Chicago Block Quotes

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Writer's block? I've heard of this. This is when a writer cannot write, yes? Then that person isn't a writer anymore. I'm sorry, but the job is getting up in the fucking morning and writing for a living.
Warren Ellis
We're in the Chicago suburbs, ruling our 'hood and the streets that lead here. It's a street war, where other suburban gangs fight us for territory. Three blocks away are mansions and million-dollar houses. Right here, in the real world, the street war rages on. The people in the million-dollar houses don't even realize a battle is about to begin less than a half mile from their backyards.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
If you 're serious about getting it on again, be sure to give me some advance notice, so I can grab my appointment calendar and block out three minutes.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Natural Born Charmer (Chicago Stars, #7))
Well, if you’re a native Chicagoan, you know how dumb he [Dr. Robert Hartley] is. He gets on the Ravenswood El, he goes past his stop on Sheridan Road, he gets off in Evanston, where the El is on the ground, and then he walks back 55 blocks to his apartment. Now, would you want to have that man as a psychologist? A man who misses his stop every day?
Bob Newhart
Parts of Chicago are wondrous fair, and parts of Chicago look postapocalyptic. This block had seen the apocalypse come, grunted, and said, “Meh.
Jim Butcher (Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13))
How many are we talking about? What percentage of females in Chicago are ready to have sex with you right now? What happens if one of them needs to travel? Do they have a phone tree? Is there a coverage plan or a backup plan for emergencies?” Quinn covered the bottom half of his mouth with his free hand, too late to mask the smile, his shoulders started shaking with silent laughter. I continued, feeling a little better knowing that he was able to laugh at himself, “Is there entry criteria? An established search committee? An interview process? Skills test? What kind of radius do you require? Do you have one circling the block now? Do you always keep one nearby? Was there one at the restaurant? At the bar maybe?
Penny Reid (Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1))
Closed inside my compartment as if in a cubicle of some Egyptian tomb, I worked late into the night between New York and Chicago; then all the next day, in the restaurant of a Chicago station where I awaited a train blocked by storms and snow; then again until dawn, alone in the observation car of a Santa Fe limited, surrounded by black spurs of the Colorado mountains, and by the eternal pattern of the stars. Thus were written at a single impulsion the passages on food, love, sleep, and the knowledge of men. I can hardly recall a day spent with more ardor, or more lucid nights.
Marguerite Yourcenar
Shortly before school started, I moved into a studio apartment on a quiet street near the bustle of the downtown in one of the most self-conscious bends of the world. The “Gold Coast” was a neighborhood that stretched five blocks along the lake in a sliver of land just south of Lincoln Park and north of River North. The streets were like fine necklaces and strung together were the brownstone houses and tall condominiums and tiny mansions like pearls, and when the day broke and the sun faded away, their lights burned like jewels shining gaudily in the night. The world’s most elegant bazaar, Michigan Avenue, jutted out from its eastern tip near The Drake Hotel and the timeless blue-green waters of Lake Michigan pressed its shores. The fractious make-up of the people that inhabited it, the flat squareness of its parks and the hint of the lake at the ends of its tree-lined streets squeezed together a domesticated cesspool of age and wealth and standing. It was a place one could readily dress up for an expensive dinner at one of the fashionable restaurants or have a drink miles high in the lounge of the looming John Hancock Building and five minutes later be out walking on the beach with pants cuffed and feet in the cool water at the lake’s edge.
Daniel Amory (Minor Snobs)
EVANSTON. And I’m still basically there. All the time. Unlike Eddie Vedder, I can’t get out. I work there, my doctor is there, and even though I technically live within the Chicago city limits, if I need to go to the supermarket or the movies, I always think of the Evanston ones first. It’s a trap. No one ever leaves this place. Not kidding, I see my junior-year English teacher at Starbucks every morning, which is down the block from the bagel shop this dude I graduated with just bought. It’s gross. I gotta grow the fuck up.
Samantha Irby (We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.)
