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Every Bitch Must Tip
August 28, 2007 11:13 PM   Subscribe

Welcome to The Wieners Circle, a Chicago hot dog stand where you can stumble in after a night at the bar and trade some colorful banter from the staff (along with your chocolate milkshake). But a local tradition that was "supposed to be fun" often cuts a little too close for the black employees in the predominantly white Lincoln Park establishment. [NSFW]
posted by dhammond (53 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 


Holy fuck, I just had a char-cheddar dog there less than a half an hour ago. No yuppies, just good service an a damned good dog.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 11:25 PM on August 28, 2007


My first apartment (a stupidly expensive studio) was mere steps from the Weiners Circle. I understood the schtick of the place, but always hated the scene.

Only recently out of the frat houses, drunk guys would try to one-up each other in an effort to impress their tittering girlfriends. It often descended into racial epithets. As Ira mentioned, that's an especially big deal in hyper-segregated Chicago.

But those hot dogs were fantastic. Now I live down the street from Tony's Cable Car in San Francisco. It's pleasant enough, but they lack an understanding of the basics. Ketchup has no place on a dog!
posted by aladfar at 11:40 PM on August 28, 2007


I found Chicago to be almost glaringly segregated when I visited last year, by both geography and class. I was very aware when we left a black neighborhood and entered a white one. Now, this is not to say that my own NYC doesn't have some of the same problems, as well, but even the most traditionally segregated neighborhoods in New York - Harlem on the one hand or the UWS on the other - seem more diverse than the most integrated portions of Chicago. Even Boston, which famously rioted over forced neighborhood integration, seems less provincial to me than Chicago. I understand that there are some long-standing political reasons for this that have to do with the peculiarities of Chicago politics and history, but the point is: I find this completely unsurprising.
posted by ChasFile at 11:49 PM on August 28, 2007


Even Boston, which famously rioted over forced neighborhood integration, seems less provincial to me than Chicago.

As a former resident of Boston, let me just say WHOA.
posted by dhammond at 12:00 AM on August 29, 2007


Comedian Dave Attell at The Wiener's Circle: "It's kinda like the Ricky Lake show, but with food."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:01 AM on August 29, 2007


MetaFilter: "...a black bitch in a hot kitchen."

She's rad. "What the fuck you want, motherfucker!?"

I'd like to see those drunk fratboys try that shit in LA or Oakland, though. Class would be, as it were, in session.
posted by loquacious at 12:02 AM on August 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


As a former resident of Boston, let me just say WHOA.

Hey, completely subjective, data-free anecdotes, here. And of the three, I've spent the least time in Chicago, and given that it is my axis of analysis, I'm likely doubly wrong.
posted by ChasFile at 12:03 AM on August 29, 2007


Much like working in a bar with a bunch of drunk shithead fratboys for customers, this is the point where the right to refuse service to anyone for anything goes a loooooong way.
posted by Brittanie at 12:14 AM on August 29, 2007


Wow. Flashback. I had a marathon alcohol fueled night in Lincoln Park in 1998. I think we stopped there while on the search for some late night drunk food. I'm not sure though. I vaguely remember somebody yelling at me to hurry the fuck up and order. Considering the state I was in, that could have been anywhere.
posted by chillmost at 12:23 AM on August 29, 2007


Lincoln Park is a really notorious neighborhood in Chicago. Very upscale, but not sickeningly wealthy like some other parts. It attracts the frat/sorority demographic like flies. People with just enough money to feel entitled to act like idiots. The fact that there's a market for a hot dog joint where those douchebags can yell racial epithets is not surprising. It's a shame, I always did dig places where the staff are allowed to be sassy and playful, but that place is totally sickening.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 12:42 AM on August 29, 2007


Also, why does everyone who work there have to be black? Aside from the owners who started the "tradition," they didn't show a single white employee.
posted by Brittanie at 12:55 AM on August 29, 2007


I moved to Chicago at the beginning of May. About two weeks before I moved there, I saw the episode of the TAL TV show that the Weiner Circle segment is in...

Blew my mind a little bit a few days later when I realized, "Oh, hey, that's..."

I live a couple blocks from the place, but have yet to eat there (I'm very rarely in the mood for hot dogs).

All observations about hyper-segregation and the queasy-making nature of the place are ... more or less accurate. Particularly, the segregation, I can literally see the strata in the city when I drive west from my place in Lincoln Park to my job every day.

