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Old 06-28-2011, 08:27 AM
 
5,916 posts, read 12,282,520 times
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What do you all think of this? Do you agree?

Here is the URL: Are Chicagoans really not romantic? Hint: yes - Chicago magazine - February 2010 - Chicago

Are Chicagoans really not romantic? Hint: yes
Tough Love: For many Chicagoans, romance doesn't come easy. That's mainly because they don't find anything romantic.
By Jeff Ruby



Once upon a time, a young woman and her boyfriend attended a crowded Saturday early showing of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre at the Music Box. When the lights dimmed, the boyfriend’s face appeared on the screen, giving the real-life boyfriend a pep talk about proposing marriage. The woman was floored. Then, emboldened by his recorded self, the boyfriend stood up next to her and did it in person, ring and all. She said yes, the crowd went nuts, and they all lived happily ever after.

This lovely story seems to contradict the curious perception that Chicagoans are not a particularly romantic people, a stereotype fed over the years by hard-nosed writers like Royko and Algren, no-nonsense athletes like Butkus and Ditka, and my in-laws who always forgot their anniversary. Frankly, the idea that the entire population of a city could be unromantic has long struck me as preposterous, insulting, and, after conducting a recent informal survey, 100 percent true. “Chicagoans are mostly working-class folks. We don’t mess around with frivolous crap like romance,” one respondent grumbled. The words “tough” and “pragmatic” came up repeatedly; one killjoy simply said we’re “too tired and too cold” for romance. (OK, that was my wife, last night.)

What do ordinary Chicagoans find romantic? Couldn’t say. But on the eve of Valentine’s Day, I found out what we consider unromantic.

Poetry. Regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation, the idea of reading verse aloud was met with universal repulsion. Replies ranged from “invasive” to “onanistic” to “makes me feel stupid” to “dorksville.” “Poetry is anti-romantic,” said one respondent. “You write me poetry, and I’m dumping you.”

Flowers. “If I have to, I buy my flowers at Costco,” said the representative male. “You get the most and they’re the cheapest.” A representative female: “If it’s a symbol of love, your love for me is going to die in a week. Thanks.” An alarming number of respondents associated flowers with Mayor Daley, a.k.a. the Least Romantic Person on Earth. (“He has ruined flowers, airports, and wrought iron for everyone.”)

Restaurants. “Restaurants are not romantic, and if they try to be, then they’re just icky,” said one respondent. Case in point: Geja’s Café, Lincoln Park’s fusty pre-prom fondue lair. (“How on earth is eating from a vat of melted cheese, followed by a vat of oil, followed by a vat of chocolate, in any way romantic? Unless your idea of sexy is bloating and flatulence.”)

Snowstorms. Rather than cozy scenes of canoodling before a crackling fireplace, snowstorms conjured up images of snowplows, parking headaches, and a slow commute. “Snowstorms can be romantic, but not the slushy rain-snow,” one respondent explained. “And that’s what we’ve got.”

Views. Considering the number of respondents slamming the Signature Room on the John Hancock Center’s 95th floor, it’s safe to say Chicagoans are not seduced by sweeping vistas and twinkly lights. “What’s romantic about a view?” summed up a respondent. “I didn’t make the scene beautiful for her.”

Sunsets and ice-skating also got disparaged, and candles were rebuffed as too dangerous. One married couple declared that nothing could be called intrinsically romantic, at which point I got so depressed, there was only one thing left to do.

“Chicago is a fast-paced, hard-working town,” said Mrs. Music Box Proposal, now 47 and living with Mr. Music Box Proposal and their child in Andersonville. “That leaves little time for appreciating the finer things in life—or even in each other.” Huh. When I mentioned the magical proposal, Mr. Music Box said he wasn’t the same romantic spirit he had been, then mumbled something about being late for a bachelor party in Joliet. With that, my survey ended. Because if anything embodies the opposite of romance better than a bachelor party in Joliet, humans haven’t discovered it yet.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
3,396 posts, read 6,859,669 times
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I think that however much Chicago magazine paid that writer it was too much. One of the dumbest articles I've seen in awhile.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:51 AM
 
Location: roaming gnome
12,390 posts, read 27,133,578 times
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there are 9.X million people in the metro, just playing off stereotypes...
there are plenty of literature majors at northwestern, uchicago, loyola, depaul, uic etc that have raging hormones and I am sure would like to hear poetry. They have poetry recitals pretty often in some of the bars around here, even beer gastropubs such as Hopleaf.
Chicago is one of three cities that has a Michelin guide, along with San Francisco and New York, which only rates high end restaurants. I'm sure many people take their dates for a romantic candlelit dinner.
The views thing is probably the most horrible analogy, considering the 12 mile line of high rises fronting Lake Michigan with the numerous roof top decks throughout the city. Chicago actually has better views than New York throughout the city, even though NYC has the more massive skyline.
Even the most blue collar folks I know will still splurge for a night out at the Chop House every now and then.
Does Chicago have all of the stuff mentioned in the article? Yeah, of course... but that is a completely biased outlook. I think dementor might have conducted the interviews for that article at the height of his trolling.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:07 AM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
4,620 posts, read 7,644,831 times
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I just saw a marriage proposal on a Spirit of Chicago dinner cruise in the middle of family and friends of the couple (I wasn't part of the group), with the sun setting over the skyline in the background, so anyone trying to tell me Chicago can't be very romantic isn't going to get very far.

Is Chicago the most romantic city in the world? No - I'd say no American city really could be, because you need more history than we have to reach the peak of romanticism. It may not be the *most* romantic city on earth, but it certainly has the building blocks to create some nice romantic times.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,063 posts, read 30,219,199 times
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I think, as a rule, Chicagoans are far too Midwestern in their sensibilities to ever be considered among the country's most romantic, so I would probably agree with the main thesis behind the article. It's still pretty damn stupid though.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:31 PM
 
Location: IL
381 posts, read 800,629 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aragx6 View Post
I think, as a rule, Chicagoans are far too Midwestern in their sensibilities to ever be considered among the country's most romantic, so I would probably agree with the main thesis behind the article. It's still pretty damn stupid though.
LOL. Yea, okay.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:38 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
12,390 posts, read 27,133,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aragx6 View Post
I think, as a rule, Chicagoans are far too Midwestern in their sensibilities to ever be considered among the country's most romantic, so I would probably agree with the main thesis behind the article. It's still pretty damn stupid though.
there are tons of chicagoans not from the midwest these days, if that was ever a factor, which I have my doubts about.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:13 PM
 
1,743 posts, read 2,431,206 times
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How is being Midwestern somehow anti-romantic? Lol, that is the silliest thing I've heard on this forum yet. You know what's not romantic? A Wall Street commodities trader who rotates five women in the same week. At least that's less common in Chi-Town.
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Kent, Washington
10,254 posts, read 20,677,337 times
Reputation: 10375
Tex asks a lot of questions.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago
3,036 posts, read 2,732,431 times
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When I'm in the mood for love I just hurl potatoes at my wife*. That's what we Irish call "romance"


*no potatoes were actually hurled in the making of this joke.
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