California during the 1940s had Hollywood and the bright lights of Los Angeles, but on the other coast was Florida, land of sunshine and glamour, Miami and Miami Beach. If you weren't already near California's Pacific Coast you headed for Florida during the winter. One of the things which made Miami such a mix of glitter and sunshine was the plethora of movie stars who flocked there to play, rubbing shoulders with tycoons and gangsters. Sometimes it was hard to tell the difference between the latter two. Miami and everything that surrounded it hadn't happened by accident. Carl Fisher had set out to make Miami Beach a playground destination during the 1930s and had succeeded far beyond his dreams. The promenade behind the Roney Plaza Hotel was a block-long lovers' lane of palm trees and promise that began rather than ended in the blue waters of the Atlantic. Florida was more than simply Miami and Miami Beach, however. When George Merrick opened the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables papers across the country couldn't wait to gush about the growing aura of Florida. They tore down Collins Bridge in the Gables and replaced it with the beautiful Venetian Causeway. You could plop down a fiver if you had one and take your best girl — or the girl you wanted to score with — for a gondola ride there before the depression, or so I'd been told. You see, I'd never actually been to Florida before the war, much less Miami. I was a newspaper reporter from Chicago before the war and had never even seen the ocean until I was flying over the Pacific for the Air Corp. There wasn't much time for admiring the waves when Japanese Zeroes were trying to shoot you out of the sky and bury you at the bottom of that deep blue sea. It was because of my friend Pete that I knew so much about Miami. Florida was his home, so when we both got leave in '42 I followed him to the warm waters of Miami to see what all the fuss was about. It would be easy to say that I skipped Chicago for Miami after the war ended because Pete and I were such good pals and I'd had such a great time there on leave. But in truth I decided to stay on in Miami because of Veronica Lake. I'd better explain that. Veronica Lake never knew she was the reason I came back with Pete to Miami after the war. But she had been there in '42 while Pete and I were enjoying the sand, sun, and the sweet kisses of more than a few love-starved girls desperate to remember what it felt like to have a man's arm around them — not to mention a few other sensations. Lake had been there promoting war bonds on Florida's first radio station, WQAM. It was a big outdoor event and Pete and I were among those listening with relish to Lake's sultry voice as she urged everyone to pitch-in for our boys overseas. We were in those dark early days of the war at the time, and the outcome was very much in question. Lake's appearance at the event was a morale booster for civilians and servicemen alike. She was standing behind a microphone that sat on a table draped in the American flag. I'd never seen a Hollywood star up-close and though I liked the movies as much as any other guy, I had always attributed most of what I saw on-screen to smoke and mirrors. I doubted I'd be impressed seeing a star off-screen. A girl was a girl, after all, and there were loads of real dolls in Miami, as I'd already discovered. Boy, was I wrong." - Where Flamingos Fly
Bobby Underwood (Where Flamingos Fly (Nostalgic Crime #2))
Recent Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago research has found, with a granular level of detail down to the city block, that the refusal to lend to Black families under the original 1930s redlining maps is responsible for as much as half of the current disparities between Black and white homeownership and for the gaps between the housing values of Black and white homes in those communities. Richard Rothstein, author of the seminal book on segregation, Color of Law: How the Government Segregated America, reminds us that there is no such thing as “de facto” segregation that is different from de jure (or legal) segregation. All segregation is the result of public policy, past and present.
Heather McGhee (The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together)
The Civil War was ABOUT something. It was fought FOR something. And—let us never for a moment forget it—it WON something. Under everything else, the war was about Negro slavery. It was fought for freedom—and if ever anything was worth fighting a war for, freedom was and is the cause. . . . And that is why the Civil War is worth remembering. It gave us a broader freedom, and it laid upon us the obligation to live up to that freedom and to make it unlimited, for everybody. Freedom is indivisible. Winning it for the Negro, we won it also for all of the people who then were or ever would become Americans—for the man who has fled from oppression, misery and discrimination overseas as well as for the fugitive from the American slave pen and auction block. We can never have, permanently, a second-class citizenship in this country; because of the Civil War, we are no longer that kind of country. We might just as well stop trying to find a comfortable middle ground between the ideas of Abraham Lincoln and Adolf Hitler. There simply isn't any such place.
