Tuesday, December 11, 2012

10 reasons why New York is better than Chicago

OK, OK, all you New Yorkers who were outraged by my love letter to Chi-town: your city is nice, too.

1. Its grid system. Ask anyone in the world to meet you at the corner of 48th and 8th and she'll likely find it with no problem. Ask someone to meet you at the corner of Wabash and Wacker and it's time to bust out the Google Maps. (Also, Wabash and Wacker sounds dirty.)

2. It's an archipelago (except for the Bronx). This is cool because archipelago is not a word one gets to use every day.

3. Its pizza. Deep dish? Please.

4. “New York, New York” is a more rousing Sinatra anthem than “My Kind of Town.”

5. Its record low temperature is a mere 15 degrees below zero. Compared to Chicago's minus 27 it looks like the Equator.

6. It doesn’t call its metropolitan area “New Yorkland.” Seriously, “Chicagoland” is embarrassing.

7. The Times wipes the floor with the Tribune. To be fair, the Times wipes the floor with every paper in the universe. Not that I'm biased.

8. It has world-class restaurants in spaces the size of walk-in closets.

9. Its department-store Christmas decorations are much more attractive. Really, Marshall Fields Macy's that's your best effort? Come to Lord & Taylor or Barneys or Bergdorf's and see how it's done.

10. It's closer to mountains. The Midwest is unnervingly flat.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

10 reasons why Chicago is better than New York

Chicago and New York: two major American cities with abundant culture, interesting architecture, fine cuisine, and excellent mass transit. But only one can claim the title of best metropolis in the U.S. (Why? Because it's my blog and I call the shots.) Having spent a total of four nights in the City of Big Shoulders, I feel eminently qualified to list the reasons why it has it all over the Big Apple, my home of more than two decades. (Before you freak out, Gothamphiles: I'll make the case for NYC later this week.)

1. It doesn’t smell like B.O. or pee. (I have verified this with someone who actually lives there.)

2. Everyone loves an underdog.
The place calls itself the Second City, for Pete’s sake. And the Cubs suck even worse than the Mets.

3. Its downtown streets are broader and sunnier than the ones in midtown Manhattan. Or at least they seem that way.

4. Lake, big lake. That lives up to the name Great. And has an 18-mile biking/walking/jogging trail along it.

5. It’s a one-seat ride from the airport to the heart of the city. When is New York gonna get it together and extend the subway lines, or even the commuter rail, to the airports? The Air Train is bogus and the M60 is total BS. And speaking of the Chicago Transit Authority...

6. The L system has a Pink Line. Much more festive than the 4/5/6.

7. Its restaurants give free refills on drinks. Coming from a town where the mayor wants to limit soda sizes, this excites me. And speaking of mayors…

8. Rahm Emanuel. He’s a pottymouthed former ballet dancer with a cool name and a partially missing middle finger. Mike Bloomberg is just a short billionaire.

9. It's not quite as crowded. 2.7 million people is a lot fewer than 8.2 million people. Something like 5.5 million fewer, in fact.

10. WBEZ's This American Life is way more entertaining than WNYC's Selected Shorts.