Yeah, Because It'd Be Just Awful If Dallas Were More Like Chicago or Detroit

Categories: Get Off My Lawn
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Wilonsky just knows how to push my Yankee carpetbagger buttons. He keeps calling to jab me about the charges that Dallas mayoral candidates Ron Natinsky and Mike Rawlings are trading today, each one accusing the other of wanting to make Dallas like Chicago or Detroit.

Being a native of that end of the map, it does grate.

In a broadcast email today Natinsky accused Rawlings of being pro-union because he got an endorsement from a couple national unions. "Apparently Mr. Rawlings wants to turn Dallas into a union town like Chicago or Detroit," Natinsky's email says.

Rawlings came right back and pointed out that former mayor Tom Leppert got some of thee same endorsements, "and I don't think Tom Leppert wanted to turn Dallas in to Chicago or Detroit."

So here I go.

How awful would it be if Dallas had to be like that crumby old Chicago, home to the University of Chicago, Northwestern, University of Illinois, Loyola, DePaul, Roosevelt University, Robert Morris College, Columbia College -- the list goes on.

Or if we got stuck with that lousy old Chicago Symphony Orchestra, recently listed best in the nation by Gramophone, and fifth best in the world. I am looking at Gramophone's list of the world's top 20 orchestras. I see Cleveland, Boston, New York, San Francisco.

Hmmm. Dallas doesn't seem to be on that list.

And then Chicago, that crappy old union town, is stuck with all that other junk we're so glad we don't have here, like the Lyric Opera, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Festival Ballet, Second City, I.O. Yeah. We're way of them.

And Detroit sucks. Aren't we glad Dallas isn't surrounded by the Great Lakes and the greatest amount of publicly owned forest east of the Mississippi? Maybe that's why 20 million people visit Michigan's state parks every year, versus 7.1 million for Texas parks. That, and chiggers.

They don't have The Standing Wave. You know what? Cool towns never brag about being better than other towns. They just are.
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Voteshamrock
Voteshamrock

The problem with Chicago is that they decided to put in over 40 blocks of underground pedway so that flolks could move around downtown without exposure to the elements. How Offensive.

As the Downtown Dallas 360 plan rightly points out, that plan destroyed Downtown Chicago as all businesses fled when they didn't see pedestrians on the streets. As such we MUST close the Dallas' underground and skyway system immediately. People clearly should not be allowed to eat a business lunch indoors when it is 100 degrees outside.

Or perhaps the contrary. http://voteshamrock.com/downto...

Dallas Is So Lame
Dallas Is So Lame

what pedway are you talking about?

Dallas Is Still Extremely Lame
Dallas Is Still Extremely Lame

that old thing? it's merely a passageway, and by no means takes away from the vibrancy of street life in Chicago. Can you say the same about Dallas' pedway? It's probably the busiest part of downtown dallas, and that ain't sayin' much.

Rooster
Rooster

I'm with you on Chicago. Its a great city and I love to visit.

Detroit on the other hand, is a shithole. It's a literal case study on how Miltant Unionized Workforce + Corrupt Politicians = Jobs Leave Your State and Turn It Into a Ghostown.

Think about it. Michigan is beautiful and has "Great Lakes and the greatest amount of publicly owned forest east of the Mississippi", but people are leaving that state in droves because there is no place to work. Shutze - have you asked youself, "Why"?

JimS
JimS

Rooster, you are a sucker for the ruling paradigm.

jake22
jake22

Dallas is nice but it's no Chicago. As American cities go it's nearly the best.

Salladays
Salladays

Regarding labor, capitalism will naturally seek the weakest exploitable labor resource (and give that resource the spin title of Right to Work). Capital has achieved a global reach much faster than labor's organization. Money basically flows faster than ideas. Capital will always be able to promote the illusion that organized labor is a bad thing, until all labor is organized. That's why the old labor movement was called the International, a goal it aspired to but failed to achieve thus far. But if capital is the hare, labor is surely the tortoise, and the world is not infinite territory.

md
md

Investment capital chases ideas.

dertymindz
dertymindz

Nicely said! Fanned & Faved...Oh wait, this isn't Huffington Post, is it.

dertymindz
dertymindz

Jim, there is one thing folks down here don't like hearing and that is that some spot up north has got something we ain't. Don't tell us about their great universities or their superior comedy troupes...what we want to hear is that them yankees suck and we the best! Ya hur?

dallasmay
dallasmay

"

Cool towns never brag about being better than other towns."

