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Old 12-06-2009, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,932 posts, read 2,669,259 times
Reputation: 2135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
But the thing is, that I still wonder about:

If Chicago isn't "tryin" to be like New York, or trying to stack up to other cities,

then why doesn't Chicago and Chicagoans draw more attention to the Pullman neighborhood area? Why don't we have any attractions around Lake Calumet to highlight Chicago was about the agro-industrial world. Now granted thats not today's world, and we have to move on in the post-industrial world (like Chicago has) but if Chicago and its residents are truly comfortable with its history, why then don't we have sattelite campuses of the Museum of Science and Industry at places such as Pullman, the Union Stock Yard gate, and the Calumet harbor (former steel mills), and the food processing along the sanitary and ship canal.

Why don't we have a theme park of railroads, etc.

Boston doesn't live in the "colonial world" but still emphasized its colonial heritage, New Orleans its French-Creole heritage, San Antonio, etc. its Spanish mission heritage.

It seems like Chicago still wants to pick and choose its heritage. And still: people are getting more excited about the Trump Tower and Aqua, and the Museum campus/South Loop buildings, while some of the 1920s architecture are barely known (Palmolive building, Carbon and Carbide, although people know the Board of Trade well). Are we threatened by Asian cities rising skyline? Let them have their glory. Why build and higher and higher? Do we have something to prove?

It seems to me those aforementioned cities: Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco seem in some ways more secure (certainly not necessarily better). Chicago is constantly "reinventing itself" Is Chicago going to keep on doing that forever?

Just some thoughts.
I see your point, but there are dangers to the type of security you see in San Francisco. The saddest part of the city by the bay is that in some respects it has become a caricature of itself. Tourism has become such a large percentage of the SF economy that it has an element of what people see in it: Disneyland for Adults.

Fisherman's Wharf in its hey day was a real working wharf in a blue collar town where Italian fisherman brought in the catch daily from the Pacific, serving far more than the wharf's restaurants. Today's fish are often flown in and the wharf is part of a carnival setting from Ghiradelli to the Cannery to the wharf itself and on to the true carnival that is Pier 39. Grant Ave in Chinatown exists for tourists. Cable cars often no longer serve the locals since they are tourist loaded at both ends..Power & Market and near the wharf and Aquatic Park. The port long left for Oakland and a lot of the real power in the Bay Area today comes from Silicon Valley in South Bay. San Francisco has become a sanitized image of itself, like Times Sq in NY has done, too.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:10 PM
 
4,779 posts, read 5,175,200 times
Reputation: 2949
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
I see your point, but there are dangers to the type of security you see in San Francisco. The saddest part of the city by the bay is that in some respects it has become a caricature of itself. Tourism has become such a large percentage of the SF economy that it has an element of what people see in it: Disneyland for Adults.

Fisherman's Wharf in its hey day was a real working wharf in a blue collar town where Italian fisherman brought in the catch daily from the Pacific, serving far more than the wharf's restaurants. Today's fish are often flown in and the wharf is part of a carnival setting from Ghiradelli to the Cannery to the wharf itself and on to the true carnival that is Pier 39. Grant Ave in Chinatown exists for tourists. Cable cars often no longer serve the locals since they are tourist loaded at both ends..Power & Market and near the wharf and Aquatic Park. The port long left for Oakland and a lot of the real power in the Bay Area today comes from Silicon Valley in South Bay. San Francisco has become a sanitized image of itself, like Times Sq in NY has done, too.
I see what you are saying. Maybe its just because I experience the city as a tourist, not as a local. I love the living history aspect. And thats why Chicago drives me nuts I guess. I can just experience the city without thinking but . . but . . . what about I read about Chicago in the 60s and 70s? How does that fit in todays Chicago?? It has to mean something? Oh well. I guess thats what makes Chicago unique is that people feel like it doesn't have to mean anything if they don't want it to.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,098 posts, read 7,646,838 times
Reputation: 3073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
then why doesn't Chicago and Chicagoans draw more attention to the Pullman neighborhood area? Why don't we have any attractions around Lake Calumet to highlight Chicago was about the agro-industrial world. Now granted thats not today's world, and we have to move on in the post-industrial world (like Chicago has) but if Chicago and its residents are truly comfortable with its history, why then don't we have sattelite campuses of the Museum of Science and Industry at places such as Pullman, the Union Stock Yard gate, and the Calumet harbor (former steel mills), and the food processing along the sanitary and ship canal.
I don't think old, polluted, high-crime industrial neighborhoods are major tourist draws in any city.

