weather. However, there are very few jobs in rural areas where I could make a decent living. (…if only my company would let me work remotely)

    I don’t find Chicagoans to be friendly. Just the other day, I was crossing the street and had the walk symbol and a woman in a car started screaming obscenities at me for crossing when she wanted to turn. Chicago is filled with people like that. It’s probably the same almost everywhere though. The people in small towns in Ireland seemed incredibly friendly. If my entire family dies in a horrible accident, maybe I will move to a small town in Ireland.

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  55. Don’t forget that throughout history agriculture was far less productive than today and required far more manpower (usually slaves) to grow the crops. Most of the ‘factories’ required power from streams and rivers not in the city. Lots of small towns and villages and farms. Citied existed but they were small in comparison. Even the us for a great majority of its history was a primarily rural country.

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  56. Better hope they all don’t die, you think Chicago is miserable, go to Ireland. Weather is worse, people are worse, economy is worse, taxes are worse, all around, the place just sucks unless you like rain and drinking. Then again whats that saying, “misery loves company”?

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  57. People like Chicago because it is nice big city that is also manageable. You get the density, but it isn’t overwhelming like NYC. We have great public transportation, culture & arts, lake front, beautiful architecture, universities, etc. We have it all for a reasonable cost of living. Yes, some of the pennypinchers on here still think the city is too expensive, but relative to other major cities, Chicago is still a bargain.

    Winters suck though.

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  58. ok jenny

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  59. “However, even when I’ve looked at properties in smaller cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Austin, Seattle, etc urban living is pretty similar to Chicago.”

    How do you define urban living? In north Dallas you can get a 4000 sq ft fairly new home with a yard for around $500K.

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  60. i live here for the concentration of neighborhoods that can easily be walked to or reached by public trans. restaurants. neighboordy feel outside of downtown. comparatively good economy. the architecture and skyscrapers in general. four seasons. nice public spaces. diversity of people. far enough from my family that i don’t feel the need to attend every niece’s and nephew’s birthday party or soccer game. i like the idea of having all the theatre and music and artsy things around here, but in reality i don’t go to that many of those things.

    still think i will want to move when i have kids though. and the taxes are pretty steep IMO, although i can’t personally compare them to other major cities.

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  61. “In north Dallas you can get a 4000 sq ft fairly new home with a yard for around $500K.”

    That’s suburban.

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  62. “I suspect most people live in Chicago because they were born here. Or found work here. I was born here AND found work here. I’m retired and have four children here and that’s one reason I’ll stay here; when you get older you can use the help.”

    So many Chicago skeptics. I talk to my colleagues about where they’d like to live, setting aside economic constraints, and the dominant factor about why they’d like to move is whether. Most like the city and its amenities, some complain about cost, but most just hate the cold.

    So they dream of the sunbelt. But I’ll tell you what: their dream doesn’t include Houston, DFW, Las Vegas, Orlando or any other random economic center of the south. Their dream is a small vacation-town-like setting in a great climate. Most vastly prefer Chicago as a city over those city. And, before you assume, most of these people are suburbanites.

    I think the sunbelt migration, while very real, has its limits and has been mostly driven by economics rather than whether. Many of those areas will face very difficult problems in the long run (water scarcity chief among them) and the population shift will slow dramatically in the next couple of decades.

    Joel Kotkin is (mostly) wrong.

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  63. gah…whether != weather.

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  64. IMO Styx was a much better band than Smashing Pumpkins and certainly had a more traditional Chicago feel, being that they were FROM Chicago and not just IN Chicago, know what I mean? Guys that took accordian lessons when they were kids and could play “Lady of Spain”.

    Chamberlain from the Pumpkins was one Hell of a drummer though and easily the most proficient and “slick” musician in the band. I always liked people from Joliet, it’s a pretty gritty and down to earth town.

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  65. TftInChi, I agree. In addition, it’s mostly people retiring moving out to warm climes. Phoenix is a disaster economically right now. It’s economy was based on construction and related industries. Vegas isn’t too different.

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  66. How do I define urban living? It’s certainly not places “where parking is a cinch”. In fact, widely available parking and/or cheap parking is inversely correlated with what I consider good urban living. If easy car parking is your idea of good city life, you should head for Dallas or Oklahoma City right now, because you’re not going to be happy with the changes coming to the city to make it more livable for the millions of city residents who choose to (or must) walk, bike and take public transit.

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  67. “maintaining SPRAWL is what is so hard.

    This is why the exurb developers are always trying to piggyback their “planned communities” on to existing electrical grids, water supplies, etc.”

    I don’t know. Every time Chicago needs to make a repair or build something they bring the entire city to a standstill. Just look at home many downtown streets are either closed or seriously blocked at any given time. How do you upgrade the water/ sewer system underneath a congested downtown area? How do you upgrade the el? Just bringing the materials into the city creates huge congestion problems. Just bringing in the daily supplies for millions of people ties up the highways and streets with huge trucks.

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  68. @Gary, I am thinking comparable “Greenzones.” For instance, when I go to Atlanta to look at homes, the actual intown neighborhoods (midtown, VA Highlands, etc) typically have SFHs between $500-$1 million. 2/2 condos run $300s-$500s depending on location.

    Sure, you can find some other houses that are cheaper and can claim being in “atlanta” proper but they aren’t really in the same intown locales with the ameneties… kind of like being West of Western so to speak.

    Heck, I spent a lot of time in Kansas City and condos there are damn near more expensive than Chicago when located on Country Club Plaza. Same with houses. The nice intown houses all run $400-$1 million.

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  69. ” Guys that took accordian lessons when they were kids and could play “Lady of Spain”. ”

    LOL. I took accordion lessons in Chicago as a child. I can still play Santa Lucia on my gold-glitter squeeze box. Didn’t know I was in such good company.

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  70. And if you want a cheap shitty home in the Chicago area, you can live in Oswego. Just like Dallas and cheaper too!

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  71. Corgan lived in the Music Box building and in a Victorian on Greenview (near Roscoe) back in the in the 1990s. I’m guessing his remark refers more to neighborhoods like Lake View, where he spent most of his time and which have become more homogenous in many ways with all of the Big 10 grads. I don’t think the city as a whole could be characterized in that way, though.

    Regarding the For Sale signs, I went on the Pullman house walk this weekend and was struck by how many were up in that area…seemingly 2-3 every block. The row homes down there are so charming and cheap, but it must be a pure nightmare trying to sell one down there with all of the competition and very few people that would ever consider living there.

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  72. “Chamberlain from the Pumpkins was one Hell of a drummer though and easily the most proficient and “slick” musician in the band.”

    I like you Oldman, you know your shit!

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  73. Re: Styx. Had “Come Sail Away” on 45/single. The first piece of music I ever owned. Maybe I was destined to live here.

    Re: Dallas or whatever. Sure, for the “greater Chicago area,” places like that might draw some folks away. As for those living within the best areas of the GZ or the northshore, while a tiny minority might consider moving to such places for a job that they simply can’t turn down, those places otherwise just aren’t in the running when such folks ponder “if not Chicago, where?”.

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  74. “How do you upgrade the water/ sewer system underneath a congested downtown area? How do you upgrade the el? ”

    where have you been the last few years, as the city has been doing ongoing work on everything you mentioned…

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  75. “where have you been the last few years, as the city has been doing ongoing work on everything you mentioned…”

    With much difficulty. That’s my point.

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  76. “Re: Dallas or whatever. Sure, for the “greater Chicago area,” places like that might draw some folks away. As for those living within the best areas of the GZ or the northshore, while a tiny minority might consider moving to such places for a job that they simply can’t turn down, those places otherwise just aren’t in the running when such folks ponder “if not Chicago, where?”.”

    Exactly, these people will move to DC, LA, SF or NYC. Dallas is a sweltering cesspool.

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  77. People leave the smaller Midwest towns and come here to ‘find themself’. And constantly brag that they ‘live in the city’, yet ‘never go west of Western where it’s scary’.

    Then we have “Laura Uppity” going on and on about how ‘the city should push the poor out and rebuild for people like me’

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  78. “Didn’t he date Jessica Simpson? Who could take a man seriously that dated that dip shit.”

    If his standard of quality is the bubble fish Simpson, it is a good thing he does not approve of the direction the city is taking.

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  79. gary: “With much difficulty. That’s my point.”

    I agree with this. But, like so many others, the inconveniences seem mostly worth it to me. Hell, I stuck with the CTA for 2 years while they did the 3 tracking between armitage and belmont. I bitched, but my life didn’t change all that much.

    There is an extent to which I agree with HDs kinda-hating on the city. It is dirtier. It is more dangerous. It is louder and more congested. But somehow that makes life a little more exciting and vibrant for me. I bitch about it, like everyone else, but I’d be bored silly if I was still living where I grew up.

    One of the main reasons I like Chicago is the balance between the amenities and livability here. Sure, SF and NYC (even Boston to an extent) are more urban, cultural and vibrant, but the additional “pain tax” just doesn’t seem to justify that upside. I like the balance here. It works for me. Ask a New Yorker and they’d probably think I was living in Iowa…

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  80. Re: Corgan

    Think *maybe* he’s going to the same places he used to go and seeing a “yuppier” crowd, rather than staying on the edge of things? The Empty Bottle ain’t on the edge of nowhere any more, like it (kinda) was in ’93. And 1653 N Wells is rather different than it was in 1985.

    Note, also, that he dug Chicago sooo much in the mid-80s that he moved to f’ing St Petes, Florida.

