Some of the Worst of Chicago in a single illustration
For our year-end double issue, we flipped the script on our annual Best of Chicago edition with a Worst of Chicago
issue, featuring dozens of essays about the worst people, places, and things in our fair city. On social media we asked you to kvetch about your own least favorite things.
As the response shows, our readers hate everything to do with traffic enforcement and tickets. Your hate lists were filled with the devices that nab you for tickets (red-light cameras), the people who write you tickets (Chicago Police Department
), the official who empowers the cops to write you tickets (Mayor Rahm Emanuel
), and the vehicles that take your car if you get too many tickets (tow trucks
). Also, you really, really despise the skyscraper with Donald Trump's stupid name plastered on it.
A Twitter poll we published included the top four finalists: Rahm, the Chicago Police Department, tow trucks, and Trump Tower
. Who or what was voted worst of all? Trump Tower, which won with 41 percent of the 657 votes, beating out our Rahm (30 percent), the cops (15 percent), and tow trucks
Of the hundreds of other responses, many matched our own "Worst of Chicago" list—Governor Bruce Rauner
, Cook County assessor Joe Berrios
, DNAinfo executioner Joe Ricketts
, "businessman" Michael Ferro
, and lack of CTA etiquette
. You also complained both about "dibs"—the distinctly Chicago practice of laying claim to street parking spaces shoveled clear of snow with chairs and other implements—and the people who complain about dibs.
We also heard from proud Chicago culture snobs who hate when people from the suburbs say they're from Chicago and "transplants who call Wicker Park 'Wicker' and Logan Square 'Logan.'" Fnadeven on Instagram says he hates: "Those out-of-state dudes who go to the thrift store, study Google maps, and think they own the city!" Some of your Worst complaints were weirdly specific and idiosyncratic: the enormous Whole Foods sign near the corner of Ashland and Belmont, the #22 Clark bus, the Aragon Ballroom ("the Republican Party of music venues," according to a reader), and the "burnt coffee aroma" that allegedly blankets all of Bucktown.
You offered up some good subjects we missed: the scandal-plagued former Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool, the State Street street preacher, the professional charity organization workers with clipboards who yell at passersby, our utility monopolies (Comcast, People's Gas), and a few Ben Joravsky devotees smartly cited TIF districts. My personal favorite? Beendra on Instagram picked "those ugly-ass MiCa towers on Milwaukee and California" in reference to the transit-oriented development in Logan Square.
And yes, a few of you volleyed the concept back and said our Worst of Chicago issue was, well, the worst. Hey, we get it—it's winter. Trump is president. There's plenty of hate to go around. Got any more? Tell us about your #WorstofChicago picks in the comments.