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As befitting Chicago’s role as a transportation hub (“Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler”) the Marquette Building was the headquarters for over 30 railroad companies in the 1930s.
The truly fortunate traveler with a few dollars in hand will find his way to the Magnificent Mile, the northern part of Michigan Avenue, extending from the Chicago River on the south to Lake Shore Drive to the north. Besides indulging in many opportunities for power shopping, a visitor can also take in the John Hancock Center, the Tribune Tower and the Old Water Tower.
At Christmas the whole stretch is festooned with white lights which, especially when it snows, create an aura that is truly otherworldly.
But for this writer, the poles of requited and unrequited love are to be found at the far ends of this great city avenue. My wife and I honeymooned at the Drake Hotel on Chicago’s Gold Coast at the north end of the Magnificent Mile. It is a magnificent hotel in the grand tradition.
At the south end, right at the Chicago River, one can visit the Joel Oppenheimer Natural Art Gallery and contemplate purchasing a print of the pink flamingo from the Bien Edition folios of Audubon’s Birds of America 1858-1860 for, oh, tens of thousands of dollars. This is, of course, the unrequited pole of the Magnificent Mile. Oppenheimer, at both its Chicago and Charleston, S.C. locations has bin after bin of authentic Audubon and antique botanical prints. Note to Santa: think “loon” this Christmas.
“Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laugher of Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,/Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.” Carl Sandburg got it right. Yes, Chicago is my kind of town. Its people are friendly, energetic, loyal (what else can a Cubs fan be?), Midwestern to the core, rooted in their unique history and geography. My daughter must agree with me since she married a guy from there. So I cannot possibly be wrong about this.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?