(Lincoln Park is upscale-ish, but not sickeningly so. And there are douchey frat guys walking around. But on the other hand, I'm less than two miles from 99% of my favorite music venues in the city. There are worse places to live.)
posted by sparkletone at 1:07 AM on August 29, 2007


Here's a short analysis of some segregation trends in U.S. cities based on data from the 2000 census (includes ranking and map). And another.

Also, one sociological professor's series of posts on the topic (for blacks, asians, and latinos).
posted by the other side at 1:27 AM on August 29, 2007


That's ugly! It might be cathartic for the waitresses to mouth off and for the (drunk) patrons to say what ever they want but I hardly think it is healthy, especially for the waitresses work there for ten or twenty years. It would be a major effort to last a week. Yelling and bad language becomes a habit. I imagine a lot of this mindset gets taken home to the family. A really sad phenomena. As for the owners standing back and watching society revert to animals, regardless of whether or not their profits have doubled, well, they're unethical in the extreme.
posted by gnomesb at 1:58 AM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


America: love it or leave it.

Damn those customers in the video are repugnant. Makes me want to peel off my skin and start over orange, or green, or plaid or some shit.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:09 AM on August 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


Is Taco-Burrito Palace #2 still around? I remember that and the Art Institute.
posted by bardic at 2:26 AM on August 29, 2007


That's ugly! It might be cathartic for the waitresses to mouth off and for the (drunk) patrons to say what ever they want but I hardly think it is healthy, especially for the waitresses work there for ten or twenty years.

I'm not even sure that it's cathartic. At the end of the day, you'd know that you're being paid minimum wage and tips to play some Stepin Fetchit role for the entertainment of a bunch of racist fucks in a society that's pretty well institutionalized that structure. As the woman said, you do what you gotta do to get yours, for your kids, yourself, whatever, and the pay is probably a fair bit better than it is at the Golden Arches, but it's got to eat away at your sense of self respect.

Interesting that its mainly women manning the counter as well. I wonder how long they'd get away with leveling that kind of shit at young black men? My guess is that Chad would be getting his ass kicked from here to next weekend within the first five minutes, job or no job.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:33 AM on August 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


When i first moved to Chicago in 1985, i lived across the street from the Weiner Circle in what my friends and I affectionately called Weiner Circle Plaza. The employees yelled at us back then, but i do not recall it being in any way racial or personal attacks. More like good natured harassment. In fact, i distinctly recall them refusing to serve someone who was too rude. Going to the WC was part of the ritual. Go to the Burwood Tap. Drink a lot. Stagger to the WC. Cross street. Pass out.

I am also embarrassed to admit, I have been there for lunch and the atmosphere is completely different. Moms with strollers, construction workers etc.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:38 AM on August 29, 2007


Is Taco-Burrito Palace #2 still around? I remember that and the Art Institute.

Yes. It's not too far from me. I walk by it pretty regularly.
posted by sparkletone at 3:49 AM on August 29, 2007


This sort of abuse is just about the standard in many UK cities after chucking-out time on a Saturday night in Middle Eastern, Asian or Chinese-owned chip shops with predominantly white customers. No 'charming' tradition required. (Last year I saw a kid writing PAKI on the window of a chippy, just-bought kabob in one hand, marker pen in the other. Which, aside from the fact that it's an Iraqi-run restaurant with an Italian name, seems bloody weird: racist enough to deface someone's property, or insult them, but happy to eat their food...)
posted by jack_mo at 4:13 AM on August 29, 2007


Grr, skinny white boy smash!

Fratboys like that are why I won't go out on fridays anymore, they infest even the normally good places.
posted by Skorgu at 5:42 AM on August 29, 2007


arg. that makes me angry and sad. i hope some frat dudes get a serious side of loogey in their food. i wonder how much more the pay is there, to make it worth putting up with assholes like that every night.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 5:59 AM on August 29, 2007


It's like a Tucker Max fan convention. Douches.
posted by mckenney at 6:22 AM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


This sort of abuse is just about the standard in many UK cities after chucking-out time on a Saturday night in Middle Eastern, Asian or Chinese-owned chip shops with predominantly white customers.

Not really, jack_mo. You might get the occasional band of yobs making the odd racist remark, but generally the rest of the customers think it's pretty obnoxious. I think that old Goodness, Gracious, Me sketch about 'Having an English' helped a lot of people see just how moronic they looked in such circumstances.