Bruce Catton (The Meaning of the Civil War: An Address Delivered at the Chicago Historical Society, April 12, 1961 (Classic Reprint))
True blues ain't no new news about who's been abused For the blues is as old as my stolen soul I sang the blues when the missionaries came Passing out bibles in Jesus' name I sang the blues in the hull of the ship Beneath the sting of the slavemaster's whip I sang the blues when the ship anchored the dark My family being sold on a slave block I sang the blues being torn from my first born And hung my head and cried when my wife took his life And then committed suicide. I sang the blues on the slavemaster's plantation helping Him build his free nation I sang the blues in the cottonfield, hustlin' to make the daily yield I sang the blues when he forced my woman to beg Lord knows how I wished he was dead I sang the blues on the run, ducking the dogs and dodging the gun I sang the blues hanging from the tree in a desperate attempt to break free I sang the blues when the sun went down, cursing the master when he wasn't around I sang the blues in all these wars dying for some unknown cause I sang the blues in a high tone, low moan, loud groan, soft grunt, hard funk I sang the blues in land sea and air, about who when why and where I sang the blues in church on sunday, slaving on monday, misused on tuesday, abused on wednesday, accused on thursday, fried alive on friday, and died on saturday. Sho nuff singing the blues I sang the blues in the summer, fall winter and spring I know sho nuff the blues is my thing I sang the backwater blues, rhythm and blues, gospel blues, saint louis blues, crosstown blues, chicago blues, mississippi GODDAMN blues, the watts blues, the harlem blues, hoe blues, gut-bucket blues, funky chunky blues, i sang the up north cigarette corp blues, the down south sprung out the side of my mouth blues, I sang the blues black, i sang the blues blacker, i sang the blues blackest I SANG BOUT MY SHO NUFF BLUE BLACKNESS! from "True Blues" by the Last Poets
Jalal Mansur Nuriddin
He had decided before the accident not to chase them anymore, but the circumstances of the accident made him fear for Lilia's safety. he would never bring her in, not anymore; all he wanted now was to watch over her. Michaela had been reading his notes for years, but his notes were only part of it: the other part was the way he woke up at night in his bed in Montreal and knew where Lilia was, the way he could glance at a map of the United Staes and realize with absolute, inexplicable certainty that she was in West Virginia, the way he tried to ignore his terrifying clairvoyance and forget where she was and couldn't, the way he knew where she was but had to keep driving south to check, the horror of always being right: he saw her face in the crowd on Sunset Boulevard, he stepped into a hardware store in St. Louis at the moment she stepped out of the deli across the street, he stood on a corner in a run-down neighborhood in Chicago and watched her emerge from an apartment building down the block. After each sighting he returned north more depleted, more frightened, less intact.
Emily St. John Mandel (Last Night in Montreal)
By her own measure, my mom is nothing special. She also likes to say that while she loves us dearly, my brother and I are not special, either. We’re just two kids who had enough love and a good amount of luck and happened to do well as a result. She tries to remind people that neighborhoods like the South Side of Chicago are packed full of “little Michelles and little Craigs.” They’re in every school, on every block. It’s just that too many of them get overlooked and underestimated, so too much of that potential goes unrecognized. This would probably count as the foundational point of my mom’s larger philosophy: “All children are great children.
Michelle Obama (The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times)
Here is a cutting from the Ladies’ Home Journal of Philadelphia: Uncle Sam set apart a royal pleasure ground in North Western Wyoming and called it Yellowstone National Park. To give an idea of what its size—3,312 square miles—really means, let us clear the floor of the park and tenderly place some of the great cities of the world there, close together as children do their blocks. First put in London, then Greater New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Paris, Boston, Berlin, St. Louis, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Washington. The floor of the park should be about half covered, then lift up Rhode Island. Carefully, so as not to spill any of its people, set it down and press in the West Indies. And even then there are 200 square miles left.
A.A. Gill (To America with Love)
I'd been here before. Not to this Freedman Town, but to plenty of others. I've been all over the North, and every northern city has a Freedman Town. New York City's got a few, and Chicago's got more than a few. Baltimore, Washington. The manumitted have got to go somewhere, and the world doesn't give them a lot of options. The details are different - some of 'em are built on a high-rise model, bent towers clustered around courtyards, crammed to the gills with the poorest of the poor, living hard, the forgotten children of forgotten children. Some are like this one, blocks and blocks of small ramshackle homes, no sidewalks along narrow roads with the concrete worn and blasted through, the yards between the houses as weed-choked as vacant lots. Ivy growing in wild overlapping networks, engulfing the lower stories and sending menacing tendrils into upstairs windows. Gutters dangling or cracked, porches falling.
