There was a pathetic undertone to much of the discourse surrounding the Chicago bid for the Olympics, which went along the lines that we need this to be a world-class city, that too much of the planet still thinks “Al Capone” when they hear “Chicago,” to which we say: bunk! In all of our world travels, we’ve never had Al Capone come up in conversation. Architecture? Yes. Michael Jordan? Yes. House music? Yes. The weather? Sadly, yes. But Scarface Al? No. Kind of makes you wonder what crowd those other guys are running in. If we want to be world-class, the first step is to realize we are world-class and not to worry about it. World-class cities never fret about their status; they simply do what makes them great and make sure the world knows about it. So let’s get over this inferiority complex and start marketing our assets. Like our architecture. Our beautiful lakefront. Our extraordinary cultural life. And while we’re at it, make sure we tell everyone how nice our weather is. In summer.
Hosting the Olympics
Best audience comments:
“Obama + Oprah = Unbeatable”; “‘Let Friendship Shine.’ Friendship isn’t chrome!”; “Britney Spears and whatever she does or doesn’t do”; “Forget tearing down the Michael Reese Hospital campus! We’ve already lost one of the Gropius-designed buildings there and Chicago is ready to destroy more at any moment.” “That I could have made a boatload salvaging my condo.”
Best of Chicago 2009