    Basically, he’s the typical aging hipster, whining about how much cooler everything used to be, back when it was him and his friends cutting the edge.

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  81. Chicago is choking with people. It would be nice if half the population turned into giant land tortoises. I wouldn’t mind being one of those turned into a land tortoise.

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  82. “SF … more urban, cultural and vibrant”

    But try to find a decent weekday breakfast place. F’ing terrible sitdown breakfast options.

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  83. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 10:31 am

    “Ask a New Yorker and they’d probably think I was living in Iowa…”

    Nope.. Chicago is much more livable than NY. Between the 2, for a 5 day vacation.. well than NY wins by a lot.

    “Didn’t he date Jessica Simpson? Who could take a man seriously that dated that dip shit.”

    Yeah… Would have had to have forced me at gunpoint to have had sex with her back in her Dukes of Hazard remake days… Are you nuts!! She was silly hot. Now to marry her.. whole different ballgame.

    And Houston is still the most fun city in America to be a guy.

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  84. anon: “But try to find a decent weekday breakfast place. F’ing terrible sitdown breakfast options.”

    Stacks is pretty good, especially if you work for local/state gubment. My in laws in SF are a bit too obsessed with it, TBH.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=stacks+san+francisco&ll=37.776753,-122.424753&spn=0.01155,0.024805&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&fb=1&gl=us&hq=stacks&hnear=0x80859a6d00690021:0x4a501367f076adff,San+Francisco,+CA&cid=0,0,14414166951104337784&t=h&z=16&vpsrc=0&iwloc=A

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  85. anon: “Basically, he’s the typical aging hipster, whining about how much cooler everything used to be, back when it was him and his friends cutting the edge.”

    Bingo. He’s been living the yuppie life for 20 years then moves back and starts bitching? Zero credibility.

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  86. I’m a Brooklynite who lives in Chicago part-time. I’ve loved Chicago since I first set eyes on it in 1993. I was in town last weekend and I stayed at my place in Edgewater, went for a run in the sand on the lake, went to a new stylist in Mayfair, had dinner at Semiramis on Kedzie, hung out in Wicker Park, ate Wisconsin custard and Italian gelato on the same day, ate homemade Korean food at the lunch counter at Joong Boo Market (thanks Dan), hung out in Irving Park, Avondale and Roscoe Village. I had a 3 day unlimited CTA pass, but walked pretty much everywhere for the most part. I realized when I was on the Red Line on my way back to Midway and I saw some tourists with Cheesecake Factory bags that I never even made it downtown. You guys are so lucky to live in Chicago full-time. Please, don’t take it for granted. It’s beautiful, clean, interesting and cheap. Plus Chicagoans are super nice and friendly. Yuck, I hate SF, and Boston. Whenever I’m in town I’m always out running around all day getting into trouble and I always run out of time to do all the things I want to.

    Okay, well the downside for me is the property taxes. Got my bill yesterday and that was painful! But I’ve been travelling the world since I was 6 months old and NY and Chicago are the only two places I really love.

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  87. “Yeah… Would have had to have forced me at gunpoint to have had sex with her back in her Dukes of Hazard remake days… Are you nuts!! She was silly hot. Now to marry her.. whole different ballgame.”

    I don’t think it was any men asking the question, lol.

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  88. Oh yeah, and certainly not any men who look like this pumpkin.

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  89. DC sucks & can’t be compared to Chicago. Its GZ is woefully small & its taxes insane.

    Vlajos noone who disdains Dallas culture (RE: politics) considers LA as far superior. Err rather the fugly white pasty progressives don’t. Mexican progressives such as yourself who want their 40 acres and a donkey might, tho.

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  90. ” especially if you work for local/state gubment”

    Or don’t mind trekking to Hayes Valley for b’fast. That’s the problem–there are about 5 places (hotels do NOT count) with decent weekday, sitdown, American breakfast and they are not really in tourist friendly spots.

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  91. Bob, DC does suck. Not sure why you think I’m Mexican and want 40 acres and a donkey.

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  92. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 10:56 am

    “Its GZ is woefully small & its taxes insane.”

    First half is wrong… second half is completely correct. Anyone in DC would includes Chevy Chase, Potomac, and Bethesda as part of DC.

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  93. “Not sure why you think I’m Mexican”

    He thinks it’s Vladimir Jose.

    “and want 40 acres and a donkey.”

    Who doesn’t?!???!!!

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  94. “I think the sunbelt migration, while very real, has its limits and has been mostly driven by economics rather than whether. Many of those areas will face very difficult problems in the long run (water scarcity chief among them) and the population shift will slow dramatically in the next couple of decades.”

    Quite true. And most of the people flocking to the Sun Belt are woefully ignorant of this. They assume the cheap energy bonanza that propelled growth in that region the last 60 years will go on forever. Already, the recession is starting to shatter that myth.

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  95. Disagree with Bob re. D.C. The GZ there is actually quite extensive and includes the entire NW side of the city as well as suburbs like Chevy Chase, Bethesda and Silver Spring.

    It is very expensive there. I’d say home prices are above Chicago’s in the GZ. But I’ve spent a lot of time in D.C., even lived there once for a few months, and as far as walkability and GZ size, it has most cities beat.

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  96. Milkster you should come down to River North east of Clark one day and laugh at all the people taking pictures of the Rock & Roll McDonalds, Sports Authority, and eating at Rainforest Cafe, Chilis, and lugging around their Old Navy and Marshalls bags, oh did I mention most of them are morbidly obese mouthbreathers too? Hilarious!

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  97. “Anyone in DC would includes Chevy Chase, Potomac, and Bethesda as part of DC.”

    Except anyone choosing to live in the district specifically. Kinda like most living below 96th don’t consider the rest of Manhattan “New York”, nevermind part of Manhattan.

    But, yeah, I’d live in Maryland, too, and consider myself sufficiently urban.

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  98. Vlajos is vaguely hispanic sounding, all hispanics are mexican and all mexicans want 40 acres and a donkey. Why is this so hard to understand?

    Step into the mind of bob, try to suppress your gag reflex and it’ll all come together for you…

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  99. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    G.. Someone had to say it. Too many neutered married guys here. And if you are a musician you can have practically anyone. In my book ric okasic is the poterboy for that one. Corgin is one ugly bastard though, as well.

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  100. “all hispanics are mexican”

    We could detour into the inaccuracy of “hispanic” for any nationality, but I’ll try to resist the urge.

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  101. Haha, Sonies! I haven’t forgotten that one day maybe we’ll have a little CC meet up and toss a few back at the Shamrock Club.

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  102. Corgan’s bitching about Wicker Park and the Northside, which are no longer accessible or affordable to artist-types. The next Billy Corrigan is going to come from the 31st and Morgan area in Bridgeport (or from mid/west Pilsen), which is where many of the artists and creative types can afford to live. I get the feeling that Corgan rarely travels south of 16th Street … ain’t no homogenity around here.

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  103. anon: “We could detour into the inaccuracy of “hispanic” for any nationality, but I’ll try to resist the urge.”

    Go for it! Better than the convo we’re having.

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  104. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 11:09 am

    honestly anon… I never got that feedback from anyone in DC. Remove Kalorama, g’town up to foxhall, and most of the money are in MD.
    In nyc.. Definitely.. 96st is important. WL wouldnt even blow his nose on you if you lived north of that.
    Btw… Livin in a rich ‘red’ area ‘legitimately’ in DC is a guarantee that you will NEVER have your streets plowed.

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  105. “I get the feeling that Corgan rarely travels south of 16th Street ”

    I get the feeling Corgan rarely travels west of Clark, unless he’s on the north shore, and even more rarely south of Kinzie.

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  106. “And if you are a musician you can have practically anyone.”

    @ze, Exactly, hence going for JS shows a lack of taste. World is full of smart, beautiful women who will date a musician especially a famous one.

    @TftInChi, I am so with you with the gag reflux.

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  107. reflux >>> reflex

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  108. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 11:13 am

    just want to confirm.. They want the donkey to give their wives for the sex shows???

    Lets get this correct. All hispanics in NYC are puerto ricans, Texas, Cali, and AZ -they are Mexicans, Florida they are Cubans…
    When your wife is a latina you learn these things.

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  109. “I never got that feedback from anyone in DC. Remove Kalorama, g’town up to foxhall, and most of the money are in MD.”

    Exactly. No one lives in the D, outside a very small area.

    But *if* you were a Tru-Warrior for the D, and someone from f’ing *Bethesda* said “I live *in* DC”, you’d be rather disgusted.

    Just like in Chicago when someone says “I grew up in Chicago” oh? where? “Buffalo Grove (or Evanston, Oak Park, Winnetka, whatever)” (and yes, I have gotten that, *in* Chicago–it’s non-crazy at college in Cali or the NE, but otherwise FO). It just ain’t the city, and the “GZ” *in* the city, means *in* the city.

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  110. TftInChi, got it. I always forget Bob and his ways.

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  111. For a city its size, Chicago is an unforgivingly brutal rock n’ roll town. Styx, Chicago, Cheap Trick and the Smashing Pumpkins – yikes. Horrible.

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  112. “When your wife is a latina ”

    Try calling the cubans “hispanic” to their faces.

    Or, lacking a cuban to try it on, your wife.

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  113. chi_dad –

    How about Liz Phair, R. Kelly and Kanye? Plus, house music was born in Chicago!

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  114. “Go for it! Better than the convo we’re having.”

    I agree, should be fun!

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  115. “Plus, house music was born in Chicago!”

    Groove bait.

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  116. anon: “Try calling the cubans “hispanic” to their faces.”

    How about latino/latina? Seems to generate much more irritation. Lately anyway…

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  117. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 11:34 am

    anon.. I already mentioned. I try not to anger the hispanics. I get bigger portions that way.

    I need to measure NW DC vs Chicago GZ. I think NW DC is bigger sice it now goes well east of 14th st.

    And the hoighty toity g’town wasp club… I just remind them, living in their half wide lot, where Congressional GC is. They can kiss my ex-MD ass.

    I just say DC to make it easier for most people. As well as NO ONE in the above mentioned areas want to be mistaken for a Baltimore satellite. 10-15 min down the back of the river, at most.

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  118. “How about latino/latina? Seems to generate much more irritation. Lately anyway…”

    Perhaps, but it has the benefit of not being genuinely inaccurate in a generic sense.

    My oldest Mexican friends all prefered Chicano.

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  119. Milkster – rock n’ roll was the qualifier and I’ll grant you Liz Phair (I’ll grant you Screeching Weasel and the Riverdales, too). Still, for its size, should be representing more.

    Hip Hop/R&B/Blues/House is another story – can’t knock chitown there.

    “How about Liz Phair, R. Kelly and Kanye? Plus, house music was born in Chicago!”

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  120. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I find many latinas to be extremely attractive. Spend some time bouncin around Rio or Buenos Aires or Bogota or Montevideo… Muy bien!
    I’ll adapt to whatever they want to be called.

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  121. “For a city its size, Chicago is an unforgivingly brutal rock n’ roll town. Styx, Chicago, Cheap Trick and the Smashing Pumpkins – yikes. Horrible.”

    Cheap Trick is from Rockford. If you count them, you have to count The Jackson 5 from Gary.

    “How about Liz Phair, R. Kelly and Kanye? Plus, house music was born in Chicago!”

    … and Material Issue, Veruca Salt, Marshall Jefferson, Urge Overkill, Ministry, Andrew Bird and Common.

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  122. “NO ONE in the above mentioned areas want to be mistaken for a Baltimore satellite”

    Just give ‘em your area code. As long as it ain’t 410, and your prefered line is Red, all good, no?

    “I need to measure NW DC vs Chicago GZ”

    Population, or area? Housing units seems most relevant to me.

    Area in DC is ~20 sq mi, w/o deducting any park/federal land. In Chicago, it might be 15, w/o adding in Lincoln Park.

    Need to do it by zip codes to get the most readily available data.

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  123. ze: “I need to measure NW DC vs Chicago GZ. I think NW DC is bigger sice it now goes well east of 14th st. ”

    Given the relative size of DC proper vs. Chicago proper and the population differences, I’d be very surprised if that were the case. Assuming for a moment that a full quarter of DC is the GZ, that’s around 17 square miles. That’s a bit over 7% of Chicago’s total area. I know the GZ in Chicago isn’t a huge portion of the total area, but I’d guess it is quite a bit higher than 7%.

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  124. “Haha, Sonies! I haven’t forgotten that one day maybe we’ll have a little CC meet up and toss a few back at the Shamrock Club.””

    Sounds good, maybe even a crawl from Shamrock club, to Paramount room, to Richard’s Bar!

    There’s some REAL Chicago for ya! You can still smoke in Richards bar, even though there’s a huge sign that says “NO SMOKING” right above the sign that says “CIGARETTES $9.00″ the patronage of ganster decent is also some damn fun people watching all the while sinatra is blasting in the background. Man I have to go back there soon!

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  125. anon: “Area in DC is ~20 sq mi, w/o deducting any park/federal land. In Chicago, it might be 15, w/o adding in Lincoln Park.”

    Wait, CC consensus leaves LP out of the GZ? I’ve fallen behind the times…

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  126. Don’t forget Lupe Fiasco! Sorry gotta spread the word, was listening to ‘food and liquor’ this morning and its just so good

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  127. Oh, you probably meant the actual park.

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  128. I am curious just how the Chicago GZ is defined.

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  129. “Just pulled down some data. In the last 10 years the Dallas area has grown by 23.4% while Chicago has grown by 4%. In general, smaller towns in warmer climates are growing faster.”

    What you fail to mention is that Dallas is also 150 square miles larger than Chicago. Its growth mimics that of Chicago’s collar counties, because outside of a very small downtown, Dallas is one huge suburb. Same goes for Houston, which occupies 2.5 times the amount of land area as Chicago… it grows like our suburbs, because it is a suburb.

    “I think cities are over-rated. It’s hard to maintain a concentrated infrastructure.”

    Did you read that before posting it? That statement is a complete 180 from reality.

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  130. “What you fail to mention is that Dallas is also 150 square miles larger than Chicago. Its growth mimics that of Chicago’s collar counties, because outside of a very small downtown, Dallas is one huge suburb. Same goes for Houston, which occupies 2.5 times the amount of land area as Chicago… it grows like our suburbs, because it is a suburb.”

    Of course this is omitted, it makes for a better story.

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  131. “probably meant the actual park”

    Yep.

    “just how the Chicago GZ is defined”

    I took the easy way out and used Roosevelt as the south line, Western as the west (Ashland from Roosevelt to Chicago) and IPR as the north, then tossed in a little extra area for Greater A’ville.

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  132. I like Cheap Trick. And even though many (perhaps most) of their bands weren’t/aren’t from here, I (and others I know) had for some reason considered many of the bands on Touch and Go/Quarterstick to be from Chicago…I guess it was that post-punk Chicago “sound” (which itself is varied depending on who’s asking or answering), even though the band might be from KY (Shipping News, or their relative, June of 44, from all over), NY (Polvo), PA (the Delta 72), AL (Man or Astroman), NY (Blonde Redhead) or IL outside of Chicago (Shellac, which the last I heard or cared, was/is now at least partly in Evanston).

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  133. “Same goes for Houston, which occupies 2.5 times the amount of land area as Chicago… it grows like our suburbs, because it is a suburb.””

    and thats why you can get a 4000 sqft house for 500k

    I’m sure there are plenty of 4000 sqft homes for 500k in the burbs here in Chicago too.

    Chicago is the 2nd densest major city in the US, and interestingly is considered a “world city” or an “alpha city” with only LA and NYC the other 2 US “alpha cities”

    here’s your listings gary! There’s plenty of them around here, coincidentally almost all are 20+ miles from the city center

    http://www.redfin.com/homes-for-sale#!lat=41.9507728998803&long=-87.87643315723419&market=chicago&max_price=550000&min_listing_approx_size=4000&min_parcel_size=10890&min_price=275000&num_baths=4.0&uipt=6,1&v=6&zoomLevel=10

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  134. and here’s Dallas with the same search, Gary

    http://www.redfin.com/homes-for-sale#!market=dallas&max_price=550000&min_listing_approx_size=4000&min_parcel_size=10890&min_price=275000&num_baths=4.0&region_id=30794&region_type=6&sf=1,2&uipt=6,1&v=6

    woooow amazing the difference… not

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  135. Sonies same search using “North Dallas”:

    http://www.redfin.com/homes-for-sale#!market=dallas&max_price=550000&min_listing_approx_size=4000&min_parcel_size=10890&min_price=275000&num_baths=4.0&region_id=49847&region_type=1&sf=1,2&uipt=6,1&v=6

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  136. What areas do you consider the green zone to include?

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  137. jenny:

    Who you asking?

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  138. “Western as the west”

    I’m ok with being outside the anon simplified GZ…

    “IPR as the north”

    …but all those coonley folks in their $1.X MM homes are going to be mighty upset.

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  139. anon: “I took the easy way out and used Roosevelt as the south line, Western as the west (Ashland from Roosevelt to Chicago) and IPR as the north, then tossed in a little extra area for Greater A’ville.”

    I didn’t believe you and tried it myself here:

    http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-area-calculator-tool.htm

    You’re right. And I’m surprised at how small it is.

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  140. * “NY”…make that NC (before some crazed Ash Bowie fan jumps all over me).

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  141. There’s the GZ, and then there’s the GZ.

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  142. So Lincoln Square isn’t in the GZ?

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  143. I’m asking everyone’s opinion…

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  144. Lincoln Square is indeed GZ. Residents are more down to earth vs most other GZ hoods, too.

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  145. “I’m asking everyone’s opinion…”

    Here’s Russ’s. It’s the outer areas (bucktown, wicker, logan, lincoln sq, etc.) where there’s a little or a lot of debate.

    http://cribchatter.com/?p=11593#comment-190763

    “Residents are more down to earth vs most other GZ hoods, too.”

    Maybe a sign it’s not true GZ then?

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  146. “Milkster you should come down to River North east of Clark one day and laugh at all the people taking pictures of the Rock & Roll McDonalds, Sports Authority, and eating at Rainforest Cafe, Chilis, and lugging around their Old Navy and Marshalls bags, oh did I mention most of them are morbidly obese mouthbreathers too? Hilarious!”

    Right on. And itt’s sad to see the out-of-towners on their tour buses directed to eat at McDonald’s when Chicago still has so much interesting cuisine.

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  147. DZ all the areas you listed I consider GZ except Logan where maybe 30% is.

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  148. You can get that house a few miles from downtown sans yard but near a park. It was featured on here a couple weeks ago.

    But we know you SWPLs want a hopping post collegiate bar scene no further than 3000ft but no closer than 1000ft. Same goes for El stop lol.