I guess you've never met some one from NY, huh? (Or London. Or Paris.) If you tell them you are from Dallas, they just look at you funny and ask "Why?"

md
md

Someone from NYC probably moved there from somewhere else because they wanted to be seen as one of the cool people, even if they can't afford it and have to live in a small space with multiple roommates while having mom and dad subsidize their rent. They're going to look down at others because their self worth is tied up in where they live and who they rub shoulders with.

Jay
Jay

I live in London. I tell people everyday I'm from Dallas. This is not the response that I get at all. You have no idea what you're talking about.

Craig Gathright
Craig Gathright

Exactly. I lived in Europe for years and when I said I was born and raised in Dallas they said Cowboys and JR if they were cool and JFK if they were an ass.

dertymindz
dertymindz

Well, look at them and say "Kiss My Grits!"....end quote.

Thewarden
Thewarden

Dallas really sucks. I was born in chi but raiaed in ft worth. I guess the worst thing is that dallas natives are so "convinced" of their superiority. Terrible city. But both chi and dal have terrible traffi c

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

I'm on the FW side of the DFW (born and raised), but ol' Davy did live in Chicago for a few years recently. If I had to choose between Dallas and Chicago, give me Chicago.

bobby
bobby

And Davy, if I had to choose between Fort Worth and anyplace else...give me anyplace else.

dertymindz
dertymindz

Maybe we are already like Chicago...we got the Rangers and they got the Cubs. P.S. Sorry White Sox fans for leaving ya dry.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Actually both teams are in the city.

You're talking about a Arlington Team.

kYle
kYle

it's okay. sox have won a w.s in our lifetime. cubs and rangers...

MattL1
MattL1

I neglected to mention that Dallas has something that no other city has: Dirk.

Who Ray
Who Ray

Chicago = Vibrancy; Dallas = Jealous of Chicago's Vibrancy

Rooster
Rooster

Actually, many of us are on the "Doesn't Give Two Shits About Vibrancy" list....

Bigjondaniel
Bigjondaniel

Here's an idea. Let's take a look at what doesn't suck about Chicago and Detroit, and try to do THAT here! And let's call anyone an idiot who says "...if you don't like Dallas, move."

Dominicide
Dominicide

Well, yes, we do need more union leadership in this town. We have seen what the corporate types have done to our city. I'd rather have Labor and not in the greasy film that coats our daily existence due to the business types in this town.

ParleyPPratt
ParleyPPratt

Northwestern isn't in Chicago. Unless you're extolling the greatness of Chicago's suburbs. And it has the University of Illinois *at* Chicago, not the main UI.

Guest
Guest

I remember reading the Dallas Morning News a few years ago when Leppert penned an op-ed saying that Dallas needed to be more like Chicago.

He mentioned Chicago by name when talking about cities that have used tax exempt bonds to thwart the free market and use taxpayer funds to build a convention center hotel.

One of the reasons we have a taxpayer-owned hotel is because Chicago built a hotel with taxpayer funds. Tom Leppert said so.

Natinsky supported the idea of building a taxpayer-owned hotel so much that he wanted to issue bonds before the public could vote on it. He supported the mayor's vision of making Dallas more like Chicago.

So who wants Dallas to be more like Chicago?

(And who hates voters? Ron Natinsky who pushed as hard as he could to try and make sure the will of the voters wouldn't impact following Chicago's lead and building a taxpayer-financed hotel).

So is Natinsky against the hotel now?

md
md

Chicago Tribune:

Chicago's longest-serving mayor protected the city's core -- preserving downtown, attracting businesses and fostering gentrification in certain neighborhoods.

...Daley bequeaths a city treasury gushing red ink. He wanted to be a master builder but also ended up being known for using the bulldozer, carving X's into Meigs Field's runway in the middle of the night to turn the lakefront airfield into a park.

...And while known for charting every pothole, overfilled trash bin and graffiti splatter he saw, Daley also professed to know little about major hiring and contracting scandals.

