I am in my hometown of Chicago this weekend — still recovering from the loss of our Cubs to the Dodgers (who cheated by hitting the balls outside of Wrigley where our players could not catch them and throwing the balls really, really fast so we could not hit them). Returning home for me continues to be rejuvenating, particularly with this unseasonably warm weather. I wanted to share a few pictures of our beautiful city to counter the dire descriptions that have been raised in the political forum. Chicago is experiencing a terrible violent crime wave, but the city is not the hellscape that comes out of some political exchanges. I will readily admit that I am biased. I have always been proud to be a Chicagoan and raised in this resilient city. I hope that people will come for themselves to experience the wonderful lakeshore, restaurants, bars, museums, architecture, boating, sports, and sights.
The city continues to dig out of huge debt and rising crime rates. Chicago has always struggled with corrupt and poor leadership. The responsibility ultimately rests with the voters who continue to accept politicians who avoid tough decisions while pandering to special interests. The city continues to reelect politicians who ran both the city and the state into virtual bankruptcy. Whether it was bloated pensions plans to secure votes while approval of a corrupt parking meter contract, Chicago politicians simply kicked the can down the road toward an eventual economic meltdown. With record murder rates, our leaders continue to pass and then repeal dumb taxes like the soda tax.
However, the city remains a unique place with some of the friendliest people you can hope to meet.
I took a long walk yesterday to the Lincoln Zoo on a picture-perfect day. It remains one of my favorite spots. It is a cute little zoo that has used its limited footprint to create a surprisingly diverse array of animals. It is so much better than when I was a kid. There is more and better space for the animals including a wonderful polar bear exhibit. When I grew up coming to see “Big Mike” on a weekly basis, his cage was terribly cramped. It is not much larger and humane.
I then took my 90-year-old Mom to her favorite place: the doggie beach. A new addition to the huge beach for dogs is a dog wash contractor called Mutt Jackson. For $10, you can now wash and blow dry your dog with shampoo and conditionaer supplied. There are also meat “doggie cigars” and Doggie beer (beef broth). It was fun to watch and a great idea.
Today I go out to see many in my family in Naperville and watch the Bears hopefully beat the Panthers.
Even with the untimely demise of the 2017 Cubs, Chicago remains unbent and proud. The “City of Big Shoulders” has shrugged off the Cubs loss. We have been in worse spots.
So all I can say is “Go Hawks.”