I listen with interest as Chicagoans complain about life in the city, whining about their mass transit, their mayor, their crime, their filth.
Suck it up and get over it. You’ve got a pretty sweet deal.
I live in rural Wisconsin, and yes, I love the fresh air, the quiet, the fireflies and deer in my back yard. I love being able to leave my door unlocked (well, when I’m home) and the keys in my car (at least when it’s in the garage. We’re rural, but we’re not stupid).
But I also love the city. Mass transit? None here, and while I might enjoy biking around the city, I’m not a strong enough cyclist to go everywhere I have to go in my own spread-out hometown. (And the big boxes are many miles away.) Our local government isn’t always uncorrupted or even competent, although political idiocy usually produces annoyances rather than disasters. We have litter here, too, and trash tossed in verdant grass is even more offensive than that hugging an already dirty gutter.
When I want some cultural stimulation (opera, jazz club, strip joint), I have to travel to the city, as here I am limited to Little League games and cow-pie tossing contests. When my aging father fell ill, I determined his chances best with a two-hour drive to Northwestern Memorial downtown as opposed to risking his life at our local ER. When I want to do some serious shopping—well, the argument is obvious. And when I wanted to go to grad school, my choices were the local tech college or Northwestern. (OK, not technically Chicago, but close enough.)
So as the late Ann Landers used to say, “kwitcherbitchen.” The city may have its problems, but it also holds activity, variety and even entertainment on every street corner (drop a dollar in the guitar case, please). Even on the drive home after a day in the city, I am planning my return—someday, perhaps, to stay. (Joyce Lee)