...Impatient and reactionary at times, Daley made a constant effort to keep quality of life front and center in the minds of residents -- a preoccupation revealed in a story told by Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd. According to Reilly, Daley was riding past Connors Park, a small triangle of land on Wabash on the Near North Side, when he saw homeless people sleeping on the park benches. Within a few days, Daley had the benches removed. But the homeless soon returned and slept on the ground. Residents, however, had no place to sit.

...Few would disagree that the Chicago of 2011 has changed radically from the Chicago of 1989 that Daley inherited. Then, Chicago was still "Beirut by the Lake," as The Wall Street Journal dubbed it, a product of racially divisive politics.

...Daley spent part of the campaign visiting black wards, attempting to show residents that he was not of the same mindset as a father who used public housing developments to keep the city institutionally segregated. It may not have paid off in his first mayoral election -- he got only 7 percent of the primary vote in predominantly African-American wards -- but it set the stage for an expansion of his political base beyond the white ethnics, Hispanics and lakefront liberals who got him elected.

By 1995, about 100 black ministers endorsed his re-election, singing praises of inclusiveness. Some benefited from a Daley program offering hundreds of blighted city lots to the clergy for $1 and the mayor giving them a say in how federal redevelopment funds were spent.

As the city's Latino population swelled, Daley's top political aides helped create the Hispanic Democratic Organization to back the mayor and his aldermanic allies. But HDO's fortunes fell when federal prosecutors attacked a City Hall patronage machine that rigged hiring to benefit pro-Daley political workers.

...Working with then-Gov. James Thompson, Daley agreed on redeveloping Navy Pier, now the city's top tourist site. Later, Daley and then-Gov. Jim Edgar approved a $1billion expansion of McCormick Place, including the rerouting of Lake Shore Drive that led to the creation of the "museum campus": the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium.

By 1998, Daley proposed overhauling a stretch of Michigan Avenue blighted by Metra and South Shore railroad tracks to create a park adjacent to Grant Park that he forecast would cost $150 million. By the time 24-acre Millennium Park opened in 2004, its cost had more than tripled.

...While Daley bulldozed the public housing developments that his father erected, a lack of affordable housing to help the displaced remains a constant complaint. "On the pro side, it has really improved the neighborhoods where the (public) housing was removed, improved land values and just the areas overall," said Ald. Walter Burnett Jr., 27th. "But at the same time, it can be really challenging for some of these people, poor people who lived in public housing, to find other places they can afford to live."

...The mayor also strongly benefited from a compliant City Council, made partly so by the fact that Daley appointed so many of the aldermen, some of whom resigned following corruption charges. All told, Daley made 35 appointments to the 50-member council during his tenure.

Daley grew accustomed to having his way in city government, exhibiting a brash and even brazen style when challenged.

...And while the mayor bragged that he was one of the country's most accessible leaders, thanks to frequent news conferences, he rarely allowed himself to get pinned down on difficult topics, such as the steady stream of pay-to-play and corruption allegations at City Hall.

Neither the mayor nor his closest advisers have been touched by those allegations, although many key allies have fallen.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/...

nls
nls

Nice editing job, md. Readers should click on the link to read the whole article, not just the bashing.

ray
ray

so what's your point?LOL!

md
md

One: Chicago has a strong mayor without term limits that doesn't have to fight a divided city council.

Two: Chicago has implemented public improvement projects that cost hundreds of millions of dollars -- the type of projects Jim has expressed disdain for.

Three: Chicago has displaced the homeless and the poor to their benefit -- something Jim argues against

Four: Chicago politicians and Illinois governors are widely known to be corrupt

george gobel
george gobel

It's comments like that, JimS, that betray you as just an angry, bitter dude, with no moral authority to act as outraged as you would have Dallas believe. Your whole schtick is sour grapes. So tired of you.

JimS
JimS

I never argued against displacing the homeless. I'd love to see them all displaced to Highland Park.

Guest
Guest

So Dallas, where Natinsky has been on the council and helping run the city, is already Chicago, but only in the bad ways.

brett
brett

if chicago's so great and all.....move your ass up there.