Quote:
It seems to me those aforementioned cities: Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco seem in some ways more secure (certainly not necessarily better). Chicago is constantly "reinventing itself" Is Chicago going to keep on doing that forever?
Probably. Chicago has been reinventing itself throughout its entire history for better and for worse. Remember this is the city that arose from the ashes of the Great Fire, reversed the flow of the river, and regularly tears down architectural gems for bigger (and better?) high-rises.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,098 posts, read 7,646,838 times
Reputation: 3073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
I see what you are saying. Maybe its just because I experience the city as a tourist, not as a local. I love the living history aspect. And thats why Chicago drives me nuts I guess. I can just experience the city without thinking but . . but . . . what about I read about Chicago in the 60s and 70s? How does that fit in todays Chicago?? It has to mean something? Oh well. I guess thats what makes Chicago unique is that people feel like it doesn't have to mean anything if they don't want it to.
Of all the rust-belt cities, Chicago has probably managed most successfully to shed the legacy of the 60s and 70s (again, for better or worse.) Its bad for our historical memory, but better for us economically. Detroit is a cautionary tale for cities that don't keep up with changing times.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:02 PM
 
1,778 posts, read 4,056,734 times
Reputation: 613
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
Chicago is constantly "reinventing itself" Is Chicago going to keep on doing that forever?
"Chicago is a city of contradictions, of private visions haphazardly overlaid and linked together. If the city was unhappy with itself yesterday-and invariably it was-it will reinvent itself today."
- - - Pat Colander "A Metropolis of No Little Plans" NY Times 5 May 85

If that quote dosent sum up Chicago, nothing does.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:10 PM
 
1,778 posts, read 4,056,734 times
Reputation: 613
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
Are we threatened by Asian cities rising skyline? Let them have their glory. Why build and higher and higher? Do we have something to prove?
It has nothing to do with "proving" anything. It has everything to do with simple economics, lifestyle choices, and demand.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
53 posts, read 57,549 times
Reputation: 34
I love Chicago, so please do not get mad for what I'm about to say. New York has the better attitude. New York knows who they are and they just go with it. Here in Chicago it seems we have more of a chip on our collective shoulder. I've heard the creeky old mindset from Chicagoans all my life that the east coast is rude and disgusting and our city is where all the friendly people live. How odd and arrogant that must sound if you live in other parts of the country. Chicago's leaders and its citizens should concentrate on fixing this vast list of problems instead of trying to compete with cities it will never catch, like New York and L.A. There is a attitude from Chicagoans and you will see it on these forums from time to time- that "every big city has the problems that Chicago does" so lets just focus more on the asthetics of downtown and only "certain" neighborhoods. There are many ways in which we are actually one of the worst cities in the world. That's the sad fact now, and I may be moving soon if taxes and costs keep rising. But instead of addressing those problems and the multitudes of others, people choose to stick their heads in the sand. If it's not happening to them, then there is no problem. That is one major way that Chicago has changed over the years for the worse. It's everybody elses fault. Chicago needs to do some real soul searching before any kind of New York comparisons can be taken seriously.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
2,685 posts, read 3,099,608 times
Reputation: 2058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
then why doesn't Chicago and Chicagoans draw more attention to the Pullman neighborhood area? Why don't we have any attractions around Lake Calumet to highlight Chicago was about the agro-industrial world. Now granted thats not today's world, and we have to move on in the post-industrial world (like Chicago has) but if Chicago and its residents are truly comfortable with its history, why then don't we have sattelite campuses of the Museum of Science and Industry at places such as Pullman, the Union Stock Yard gate, and the Calumet harbor (former steel mills), and the food processing along the sanitary and ship canal.....

It seems to me those aforementioned cities: Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco seem in some ways more secure (certainly not necessarily better).
I think thematically it makes sense to have industrial history be an attraction in Chicago, but the places you mention (all good suggestions) are fairly spread out and far from downtown - Pullman and Calumet are almost 15 miles from the Loop.

The cities you are using as examples are older than Chicago, and therefor much smaller. The Freedom Trail in Boston is in the center of downtown and is about 2.5 miles long. The French Quarter is similarly small and in the center of everything.

Boston actually has some great industrial history attractions that around the same distance from downtown (old 1800's mills about 10-15 miles from downtown). They are very underused for many of the same reasons that I fear Chicago's would be underused - distance and lack of interest.

