Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Chicago is a livable city. Or so says The Economist. So stick it, Trump!

I have long been a boaster of the merits of Chicago, thinking that this city on the shores of Lake Michigan is one of the world’s greatest.
Even with its pollution, the Chicago River brings a beauty to the city. Photographs by Gregory Tejeda

So I’m not about to dispute the study by The Economist’s intelligence unit that says amongst U.S. cities, Chicago is one of the most livable. Even though I’m sure that President Donald J. Trump with his constantly-snotty criticisms of our city would have his own objecting opinion to that.

THE BRITISH-INFLUENCED news magazine did its annual Global Livability Ranking, which studies 140 cities around the world in various categories, including their economic stability, healthcare and the quality of their infrastructure.

I can’t say personally that they’re full of it in saying that Melbourne, Australia is the most livable city in the world. I’ve never been there. It may well be a wonderful place to live.

Yet I’m not inclined to make a move from Chicago’s Sout’ Side to the land Down Under any time soon.
Amongst the city's cultural amenities
For what it’s worth, the study acknowledges 10 U.S. cities, and finds that in the United States, only Honolulu, Washington and Boston outrank it.

PERSONALLY, I’VE VISITED D.C. and Boston and thought they were interesting places. Although I wouldn’t be inclined to want to move there any time soon.
An edible treat with its Chicago origins
As for Honolulu, I’m sure the weather is fantastic. But the islands’ isolation from the mainland U.S. – or just about any other place on Earth – create complications for daily life.
Our city's nameplate

Everything out there gets ridiculously expensive. I’d hate to hear from the people who are complaining that the pop tax makes the cost of a 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola too costly having to deal with life in a place where a gallon of milk can cost $6 (compared to the $1.99 I usually pay).

As for the only other Midwestern city to make the Economist intelligence unit study – Minneapolis – I’ll give my aunt Christine some credit when she says her move from Chicago to Illinois several decades ago was the best thing she ever did in life.

PERSONALLY, I’M INCLINED to like Chicago so much because it has a wide variety of just about everything. Even in terms of weather. When it gets ridiculously humid here, I am eased by thinking that it won’t be much longer before the weather becomes more moderate.
An entry point

And that soon after that, it will be so ridiculously cold that I’ll be wishing the humidity would could back.

There’s also the ethnic composition that includes large groups of Irish, Mexicans and Poles, but also manages to work in just about every other ethnicity on Planet Earth so that you literally can find a trace of anyone and everyone in this city.

While I’m sure that wasn’t a factor The Economist took into account when putting together its study, it’s certainly something I’m going to want to see. I can’t envision living life in places where everybody is alike. I have had short life stints in such places, and they’re the reason why Chicago always winds up feeling like a magnet to my spirit – perpetually pulling me back.
A blot on Chicago's image?

TO THE POINT where the reporter-type person in me couldn’t envision wanting to write about any place other than Chicago. Even when our city takes on a seedy character, it usually manages to do so in a way that intrigues ourselves and makes us wonder how we’ll work our way out of our predicaments.

There is one part of this study that manages to catch my attention. New York City doesn’t manage to make it into the 10 most livable cities in this country – let alone the world.

My guess is that the city can be so expensive that that winds up striking them down. Although I have my own theory that I’d love to believe has some truth to it.

Trump is a New York native and has done some of his most vulgar contributions to architecture and real estate development in that city. Perhaps the notion of being a part of the same city as Trump just makes the thought of having to live there just a little too noxious to tolerate.


No comments: