Friday, February 16, 2007

Gravity City: Rambling Angry Digression Edition

I almost missed this "stuff falling off of other stuff" item from the other day, but thanks to Steve Rhodes's must-read "The [Day of the Week] Papers" column at my favorite Chicago-oriented website, The Beachwood Reporter, I didn't miss this David Roeder columnar item in the Sun-Times ... although, as the source text itself questions, is it really a "stuff falling off of other stuff" item or something a bit more Chicagoly shady?

Scaffolding popped up last week around the Farwell Building, 664 N. Michigan. It is there to keep pedestrians from being hit by falling facade pieces, said Dave Bayless, spokesman for the owner, the Terra Museum of American Art.

You might remember the Farwell, a 1927 building that got an unexpected reprieve last month when the city landmarks commission said developers couldn't hollow it out to make it part of a condo project. The decision threw the project by Prism Development Co. into confusion. Without the Farwell part, Prism would have to drastically alter its plans next door for condos it is marketing under the Ritz-Carlton name.

If you know the way the game is played in Chicago, you might side with Michael Moran, vice president of the group Preservation Chicago, and call this a "scaffolding scam." Moran wrote: "This is a typical ploy to get a building demolished. 'See, it's decrepit,' owners claim. 'I even had to put scaffolding around it. Now don't you see why I have to demolish it?' "

By the way, why don't they just change the name of this town to Chicondo? Before much longer, this town will be nothing but. Although I suppose I should save my "Chicago has been ruined" colicky posting for some other time. But, long story short, Chicago has been ruined. It sucks. I mean, it has always sucked in many ways (it's 1 fucking degree Fahrenheit outside, and it has been that way for about 18 thousand days in a row -- just to name one sucky characteristic of this location), but in the last several years, the good things about Chicago have gotten scarcer and scarcer. Unless, that is, you like extreme blandness, cheaply constructed overpriced housing, and cutesy post-post-PoMo "urban tchotchke" shops ... lots of "urban tchotchke" shops (because everyone needs a sculpture of a labradoodle made out of baling wire and rusty antique 7-Up bottle caps, not to mention a six-piece set of hand-blown cocktail glasses in various colors to match every type of adulterated pukishly-flavored "martini" you love to drink so much ... green for apple, black for chocolate, orange for St. Joseph's Children's Aspirin, etc.) -- in which case you probably love it. And you are probably a 23-year-old investment banker from rural Wisiowindiasotachigoura who thinks Wrigley Field is a kickass place to score (i.e., drunkenly scream at) chicks (female version: you think a martini is permitted to contain any liquor other than gin or vodka and vermouth -- which is such a misguided viewpoint that I would need a whole separate blog to address it) and, dude, you got soooooo drunk at Barleycorn last weekend, dude, and you think Simon's Tavern is a "dive bar" and .... well, I wish you well, if by "well," you mean, "would go away forever." If you're not a person like that, and you're thinking about moving here, don't bother. It's over. Seriously. Chicago is over. It's not a "pretty soon" or "in the near future" thing -- it's past tense. History. The end has taken place. If the suburbs didn't suck harder than all that has ever sucked, simultaneously and in unison, with the fervor of the universe's champion sucking enthusiast ... gahhh ... again, let's post on that topic some other time, when I feel like working myself up into a frusternated pissed-offness. Which I prefer not to do now (editor's note: too late), cuz we gots a three-day weekend coming up -- woo! Preznit's Day off this year! Bartender! Rambling digressions all around, on me!

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