My kinda town
For the new year a regular posting on what catches my eye in the local newspapers. Some serious, some irrelevant, some noteworthy, some humourous and some just plain ridiculous!Chicago has been named as the US' fattest city
. "Men's Fitness magazine has named Chicago the nation's fattest city, blaming Chicagoans' love of television and lack of exercise."
The report said that 6 out of 10 people that live in the state of Illinois are overweight. Jeez. The Chicago Matadors
(right) who 'perform' at Chicago Bulls' games probably don't do anything for the city's rep.
Las Vegas was listed as 2nd with LA 3rd and Dallas 4th. Baltimore in Maryland was named as the countries fittest place to live.
Since my time in the city, the downtown riverwalk
has remained at best a building site, punctuated by the odd placard promising Gardens of Eden and Parisien cafes. Mayor Daley's original plan was to build 35,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space with docks for water taxi's to jet people up and down the river.
That has remained a plan on a drawing board in the mayor's office until now. Following the opening of a recent Vietnam War memorial, the city hopes to issue licenses
, before the summer, for 5 riverside cafes and a farmers market between Michigan and Franklin Streets along the southside of the river and to eventually finish lighting, fencing, stairs and ramps so that the space can open to the public.
Sadly every morning when I turn on the news, there always seemed to have been a fire overnight in the city. Early Saturday morning the landmark 115-year old Pilgrim Baptist Church in Bronzeville
was gutted by fire
. This might not mean anything to most people but the south side church was the birthplace of gospel music. It is alleged that contractors working on the roof caused the fire.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson is asking churches worldwide to take up special collections today to help Chicago's Pilgrim Baptist Church rebuild. "Besides its own history of gospel music and the like, when Dr. (Martin Luther) King came to Chicago in 1966, many church doors were closed in his face. Many pulpits were closed to Dr. King, right here in Chicago",
he said. "Not Pilgrim. Pilgrim's pulpit was open to Dr. King"
Mayor Daley (he will mentioned a lot in these postings I fear) has declared that he wants Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics
. Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco have also shown some interest, although it is not even known whether the US Olympic Committee will even bid to host the summer games.Chicago's bid
is a long shot and appears a completely flawed one. This lady
doesn't thinks so and nor does the never publicity shy mayor.
However without an adequate large Olympic stadium plan the idea looks doomed. Soldier Field's playing field is not big enough and nor is the capacity and I don't know how they would add 20,000 seats to the current 61,500. Transportation is another big issue, the two major airports are already too busy with no sign in sight of the city getting a third. The 'L'
would also need a complete modernisation and extension.
And it goes without saying that funding for any such event is a hot topic. A new 80,000 facility has been estimated at costing a $1bn, not forgetting the cost of any failure to have worthwhile use for it afterwards.
I really hope I'm wrong because Iwould be over the moon to see two cities very close to my heart host consecutive Olympic games. I do think however, that the 2016 Olympics may end up in either South America or India.
I see that amongst the odd-balls in this years Celebrity Big Brother
is ex-Chicago Bull hero Dennis Rodman
, generally considered as a complete freak of nature. Perfect for the programme then, I expect.Amongst other things
, Rodman is the current Commissioner of the Lingerie Football League
, I kid you not! I look forward to hearing of late night conversations between Rodman, George Galloway and Pete Burns!