Anyone who’s lived in Chicago more than a few seasons knows that not only is it “the city that works,” but “it’s the city that stinks.” Take the first hint of autumn in Chicago: first, crisp brown dry leaves, perfume like rolled cigar, but also with vestigial scent of subway rot and side-alley urine. But this spring bore another aroma, as the nights grew warmer, on increasingly perfumed Chicago nights. On damp breezes, there was ample evidence in neighborhoods across the city that more and more citizens toke marijuana with impunity. (At Pitchfork, when the MH Girls, a dozen-girl Icelandic choir accompanied Björk, you had never smelt such the symphony of marijuana and hash under fantastic, brooding clouds.) Of course, it could quickly go the other way in our mercurial town if the mayor and police officials change their mind, and persist in adding to the 35,000 or so misdemeanor drug arrests in 2012 instead of addressing gang crime and street murder.
Best of Chicago 2013