So my sense is that it's now pretty unusual in most British cities, but do you tend to see it in more smaller towns where chavs roam unfettered by yet-to-be-imposed ASBO's, and in the further flung outposts of the realm like Wales and Scotland, where the populations are far less mixed.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:33 AM on August 29, 2007


I miss the old Lincoln Park Trixie site - funnier than hell until the Chads took over the forum.
posted by Ber at 6:40 AM on August 29, 2007


Boston was under a court order to integrate its public schools, btw, not its neighborhoods. That's what the rioting was about. /pedant

I have ok hotdogs at baseball games, but I haven't had a Really Good Hotdog in forever. This thread is making me hungry.
posted by rtha at 6:57 AM on August 29, 2007


As a New Yorker, all I gotta say is, I love me some Gray's Papaya. Dumb uncomprehending stares from the guy behind the counter, crack whore hitting me up for change, gawking tourists in Hawaiian shirts.

That's $3.50 well spent, that is.
posted by nasreddin at 7:17 AM on August 29, 2007


I've been there, during the times when it's still 'friendly'. The people in there later at night... that's why I'm leaving Chicago.

There's a bar that opened a few months ago, across the street from my building. At 2am, they flip on the lights, and the same white guys in the video spill out into the street. Yelling and generally trying to out-drunk each other. On Saturday nights, there's a bar about a block down from that, and their customers are black. They flip on the lights at about the same time (oh, the unintended consequences of the 2am liquor license). Both groups are drunk, horny, with packs of their friends they're just waiting to show off in front of. And girls from the bar they're just dying to impress so they can get laid.

There have been a few nights this summer where I was pretty sure the block was about to become the epicenter of a city-wide racial conflict.
posted by ninjew at 7:31 AM on August 29, 2007


I mean to add, I live in Lakeview, only a few blocks away from this place.
posted by ninjew at 7:33 AM on August 29, 2007


I grew up in Lincoln Park, and worked a couple blocks away from Wiener's Circle a little while after college, so I have fond memories of the place. The rude banter has been a part of the place's schtick for an awfully long time, but this is the first I've heard of racist banter—then again, it's been 15 years since I lived in Chicago.

In 1991 (maybe 1990), Wiener's Circle and a nearby restaurant, Snow White, both had fires within a few weeks of each other. It took almost a year for Snow White to reopen. Wiener's Circle reopened in about two weeks. That place is like a printing-press for money, and clearly, the opportunity-cost for a delayed reopening would have been completely unacceptable.

I'll be visiting Chicago in a couple weeks, and am looking forward to a char-cheddar burger and fries.
posted by adamrice at 7:36 AM on August 29, 2007


Boston was under a court order to integrate its public schools, btw, not its neighborhoods. That's what the rioting was about.

Exactly. BIG difference. The riots in Boston were over a federal court-ordered school desegregation program.
posted by ericb at 7:38 AM on August 29, 2007


Weiner's Circle is a pus oozing abscess on the anus that is Lincoln Park. I've made the mistake of being in there on many a late night after going to blues jams and it's like a KKK petri dish. It's even more sad that the tradition continues and is considered acceptable over the years.

As a wise man once said:

"Summer just brings out too many fuckheads who want to do stuff and go places and be fuckheads together."
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:20 AM on August 29, 2007


There are plenty of very diverse neighborhoods in Chicago. Lakeview just happens to be among the least divers. Uptown, Bucktown, Ukrainian Village, Rogers Park and on and on.

I find Boston to be woefully segregated. Repugnantly so.

I'm at work and can't watch/listen, but will be back later with a more well rounded comment.
posted by FlamingBore at 8:57 AM on August 29, 2007


Oh, and that Detroit News "Analysis" that the other side linked to is total f'n BS. Albuquerque is the least segregated? Um, sure. In six years of living there I think I saw maybe twelve black people. How can you possibly measure segregation with a sample size that low?
posted by FlamingBore at 9:02 AM on August 29, 2007


Oh, and for anyone wondering what jack_mo and I are talking about, here's a sketch satirizing it that I refer to in my post.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:21 AM on August 29, 2007


There are plenty of very diverse neighborhoods in Chicago. Lakeview just happens to be among the least divers. Uptown, Bucktown, Ukrainian Village, Rogers Park and on and on.

