Now that the election is over, and I'm happy with its outcome (which, if you don't know, I won't tell you because you've been living under a rock and should possibly stay there), I came across this posting at the Obama/Biden Transition website, of a photo montage of President-Elect Obama and advisor and Transition Co-Chair Valerie Jarret heading out on the town and picking up corned beef sandwiches at a deli in Chicago. The headline, "President-elect Obama stops by Chicago deli," got me thinking a little bit about the fates of two towns: Chicago and my hometown of Detroit, Michigan.
My first thought was... yum, I like corned beef sandwiches. My second thought was that Chicago is a lucky town and that Chicago is reawakening America.
Being born and raised in Detroit, Chicago was always a distant, glistening, cold, cold place to me. I didn't go to Chicago much as a kid. Lake Michigan was a mystery to folks on my side of the Great Lakes (folks in Detroit, that is... we were lucky with Belle Isle). My family, prone to car trips (yea! cartrips!) always passed through as we went on past the Chicago landscape to visit family in Milwaukee. I never got a sense of it, really, growing up, except that it was cold and it was in the Midwest. I had to get out of the Midwest.
Anyway, we came East and went South a lot more than West growing up, and New York just grabbed my heart at a young age, just like it has grabbed other likewise crazy people.
I sometimes think that maybe I should have moved to Chitown instead of the Big Apple. While it's still a giant, tough, town, it is vastly more accessible than New York. And cheaper. Housing... wow, I could have a lovely place off Lake Michigan, freezing my ass off, but "What a view!" And of course, sadly, it's a billion light years beyond my beleaguered and beloved, Detroit.
I also find it fascinating that Chicago is also the site of an organized, community-based, and mostly spur-of-the-moment action that has pretty much summed up the current financial crisis: "We bail you out. You bail us out."
Now, Chicago has brought forth the President-Elect. Detroit still struggles with deep, deep, wounds, inflicted by both self and others in so many ways. It's heartbreaking.
Chicago is a lucky town. Don't blow it.