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The City File



Try using your mouth. From the Chicago Tribune Magazine (November 13): "One of the great disadvantages of growing up on a steady diet of canned fruit, as I did, is that once you become an adult, you may find yourself incapable of looking at--much less eating--cooked fresh fruit in the eye."

Progress Chicago style; as recounted in ONE Reports (Fall 1988), published by the Organization of the Northeast: "Until this past August, elderly Asians could be found growing the finest community garden in Uptown on the corners of Marine Drive and Castlewood [4840 north]. Then the bulldozers came and ripped it up to build seven luxury townhomes. To do this, the property owners on Castlewood had to agree to a zoning variance. Tom Tice, president of the block club worked tirelessly to gather signatures. For this effort and for his civic duty the developers gave him a fee of $10,000--or about $500 per signature. When this little transaction was discovered, he immediately became a philanthropist and donated the entire amount to the block club--making Castlewood the best endowed club in Uptown. Way to go Tom!"

Our piece of the greenhouse. Illinois ranks fifth among the states--after Texas, California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania--in its total (1986) emissions of carbon from fossil fuels, at 55,040,000 metric tons, according to Renew America.

Has your pet heard the Messiah this year? The Anti-Cruelty Society is inviting the public to "come sing Handel's Messiah to the shelter animals." Singers will be accompanied by members of the Civic Orchestra. "Although the holiday season is often fun-filled and exhilarating for people," says the ACS, "animals are often neglected during this busy time of year." (Actually, Handel did have lost pets in mind when he composed his masterpiece: "All we like sheep have gone astray . . .")

Thirty-eight cases of assault and battery against gays and lesbians were reported to the 24-hour Horizons AntiViolence Project hotline from May through September of this year. The second-largest category of antigay hate crimes was "domestic violence" (15), suggesting that family feuds don't discriminate by sexual preference.

"Talking about what I do as in-house counsel for a chemical company has not enhanced my social life," writes Graham Carpio in the newsletter of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area (October 1988). "At cocktail parties, casual comment on a development in toxic tort has been known to cause friends to hurriedly retreat to the bar . . . We within the industry have been slow in seeing that the world does not believe in better living through chemicals." Just say no.

Top five attractions in Illinois in 1987, according to Illinois Economic Report (November 1988): Museum of Science and Industry (4.4 million in attendance), Lincoln Park Zoo (4 million), Six Flags Great America (2.4 million), Taste of Chicago (2.4 million), and Illinois Beach State Park (2.3 million).

"When developers ante up nearly $1 million an acre," writes Blair Kamin in Inland Architect (November/December 1988), "You can bet that glossy real estate brochures soon will be extolling the advantages of location." But in the case of Oakbrook Terrace Tower, at 31 stories the tallest building in the Chicago suburbs, they're not exaggerating: "The tower rises near the meeting of Roosevelt Road, Illinois Highway 83, the East-West Tollway, the North-South Tollway, Butterfield Road, and the Eisenhower Expressway . . . a highway crossing that is to the western suburbs what the intersection of State and Madison streets once was to downtown Chicago."

"People are confused," writes Joel Achenbach in the Utne Reader (November/December 1988). "Liberated from such basic responsibilities as the growing of food, the making of clothes, the construction of shelter, people in the late 20th century have entered a revolutionary phase of human development in which they passively accept a cartoon version of reality promulgated by the media rather than trusting their own instincts to figure out reality for themselves."

What having a baby is all about, according to Maria Bechily Hodes as quoted in Today's Chicago Woman (November 1988): "It's my plan to return to work after three months. I'll have a Spanish-speaking housekeeper because I want my son to be fluent in Spanish, and I'll carry a beeper. I have a friend who has one. I was at a meeting with her once, and her beeper went off. I assumed it was from her office, but it . . . was from her home. Her child wasn't feeling well, and the housekeeper wanted to make sure she was doing the right thing. It was great, and I thought, 'This is what having a baby in 1988 is all about. You carry a beeper!'"

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.

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