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  149. “DZ all the areas you listed I consider GZ except Logan where maybe 30% is.”

    I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but Russ left out wicker (though included btown) and lincoln square, as well as logan sq. On logan, if we’re talking about the community area, I’d agree only portions are even debatably in.

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  150. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    “Population, or area? Housing units seems most relevant to me.”

    Has to be area. Otherwise it isn’t even worth arguing. DC was more of a pseudo-city up until recently. I go with the definition as places Clio would feel safe driving the lambo.

    This is reminding me of a bet, pre-information at tip of fingertips days, that got completely out of control, land mass of Australia vs. land mass of Greenland. That world flat map, cost someone some pretty pennies.

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  151. “How about Liz Phair”

    Whadaya say, anon, does North Shore/New Trier high qualify one as a Chicagoan?

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  152. Gary – Are kidding about Dallas vs Chicago? And “the wather is nicer”. Yes, 52 straight days above 100 degrees is quite enjoyable.

    Dallas blows… ask anyone who used to live there.

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  153. For land mass of Greenland did you count the massive glacier sitting atop it?

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  154. @DAN#, what is hilarious is going to the R&R McDonald’s and watching someone bitch at the cashier about why they don’t have the dollar menu and why stuff is priced like 30% higher than any other McDonalds.

    I know I am a snob, but for the life of me, I can’t imagine visiting any large city and going to eat at a national chain restaurant. Most of us forget that 90% of the country really is middle america and for them the Olive Garden is n fact fine dining.

    DZ, wasn’t the omission wasn’t intentional. Lincoln Square is definitely GZ. Logan Square isn’t quite there, but it probably will be one day imho. Neighborhoods change.

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  155. So has the GZ increased or decreased in size over the last 10 years?

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  156. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    “For land mass of Greenland did you count the massive glacier sitting atop it?”

    Bet was settled with the almanac.

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  157. “I know I am a snob, but for the life of me, I can’t imagine visiting any large city and going to eat at a national chain restaurant. Most of us forget that 90% of the country really is middle america and for them the Olive Garden is n fact fine dining.”

    That doesn’t make you a snob, just says you have good taste.

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  158. Hey Jenny – Sorry you don’t like Chicago. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your wayout!

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  159. The only thing I love more than Olive Garden is McDonalds. Yes I am a portly portly fellow.

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  160. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    would places like Capital Grille and Mortons be considered a national chain restaurant?

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  161. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    We were out at the Olive Garden for dinner, which was lovely. And uh, I happen to look over at a certain point during the meal and see a waitress taking an order, and I found myself wondering what color her underpants might be. Her panties. Uh, odds are they are probably basic white, cotton, underpants. But I sort of think well maybe they’re silk panties, maybe it’s a thong. Maybe it’s something really cool that I don’t even know about. You know, and uh, and I started feeling…

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  162. Capital Grille, most definitely. Morton’s almost.

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  163. yea what about Ruth Chris? I almost bought a Groupon there once…then I see its for one up in Madison. sneaky bastards

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  164. Chain.

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  165. “would places like Capital Grille and Mortons be considered a national chain restaurant?”

    Capital grille is really really good, but if you’re in Chicago and not from another major city and spending that kind of coin why not eat in one of the hundreds of other great fine dining establishments?

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  166. G: ““How about Liz Phair” Whadaya say, anon, does North Shore/New Trier high qualify one as a Chicagoan?”

    Well, much like our bald headed friend, Phair kicked around a previously gritty area, thought it would never change, then came back 15 years later and bitched about the fact that it did change. Luckily for her, she’s a very talented rapper or Chicagoan’s would have lost all respect for her there and then.

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  167. Not exactly national, but I’d eat at Legal Seafoods, especially if I had to eat at the airport. Possibly my favorite airport meal among US airports I frequent (leaving O’Hare aside b/c rarely have time/need to eat there).

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  168. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    New win on the shit is stupid expensive down here. Didn’t want to drive out to “my mechanic” so I called the Land Rover dealer, close to me, for an oil and filter change. US$555

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  169. The steak house chains like Ruth’s Chris, Sullivans, and Mortons aren’t bad. They execute very well. Not bad places to eat when you are traveling for business and on expense account/per diem.

    I actually like the mid level chains on road trips. I don’t know why, but nothing beats stopping at a Red Lobster, Cracker Barrell, et al when driving 600 miles.

    However, when visiting a large city, it just boggles my mind that people go to the same crappy restaurants found pretty much back home in at XYZ shopping mall. Why come all the way to downtown Chicago to go to Red Lobster? It is the same cheddar biscuits found at the mall in West Podunk. I purposely seek out local restaurants to try something new and different I can’t get back home.

    I couldn’t believe it, I was in NYC a couple of weeks ago and we had to cut through Times Square to get to a restaurant we found and people were literally lined up outside of a Applebees or some place like that for like a 1 hour wait. WTF is wrong with these people?

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  170. I’ve eaten at McDonalds all over the world. I haven’t eaten it in the US for years, but it definitely beats Spanish food and the disgusting pictures of shell fish most of the restaurants put near the front door. I dislike food in general though and eat only out of necessity.

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  171. “or Chicagoan’s would have lost all respect for her there and then.”

    Anyone who experienced one of her drunken make-out sessions at the old Bottle already did.

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  172. I’m sure they were locals. Applebee’s is the Neighborhood Bar & Grill, after all.

    “I couldn’t believe it, I was in NYC a couple of weeks ago and we had to cut through Times Square to get to a restaurant we found and people were literally lined up outside of a Applebees or some place like that for like a 1 hour wait. WTF is wrong with these people?”

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  173. “I’ve eaten at McDonalds all over the world. I haven’t eaten it in the US for years, but it definitely beats Spanish food and the disgusting pictures of shell fish most of the restaurants put near the front door. I dislike food in general though and eat only out of necessity.”

    Ireland is perfect for you.

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  174. $555? LOL. Does your license plate read RCHGRNGO?

    They probably charge locals 8$ for similar on a local common model of car.

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  175. jenny: “I’ve eaten at McDonalds all over the world. I haven’t eaten it in the US for years, but it definitely beats Spanish food and the disgusting pictures of shell fish most of the restaurants put near the front door.”

    I don’t even know what to say to that. I mean, tastes are subjective, but to write off an entire country’s food? A country that has maybe some of the most respected culinary regions in the world? A big mac can’t even compare and if you think it can, I doubt you are even giving their food an honest shot. For crissake, one of Spain’s most popular tapas, potatas bravas, is just an upscale version of fries.

    I’m reeling here…

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  176. “I’m reeling here…”

    Jenny thinks Ireland is just swell. Not worth too much thought here.

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  177. I’d say Billy is more guilty, as he definitely milked that whole “gritty – edgy” thing to the hilt. Really, there’s nothing particularly revolutionary about the music the Pumpkins banged out. Energetic? Sure. Will anyone really care much in 30 years? Extremely unlikely.

    House music on the other hand, sets Chicago apart GLOBALLY. It’s an entire indigenous style of music enjoyed everywhere, which is independent of one rock star’s popularity at any given moment.

    “Well, much like our bald headed friend, Phair kicked around a previously gritty area, thought it would never change, then came back 15 years later and bitched about the fact that it did change.”

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  178. I think McDonald’s is disgusting, but it’s all relative. Talk to people who have traveled to China (where they eat anything with protein) or Latin American countries where the water can cripple you and you might feel differently.

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  179. cui anyone?

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  180. I only like Italian food and some Asian and American food. Finding an Italian restaurant in Spain was really difficult…. finding one that didn’t allow smoking was even more difficult… I remember being happy to finally find one, only to have a woman sit in the table next to us and puff her smoke onto me. At least the McDonalds didn’t allow smoking.

    Italian restaurants were a dime a dozen in Costa Rica and Vietnam. I don’t know why Spain didn’t have any.

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  181. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    “$555? LOL. Does your license plate read RCHGRNGO?
    They probably charge locals 8$ for similar on a local common model of car.”

    LOL.. My wife called and asked so I am assuming it’s for them too. I paid US$110 at the Shell down the block. Ze ain’t that stupid. Close but not ‘that’

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  182. Why would Spain want italian food (I love Italian food and Spanish food, italians also like seafood, so do asians), when it has an amazing culinary history?

    Costa Rica on the other hand has crap food.

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  183. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    “Costa Rica on the other hand has crap food.”

    but such nice beaches..

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  184. True Vlajos… It seemed like the national cuisine of Costa Rica was beans and rice for every meal.

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  185. If you live an authentic life you don’t have to worry about “authentic” food and are free to eat anywhere like without apology including Chi-Chis and Olive Garden.

    Anyone who can’t find dozens of good places for breakfast in Chicago is just too goddamed refined for a fella like me to relate to. Jesus Christ, people are making a cult out of breakfast.

    The biggest Rock and Roll act from Chicago was probably the Buckinghams. I saw them play at the Holiday Ballroom a couple of times, they were good. And very popular, they sold lots of records. The Ides of March from Berwyn were VERY good live, very powerful and hard driving.

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  186. I’ve noticed that people who are passionate about food and have a healthy appetite are passionate about “other things” too ;)

    Nothing’s more of a drag than a picky-eating man who orders his sauce on the side.

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  187. danny (lower case D) on October 13th, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Nothing like being scolded by a multi-millionaire rock stare for not being an authentic Chicagoan… you know the “salt-of-the-earth”. I’m sure his gold coast condo and northshore mansion are decorated just like Nelson Algren’s cold-water flat.

