Monday, June 23, 2003

Chicago Beat
I was thinking that since I blog from Chicago, my blog ought to be a little more about, ya know, Chicago. Thus the first installment in my hopefully regular "Chicago Beat" ("In the Loop" was taken, three times over). (You can log into Tribune stories with my name and password of "nbiermaread.)

- I took a walk today to the creepy brown brick Gold Coast mansion--blanketed in ivy, windows shrouded by curtains--where Reid Selseth allegedly amassed a despicable collection of child porn. I couldn't believe the irony of what I saw on the doorknob: a cable TV flyer with a picture of a child saluting. (I squinted but couldn't make out the punch line explaining why the child was saluting). Unbelievable. Inside, Selseth, who is now on suicide watch, reportedly kept hundreds of dirty photos, some of kids as young as 4 years old. Now the grinning visage of this young girl greets passersby.

- A column in this morning's NY Times said that the Yankees-Mets series has lost its luster some seven years after interleague play resumed, but my first White Sox-Cubs series as a Chicagoan was a thrill to watch on TV. The Sox soiled Wrigley Field with two commanding wins on Friday and Saturday, knocking the Cubs from first place, before a dramatic 2-1 Cubs win yesterday--the first baseball game I've watched at least five straight innings of in some time. There was third base coach Wendell Kim waving in the tying run in the eighth inning--which beat the throw by half a foot--one day after harsh criticism of his green light for a runner who was thrown out by three city blocks. This was indeed a series played and coached with passion; now each team plays a crucial division series before reuniting on the South Side this weekend.

- The police waited until the furor over their March 20 crackdown on anti-war protesters (which I viewed with rapt attention from the north on Lake Shore Drive)--a crackdown that was far less violent but comparably uncalled for than the famous 1968 Democratic convention brawl--died down before releasing most of those they arrested. They should have let them off the hook in March, but were too sheepish (either that or the bureaucracy was that dense, or both).

- A woman loses her balance while adjusting her shoulder bag on an L platform and falls to a tragic (and reportedly gruesome) death, and how does the Tribune frame it in the first sentence of its story? "... halting service to one of the busiest elevated routes and affecting an estimated 60,000 rush hour commuters." Boy, what an unlucky afternoon for those commuters... Sheesh, how about some perspective.

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