Poverty, housing stats are at 1993 levels. So what was Chicago like in 1993?

September 14, 2011

Let's get this party started! It's Wednesday and the top story is all about teachers, again. Brizard v Lewis wasn't Leonard v. Hagler like promised, but they did spar a bit. This story is so interesting to me. Can the government get to teachers without going through the union? Can they offer up incentives to push longer school days? Can the union keep their ranks tight and fend off the offers to keep solidarity for a better offer? I wish Leonard v. Hagler had this much drama. Lewis and Rahm should do one of those face to face photos they do for boxing matches. You know, for the poster.

B story: So poverty numbers are out and we are at 1993 levels. Housing numbers are out and it hasn't been this bad since..1993. What is with the 1993 Chicago references? Alison Cuddy suggested we remember what Chicago was like in 1993. I was here.

  • Carol Mosely Braun and Paul Simon were the Illinois Senators.
  • 1993 was the year of the Brown's Chicken massacre in Palatine.
  • Mike Ditka was fired. Dave Wannstedt was hired as the new coach of the Chicago Bears.
  • The CTA still ran A and B trains, the Orange Line opened and the primary method of payment was token.
  • Metro was still called Cabaret Metro (Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair and Urge were hot).
  • The China Club was kickin' in the near West Loop. There was also a club called Kaboom.
  • The Wall Street Deli was the hottest sandwich shop in Chicago (no Potbelly's yet). 
  • Rose Records was still in business. Tower records, too.
  • The Bulls won their third straight title, defeating the Phoenix Suns. Jordan opened up his LaSalle Street restaurant.
  • The White Sox went to the playoffs. They lost to the Toronto Blue Jays (Bo knows losing).
  • Construction began on the United Center (to be completed in 1995).
  • There were biker bars in Roscoe Village. Heroin was big business in Wicker Park. Bucktown was all artists. Wrigley wasn't Wrigleyville yet. South Loop wasn't the South Loop. Bronzeville was the low end.

Add to the list, please!

C story: Did you know that a bunch of our elected politicians owe a ton of money for fines related to election infractions? I guess most politicians don't know about the fines or just don't pay them. Remember that next time there is a play to raise taxes. We're talking $700k. 

D story: Eight Forty-Eight had a great story on today about Pilsen's efforts to keep artists from having live/work spaces. Well, that's sort of the idea. But really, it's about artists working in lofts being the precursor to gentrification. It's almost the first steps of the age-old formula to gentrify a neighborhood. Artists come in because the housing stock is super cheap (and they can work out of it). Then they set up shop, make it bohemian and pave the way for yuppies to come in and buy up all the cheap property and make it expensive property, thus pricing out the people who live there. Gentrification is kind of like urban warfare. It reminds me of a sketch we did for Schadenfreude radio back in 2003. It was based on that one house that used to put clever signs (written in marker) on their porch on Damen & Clybourn. I found it, take a listen:

Weather: Wow, I had no idea that smoke from two states over could travel so far.

Sports: Urlacher's status for Sunday's game against the Saints is unclear after he left the team for a family emergency. That could be a big hit. But if he's back for the game, can't we assume that he will be ready to go? Does he really need to study film and practice at this stage of his career? Probably not, but I guess it's just more mental than anything.

Kicker: Is that Ira in front of Wrigley? Yeah. Ira Kaufmann: