River Cruise | Bleader

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The Daily Inter-Ocean, May 22, 1879. In today's history lesson, we trace gay nightlife in Chicago back to the first term of the Hayes administration. The bridge in question is the very same one depicted in this Currier & Ives print of the Great Fire of 1871. You just have to imagine it how it would have looked at night, with less traffic up top and all the flames concentrated underneath.

That's some service-y journalism, publicizing the place and time so precisely. Betcha traffic picked up plenty after this story ran. Probably those cane-carrying, silk-hatted, white-vested A-listers were compelled to move on to another bridge. "Randolph Street? Oh, puh-leeeze, Mary, that scene is strictly vieux jeux! I've had more fun at a Knights of Labor circle jerk."
Finely dressed persons, hurrying away! A disgraceful chapter indeed in the sordid history of fallen mankind.
No women, just "fellows" filling engagements and making clucking sounds at men. Shocking!
So the fact that nobody's getting garroted just proves the inferiority of peaceable, well-dressed Uranians to murdering thieves. Nice.
Wonderfully well informed, this bridge tender. Note the implicit threat of exposure in the second last paragraph. That's got a long journalistic future ahead of it.

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