|Rahm smirk sell more papers than Christie carcass?|
Not exactly an overpowering by the Bronx Bombers over our Sout’ Side Hit Men.
SO PERHAPS THAT was a factor that caused Noo Yawk types to get all worked up this week in their desire to take pot shots at Chicago; specifically, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the mass transit system we affectionately refer to as the “el.”
For it seems that on Monday, the New York Times published a commentary written by our mayor that took the attitude there were things that mass transit officials in New York could learn from Chicago.
It ran under the headline, In Chicago, the Trains Actually Run on Time and offered up a statistic that claimed 85 percent of us are satisfied with the way our trains and buses operate. Keep your Mussolini gag to yourself; Chicago trains and buses are fairly reliable and that is important for a mayor.
It also had Rahm saying the reason Chicago’s system isn’t confronted with the problems New York faces (Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week declared a state of emergency for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority) is because our officials emphasize “reliability ahead of expansion.”
IMPLYING THAT NEW York, which has the largest mass transit system in the nation (Chicago is second) has grown wild and out-of-control.
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Of course, there were those greatly offended that a rube from outside of New York (actually, outside of Manhattan) would dare to know better about anything, That provoked the New York Daily News on Tuesday (a.k.a., Independence Day) to put Rahm on the front page of the paper.
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The Daily News could have gone with front page photos of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s carcass sitting on a lawn chair on the public beach he had ordered closed to the public. But they thought Emanuel would sell more papers, running under the headline Dumb Track Mind and also reminding people, “AT LEAST our riders don’t get SHOT on the way home!”
Which means if there’s really a sense of cosmic justice or bad karma, there will be a shooting incident on board a subway car somewhere in the Bronx.
NOT THAT I’M hoping for such an incident. But for a newspaper that contends its provocative front page layouts are intended to sell papers for people who make an impulse purchase while walking by a newsstand or news box, I just can’t see where Rahm’s goofy smirk really does much to inspire New York news interest.
Besides, for all the things that people can complain about Chicago, one has to admit that our mass transit system does work fairly well – particularly when one considers how old it is.
Some 125 years, with parts of it dating back a century. The basic concept in moving large numbers of people around various parts of Chicago isn’t that radically different than the days when Al Capone was a living, breathing human being in these parts.
It also is one of the things I miss about life in the city proper, and why on those occasions when I return to Chicago proper I make a point of relying upon mass transit to move about.
ANYBODY WHO SERIOUSLY pays $35-40 to park their car for an hour or so in downtown Chicago is a fool. Our mass transit is one of the things our beloved Second City is doing right!
For what it’s worth, my guess is that this outburst (which Emanuel himself is managing to laugh off) is just the usual New York vs. Chicago rivalry; a holdover from when they really were the two largest cities in the country and where Chicago maintains a significance regardless of how much larger Los Angeles may ever become.
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Perhaps if the Yankees could have swept the four-game series against the White Sox, the need to dump on Chicago over mass transit might have been reduced.
Then again, we’ll always have pizza to quarrel over – particularly with those individuals who seriously look at those flimsy slices sold in Brooklyn and can’t see the superiority of something from Uno’s or Lou Malnati’s.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As for the Daily News claim that Chicago is the "murder capital," these days St. Louis has the highest homicide rate in the nation, with some 60.37 slayings per 100,000 people compared to 18.6 for Chicago (and 7 for New York).