Seven Notes on Chicago, Wine and Winter Coats
A few notes from my current sojourn in Chicago…
Note #1: Illinois Wine Consumers Rock
Illinoisans tend, in general, to appreciate, be connected to and understand politics better than other city dwellers. This was most certainly brought home to me as I've met a number of wine-loving Illinoisans who are not only irked by their recently reduced access to wine in the state, but seem to understand the nuances of why they were stripped of their access to wine recently. And the word is that they have no interest in sitting around and taking it for much longer.
Note #2: Obama Owns This Town
When I studied Diplomatic History in College I recall looking at many old photos of Moscow during the reign of Stalin. No matter where you went, you'd see the ruler's image on posters, sides of buildings…everywhere. Chicago is not much different today where President-Elect Obama is concerned, except for that small matter of Obama having actually been elected democratically. The Coming President's image is everywhere: posters, tee-shirts, banners, billboards. I don't recall ever seeing an American city so fully embracing a politician as their own
Note #3: Chicago's Arresting Development
It seems no matter what corner you turn in Chicago you are faced with a unique cityscape that is arresting. It's a matter of pride, competition and willingness where architecture is concerned. While architectural themes run through this city's many great structures, there is no common theme making most views of the city as far from monotonous as could be. It makes for slow walking, an arrested gate, many stops along the way and great city viewing.
Note #4…But Wouldn't Want To Live Here
I would a different person were I forced to live through a Chicago winter. Just the taste I got the past couple days of the cold, wind and snow reminds me of the "weather pussy" I've become having lived in Northern California all my life.
Note #5: A Great Wine City
Probably the best indication of just how great a wine city Chicago is can be understood by the amazing array of restaurants this city houses. It is fantasy land for the Foodie which means it is a relative fantasy land for the wine lover. Of course, Chicago's selection of wines seems to be much more partial to diversity than in my neck of the woods, where preference is given to locally made wines. Chicago impresses with its willingness to accept inventory from both east and west of it.
Note #6: Winter Coats Galore
Anyone looking to enhance their collection of winter coats ought to come to Chicago just for this reason. Upon telling a lovely friend of mine I needed a new overcoat, she insisted I wait to buy one until I arrived here. She was sage. The selection of fine winter outerwear on display in this city is remarkable. I picked up two.
Note #7: The Suffering Must End
As many of you know, Illinois recently barred its residents from purchasing wine from out-of-state wine retailers. It was a bad decision that cost wine lovers hear access to many wines, cost the state significant amounts of tax revenue, and further damaged the reputation of the state and, if possible, many of its lawmakers. The suffering of wine lovers that came with the new anti-consumer, anti-free trade, protectionist law must end. And by all indications that I've gathered since arriving, there is a good chance it will.