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ah.. the northside southside debate lives on. I'm somewhere in the middle. Born and raised in the south 'burbs (with loads of friends in the south burbs and south side), lived on the northside for several years, and an now in the weird nether region between the north and south sides (around chicago ave and damen) I think both sides have their merits and scoff at the stereotypes of either side for the BS that they are. For every gritty southsider you can bring up, I can counter with a hoity toity opera going sort and for very snotty northsider you can come up with well .... visa versa.

BTW, when people bring up this "real chicago" argument, I just want to laugh. What does "real chicago" mean? Does it have any more meaning than "real american" or is it just thinly veiled xenophobia against the supposed 'outsiders'? Don't get me wrong, I don't like trixies as much as the next person, but what was makes a person a 'real' resident of a city? and how is that person you don't like because they happen live in an area you don't like less 'real' than someone like my father who once worked on the southside in a garage around 83rd and Halsted (who incidently moved here from the east coast, making him pretty far from a native, but based on the blue collar romanticism that pervades some ideas of chicago makes him somehow 'real')? Seriously, I'm curious as to what that criteria would be?
 

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sharptent said:
chi-town, aren't you a sox fan? comiskular is south of roosevelt, there's one reason right there.
Yeah, I ride the Red Line to 35th occasionally. But that's an exception to the rule, based on the fact that I grew up a Sox fan because a family friend was one of their team doctors. He'd get me seats behind home plate, and visits to the clubhouse before and after games; how could you not be a Sox fan?
 

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edsg25 said:
As a North Sider, I've gotta say: thank God for the South Side. It's real. It's gritty. It's muscular. It's what Carl Sandberg had in mind.

There may be more money on the North Side than the South, but a lot what made Chicago rich, the heavy industry that drove the place for so many years, was on the south.
Yep; and now the accountants, bankers, lawyers, marketing execs, etc that make Chicago rich live on the North Side.
 

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How divided are ethnic groups by being located on the North and South sides?

I know of two examples:

Irish on the North Side are a group apart from the clearly identified South Side Irish. The North Siders don't get their own parade...or politicians!

Jews on the North Side always considered their bretheren down in Hyde Park and South Shore to be a breed apart. These South Siders even had to live with a unique and insidious form of anti-semitism: being classified as geographically undesirable. North Side Jews, at one time, believed that the South Side began at Lawrence Avenue. Only the shared heritage of Maxwell Street held the two together.

Any other such insanity out there among other Chicago ethnics?
 

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Dampyre said:
How do those people make Chicago rich? :lol:
America as a whole, and its successful cities, have been making a transition for decades from a manufacturing to a service economy. Cities like New York and Chicago now thrive thanks to jobs in areas like financial services, not factories.
 

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aion26 said:
BTW, when people bring up this "real chicago" argument, I just want to laugh. What does "real chicago" mean? Does it have any more meaning than "real american" or is it just thinly veiled xenophobia against the supposed 'outsiders'? Don't get me wrong, I don't like trixies as much as the next person, but what was makes a person a 'real' resident of a city? and how is that person you don't like because they happen live in an area you don't like less 'real' than someone like my father who once worked on the southside in a garage around 83rd and Halsted (who incidently moved here from the east coast, making him pretty far from a native, but based on the blue collar romanticism that pervades some ideas of chicago makes him somehow 'real')? Seriously, I'm curious as to what that criteria would be?
Its like the German concept of "heimat"...an urban heimat....the "real Chicago" is different for different folks at different times (hence perhaps nostalgia..sepia toned or noir?)...trying to get at some ineffable spirit of the place, the genus loci. There's an implied issue of "authenticity", but I thing its more about genus loci.

The short storys of Stuart Dybek sort of get at it via the literary style of Magic Realism. Check out his collection "The Coast of Chicago".
 

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"As a North Sider, I've gotta say: thank God for the South Side. It's real. It's gritty. It's muscular. It's what Carl Sandberg had in mind. "

...yeah, just as long as you don't have to live there.

That was kind of a bogus thing to say. Condescending. The South Side, with all those black guys, all the crime! How gritty! How quaint! How "real"!
 

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"Any other such insanity out there among other Chicago ethnics?"

Well, there's the whole West Side blacks vs. South Side blacks. Though I'm certainly no expert on that, what I do know is that the South Siders, being the older and more established group, looked down on the newer West Siders and considered them rustics. How it is now, I don't really know.
 

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oshkeoto said:
"As a North Sider, I've gotta say: thank God for the South Side. It's real. It's gritty. It's muscular. It's what Carl Sandberg had in mind. "

...yeah, just as long as you don't have to live there.

That was kind of a bogus thing to say. Condescending. The South Side, with all those black guys, all the crime! How gritty! How quaint! How "real"!
amazing...i thought it was gritty and muscular long before the Great Migration. Gritty and real is what the South Side has always been about and it has nothing to do with race or ethnicity; a lot of it comes from a place with a far more industrial setting than the North Side has. Meanwhile, there is plenty of crime on the North Side.How the hell you could have read that into my quote is beyond me, especially since we've interacted here a number of times and I would have thought that you would know that is not what I would think. I find that insulting, Oshkeoto, for what it's worth. I was born on the South Side, know it well, and respect it....and personally I don't give a flying **** what someone's race, ethnicity, or religion is, and I resent the fact that you thought I do.