Can't speak to Bucktown or Ukrainian Village, but Uptown and and Rogers Park are diverse only in the sense that there are both black neighborhoods and white neighborhoods within the artificial boundries of the official "neighborhood." The Red Line running through Uptown is one of the more dramatic divisions I've ever seen along racial and class lines; cross over from the west side of the El at Wilson to the east and tell me Uptown is integrated.
posted by enn at 9:29 AM on August 29, 2007


enn, um, I have. Plenty of times. I even worked down there for a short period of time. Yes, predominantly black, but I saw men and women of every color working and living there. That segregation is more economic that strictly racial, but of course the lines blur significantly.

I should note that I left Chicago seven years ago and haven't spent a ton of time there recently. But I grew up in Andersonville in the 70s/80s and many of my friends lived in Uptown. I lived there in the early 90s.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:38 AM on August 29, 2007


I think it would be an interesting to find out how segregation between whites, latinos, and asians breaks down compared to blacks.

Moving from Las Vegas (class hyper-segregated city) to Seattle (easily one of the most class/racial integrated cities) I noticed that often middle-class (and upper-middle class) whites, asians, and latinos live together MUCH more than blacks and any other group. I wonder how much of the black segregation is by choice.....
posted by lattiboy at 9:49 AM on August 29, 2007


This link makes me sad and The Wieners Circle makes me sad and angry. And those frat boys make me want to puke on them.

"My guess is that Chad would be getting his ass kicked from here to next weekend within the first five minutes, job or no job."

Right, because all young black men are ass-kicking hotheads.

"Albuquerque is the least segregated? Um, sure. In six years of living there I think I saw maybe twelve black people."

Even though the Black population in Albuquerque is a very small portion of the total population, that doesn't mean that it's so low that you can't see meaningful patterns about segregation. Even 3% of a million people is 30,000 people.

There's one neighborhood in Albuquerque that is predominately Black. But that one neighborhood probably accounts for only about a quarter, or less, of the total Black population. The rest of the Black population is almost certainly distributed around the rest of the city mostly evenly. That's very integrated by most cities' standards, even relative to other cities with low Black populations.

Why? Because Albuquerque is almost certainly the least segregated large US city with regard to Hispanic and Whites. I still recall, with both a chuckle and a grimace, the reaction of my Canadian teenage brother-in-law to this and how he was disoriented to see Hispanics everywhere.

I've not lived in many other large US cities—the ones I have, have been in Texas. But I've visited a number of them across the country. And Albuquerque has always seemed to me to be much more racially integrated and less racist than anywhere else I've been. This is certainly true if the comparison is between Texas cities and Albuquerque. San Antonio is the exception, but many other large Texas cities have large Hispanic populations, including the (relatively) very progressive and tolerance Austin. But I lived in Austin for eight years and I never could quite become accustomed to its segregation, both of Blacks and Hispanics.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:54 AM on August 29, 2007


Heh. I have a pal that moved to Chicago a couple years ago. Last year, he was drunk and hungry, and out with a girl who'd been to Weiner Circle before. So he's feelin' kinda sheepish, because, you know, they're supposed to be rude, but he's just trying to get laid and not cause a hassle. He gets a dog, and thinks the service is pretty decent, actually. He forks over the $20 they ask for, and eats it, thinking "Well, it was a bit pricey, but damn if this isn't the best dog I've ever had." Only the next morning, sober, does he realize that they were fucking with him and the dogs are, like, $3.

On a related note, my girlfriend and I went to a diner in Vancouver where their schtick is to be rude to you, mostly because they were supposed to have excellent food. I didn't mind it, even if it was a really forced and perfunctory gay cattiness that was passing for rudeness, but my girlfriend was put off her feed when the guy asked if she was from across the river (because she couldn't read) when she had some question about the menu. Then I copped to being an American, and it was like he wasn't even trying— lame Texan accent and flat jokes. Now, I used to work at a place in Ann Arbor, called Tio's, and on the night shift (assuming that the owner wasn't working), the general assumption was that the customer was usually wrong, drunk, an asshole or all three. I know how to give smirkingly rude service, and how to be a dick and get tipped for it. But I felt like I was giving it to him better than he was to me. I even went out of my way to feed him straight lines, and nothin'. And after all that, the food was decent but not great, and the hashbrowns sucked. If you're gonna be rude, you gotta fuckin' rock it.
posted by klangklangston at 10:10 AM on August 29, 2007


i ditto those who remember the Wiener Circle in pre-horrid times... it was always punchy after-bar, but the employees ran the show, and the not-always-good-natured banter had not degenerated into motherfucker this and slut that, racist vitriole, and drunken douchebags screaming for a tittie-show.

yikes.

i suppose that it could have been foreseen that the power dynamic of customer versus employee combined with class/race tension would degenerate it into this netherworld where the power is grabbed back by the people with the cash.

it should also be noted that this is a *very* popular spot for bargoers from the suburbs grabbing food for the road home--suburbs that are former sundown areas holding desperately to a segregationist worldview. i'd bet that a good portion of those idiots would *never* live in the city proper--because they consider the whole place to be "too dangerous." (i am myself a northwest suburban escapee.)
posted by RedEmma at 10:29 AM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


cross over from the west side of the El at Wilson to the east and tell me Uptown is integrated.


OK I did, and I will.
posted by applemeat at 10:54 AM on August 29, 2007


There are plenty of very diverse neighborhoods in Chicago. Lakeview just happens to be among the least divers. Uptown, Bucktown, Ukrainian Village, Rogers Park and on and on.

Bucktown/WickerPark and the Ukranian village went through (in the last 5 years) total gentrification from artist/hipster colonies to full out chad/trixie neighborhoods.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 11:18 AM on August 29, 2007


EB - Really? What neighborhood? It's quite possible I missed it.

nonreflectiveobject - not all of Bucktown was gentrified. I spent time there this winter - just west of Western, but I'm completely willing to believe that much/most of it has changed.
posted by FlamingBore at 12:11 PM on August 29, 2007


East of downtown, west of I-25. I forget the name of the neighborhood. It's very old.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:14 PM on August 29, 2007


enn, um, I have. Plenty of times. I even worked down there for a short period of time. Yes, predominantly black, but I saw men and women of every color working and living there. That segregation is more economic that strictly racial, but of course the lines blur significantly.

Well, that's my point; it's segregated by race (hence "predominantly black") and class. It seemed an odd choice to name as a shining example of integrated Chicago; two different neighborhoods stuck next to one another is not the same thing as a diverse neighborhood.

I should note that I left Chicago seven years ago and haven't spent a ton of time there recently. But I grew up in Andersonville in the 70s/80s and many of my friends lived in Uptown. I lived there in the early 90s.

I've only lived here for two years. But in those two years (Rogers Park, Edgewater/Andersonville) Chicago's looked pretty segregated to me.
posted by enn at 12:24 PM on August 29, 2007


One of the most shocking things to me is how Chicago's North Side turned from the richer, whiter part of town into the goddamn worldwide headquarters of gentrifying hipsterdom.

At one point the Weiner Circle went from "fun" to "cutting a little too close" is lost on me, because I left Chitown ten years ago. All I know is that that establishment predates all the chadtrixies that have moved there to entertain themselves, and frankly, if having a great burger at Maxwell Street and then crossing the street to buy back the hubcaps somebody stole you from earlier that day is "cutting it too close", who gives a shit? The Red Line running through Uptown is diverse? The last time I was in Chicago, I took that train from Wrigley to its last stop at 95th and the Dan Ryan and then took a bus home. If you want to see a change in landscape, just take a nap on that train.

And to sit here and talk about Ukrainian village and Rogers Park as being "diverse", well that's fucking great, but frankly the scope of that conversation is a little too hipster-centric for me. Does anyone even talk about the "State Street Corridor" anymore? Project housing on the South Side? The segregation in Chicago is less reflected in the attitude and living accodomations of its people, but more so reflected in the design of the city, and in the residential planning battle that has been raging there for years.
posted by phaedon at 12:32 PM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Been there more than a few times drunk and sober. Never liked the rude humor. Hell, I don’t even like roasts. I tend to just smile wanly and ask politely for my food. The racial stuff didn’t exist there for a while, and yeah, worst part about Lincoln Park are the Trixies in their Jettaas? and the Chads in their V-Dubs.

But Chicago Comics isn’t too far down the street, you’ve got the ball park just down Lincoln, ImprovOlympic and some decent bars (when the St. Louis fans aren’t in town). And the WC is pretty much it for food when the bars close, unless you want to hit a White Castle, which is a whole other kind of experiance.

Yeah, Chicago is pretty spotted. Little chunks of neighborhoods of one racial sort or another. When I was growing up further down North Avenue was all black but suddenly stopped at Sedgwick. Always thought that it was weird, not just the divide, but how sharp and abrupt a divide it was.

