Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, is what they always say. I tepidly agree with this sentiment, but after six boozey years here, I have yet to visit most of these neighborhoods, mainly because of fear (my bulletproof vest is on my Christmas wish list), and a low tolerance for suburban-style plainness (who really gives a fuck about Belmont and Central?).
70-something years ago some University of Chicago guys divided this place into 77 neighborhoods. These rather arbitrary boarders remain in effect today. Also, every ten years, our esteemed City Council gets together, channeling their inner Rand McNally and benevolently redraws our 50 wards. This happened last year and I was in the room for some of the discussions, which was eye-opening and fun, to say the least. Despite, this "final" map being back in the news lately, I am about to embark on a grand Chicago voyage... In my eternal effort to better comprehend this place, I'll be visiting and drinking in all the 50 wards.
I'll try my dandiest to drinkypoo in one (hopefully more) bars which capture the distinctive smell of each ward and, once the hangover has moderated, write about it here. Like all good expeditions, I'll have a bunch of rules, which I'll probably disregard quickly.
For greater comparative insight, each ward-expedition will be done on a Friday or Saturday evening. I'll try to do one each week, but obviously regular life (my woman's book/talking shit about men club) will occasionally get in the way. I will invite the respective alderman and/or staff of each ward to join me. If they don't, I will, at least, get their recommendations for bars, which most epitomize their ward. I will go in ascending numerical order. The first one will be the 1st ward, which is easy, since I've worked here for five years. I'm using the new ward map. The final and most important rule is, as the voice of our generation 2Chainz says, if I die; bury me inside the booty club.
After this long and booze-packed journey, I expect to gain a superior understanding of this town. At the very least, I expect to get drunk with a "purpose" other than simply forgetting how rotten my life is, have some fun and, fingers crossed, not get shot in my mediocre face.
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