    Whenever someone starts bitching about things changing from how they used to like it… just run away from the doddering old fart.

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  188. “What the f–k is wrong with those people?”

    Russ, I’ve often wondered the same. Mainly, I just feel sorry for them. Middle Americans are a pretty sad species.

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  189. My pa is a great example. To this very day the only topping he will tolerate on his pizza is pepperoni. And to think as a kid I was a super picky eater…my things went 180.

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  190. Jenny,

    Re. your lack of interest in food, I’m curious about your background. Were you exposed to interesting food when growing up? Did your mom or dad cook? Or did you mostly eat microwave, takout and McDonald’s? Are you a member of any particular ethnicity and exposed to that sort of food when growing up (as I was to Jewish food like Gefilte fish and matzoh ball soup)?

    I’ve found that people who, like you, profess to not being interested in food, don’t know what they’re missing because they don’t know what real food tastes like. They never had exposure to it as kids and never tried it as adults.

    It’s probably too late for you, but I hope if you have children you do them the favor of exposing them to interesting cuisines. My kids love Japanese food, Vietnamese food, Greek food, etc., and they’re just 11 and 8 (they also appreciate all sorts of American food, of course). We also cook a lot at home and encourage the kids to as well (my younger one can whip up a mean vegetable and tofu stir fry and both know how to make scrambled eggs, toast, steak, hot dogs, etc.)

    Cuisine can be one of life’s great pleasures. I’m sorry it isn’t for you.

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  191. “Anyone who can’t find dozens of good places for breakfast in Chicago is just too goddamed refined for a fella like me to relate to.”

    I was bitching about finding breakfast in EsEff, not Chicago.

    “Whadaya say, anon, does North Shore/New Trier high qualify one as a Chicagoan?”

    As a *musician* Liz is from Chicago.

    As a person? If I asked her where she grew up? While standing within 400 miles of Chicago? GTFOOH.

    What’s she gonna say after “where you grow up?” “Chicago” “Really? Where?”

    Wicker Park? And brand herself a complete phony.

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  192. “I’ve found that people who, like you, profess to not being interested in food, don’t know what they’re missing because they don’t know what real food tastes like.”

    Just what in the Hell have such people been eating their lives if not real food? Your attitude that people would share your interests if only they understood them is common and seen in people with many interests, for instance ham radio enthusiasts and people who load their own rifle cartridges.

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  193. gringozecarioca on October 13th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I know how to turn on my mother in laws gas stove. Anyone here know how to rig her cellphone to set off a spark?

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  194. danny (lower case D) on October 13th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    G: “Whadaya say, anon, does North Shore/New Trier high qualify one as a Chicagoan?”

    Hell yeah. It get’s you a desk on the 5th floor of City Hall.

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  195. danny (lower case D) on October 13th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    BTW… I saw Liz Phair and band perform this summer at the old South Works site (Dave Matthews Band festival). She still rocks and looks hot as hell. Didn’t age one bit.

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  196. Oldman,

    I’ll admit I’m snobby about food. That said, McDonald’s is not real food. It’s “food” in the sense that you can eat it and it will provide your body energy, but it’s not food to me if it’s mass-produced in a factory and components of it are frozen before being re-heated and served. Real food has quality ingredients and is prepared with care. It doesn’t sit under a heat lamp.

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  197. danny (lower case D) on October 13th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    skeptic: “House music on the other hand, sets Chicago apart GLOBALLY.”

    I was at an electronic music festival in Haarlem, Netherlands back in 2003. Whenever I told folks that I was from Chicago, they started naming DJs from Chicago and even knew whatever club was ground zero for House music.

    I had to admit that even though I’m from here, I was largely oblivious to the whole House music scene while it was happening. I was the right age and living in the right neighborhood to have witnessed it all. But my musical tastes were somewhere else, and I missed the whole thing.

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  198. Nothing snobby about quality. All those poor rural, greeks, italians, spaniards, portuguese feel the same as you Dan #2.

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  199. I was very lucky to grow up in a family that valued good food and encouraged us kids to try new things, both at home and when we ate out. My mother cooked every night and also baked pies, bread and cakes from scratch almost every week. Although we had a lot of meat and potatoes (this was the 1970s), my mom did branch out and added Chinese and Indian cooking to her repertoire over the years.

    When I got to college, I found the cafeteria food almost inedible. When I mentioned it to one of my friends, he replied, “It’s better than what I get at home.” I just felt sorry for him.

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  200. Oldman: “Just what in the Hell have such people been eating their lives if not real food? Your attitude that people would share your interests if only they understood them is common and seen in people with many interests, for instance ham radio enthusiasts and people who load their own rifle cartridges.”

    Not sure what you are getting at exactly. If you ask someone whether they like something and they say no yet have never tried it, a fair response is: how do you know? Your examples are the equivalent in the culinary world of knowing very specific details of how food is cooked, constructed and presented. Rather than asking if a person has packed their own rifle cartridge, I’m asking, “have you ever shot a gun?”

    From a travel perspective, I find it more than a bit perplexing. Go to spain, presumably to experience another culture, and yet don’t even bother to try one of the things that most differentiates cultures? I just don’t get that. Not that a person has to care about food or should feel bad about it. Do what you want. But if you go on the internet and tell people about it, expect to get a raised eyebrow or two. That just ain’t how most people roll. Hell, my only-meat-and-potato eating mother (who, like jenny, treats food mostly as a matter of sustenance) at least tried a few local dishes when my parents were in Paris. It’s just what most people do.

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  201. Dan #2 – Google the word supertaster and maybe you’ll understand why some individuals can’t handle eating certain foods.

    What you find full of flavor and texture overdrives the senses of a supertaster and can cause them to gag.

    Has absolutely NOTHING to do with how they ate as a child or what their parents let them get away with at the dinner table. Genetics are simply not in a supertaster’s favor. There are no mental blocks, no “it’s strange or icky” thoughts. There’s simply no getting around the physical sensations and reactions that comes when the food hits the tongue and it either burns like naptha, tastes like stinky wet socks or the stomach heaves and the throat closes.

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  202. Anonemoose,

    I don’t doubt that such people exist, but the great majority of people who don’t want to try interesting food are as I described earlier.

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  203. danny (lower case D) on October 13th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Billy Corgan starts a pro-wrestling company:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/13/billy-corgan-smashing-pum_n_1009232.html

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  204. “I’ll admit I’m snobby about food. That said, McDonald’s is not real food. It’s “food” in the sense that you can eat it and it will provide your body energy,”

    That you can eat it and it provides nutrition seems a reasonable definition of real food to me.

    If you substituted “pleasing” for real I’d have no beef (pun intended) but I can’t hold with thinking only things one likes are real.

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  205. “I don’t doubt that such people exist, but the great majority of people who don’t want to try interesting food are as I described earlier.”

    I agree, but leave it to some psychologists or something to come up with a fancy name for something that in most cases can be easily explained by simple causes. The concept of Occam’s razor seems to be lost to some or maybe it is the urge to publish crap and call it research.

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  206. Dan #2 – It’s estimated that 25% percent of the population are supertasters. So you may run into them more frequently than you realize.

    M2 – certainly it’s a simple cause. It’s an abundance of taste buds on the toungue. Had you Googled the term, you would have found the research behind the fancy name.

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  207. Yes I am sure that is the case, because it is really common for Spaniards to like Italian food but not the converse. They are both Mediterranean diets and often folks who like one, like the other. Also according to what I read on the BBC link, super-tasters don’t like taste of fatty food either. Someone who eats McDonalds does not strike me as a person minding fat.

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  208. I agree with Billy C.

    No where is the yuppification of the north lakefront more apparent than on N. Southport. How that street has changed in the last 20 or so years!

    It used to be interesting with unique shops and white tablecloth restaurants then all of a sudden BOOM the franchises, sports bars and nail shops moved in.

    Strega Nona became some $5.00 special joint, Red Tomato is gone and is now becoming a gym. The Tasty Freeze sits now where the scrumptious “Banana Leaf” with its large outdoor patio once was. Mystic Cult, sports bar replaced Bistro Zinc.

    Why do I have the distinct feeling that the yuppies who moved here when the area was “hot” are the very ones with the “for sale” signs out in front of their cement block condo’s? now

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  209. “because it is really common for Spaniards to like Italian food but not the converse”

    That makes sense.

    “No where is the yuppification of the north lakefront more apparent than on N. Southport.”

    I’d venture that the yuppification has been more pronounced in some other northside hoods. I’d also kindly submit that Southport is only slighly closer to the Chicago “lakefront,” for all practical purposes, than Naperville.

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  210. Anonemoose: “What you find full of flavor and texture overdrives the senses of a supertaster and can cause them to gag.”

    True, but most foods simply don’t contain the compounds that result in bitter, soapy or stanky flavors that so offend supertasters. And are you really going to tell me that there aren’t any, say, Spanish dishes that don’t contain flavors that would be objectionable to supertasters? If so, 25% of spaniards must be pretty miserable people.

    I get the science behind this and it can explain certain aversions and bad reactions. But some people just don’t care to try new things or move out of their comfort zone. Writing off an entire country’s cuisine is evidence of that attitude to me. No skin off my back, but IMO you are missing out.

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  211. “What you fail to mention is that Dallas is also 150 square miles larger than Chicago. Its growth mimics that of Chicago’s collar counties, because outside of a very small downtown, Dallas is one huge suburb. Same goes for Houston, which occupies 2.5 times the amount of land area as Chicago… it grows like our suburbs, because it is a suburb.”

