A view from the Chicago River
We live in Chicago, often called the "Second City"--second to NYC, LA, and DC really. Unlike those cities, we don't host a lot of celebs. To be sure we have Oprah, and Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston show up now and then. You can't swing a cat in Wrigley Field without hitting a Cusack or a Piven or a Murray. But that's really it. And none of those celebs attract world-wide media attention. Well, Oprah does but not on a regular basis.
As for global recognition, Chicago is of course known by other countries--but not well-known. Tell a European you're from Chicago and he'll hold his hands like a tommy-gun and say "Ah, Al Capone." Not exactly the image we'd like projected around the world, but there it is.
So it's kind of weird to have spent a week in the eye of the global media storm after the Presidential Election. Of course, we expected it to happen on Tuesday but when we woke up Wednesday and the traffic reporter mentioned he wasn't sure what was happening in Hyde Park because of the new "no-fly zone" over Obama's house it was noteworthy.
We're not used to presidential motorcades. Cokey Roberts on NPR said we'd better get used to it after we heard some unaware fool tried to pass the motorcade down in the Loop and got pulled over by the FBI, guns drawn. Oops. My bad officer, I was just trying to get to my lunch at Gene and Georgettis.
Barack's first press conference was at the Chicago Hilton, the same hotel we stayed in last week and the same hotel I've attended numerous events at. He and Michelle went to dinner at Spiaggia on Saturday a restaurant I've been to also for date night. It was odd to see all of this on World News Tonight.
At a church fundraiser on Friday the talk was all about our new family-elect. An architect friend of ours, Bill, was saying that his client's children attend school with Sasha and Malia (we're already on first name basis with these girls) and that they had shown up to school on Wednesday morning, on time, despite the fact that they'd been on stage the night before in front of the entire world until nearly midnight. Many of their classmates did not show up, using the excuse that they'd stayed up late to watch the elections. You gotta love that. And where else are you going to hear a story like that but here in Obamaland?
"Are they nice girls?" I asked Bill.
He smiled broadly, "They're very nice girls," he confirmed. We all sighed and sipped our drinks.
The President's daughters are nice girls and they're our girls from our town.
Chicago and for now the "Second-to-none City".