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Old 08-19-2009, 06:46 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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Chicago Nicknames - The City that Works?

All my life, I've heard Chicago called "The City that Works." But I've never really understood exactly what this means. Does it refer to a hard-working, old-world population with its nose to the grindstone and a no-nonsense attitude? Does it refer to large and ambitious civic works projects like Millennium Park or changing the direction of the Chicago River? Or does it refer to Chicago's famous culture of corruption, where "whatever works" is more important than doing things by the book?

On a related note, I've never quite understood what a "toddlin' town" was either, but I suppose that's not really as important.....TRM
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:09 PM
Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
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The phrase arose in 1973-1974 as a way of differentiating Chicago under the first Daley from the urban disaster areas that Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Newark, New York, and other places had become: bankrupt, mired in racial politics, with basic services suffering and the future dim. As soon as the phrase appeared, Daley's critics began using it in a sardonic way, pointing out that Chicago was the city that works for white businessmen, for union leaders, for cronies of the mayor. For those outside the favored circle, not so much.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:21 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders...

-Carl Sandburg, 1916

Chi-tonw (sic) -2005

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Old 08-20-2009, 11:10 AM
ajdebosco ajdebosco is offline
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I seem to recall the story by Mike Royko in his book "Boss" about how complete Emporer Daley's control was. On the eve of a threatened transit strike, Hizzoner summoned the heads of the Union and the CTA, as well as their legal counsels to his office. He sat them down, provided them with all the liquid refreshment they wanted, and stationed some of the largest police officers to block the exits, including the one leading to the restroom. No one was getting out until an agreement was reached, soggy britches and all. Soon after the strike was averted by these extra-legal methods, someone, perhaps even Royko himself, began referring to the second city as the one that works.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:54 PM
runf runf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
All my life, I've heard Chicago called "The City that Works." But I've never really understood exactly what this means. Does it refer to a hard-working, old-world population with its nose to the grindstone and a no-nonsense attitude? Does it refer to large and ambitious civic works projects like Millennium Park or changing the direction of the Chicago River? Or does it refer to Chicago's famous culture of corruption, where "whatever works" is more important than doing things by the book?

On a related note, I've never quite understood what a "toddlin' town" was either, but I suppose that's not really as important.....TRM
I grew up as a kid in Evanston during the 50's and 60's. Eventually wound up here in Atlanta. I think it was sometime druing the 80's that the official slogan for Atlanta was, "The City Too Busy To Hate". Think about that one!
If you were the one of the city fathers or whoever it is who comes up with this stuff, why would you want the word "hate" in your slogan at all? Particularly if you are a southern city (with all the racial baggage)?
The implication is, "well, if we weren't so damn busy you can bet we'd be hatin' ".
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