    Exactly, and therefore it’s less congested. That’s the appeal.

    ““I think cities are over-rated. It’s hard to maintain a concentrated infrastructure.”

    Did you read that before posting it? That statement is a complete 180 from reality.”

    Yeah. How is that 180 from reality? My point is that there is a huge cost in building up and maintaining the infrastructure around a congested area.

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  212. “I’m sure there are plenty of 4000 sqft homes for 500k in the burbs here in Chicago too.”

    And with that comes huge commute times. The Chicago area has one of the top 10 commute times in the nation. In towns like Dallas you can actually afford to buy a home within a relatively short commute from where you work.

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  213. “Why do I have the distinct feeling that the yuppies who moved here when the area was “hot” are the very ones with the “for sale” signs out in front of their cement block condo’s? now”

    This is the only part of your post I agree with.

    Lately I’ve been partyin’ it up on the “SoPo corridor” for cheap. So I can’t be a denier or a snob and say gentrification ain’t great. I couldn’t live there but I will sure as heck vist there and enjoy the deals & area.

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  214. “Gary – Are kidding about Dallas vs Chicago? And “the wather is nicer”. Yes, 52 straight days above 100 degrees is quite enjoyable.

    Dallas blows… ask anyone who used to live there.”

    I have no problem with 52 days above 100 degrees. I do have a problem with 52 days below 20 – or whatever we have here. And I used to live in Dallas so if you ask me I do not agree that Dallas blows. And Dallas is much more cosmopolitan than the suburbs here. And it’s not just Dallas. I used to live in Richmond, VA and loved it there as well.

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  215. “Yeah. How is that 180 from reality? My point is that there is a huge cost in building up and maintaining the infrastructure around a congested area.”

    the benefit is also far greater because more people use them, or are you in favor of building roads to nowhere like I-72?

    wow this sure looks amazingly cultured to me, CAR CULTURED!

    http://techblog.dallasnews.com/highfive.jpg

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  216. Not sure what I72 has to do with Dallas but, yes, I prefer driving to taking public transportation. Public transportation has it’s advantages but it ends up being run inefficiently, doesn’t go where you want to go, doesn’t go when you want to go, and parts of it aren’t safe. I can drive downtown from University Village in 10 minutes. To take public transportation would take me 35 minutes minimum.

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  217. “Yeah. How is that 180 from reality? My point is that there is a huge cost in building up and maintaining the infrastructure around a congested area.”

    Because density supports infrastructure costs and improvements. Sprawling cities/suburbs have huge infrastructure per capita costs that are becoming painfully burdensome and will only get worse as they age.

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  218. I just moved to Singapore as an expat – 2 weeks now. It really is striking how the US has fallen behind Asia. Unemployment here is 2%, a nice 2 bedroom (1100 SF) rents for USD $6000/month and apartments sell for between $1500 and $2500 PSF. Yes, PSF. The subway is new runs on time. I am glad to get a break from all the doom in gloom over there but hope it all gets better soon.

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  219. “Exactly, and therefore it’s less congested. That’s the appeal.”

    Then stop trying to compare Chicago to Dallas… compare Flossmoor to Dallas if you are just looking for open roadways, cheap land and cheap McMansions.

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  220. “Because density supports infrastructure costs and improvements. Sprawling cities/suburbs have huge infrastructure per capita costs that are becoming painfully burdensome and will only get worse as they age.”

    When the infrastructure in Dallas needs to be repaired you don’t have to shut down an entire main thoroughfare. The trucks delivering the materials don’t have to navigate narrow streets and block traffic for hours. There are all sorts of hidden costs that come with density.

    “Then stop trying to compare Chicago to Dallas… compare Flossmoor to Dallas if you are just looking for open roadways, cheap land and cheap McMansions.”

    I know Dallas and I know Flossmoor and there’s no comparison. Dallas is way more cosmopolitan than Floosmoor. And how long does it take people in Flossmoor to get to work?

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  221. “When the infrastructure in Dallas needs to be repaired you don’t have to shut down an entire main thoroughfare”

    Really? Does Dallas employ a magical technique that allows roadways to be rebuilt while still in full use? Why doesn’t the rest of the world know of this astounding process?!

    “I know Dallas and I know Flossmoor and there’s no comparison. Dallas is way more cosmopolitan than Floosmoor”

    Thats like saying my shit is prettier than your shit. In the end its still shit.

    “And how long does it take people in Flossmoor to get to work?”

    Depends on where they work now doesn’t it Gary? Maybe they work at Saint Margaret in Dyer, maybe they work at a tech park in Monee… or maybe they hop on the Electric and take a 42 minute nap. Geez, it all sounds so horrible.

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  222. Dallas is a dump, lets move on.

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  223. come on seriously, chicago<dallas? no seriously dallas?

    I agree with Powder Pumkin smasher guy, given his view is more "whaaa, whaaa my cool edgy places are gone, whaaa"

    thing is yuppies may gentrify or bring in "supposed" improvements to an area. the problem is many over with this, most yuppies dont put down roots in the area's they gentrify they are transient and will always move to the next hot place or back close to there home towns.

    they drive up prices for the people who have roots there and that drives out the locals and families that have many generations over in a hood.

    once the yuppies remove the heart and soul of a hood they whitewash the hood and make it look like every gentrified area across the U.S. have you guys seen what lincoln square on lincoln looks like? yep it look like university village, looks exactly like that shopping addition in downtown Park ridge, just like downtown Mt Prospect, Just like GZ in Philly, and the hot hood in Atlanta (midtown i think its called).

    You may say yuppies gentrifying a hood brings in tax dollars, well it doesnt as they drive up costs, it drives up commercial rent which drives up more cost, which in the end means less disposable income. all you can see with many empty store fronts in GZ areas.

    also with the transient nature, long term goals and improvements are not considered that would be more beneficial for the longevity of a hood. instead of a local COMMUNITY center a dog park is built because most yuppies wait to have kids and have dogs instead. yeah longterm planning and resident resources are pushed aside so you can take spot to poop in grass while you talk about the latest Real Housewife's of des monies iowa or whatever

    in the end the soul is removed from a hood and all your left with is cheap vannila ice cream.

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  224. According to my mom, I never liked food. The doctor told her I would eat when I was hungry and not to worry about it. There’s a video of me gagging at the taste of the cake on my first birthday. What kid doesn’t like cake?

    Since I don’t care about food, I don’t enjoy tasting the local cuisine when I travel. I know food is part of experiencing a new country for a lot of people, but just isn’t interesting to me.

    I can safely say I don’t like foods I have never tried if they include ingredients I don’t like.

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  225. Hah! Groove. You described me. I guess I’m soul sucking.

    I would definitely take a dog park over a community center!

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  226. jenny,

    this may sound all tree huggie and stuff…. but improve your community and get invloved in it, you will have a better sustainable quality of life than you would ever imagine.

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  227. I actually like where I live, University Village, and plan to stay for many years. I’m not really into participating in community improvement….so much infighting and arguing. I get enough of interpersonal politics at work. That being said, I try to be a good neighbor. I always pick up after my dog and am quiet so as not to disturb others.

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  228. On snap, Groove is back!

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  229. Groooooove! You ready for the big football game this weekend? 7-0 baby!

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  230. danny (lower case D) on October 14th, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Groove: “once the yuppies remove the heart and soul of a hood they whitewash”

    What utter crap, Groove. Who the hell are you (or Billy Corgan or anyone else) to determine those who are “authentic” and have “soul” versus those who are “vanilla”?

    Neighborhoods in Chicago have ALWAYS been changing. People move in and people move out. Flash back to any decade in any neighborhood and you’ll find those decrying Group X moving in and displacing Group Y.

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  231. He’s someone who has first-hand experience watching it happen, as am I. Change is inevitable, but don’t confuse it with automatically equating to progress.

    The horrific arrival of outsider chain stores all over the “GZ” best exemplifies this.

    “What utter crap, Groove. Who the hell are you (or Billy Corgan or anyone else) to determine those who are “authentic” and have “soul” versus those who are “vanilla”?”

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  232. “The horrific arrival of outsider chain stores all over the “GZ” best exemplifies this.”

    I hate most large chain retailers too. Not sure what can be done about. They follow the money.

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  233. agree everything is always changing, Angry danny (with a upper case A).

    yes a potbelly sandwich shop and noodles next to a Tmobile store is “authentic” and has a “soul”.
    yep nothing like an REI shop that opens at 11am to feel real outdoorsy. hey i got an idea lets start a Live bait and tackle shop chain give it a trendy name and cool decor and open it at 12pm.

    dude, danny, walk any GZ this fall and count the people without northface jackets. the most i got when i do it is 5 people. Yep thats not vanilla.

    no wait wait wait its because you drink PBR your not vanilla. sorry to mistake you for the the guy next to you drinking it too, not totally my fault because last time i saw you two stand next to each other it was 2005 and you both had untucked stripped dress shirts and jeans drinking heineken and doing jagerbombs.

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  234. Gentrification is a fine balance. Unfortunately, most neighborhoods usually lose what made them cool in the first place as their popularity increases. I get what Groove is saying.

    I served on a development board in Andersonville when I lived there and they are fiercely protective trying to combat the encroachment of chain stores. However, as commercial rents rise with the popularity of the neighborhoods often times chain stores are the only ones that can afford to stay.

    I recall being in Atlanta at a restaurant in a hood that was on the very cusp of starting to be gentrify. The neighbors who were largely poorer were complaining about the restaurant because the patrons took up too many parking spaces in front of their little workman cottages as HD likes to call it.

    The waiter quipped the neighbors “like to bitch about the yuppies, but then don’t seem to mind selling their $75k shitbox shotgun house to them $300k now and that there is less crime.” I thought that summed it up pretty nicely.

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  235. danny (lower case D) on October 14th, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Groove… your post above does not really make much sense, but I’m not going to strain myself trying to understand your point.

    There have always been chain stores, and chain brands, and whatnot. I could care less about what brand jackets people wear or what kind of beer they drink. Seriously, who really cares?

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  236. danny – there were not always that many chain stores (gas stations excepted), and the ones that were around were usually lone outposts or one of a few, not mega-multinational corporation owned ones.

    drive around Berwyn if you want to get a feel for much of the north side in the 70s & 80s, lots of independent/family-owned shops.

    this is mighty true however. it’s why I tell neighbors worried about property tax increases and so on to NOT SELL.

    “The waiter quipped the neighbors “like to bitch about the yuppies, but then don’t seem to mind selling their $75k shitbox shotgun house to them $300k now and that there is less crime.” I thought that summed it up pretty nicely.

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  237. I buy nearly everything online. Chain stores don’t bother me except for the truly massive ones that are always crowded – like Ikea.

    On the rare occasion, I buy non-perishable items, I usually make purchases at a chain store since they tend to be cheaper than smaller stores. If people like the smaller stores so much, they have to be willing to cough up the extra money it takes to purchase from them.

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  238. I try to buy local almost exclusively. Other than some grocery shopping at jewel. I even shop for most of our produce at Stanley’s/Edgewater Produce type places.

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  239. Americans think they can purchase individuality and virtue. Since more people have access to chain stores buying from them gives one less virtue.

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  240. I shop at jewel, Aldi & Amazon dot com. I don’t mind chain stores for groceries. but for dining circling back to yesterdays conversation Chicago has some fantastic restaurants. and they run great deals too for those willing to look.

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  241. oh yea I hit up the dollar stores too.

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  242. Smaller stores don’t always cost more. They usually don’t have nearly the overhead, or advertising costs, etc.

    But I think we need to differentiate between retailers and small stores which offer unique value-added benefits to their community.

    Number one, not buying local is shooting yourself in the foot from a City-wide perspective. Money spent locally gets reinvested locally, which creates capital for loans, which creates businesses which creates jobs.

    From:

    http://www.andersonvilledevcorp.org/market-research/62-andersonville-retail-economics-study-.html

    Locally-owned businesses generate substantially more economic benefit to the local economy than chain businesses:

    * For every $100 in consumer spending with a local firm, $68 remains in the Chicago economy.
    * For every $100 in consumer spending with a chain firm, $43 remains in the Chicago economy.
    * For every square foot occupied by a local firm, local economic impact is $179.
    * For every square foot occupied by a chain firm, local economic impact is $105.

    Consumers surveyed on the streets of Andersonville strongly prefer local businesses over chain stores:

    * More than 70% prefer to patronize locally-owned businesses.
    * More than 80% prefer traditional urban business districts.
    * More than 10% of respondents reside outside the City of Chicago, which indicates that Andersonville’s local businesses are attracting customers – and sales tax dollars – into the city.

    The study suggests clear policy implications.

    * Local merchants generate substantially greater economic impact than chain firms.
    * Replacement of local businesses with chains will reduce the overall vigor of the local economy.
    * Changes in consumer spending habits can generate substantial local economic impact.
    * Great care must be taken to ensure that public policy decisions do not inadvertently disadvantage locally owned businesses. Indeed, it may be in the best interests of communities to institute policies that directly protect them.

    You can learn more about the Andersonville Study of Retail Economics, its findings, and methodology at http://www.andersonvillestudy.com.”

    “I usually make purchases at a chain store since they tend to be cheaper than smaller stores. If people like the smaller stores so much, they have to be willing to cough up the extra money it takes to purchase from them.”

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  243. argh, apparently a single link stops a post now? OK, the stats below are from the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, you can google it if you don’t trust me.

    Smaller stores don’t always cost more. They usually don’t have nearly the overhead, or advertising costs, etc.

    But I think we need to differentiate between retailers and small stores which offer unique value-added benefits to their community.

    Number one, not buying local is shooting yourself in the foot from a City-wide perspective. Money spent locally gets reinvested locally, which creates capital for loans, which creates businesses which creates jobs.

    From:

    andersonvilledevcorp.org/market-research/62-andersonville-retail-economics-study-.html

    Locally-owned businesses generate substantially more economic benefit to the local economy than chain businesses:

    * For every $100 in consumer spending with a local firm, $68 remains in the Chicago economy.
    * For every $100 in consumer spending with a chain firm, $43 remains in the Chicago economy.
    * For every square foot occupied by a local firm, local economic impact is $179.
    * For every square foot occupied by a chain firm, local economic impact is $105.

    Consumers surveyed on the streets of Andersonville strongly prefer local businesses over chain stores:

    * More than 70% prefer to patronize locally-owned businesses.
    * More than 80% prefer traditional urban business districts.
    * More than 10% of respondents reside outside the City of Chicago, which indicates that Andersonville’s local businesses are attracting customers – and sales tax dollars – into the city.

    The study suggests clear policy implications.

    * Local merchants generate substantially greater economic impact than chain firms.
    * Replacement of local businesses with chains will reduce the overall vigor of the local economy.
    * Changes in consumer spending habits can generate substantial local economic impact.
    * Great care must be taken to ensure that public policy decisions do not inadvertently disadvantage locally owned businesses. Indeed, it may be in the best interests of communities to institute policies that directly protect them.

    You can learn more about the Andersonville Study of Retail Economics, its findings, and methodology at andersonvillestudy.com.”

    “I usually make purchases at a chain store since they tend to be cheaper than smaller stores. If people like the smaller stores so much, they have to be willing to cough up the extra money it takes to purchase from them.”

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  244. The only chain restaurant I’ll eat at is McDs. It’s local too!

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  245. I cheated and beat the system by just stripping out the http:// parts.

    take THAT, world!

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  246. Bob 2 (Not Bob) on October 14th, 2011 at 9:55 am

    “they drive up prices for the people who have roots there and that drives out the locals and families that have many generations over in a hood. ”

    Not really the case in Chicago where a lot of the yuppie hoods went from upscale to shit to yuppies in less than 100 years. (uptown, south loop, wicker, etc…)

    I remember the good ole days when I could still pick up 40s at Jewel, place fuckin sucks now.

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  247. When Albertson’s bought Jewel it went down. Supervalue is worse.

    Safeway owning Dominicks is a disaster. I refuse to spend a dime there.

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  248. Oldman –

    I would really love to talk to you offline about the Southside. If you’d like to contact me, would you mind e-mailing Sabrina at cribchatter@yahoo.com? She knows how to get in touch with me.

    Regards from Milkster

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  249. Could you guys stop cluttering up jenny’s blog with all these posts about other things?

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  250. “Dallas is a dump, lets move on.”

    Yeah, that’s why Dallas is growing at 24% over 10 years and Chicago grew by 4%. We can argue about this all day but the data shows that people prefer to live in smaller cities/towns.

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  251. G experienced a make out session with Liz Phair?

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  252. “Yeah, that’s why Dallas is growing at 24% over 10 years and Chicago grew by 4%. We can argue about this all day but the data shows that people prefer to live in smaller cities/towns.”

    Those two sentences don’t really go together.

    And, the easy answer is, that most people are stupid and have bad tase. Duh, of course they prefer stupid, distasteful places to live. I mean, look at how many people *even in Chicago* prefer granite countertops and SS appliances to linoleum and {crap, I *still* don’t actaully know what kind of appliances are acceptably au courant) appliances.

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  253. Gary, just because people move somewhere doesn’t mean it’s a nice place. It’s a dump, a growing pile of shit.

    Lots of people eat at Olive Garden every day, doesn’t mean the food is good. It’s crap.

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  254. Actually, I like the Olive Garden occasionally. I think there’s a lot of elitism here. I can just as easily declare everyone who lives in Chicago as being dumb – but I won’t do that.

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  255. Gary, you can do anything you want. It doesn’t make it right.

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  256. “You still run into a lot of the people who are salt-of-the-earth.”

    I recall that one of the Smashing Pumpkin members got busted or OD’ed on herion behind Betty’s Blue Star Lounge. There are still dumpy areas in Chicago.

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  257. “I can just as easily declare everyone who lives in Chicago as being dumb”

    I don’t need to just “declare” that your sarcasm detector is busted.

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  258. Billy Corgan is from CAROL STREAM!!! LOL! He went to one of the Glenbard high schools.

    When he talks about the “yuppies”, he’s really refering to the SWPL types that have invaded this city, and multiplied like the 2/2 condos.

    http://www.adbusters.org/magazine/79/hipster.html

    Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization
    We’ve reached a point in our civilization where counterculture has mutated into a self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum. So while hipsterdom is the end product of all prior countercultures, it’s been stripped of its subversion and originality.

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  259. “Dallas is a dump, lets move on.”

