Author Rachel Shteir recently caused an uproar in Chicago after ripping into her adopted city.
Writing in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Shteir accused Chicago of being stiflingly conformist, regularly electing crooks and idiots and generally clinging to outmoded cliches about itself.
“[T]he city is trapped by its location, its past, and what philosophers would have called its facticity — its limitations, given the circumstances,” she wrote. “Boosterism has been perfected here because the reality is too painful to look at. Poor Chicago, indeed.”
Indeed, Chicago has to confront some harsh truths. It is not the place it once even a decade ago, let alone a century.
Yet, its heyday was recent enough that to sense its floundering stings all the more intensely.
We wanted to survey how bad it’s gotten, and whether there’s any hope for the city that PBS bittersweetly still refers to as “The City Of The Century.”
This year, Forbes named Chicago the country's fourth most-miserable city. Its residents suffer from long commutes...
To the tune of 1 in 229, compared with 1 in 418 nationally.
Chicago's home price index now trails the nationally average by nearly 30 points.
A gallon of gas that would cost $4 in most cities costs $4.31 in Chicago.
The city's unemployment rate is nearly three points higher than the national average.
Here's a map showing which neighborhoods got hit hardest by public job cuts. They're concentrated on the South and West sides, which are predominately African American and Hispanic.
Source: Chicago Magazine
The violence has divided the city: recently, parents at a tonier public school on the city's North Side recently refused to send their kids to play baseball against a South Side school.
It was famously profiled as such by poet Carl Sandburg.
The Chicago Board Of Trade was created in 1848.
In 2011, Google bought Motorola, which was founded in 1920 by two Chicago battery producers. In 2004 JP Morgan Chase bought Bank One Corp, whose roots went back to the First National Bank of Chicago; JPM Chase is now the second-largest private employer in the city.
Source: Motorola, Crain's
CEO Andrew Mason stepped down last year.
A teacher's strike crippled schools for a week.
The city's political culture got a black eye when Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife were charged with felonies.
They're accused of misusing campaign funds. They're currently trying to figure out a plea deal.
The city recently produced a President and a Stanley Cup hockey championship, both pictured here.
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