I think Chicago does have a very solid identity as a great Architectural destination. You really need to plan ahead to get a ticket for the architectural boat tours in the summer. The fact that it also has great museums, restaurants, and shopping doesn't take anything away from that.
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:04 PM
 
1,778 posts, read 4,056,734 times
Reputation: 613
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
I think Chicago does have a very solid identity as a great Architectural destination. You really need to plan ahead to get a ticket for the architectural boat tours in the summer. The fact that it also has great museums, restaurants, and shopping doesn't take anything away from that.
Exactly. And the riverboat is only one such tour. Look at all the walking tours the CAF offers:

Chicago Architecture and Boat Tours | Chicago Architecture Foundation (http://www.architecture.org/tours.aspx - broken link)


And for the record, Pullman does have guided tours
http://www.pullmanil.org/calendar.htm
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,932 posts, read 2,669,259 times
Reputation: 2135
Quote:
Originally Posted by alyssa luvs mojitos View Post
I love Chicago, so please do not get mad for what I'm about to say. New York has the better attitude. New York knows who they are and they just go with it. Here in Chicago it seems we have more of a chip on our collective shoulder. I've heard the creeky old mindset from Chicagoans all my life that the east coast is rude and disgusting and our city is where all the friendly people live. How odd and arrogant that must sound if you live in other parts of the country. Chicago's leaders and its citizens should concentrate on fixing this vast list of problems instead of trying to compete with cities it will never catch, like New York and L.A. There is a attitude from Chicagoans and you will see it on these forums from time to time- that "every big city has the problems that Chicago does" so lets just focus more on the asthetics of downtown and only "certain" neighborhoods. There are many ways in which we are actually one of the worst cities in the world. That's the sad fact now, and I may be moving soon if taxes and costs keep rising. But instead of addressing those problems and the multitudes of others, people choose to stick their heads in the sand. If it's not happening to them, then there is no problem. That is one major way that Chicago has changed over the years for the worse. It's everybody elses fault. Chicago needs to do some real soul searching before any kind of New York comparisons can be taken seriously.
sorry, alyssa, i'm not buying it. chicago is a mess because all american cities are messes...including NY and LA which are going through financial nightmeres of their own.

the world trade center went down in 2001 and today we are still stuck with virtually a hole in the ground. it is hardly me or chicagoans who have observed that the New York can do spirit would never have let this happen in years past. More than a little press has been covered to show how this is not the New York of old when great projects did happen. And what type of city is so insane in this current era to build the two most expensive baseball parks in history on the public dime when so much is going to hell in a handbasket? Finance once occupied some 5% of our economy; now it is at 35% or so. Empires collapse when all that is left is finance which produces no wealth in the way that goods or services do...it only shifts money from one place to another, creating nothing of value. And the US cannot continue keeping finance in its current state of importance if we wish to survive. I don't envy New York's position when finance starts being less of a factor in our economy.

We are in a different era.

I'm not buying that Chicago will not compete with New York or LA either. Then again, I'm not buying that cities well down the pecking order won't be competing with us either. No city...NYC included...are frozen in status and not affected by the rises and dips and falls that all cities experience.

How absurd to think that New York will always be "The World's Greatest City" when a mere century ago, a second in relative time, it was well down the list of the world's great metropolises.

None of which has anything to do where Chicago stands for it, like LA and NY and the rest to subject to rise and fall. And I have no way of knowing if Houston or Miami or, who knows, even Las Vegas surpass us in time (they've already stolen our convention business). Nothing is certain. And no city can rest on its laurels or assume its lofty position is a godsend. My suspicion: the relative position of all three cities will weaken compared to other global cities in what is clearly not going to be any sort of American century.

And at some point, the whole nature of the NY-Chgo-LA comparisons will border on meaningless. These cities are already in a global pool far more than a national one. When cities are compared in the future, we won't be in any discussion on what happens between Atlantic and Pacific or between Canada and Mexico. Our little American provencial world will end. And on the world stage, the power of any of these great cities is somewhat flattened. The world will not be dominated by one or two great cities. Power will be shared.

How can one expect New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles deal with the problems within their cities when Albany, Springfield, Sacramento, and Washington have nothing much to offer us.

These are awful times...and the pain is spread to these three great cities and all the rest...with no paritcular fault to any one of them. The problems far exceed any city's ability to deal with them. And New York, Chicago, and LA share this in common: they all have reason to worry.

Last edited by edsg25; 12-07-2009 at 05:28 PM..
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