Bigjondaniel
Bigjondaniel

The standard Dallas response, and as always, breathtakingly ignorant

Farley
Farley

Wow...where is all this hostility coming from towards Dallas. I'm a proud native Texan and happen to live in Dallas. I love Dallas, but you know what? I absolutely love Chicago, San Francisco and D.C. and they all have their perks. It is true to try and compare any of these cities is absurd. However I love Texas/Dallas and there are it's ups and downs, it has a charm I wouldn't trade and there is culture despite what some of you say. It's shame you feel the need to knock people who are proud if where they're from and make such a huge generalization about Dallasites just because what we have here isn't your cup of tea or doesn't blow up your dress! Cheers to agreeing to disagree. I've learned a little something great here and there from each of the great cities I've visited in the U.S. and Dallas is one of the great cities included on that list.

JimS
JimS

No. Move YOUR ass up there.

Alexander
Alexander

JimS,

You forgot to read the Michelle Bachman handbook "Politics for Idiots". Chicago = Union Thuggary = Obama = old white lady's north of Northwest Highway won't vote for you (and they're the only one's who'll vote).

JimS
JimS

Where is the all-caps guy on this? He needs to be here. Unions = lazy dog catchers = more stray dogs = dogs doing it to old white ladies north of Nortwest Highway. I can't believe he isn't here. He's not in jail is he? C'mon, All-Caps. Get your chickenshit ass out of bed and come to the fight!

MattL1
MattL1

Well, I've never been to Detroit (or Spain), so I can't comment on whether or not it sucks, though it must have some redeeming qualities beyond its hockey team.

However, I can say that this whole situation/conversation is absurd. Cities don't develop great institutions or become cool because of unions or the absence of them. Nor do these things happen because of a particular mayor or whether or not he/she was endorsed by a particular union. There are much more powerful forces at work like geography, history and culture.

So go ahead and argue about the relative merits of Chicago, Detroit and Dallas. Just know that a union endorsing Rawlings isn't going to turn Dallas into Detroit or Chicago or any other city.

MattL1
MattL1

By the way, I don't endorse or work for any mayoral campaign. I know who I'm voting for, but that's my business.

Bing
Bing

but have you been to Oklahoma?

MattL1
MattL1

They tell me I was born there, but I really don't remember.

(Full disclosure: I was born in Illinois.)

FatFreddie
FatFreddie

Since Detroit and Chicago are so good (???) and Dallas is so bad,to paraphrase the old bumper sticker:

Love Detroit? Try I-35 North

Don't let the doornob hit Y'all

kYle
kYle

I-35 is 600 some odd miles from Detroit.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Detroit, St.Paul, what's the dif? They're both full of damn yankees, right?

Bigjondaniel
Bigjondaniel

The standard Dallas response, and as always, breathtakingly ignorant

Craig Gathright
Craig Gathright

OK so here's one that isn't ignorant. Dallas has been stealing business from the north for years; look no further than Comerica Bank Tower in Downtown Dallas to see one of our trophies from Detroit.

Chicago is a great town, with internationally renowned architecture and museums. It is also currently rated as an Alpha Class City by the GaWC. It has held that position for years now and really has little chance of catching London and New York as Alpha++ Cities, Although it might claw its way up to Alpha+ class (Tokyo, Paris, et al).

Dallas is currently a Beta Class World City (Berlin, Cairo, Boston, et al) which is up from Gamma Class a few short years ago. In other words since the year 2000 according to the GaWC ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... ) Dallas is up four spots (Gamma, Gamma+, Beta- and now Beta) while Chicago stands pat as an Alpha. Detroit is a Gamma- and SINKING and the aforementioned Denver is a Gamma+, both below Dallas already.

In other words it would be great if Dallas were an Alpha City like Chicago, but we won't get there by mimicking Chicago or Detroit. One does not raise in class as a world city by following in the footsteps of cities that are stagnant or shrinking.

If we had to mimic one Chicago would be better since at least they have a higher rating than Dallas, but Chicago isn't even the "Second City" in population any more. LA surpassed Chicago in the course of a few decades and if you pay close attention you will see Dallas pass up Chi-Town in the next two decades. With that additional population will come additional culture and ideas.

P.S. Jim in referring to the wonderful forests of Detroit don't forget the following from Texas Audubon, "The Great Trinity Forest, at 6,000 acres, is the largest urban bottomland hardwood forest in North America."

That's all of North America buddy, not just East of the Mississippi.

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