Thursday, February 17, 2005

My Kind of Town -- Pt. II

You gotta love this Park Grill flap getting play in the papers. The Mayor's big, ugly baby, Millennium Park, also contains a big, ugly restaurant, the Park Grill. Turns out the Grill's partners got an illegal 20-year lease for the place, and don't have to pay for things like garbage collection. Of course, the restaurant is backed by clout-y investors with ties to City Hall and the Bridgeport political machine.

The best part of this is that Millennium Park donors have complained about what an eyesore the Park Grill is _ it's sign and it's outdoor barbecue grill that throws up smoke in front of some of the park's artwork. Daley and his counsel have since backpedaled on the Park Grill, putting the blame on the Park District _ which it should rightly share.

There you go. It wouldn't be a true Chicago project without...
A. Something garish and unnecessary to divert public attention (Millennium Park)
B. A tie-in for political insiders (Park Grill)

The Grill's design shows what the City really values. Yes, it got its million-dollar trinket (Millennium Park) to signify it has culture and thus is a REAL city. But, that's not so important as allowing more cash cows for friends. The fact that their strip-mall aesthetics belong more in Downer's Grove is the icing on the cake.

Art can wait for a slow-cooked CHICAGO-STYLE slab of ribs.

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