Open letter to Mayor Emanuel: Ten Ideas to Make Chicago Fun City

Open letter to Mayor Emanuel: Ten Ideas to Make Chicago Fun City
Children's art...always fun

Last night ChicagoNow held their first Blogapalooz-Hour. The optional challenge to CN bloggers was to write a blog in an hour. The topic, to give someone advice, was emailed to all bloggers at 9 p.m. and the post was to be published by 10 p.m.

Obviously, I'm a little late but after reading the amazing posts, I knew I had to try the challenge, on my own, even though I missed the deadline (because of a previous commitment--for real) and will not be a part of the inaugural Blogapalooz (because I did not publish by 10 p.m.)

I did write today's post in an hour. It wasn't easy as my computer keep locking but here it is:

Dear Rahm,

Is it okay that I call you Rahm? I hope you don't mind that I call you by your first name as even though you probably don't know who I am, I feel like I know you.

First of all, I want you to know that I feel your pain. Yours is not an easy job. The old adage that you can't please all of the people all of the time is never truer than in Chicago.

Secondly, I think you are doing a great job in spite of the daily criticism you receive no matter how hard you try to do what's right for the city.  So I'm going to let you handle the big stuff--the budget, the schools, the crime--and I'm going to handle the fun stuff because we all need to have more fun.

Here are my top ten ideas to make Chicago fun city...since there is no way we could ever be sun city:

10. The divvy bikes are a good start...but how about scooters? They take up less room than bikes, are more portable and lots of fun. Watch anyone on a scooter and nine out of ten times you'll see a big smile.

9. More bright colors and murals. On a grey day which happens often in Chicago we need something to lift our spirits. You see perfect examples of this in Pilsen and dotted here and there around the city but we need more.

8. Children's art. It doesn't cost much, is readily available and usually makes people smile.

7. More cows on parade and Marilyn's. Chicago sometimes takes itself too seriously. When the Marilyn statue came to town she was meet with outrage by many. Now she's living the good life in Palm Springs where the people love her and she is the center for many outdoor activities.

6. More street musicians and less cups. Pay them a working wage, they are doing a wonderful job and brightening many people's days.

5. Year round 16-inch-ball games for all ages. This is a factoid: The first version of softball was invented in Chicago, Illinois on September 16, 1887 by George Hancock, as a winter version of baseball.

4. Free Mondays or Monday's Fundays. Every Monday give people something to look forward to. There are approximately 52 Mondays a year-not so many to pull this off. One week popcorn, another week balloons. You could even get corporate sponsors and ad agencies involved.

3. Movies in the park in the summer are great but what about the other nine months of the year? Chicagoans are tough, we can handle a little cold.

2. More public events on all of the city's malls and plazas. Daley Plaza is a good start but there's lots more opportunities out there.

1. More Winter Festivals. Christkrindlmarket is a great start and draws huge crowds but it's over almost before the official start of winter then cabin fever sets in. How about moving Taste of Chicago to January...or having a chili fest in neighborhood parks? Why not WinterDance instead of SummerDance? Personally, I'd rather be kicking up my heels when it's 20 degrees than when it's 95.

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    Arts and Entertainment Reporter for media since 1997.

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