Next time, you may consider that what I am implying is far more benign than what you are inferring. It seems to me that I wasn't the one taking the low road here; you were.
 

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It's hard to view the southside edsg25 without race, ethnicity, or religion in mind, it's imposssilbe to deny that they have any impact on a community! so oshkeoto's point is right, in a sense as you "thank god for the southside" claiming that "it's real. it's gritty. it's muscular." how can you deny that the residents of that area of made no contributation to it's idenity. People make up the identity of areas and neighborhoods! Not construction cranes!
 

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"Gritty and real is what the South Side has always been about and it has nothing to do with race or ethnicity; a lot of it comes from a place with a far more industrial setting than the North Side has."

Actually, the South Side began as the posh area of the city. The North Side has had its own share of industrial history, though most of it is gone now. It was, after all, Milwaukee Avenue's blue collar ups and downs that Mike Royko celebrated, and gritty Division Street that was Nelson Algren's stomping grounds, I believe. The advent of large-scale grit on the South Side--or, at least, the point at which the South Side became indisputably grittier than the North--really was with the racial changes of the 20th century.

"Meanwhile, there is plenty of crime on the North Side."

Nowhere near the same amount.

"How the hell you could have read that into my quote is beyond me, especially since we've interacted here a number of times and I would have thought that you would know that is not what I would think. I find that insulting, Oshkeoto, for what it's worth. I was born on the South Side, know it well, and respect it....and personally I don't give a flying **** what someone's race, ethnicity, or religion is, and I resent the fact that you thought I do."

No, I didn't really; I really do apologize that what I said seemed to make a bigger deal out of the racial issue than I meant it to. You're right, you've generally been more understanding of racial issues in this city than most people on the forum, and you're not one of the people who generally romanticizies grit in an offensive way. That being said, though, I did see a kind of condescending undertone to what you said, even if it wasn't what was in your mind consciously.

I'm reminded of an article in the Onion by a guy who brags about how tough it is in Washington DC, about how cool it is that so many people get killed there. I've heard a fair number of people say that kind of stuff without irony, so I may have been projecting their attitudes too much onto what you said.
 

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oshkeoto said:
I'm reminded of an article in the Onion by a guy who brags about how tough it is in Washington DC, about how cool it is that so many people get killed there. I've heard a fair number of people say that kind of stuff without irony, so I may have been projecting their attitudes too much onto what you said.
No kidding, I hate it when people romanticize living in a 'rough neighborhood." Having had my own experiences in rough areas (I once lived in a building in which someone was stabbed in the courtyard in a gang related incident) and know what it is like to be woken up hearing gunshots in the middle of the night (and had friends growing up who had it much worse, my childhood buddies who lived in East Chicago had their living room windows shot out by ganbangers when they were kids, I remember their mom telling my mom about it in horror), I make absolutely no apologies about living in an area where I don't have to put up with that crap, even if I have to pay a bit more for a cramped space (no, I don't live in lincoln park, I live in ukranian village) and have to put up with the derision of those idiots who want to 'keep it real', (whatever that means) for my living choices.

That being said, clearly I'm not one of these clueless idiots who think the whole south side is ghetto or 'gritty', I've been down there enough, and know enough people who live there to know that is a bunch of BS. Go drive around the large stately homes around 92nd street and tell me about the grit, I'd be fascinated to hear ... or go up by Howard street and introduce me to some trixies.
 

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oshkeoto said:
You're right, you've generally been more understanding of racial issues in this city than most people on the forum, and you're not one of the people who generally romanticizies grit in an offensive way. That being said, though, I did see a kind of condescending undertone to what you said, even if it wasn't what was in your mind consciously.
I didn't mean to make that much of it in the first place, but truth be known, when I thought of "grit" I did not me "downtrodden". Look at it this way: Printers Row in Chicago and Soho in Lower Manhattan have grit, but are by no means downtrodden.

As far as condescending, I wasn't heading there either (I hope). While I applaud the city's turnaround and desirabiltiy, I would hardly applaud what we've created on the city's North Side: money counts too much and while racial and ethnic diversity is applauded, economic diversity is shunned. Meanwhile, while there is much to like, much of the North Side has been turned into a rather plastic world. The Disney influence is there.
 

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"As far as condescending, I wasn't heading there either (I hope). While I applaud the city's turnaround and desirabiltiy, I would hardly applaud what we've created on the city's North Side: money counts too much and while racial and ethnic diversity is applauded, economic diversity is shunned. Meanwhile, while there is much to like, much of the North Side has been turned into a rather plastic world. The Disney influence is there."

I don't know. Some of the parts of the North Side that get talked about here 95% of the time--the Near North Side and Lincoln Park, and to some extent Lakeview, have some elements like that. Halsted, etc. But the vast majority of the North Side really isn't like that at all, I don't think. Uptown? Rogers Park? Albany Park? Plastic? No.
 

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Chi-town said:
America as a whole, and its successful cities, have been making a transition for decades from a manufacturing to a service economy. Cities like New York and Chicago now thrive thanks to jobs in areas like financial services, not factories.
So, only people who live on the North Side work in the financial services field. Gotcha....
 
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