No, this is not one of those geography quizzes, where you ask a high school kid to find
It’s still what passes for the world’s hog butcher. It’s still “stormy, husky, brawling.” And it’s still the City of the Big Shoulders. All those things Sandburg called it.
It still has the
But there are changes that make people wonder, where’s
This started a long time ago. But it’s picked up its pace.
It’s biggest hotel, the Stevens, became the Hilton. It’s still the Hilton. But now, it has about 1500 rooms instead of its original 2,000. Once it was the world’s largest hotel.
The Palmer House is now the Palmer House Hilton.
Creeping homogenization has been creeping a little faster these days.
We all expect the sprouting of McDonald’s and Starbuck’s. That’s hardly an example, because that’s happening everywhere.
But the Tribune makes more money and sells more papers in
Marshall Field’s flagship store is a Macy’s. That drew protesters, even though you can now buy those “famous” Marshall Field mints in EVERY Macy’s in
The latest: The LaSalle Bank is now Bank of America. And BOA says it “never gave any thought” to keeping the LaSalle name, even though it’s been around forever and is the city’s second largest financial institution.
BOA doesn’t have much loyalty to tradition. After all, it’s not even really BOA. That was a San Francisco bank that was bought by a North Carolina bank which changed its name so that it would have some history and tradition that it otherwise lacked. Plus, “Bank of America” sounds so much statelier. Unless, of course, you’re a LaSalle loyalist.
But, back to Chicago, no more Capone, no more Sandburg, no more Marshall Field. (Oh, the original Marshall Field was born in
But one thing hasn’t changed. One thing that’s almost exclusively Chicago that no body advocating “shareholder value” or “we need to make a national chain out of your dinky local department store or hotel” can change.
You can still walk on
I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.
(c) 2007 WJR