By Arlene Jones
I feel the need to rant. Like a good reporter, I see things that others don't. And none of the things that irk me are deserving of an entire column dedicated to them.
Recently, I have noticed a resurgence of gang signs. Buildings, garages and huge plate glass windows are being targeted. And when you see some of the locations high up in the air that taggers hit, you have to admire their audacity. But I have a question. How come none of our street artist have paintball or marked up those red light cameras? Would anybody think a big black dot sprayed in the center of the camera's lenses or flashing light as an eyesore? Or would it be welcomed as a sign of financial relief?
Have you noticed the abandoned buildings with the big red X on them? Drive through West Garfield Park and they are all over the place. Those X's mean the building is going to be demolished. Some buildings do rightly need to go, but if you are as asleep as most folks are, you won't notice that those X's are on buildings that look in decent shape. Those signs around the city that state BUILDING A NEW CHICAGO, should give everyone pause as the updates to the city have never historically included the black community.
My new job takes me to neighborhoods all over the city. On some blocks I have seen three Mexican restaurants. That was in addition to the ones on the preceding block. I have concluded that Mexicans open restaurants like black folks open churches. But is there really the clientele for all of those restaurants? And when is the city going to crack down on the blue cooler folks? You know who they are. They have put together a tamale or taco stand and find a corner and set up shop without a sanitation license, running water or a general business license.
The city put my friend through hell and a hand basket to get his food truck license. Yet it turns a blind eye to the unlicensed blue coolers and white carts. It was at first cute see those carts years ago. Now we have a proliferation all over the city except in the downtown and lakefront area, and it looks bad. Whatever happened to all the bakeries that once dotted the Chicago landscape? When I was growing up, August Bakery was the place to stop for apple slices, mismarks and long johns.
I had a craving for a chocolate donut the other day and for the life of me I couldn't find a bakery. And sorry, but those pretty but yucky tasting concoctions known as Dunkin' Donuts don't count!
It is scary to see so many neighborhoods in the city and suburbs with so many for rent signs in the windows. The economic downturn has affected everyone.
Most of us can remember when Western and Cicero Avenues were the car shopping mecca. Now they have become a mere shadow of what they used to be. All those car dealerships meant jobs and we need to be more vocal about what is going on.
I am also seeing less and less manufacturing and factory districts. If we as consumers ignored and refused to purchase all the "made outside of America" products, we could send a message to get jobs back into this country.
Last but not least, how come I can't see the lakeshore when driving Lake Shore Drive?
Answer Book 2018
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