He spends enough time in fury against the death of light and all he ends up with is a sore throat and in the dark. Some things can’t be prevented, no matter how hard you try and how right you are. The minute you learn that fact is probably the exact minute your childhood dies.
The Chicago Cubs officially have unveiled their “City Connect” jerseys today, after the launch of its crosstown counterpart two weeks ago. What’s funny, or maybe too much on their noses, is just how much they say about the neighborhoods they live in. While the South Side of Chicago has its problems – the most inflicted, some are, and both are almost always the result of the city leaders ’preference to treat the North Side – there is a challenge to those “South Side” jerseys. There’s also a year to the vibrant hip-hop culture under the radar that is there, and among the White Media themselves. There is an advantage, a vibration. Anyone else could attack him, they have at least personality.
The Cubs jerseys go well, and they have some nice touches, but they connect to a neighborhood that has no personality to speak of, and really not the jerseys in general. A neighborhood that doesn’t really exist, at least not anymore. I always laugh when Chicago describes itself as “a neighborhood city,” because every bad city is a neighborhood city. I’ve lived in LA long enough to know that those in Eagle Rock or Boyle Heights don’t feel a particular connection to those in Brentwood. Astoria isn’t Chelsea (at least she wasn’t back when she was regularly spending time here). I only needed a weekend in Pittsburgh to know that South Side Flats was a different animal from Lawrenceville.
These designations are becoming more important today as more and more of these neighborhoods are being bullied by developers and starting to be exactly the same. It feels like we’re not all that far from “the city of neighborhoods” being an anachronism.
This comes from another old man screaming at the cloud of a forgotten era sent in service to the rich white crowd that surpasses any neighborhood that appears, and probably is. The thing is, I’ve never had a great connection with Wrigleyville, outside of the dance floor, because it’s been like this for quite a while. But that lawsuit was sent overdrive by the Ricketts family.
It’s only been five or six years of work and effort, but we’re going to Wrigleyville now and the overwhelming feeling is simply clear. O vapidness. Or just the void, figuratively speaking. It’s definitely full physically. But it’s amazing how much of a suburban office park it looks like now. The Shake Shack is always proof of what exactly is going on. Any “gesture” that tries to make the area have any connection to Chicago instead of just about anywhere is provided by having Big Star Tacos across the street from the park. And heels are good, but they’re the exact type of artistic, white heels, meant for those who mean they eat different cultures of cuisine, but they’d catch on if they set foot in a Latin neighborhood. It’s until they buy a condo in that same neighborhood when it’s intimidated into gentrification. And I still had no idea that Big Star was a band. Everything else around you could be literally everywhere you were. It’s just there, designed specifically and only to take money. It could be Woodfield Mall, it could be LaGuardia Airport.
Wrigleyville of the times
Wrigleyville isn’t alone in this part of town, as the entire north side becomes a playground for recent Big Ten graduates. It’s just the epicenter. I have only vague memories of the place being cool, but I know it happened. A couple of decades ago it was the link to an undisciplined punk scene, where you could take Naked Raygun or 88 Finger Louie to the Cubbie Bear. Try to imagine that when you walk into that place now and see the disco crowd after a game of Cubs. The famous Punkin ‘Donuts it was only four blocks away, for the love of shit. There wasn’t a hotel, and if you want food, tap into the local hot dog stand like any Chicagoan worth their salt (emphasis on salt).
There are always hints of what it was. The Metro is just outside the proud camp of the left field, and is still one of the best live music venues anywhere (short lists of memories here: someone jumping from the balcony over my head during a show) Mudhoney when I was 14, watching Foo Fighters before they released their first album and they were really interesting, having a friend fortify me in the VIP section for a Kills show and then watching her throw out 10 minutes in, a close friend and I was trying to figure out if Wolf Alice was Arsenal or Leyton Orient supporters during a Wolf Alice show while I was zonked on goofballs). Next door is the G-man Tavern, a place that always serves people who go to shows nearby and not so much to local residents, and is the best place in town to watch Jeopardy! (seriously). And the right day, there are just enough tattoos and side effects to scare Kyler and Becca out of Michigan State one day not. Nisei Lounge off the fairground campground is still reminiscent of a day when pregame customers will be loaded into Old Style and then bet on every pitch by the Wrigley Steps, before those transformed into Rohypnol-villas.
It’s not all for the Ricketts family, as I want to blame them for all the problems in the city, and mine. The Cubs turned the park into a party center in the 1990s when the Tribune society was too indifferent or too stupid or both to actually put a team of representatives on the field. Harry Caray was once the mayor of Rush St., but the Cubs brought Rush St. in Clark and Addison to sell tickets, as if he could really drink with Harry (even if he paid good money to watch one of these yuppie dipshits Try and go on foot with Harry in his first moment. The hit with the who would have touched the floor in an hour would have been tremendous). The sun, beer and tits are what the Puppies had to sell, and the boy did. If any team tried to walk away now with Arnie Harris ’game production and his inclination for“ crowd ”shots, they would be judged at the seventh level of hell.
It spread throughout the surrounding area quickly, and the bars became widened by the steps. But at least there was a kind of taste that ran through the place, even if it was definitely vanilla. The Yuppie vomit is not a pleasant personality, but it is at least a personality.
But the Ricketts have killed all of that, and now there’s no more taste, unless “there are cash registers here” marks something of a personality. The bars will probably ask you to drink quietly before going to the grocery stores. He’s not even looking to play-act like what came first. You are just waiting for rooms before you get your money elsewhere. The Puppies may have “Wrigleyville” stamped on their chests this coming weekend. But it’s not there.