    Right. It used to have the most fastidiously hot women/girls in America (even neil zlozower noted this) , but today it’s like an bad episode of “Cheaters”, as is most of America. If you went to any shopping mall in America these days, and took a look around at your fellow shoppers, a pretty good cross-section of the public, you’d not be filled with the warm and fuzzies. Kids with bones in their noses and bizzare tattoos, 500-lb. monsters, barely in their 30s, riding around on electric wheelchairs, idiots of every description. I can recall a time, not so long ago, when people weren’t like this…. standards ARE slipping, we DO have serious problems.

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  260. “Yeah, that’s why Dallas is growing at 24% over 10 years and Chicago grew by 4%. We can argue about this all day but the data shows that people prefer to live in smaller cities/towns.”

    Oh jesus, just stop with the percentages. Yeah, Dallas grew at six times the rate that Chicago did, but once adjusting for total population the number it becomes only a factor of 2.66… much less impressive.

    And since, as I mentioned, Dallas encompasses a much larger area, area that is predominantly suburban, its growth should be compared to Chicago’s suburban collar counties.

    So lets use the same dumb percentages and have a look.

    *Lake County: +9.2%
    *McHenry County: +18.7%
    *Kane County: +27.5%
    *Kendall County: +99.9% (oh my god Gary! this must mean people prefer Kendall County over Dallas!!!)
    *Will County: +34.9%

    What does all this mean? That from 2000-2010 a large percentage of people preferred living the suburban lifestyle, which is proven by the large growth that sprawl cities like Dallas and suburbs of urban cities like Chicago experienced.

    And please, stop using simplistic percentages.

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  261. “I can recall a time, not so long ago, when people weren’t like this…. standards ARE slipping, we DO have serious problems.”

    yeah or that maybe people that don’t have bones in their ears or weigh 500 lbs actually have jobs to attend to during the day while the housewives shop online instead of hanging out at the mall with the mutants?

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  262. “standards ARE slipping, we DO have serious problems.”

    Hi, Billy.

    “When he talks about the “yuppies”, he’s really refering to the SWPL types that have invaded this city, and multiplied like the 2/2 condos.”

    Nice third person, Billy.

    Billy is complaining about getting old. When he is referring to the “SWPL-types”, he’s hating on the fact that the kids (broadly speaking–18-45) these days don’t like *exactly the same thing* that Billy thought was super-cool back in 1992.

    Wow. Tastes change. Whodathunkit? Obviously not Billy.

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  263. Malls are for mutants by definition.

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  264. helmethofer, enjoy:

    http://www.neatorama.com/2011/03/14/hipster-trap/

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  265. Call me old fashioned but I judge a person’s character more by their sense of fair play and honesty than by what kind of restaurant they eat in or where they shop.

    And by whether or not they’ll give you a jump when your battery’s dead.

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  266. Oldman, where did that come from? Are part of jenny’s blog too?

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  267. Call me old fashioned but when I hear “hipster” I think of Anita O’Day, Red Rodney, Louis Bellson and Lenny Bruce.

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  268. “Oldman, where did that come from? Are part of jenny’s blog too?”

    I dunno VJ, just goin’ with the flow.

    Who’s Jenny?

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  269. “Yeah, Dallas grew at six times the rate that Chicago did, but once adjusting for total population the number it becomes only a factor of 2.66… much less impressive.”

    OK. Please explain what math you used.

    “What does all this mean? That from 2000-2010 a large percentage of people preferred living the suburban lifestyle, which is proven by the large growth that sprawl cities like Dallas and suburbs of urban cities like Chicago experienced.”

    Which was my original point – urban centers are over-rated by the people who live there. I just used Dallas as an example. Yeah, there are still some die hard urbanites that think they know something that everyone else doesn’t but the fact of the matter is that people in general see the downsides and are opting out.

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  270. I dunno Gary. I was out in Wicker Park and Bucktown last Sunday night and all the clubs and restaurants were packed and there were people all over the street spilling out from the bars, watching football and tons of traffic. This was on Sunday night at 10 PM. What’s the name of the restaurant with the huge outdoor patio directly under the Milwaukee/Damen el stop? You could not get a seat. I’ve always been past that spot at odd times like 2 PM on a Wednesday and it’s always packed. And there certainly aren’t any deals on homes around there. Prime areas of the city are hot.

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  271. Ok, so we’ve established that Gary likes the shithole known as Dallas. Can we redirect this to something more interesting? Jenny’s dietary habits maybe?

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  272. Milkster – Well, this could have been a post-marathon crowd celebrating their endurance, and the next day was a holiday so a lot of people didn’t have to get up to go to work early, and it’s been a fantastic stretch of weather for this time of year and how many more nights will there be this year, where we can go outside for the evening without “bundling up?”

    But even allowing for all this, Wicker Park/Bucktown remains a popular nightlife haven for its residents and visitors alike; maybe sort of like Rush Steet was years ago before it got condo-ized beyond recognition.

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  273. Can’t help thinking that Billy C. and other “hip” folk who buy places in old-school nabes like the Gold Coast are doing so IRONICALLY, as a kind of ARTISTIC/SOCIAL STATEMENT (wink wink – hey I can afford to live like the Establishment folks!) in the tradition of 1960s rock stars who thought it was oh-so-funny that they were rich enough to buy the Beverly Hills estate of a 1930s movie star and make it into a psychedelic pad.

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  274. thats funny when I think of hipsters, I think of “the hipster doofus” Kramer from Seinfeld

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  275. remember he bought his first big house (afaik) on greenview near Justins.

    http://wikimapia.org/1542445/Billy-Corgan-s-Former-Home

    west of clark, tfo

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  276. Sonies, that is exactly what I think of as well.

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  277. Olive garden sucks and there is nothing elitist about not liking junk food that pretends to be Italian. The basic thing that makes a pasta good is for it to be “al dente”. The overcooked concoction they serve that is swimming in the sauce is not even pasta IMHO.

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  278. don’t forget their garlic salt infused bread too

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  279. lol..didn’t try that one.

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  280. “Can’t help thinking that Billy C. and other “hip” folk who buy places in old-school nabes like the Gold Coast are doing so IRONICALLY, as a kind of ARTISTIC/SOCIAL STATEMENT (wink wink – hey I can afford to live like the Establishment folks!) in the tradition of 1960s rock stars who thought it was oh-so-funny that they were rich enough to buy the Beverly Hills estate of a 1930s movie star and make it into a psychedelic pad.”

    Nah, I saw an interview a long time ago, where Ozzy Osbourne himself said that he sent his own children to the best schools in London (at that time, pre-LA). So, people identify with things that are inherently good, like an old, well-built mansion. Also, Corgan could have an “agent” that’s doing his investing for him, and the purchase was an investment, a place to park cash.

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  281. “remember he bought his first big house (afaik) on greenview near Justins.

    http://wikimapia.org/1542445/Billy-Corgan-s-Former-Home

    west of clark, tfo”

    Sold it in 2001, and that’s the last time he went west of Wrigley. Or something.

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  282. “don’t forget their garlic salt infused bread too”

    Thanks, I just puked in my mouth.

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  283. hard for me to criticize olive garden. their food is much better than shoneys, taco bell, hot and now, and many other big chains. red lobster too. olive garden has a stupid name but it is edible. the others not so much.

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  284. I understand where you’re coming from CH, you’re just talking about shades of repulsive though.

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  285. Exactly vlajos.

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  286. Why wouldn’t one just go to the corner taqueria instead of shithouse like Taco Bell?

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  287. McDonald’s Corporation is Oak Brook’s claim to fame!

    No segue at all here, but I haven’t been on this site for a while: Is clio still around?

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  288. “Why wouldn’t one just go to the corner taqueria instead of shithouse like Taco Bell?”

    Because the former is more likely to send one running to the shithouse than the later?

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  289. Just in case anyone is interested I did analyze the census data more thoroughly and it sure looks to me like people prefer less urban environments. Here is a post I did on it with a map and some average growth data across different density buckets: http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2011/10/do-people-really-want-to-live-in-cities/

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  290. He’s back!

    This was Billy Corgan’s recent “starbucks” comment when discussing his new tea house that he’s opening in Highland Park.

    “Starbucks is all about ‘sameness’ and it attracts the same fucking people. I don’t want to hang out with those people. I’m not into that cookie-cutter culture,” he said.

    The tea house will also offer coffee as well as some healthier, basic sweets, even vegan options. Corgan is currently meeting with local purveyors to sort out exactly what they’ll offer. And they’re working on designs for the space, but Corgan hopes Highland Park will let him put in a cool sign. “I’m envisioning something out of the ’40s.”

    http://m.chicago.eater.com/archives/2011/12/29/billy-corgan-opening-chinoise-vibed-tea-house.php

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  291. ““Starbucks is all about ‘sameness’ and it attracts the same fucking people. I don’t want to hang out with those people. I’m not into that cookie-cutter culture,” he said.”

    Jesus Billy, just shut the fuck up you goddamn sellout.

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  292. If Billy Corgan is opening up a biz in “highland park”, it’ owned by a local highland park Jew with Billy as the front-man/promoter……guaranteed. This is how 160 Blue was “owned” by Michael Jordan for years, he didn’t own a thing, he was paid for his name. Oh, God, a place to avoid.

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  293. PS He’s from Carol Stream…. you know, like Gary Avenue, North Avenue, traffic, subdivisions, etc.. Actually for his age, that’s real Chicago. His entire persona now has become sell-out, esp, if he’s living in Highland Park with that ilk.

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  294. Hey hey hey- I almost spit up coffee all over my laptop reading that latest quote, we need a warning for any more Billy-isms.

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