A friend was somewhat astonished that I stayed in Chicago after retiring from the police department. So many retirees fled the city for the suburbs. Some even fled the state.
I stayed. The reasons are simple. One, I love this city. Even with all its faults, it is still the greatest city in the world. As Nelson Algren wrote, “Yet once you've come to be part of this particular patch, you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.” (Chicago: City on the Make)
Two, I am a creature of convenience. I like to walk around the corner to the gas station or convenience store for small needs. I can walk a half mile or drive only five minutes and I am in a grocery store.
I literally live around the corner from an El stop. I can be anywhere in the city in no time.
There is a nice coffee shop a half block away. In my neighborhood, friends don't let friends drink Starbucks.
There is a nice saloon within stumbling distance from my abode. There are also decent Thai, Chinese, and Mexican restaurants within a few minute walk. There is even a hot dog stand offering pommes frites just down the block. Further down is a typical family style diner.
Then there is the eastern European deli a block away. I can get delicacies, like sheep milk feta, or order a whole roasted pig or lamb for pick-up the next day.
Most important, the liquor store is only a block and a half away. This unassuming store has a great selection of fine wines, beers, and spirits. The owner is a gourmand and oenophile.
CVS is one block away. The dry cleaner is a hop, skip, and a jump away.
Walking three blocks west, there is a panoply of local shopping, dining, and entertainment. There is a nice European deli style grocery store and an old fashioned corner butcher shop. There is a theater showing first run movies and it it less expensive than others.
When the weather is not brutal, I can walk a little further to dine, drink, or be entertained in other places east of Bunker Bella.
I can hop the El to be on Rush Street within a half hour. Then, take a cab home after an evening in the amen corner of my favorite joint on the Street of Dreams.
If I am sick or just plain lazy, I can order in anything I want and have it delivered in a very short time.
I could not live anyplace where I had to hop in a car and drive a mile or two just to get a quart of milk, a six pack of beer, and a pack of smokes. To me it makes no sense.
I know and appreciate there are some very nice suburbs in and around Chicago. Many of my friends live there. I enjoy visiting them. But, I just could not live in the burbs.
There is a downside to living in the city. I must put up with certain types of people. You know who I'm talking about.
The shiftless and slovenly.
Yuppies, muppies, guppies, and hipsters.
They walk, run, bike, or take up the sidewalk with their stretch limo strollers. They walk slow, while texting or sexting, so you have to shove past them if you need to get somewhere.
Their faces have an eerie bluish glow from staring at their dumbphones all day. I am tempted to toss Reeses Pieces at them just to see what happens.
When" those people" ride public transportation, they take up several seats, with their backpacks, duffels, over sized purses, and other bags. Homeless people travel the city with less baggage. Heck, I went to Europe for two weeks with less baggage than "those people" carry just to go to and from work.
There are all the neighborhood and street fairs in spring, summer, and fall. All that entertainment, food, and drink.
Of course, the beach is not far from my home either.
Why live anyplace else? I have everything I need within minutes from my humble abode.
Oh, and where else can you make a phone call and within a very short time have a dead body disappear?
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