Division Dispatch #4

In Studs Terkel’s Division Street: America, Division Street is a metaphor. But here in Chicago, Division Street is a living, breathing metaphor, and from time to time on this blog, I like to check in with it to see what it says about our city, our lives, our nation. Consider:

* “Division Street: Two Americas.” Straining to be rich and hip.

* “Do Division Street Fest & Sidewalk Sale 2008.” Pabst Blue Ribbon will be served based on its popularity in the ‘hood.

* “This life-work began with the best-seller Division Street: America, in which he talked to politicians and protestors, firemen and cops, actors and salesmen, saints and thieves.” From “Roger Ebert’s Journal: How Studs Helps Me Lead My Life.”

* Division Dispatch #1: “You don’t have to worry about getting mugged on Division near Damen at 10 on Friday night like you did 10 years ago. And as folks who live there will tell you, the main drag isn’t a hooker depot anymore.”

* Division Dispatch #2: “A three-block section of [Chicago neighborhood] Wicker Park that once accommodated eight families, two vintage clothing stores, a French cleaners, and a gourmet bakery has been completely razed to make way for a private livery stable and carriage house.”

* Division Dispatch #3: “Division Street separates Wicker Park from East Village (east of Damen) and Ukrainian Village (west of Damen). In last week’s Reader, Ben Joravsky described how ‘Dan Rostenkowski kept the villages under his thumb even after he’d gone off to Congress – and jail.'”


2 responses to “Division Dispatch #4

  1. Don’t forget this ditty:

    “Empty Bottle Presents and the West Town Chamber of Commerce have just released a limited number of special VIP tickets for the forthcoming Do Division festival. Priced at one hundred dollars ($100.00), the two-day pass includes guaranteed entrance to both days of the festival as well as access to a special VIP area that has unobstructed views to the stage. This special section consists of a patio and tented area accessible only to those with VIP passes. VIP ticket holders will also be privy to complimentary beer, water and wine offered by festival sponsors, and will have access to a private portable restroom. These hand-screened commemorative passes, extremely limited in number, are available now.”

    All the PBR you can drink no doubt.

    from http://www.ticketweb.com/snl/EventListings.action?orgId=10461&REFID=bottle

  2. J.J. Tindall

    I’ve gigged on Division Street regularly in the last twenty years, and lived for that time in the “South Ukrainian Village.” As the Gentry moved in looking for savings on their condos, they also brought their self-serving values along with them, and, instead of fitting in to a relatively normal, even FRIENDLY, working-class neighborhood, they started calling the cops on our music, on anyone going through their garbage (?!–hey, it’s the most efficient recycling system going) and even calling the cops if your hedges creeped over their fenceline.

    LAME…Division Street between Ashland and Western has now become a place where those who believe WEALTH=RIGHTEOUSNESS have taken over, bringing their oppressive suburban values with them, and I think it’s a remarkable loss. Don’t we have plenty of high-end places to party in this town? Bohemians need love, too, fellas. And we all need their voices. Mercy…

    So: on to the next TRULY RIGHTEOUS working-class neighborhood, to keep up the Good Fight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s