Wicker park is a pretty nice neighborhood (or was last I checked) kind of bohemian, not too many Chads (although reading nonreflectiveobject’s comment, that’s changed). And there is a planning war happening. But there are more than a few clubs and places to go in the city that are still fairly enlightened. Part of the problem is that the politics in Chicago are so vicious, but the corruption is thrilling. It is really a struggle sometimes and that strain bleeds itself into the culture, but it still seems to get along. I’m missing a lot of the local stuff. It’s a lot more corporate owned “color” than actual local joints.
But the only reason I don’t live in the city anymore is you can’t park anywhere. All of my family (big family) used to live in the city. Almost everyone has moved out because of the traffic and everything else and not enough public transportation.

Last time I went to the Weiner Circle was with some folks from an Improv group. Yeah, that was fun. I’ll probably keep that as the last time I went.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:14 PM on August 29, 2007


Also, why does everyone who work there have to be black? Aside from the owners who started the "tradition," they didn't show a single white employee.

Yeah, I can see that you've never been to downtown or the North Side of Chicago.

The white people are on this side of the counter. The black people are on that side of the counter.

(I'm not saying this is a good thing, just stating an empirical fact.)
posted by ProfStevie at 2:34 PM on August 29, 2007


True.The only places I have lived are Oklahoma and Houston, where the poor people are on this side of the counter and the well-off people are on that side of the counter. Color usually doesn't factor in.
posted by Brittanie at 3:54 PM on August 29, 2007


Watching the TAL clip I started out laughing, getting into it. Maybe thinking it was the kind of place I would hit up once if I was in Chi-town... but by the end? I was just depressed and disgusted. I still think I'd like to try a WC dog, but maybe for lunch.
posted by annasbrew at 5:03 PM on August 29, 2007


I'm coming to this thread late, but I wanted to add my two cents about WC and Lincoln Park.

First I really like the WC, the dogs and fries are great. I have no problems stopping in there for lunch anytime. I have gone in lateish on my way home from a bar or movie and been disappointed by the douchebaggery. I don't go for the shtick and the workers there don't force it. If you just want a dog and some fries you can get in and out just like any other place without the insults or whatever. In my experience the folks there have been super nice and pleasant, but (like a lot of places) it helps to know what you want before you get to the counter.

Yeah, around about 11pm its over run with grown frat boys and their sluttly dressed girlfriends and they are all drunk and rowdy and annoying and yeah, its best to just keep on going if that scene isn't your thing. I certainly won't stop in at those times.

About Lincoln Park; well, I've accidentally lived here for about four years now, but I just signed a lease in Pilsen and I can't wait to get the hell out of here.

I'll say that Lincoln Park is a good "starter neighborhood" for white college grads who are scared of big cities, blacks, and anything different or strange. Its the neighborhood that Crate & Barrel would build if they were in the business of building places for their customers to live.

I have Lincoln Parker friends who have lived here six or seven years and never once stepped foot on a city bus.

Its a little socially and intellectually retarded here as evidenced by the douchbags who think slurring drunken racial epitaphs at working class women is good for a laugh. Generally I feel that living in LP is so easy, so effortless, that for a lot of young people here it really extends their childhood. There certainly is a sense of white entitlement at work in this neighborhood which I've found disgusting and is key to that sort of sense that people should be viewed as means to an end rather than individuals which unfortunately prevails.

That's not to slag on LP too hard. It really is a wonderful neighborhood and the park and lake are incredible. Once you get away from the main intersections where the bars are things are pleasant and quite and very relaxing. There is an older crowd here who are very mellow and modest and generally good people. I've eeked out an existence here by going to the few dive bars in the neighborhood exactly because the Chads and Trixies aren't interested in places that don't have 20 flat screen tvs or "bags"...

As for segregation in the city. Well sure its there. But I don't see at this big shocking thing like some people do. Sure there are certain neighborhoods where I won't go after dark, but there are places like that everywhere. And seeing how things have changed over the decades with groups moving and being supplanted by others it all seems very amorphous.

So I'm moving to Pilsen later this month which is a decision that took a lot of calculation and exploration on my part. And yeah, I will be an agent of gentrification, and maybe one day the Chads and Trixies will follow me there but until then it will be nice to be around working families and people who aren't constantly judging each other or who try to make fashion statements with their choice of shopping bags...
posted by wfrgms at 1:25 PM on September 2, 2007


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