These days, there are times living out here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago that I feel like Henry Hill (played by actor Ray Liotta) at the end of the 1990 film Goodfellas.
No, not that part about Henry living the rest of his life as a “schnook.”
Rather, where previously I could step out my door adjacent to a major city artery and things were generally hopping, this suburban subdivision I now live in can be pretty dull at times (which isn’t entirely a bad thing).
Thank god the Italian food around here isn’t nearly as bad as what the other Hill encountered.
Grazie a Dio.
However, I was just reminded this morning of one of the big reasons why my girlfriend and I moved out of the city of Chicago while reading the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop. “016 Up For Grabs” discussed 5 people getting shot in less than 2 days in the Chicago Police Department’s 16th District, something that kind of hit home considering I used to live in that same district.
Now, it’s not like crime never happened in 016 before. It’s the big city, and the 80 percent of good, law-abiding people are packed shoulder-to-shoulder with the 10 percent of human refuse and remaining 10 percent who play by the rules because they’re forced to. I can recall walking into a convenience store down the street from me just minutes after it had been robbed, having a “welcome to the new home” plant stolen from my building’s entryway shortly after it had been delivered, and finding a big metal Coleman cooler stolen from my underground parking garage space- all within weeks after moving in to my old Northwest Side neighborhood, one of the “nicer” ones in the city.
Funny thing about that cooler. It used to store bottles of antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, engine oil, and more- none of which was taken even though it was inside the cooler. But plenty of which splashed around and/or leaked in that container.
Something tells me those bastards got pretty ill later drinking from those beer bottles/cans because they were too lazy to clean out that cooler before using it.
Karma’s a bitch. Or here’s hoping, right?
Still, armed with “intel” from Second City Cop and other alternative media with a local focus (Chicago mainstream media was hit-or-miss on reporting criminal activity in my neighborhood), Chicago-related research/blog material, and my own local observations, I realized that the 16th District had not only become “grittier” as it concerned crime, but it was occurring at a time when police protection in my area was significantly-reduced from when I first moved in.
Coupled with the City of Chicago’s financial woes that are finally coming home to roost? Chicagoans don’t need to be brain surgeons to figure this one out. Like I’ve been saying for some time now, more fees/fines/taxes and less government services seem to be on the horizon.
I suspect less police protection will be part of that equation, unless Chicago taxpayers pony up more of their hard-earned cash to at least keep the “thin blue line” intact.
And boy is it thin these days.
But I suspect increased revenues will be directed at Chicago’s public employee pension crisis and City Hall’s pet projects (where’s my park, dang it) before it’s steered over to the CPD and public safety.
In other words, Chicagoans had better be prepared to keep hearing “crime is down” for a long time.
In the meantime, City Hall still can’t comprehend that losing Downtown to all the wilding will see the City’s bottom line hit hard as word gets out.
Judging by recent MSM coverage nationwide about such criminal activity here, the word’s already out.
I wonder how hard it is to fudge tourism numbers?
While I would have preferred to have stayed in Chicago, and in particular, our old or the adjacent neighborhood in the CPD’s 16th District, considering what I see is in store for the area and our particular circumstances, my girlfriend and I made the right decision to move when and where we did.
Then again, that might not be the “correct” decision for other Chicagoans. Consider this. We didn’t have much invested in our old location. We didn’t own it (could have, but we steered clear of buying anything until home prices came back down to earth somewhat), we weren’t required to live within the city limits as required by a municipal job, we don’t have kids in the local schools, family and friends didn’t live down the street, the list goes on. So it wasn’t all too painful for us to just pick up and leave when our latest lease ran out.
The same can’t be said for others, and I respect that.
At least I, for one, have given you enough notice of what to expect down the road.
Is the “Second City” going to get worse? Could get “Third World” when all is said and done, and the ongoing financial storm finally blows completely through.
By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)
SCC. “016 Up For Grabs.” Second City Cop. 13 Aug. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/08/016-up-for-grabs.html). 13 Aug. 2013.
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