Ben H. Winters (Underground Airlines)
What blocks black women from getting the cancer care available to white women? One barrier is that black women do not have the same access to mammography. Black neighborhoods have fewer facilities that provide breast cancer screening. The sole mammogram machine in Englewood, a predominantly black area on Chicago’s South Side, was broken for months. Women were sent ten miles away to get screened. Even the state-of-the-art John H. Stroger Hospital, which replaced Chicago’s aging Cook County Hospital in 2002 and serves many of the city’s poor African Americans, ran up a backlog of more than ten thousand women seeking mammograms.5 Mammograms cost about $150, which can be prohibitive for a woman struggling to feed her children. Medicaid paid only about half of the cost, so many hospitals in Chicago didn’t offer mammograms to women on Medicaid. “What does it mean if you have to take three buses to get to a place that gives mammograms, and then when you get there, you say, ‘Here is my Medicaid card,’ and they say, ‘Sorry, we don’t take that’?” Whitman asks.
Dorothy Roberts (Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century)
In 1968, at fifteen, she turned on the television and watched chaos flaring up across the country like brush fires. Martin Luther King, Jr., then Bobby Kennedy. Students in revolt at Columbia. Riots in Chicago, Memphis, Baltimore, D.C.—everywhere, everywhere, things were falling apart. Deep inside her a spark kindled, a spark that would flare in Izzy years later. Of course she understood why this was happening: they were fighting to right injustices. But part of her shuddered at the scenes on the television screen. Grainy scenes, but no less terrifying: grocery stores ablaze, smoke billowing from their rooftops, walls gnawed to studs by flame. The jagged edges of smashed windows like fangs in the night. Soldiers marching with rifles past drugstores and Laundromats. Jeeps blocking intersections under dead traffic lights. Did you have to burn down the old to make way for the new? The carpet at her feet was soft. The sofa beneath her was patterned with roses. Outside, a mourning dove cooed from the bird feeder and a Cadillac glided to a dignified stop at the corner. She wondered which was the real world.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
He was walking down a narrow street in Beirut, Lebanon, the air thick with the smell of Arabic coffee and grilled chicken. It was midday, and he was sweating badly beneath his flannel shirt. The so-called South Lebanon conflict, the Israeli occupation, which had begun in 1982 and would last until 2000, was in its fifth year. The small white Fiat came screeching around the corner with four masked men inside. His cover was that of an aid worker from Chicago and he wasn’t strapped. But now he wished he had a weapon, if only to have the option of ending it before they took him. He knew what that would mean. The torture first, followed by the years of solitary. Then his corpse would be lifted from the trunk of a car and thrown into a drainage ditch. By the time it was found, the insects would’ve had a feast and his mother would have nightmares, because the authorities would not allow her to see his face when they flew his body home. He didn’t run, because the only place to run was back the way he’d come, and a second vehicle had already stopped halfway through a three-point turn, all but blocking off the street. They exited the Fiat fast. He was fit and trained, but he knew they’d only make it worse for him in the close confines of the car if he fought them. There was a time for that and a time for raising your hands, he’d learned. He took an instep hard in the groin, and a cosh over the back of his head as he doubled over. He blacked out then. The makeshift cell Hezbollah had kept him in in Lebanon was a bare concrete room, three metres square, without windows or artificial light. The door was wooden, reinforced with iron strips. When they first dragged him there, he lay in the filth that other men had made. They left him naked, his wrists and ankles chained. He was gagged with rag and tape. They had broken his nose and split his lips. Each day they fed him on half-rancid scraps like he’d seen people toss to skinny dogs. He drank only tepid water. Occasionally, he heard the muted sound of children laughing, and smelt a faint waft of jasmine. And then he could not say for certain how long he had been there; a month, maybe two. But his muscles had wasted and he ached in every joint. After they had said their morning prayers, they liked to hang him upside down and beat the soles of his feet with sand-filled lengths of rubber hose. His chest was burned with foul-smelling cigarettes. When he was stubborn, they lay him bound in a narrow structure shaped like a grow tunnel in a dusty courtyard. The fierce sun blazed upon the corrugated iron for hours, and he would pass out with the heat. When he woke up, he had blisters on his skin, and was riddled with sand fly and red ant bites. The duo were good at what they did. He guessed the one with the grey beard had honed his skills on Jewish conscripts over many years, the younger one on his own hapless people, perhaps. They looked to him like father and son. They took him to the edge of consciousness before easing off and bringing him back with buckets of fetid water. Then they rubbed jagged salt into the fresh wounds to make him moan with pain. They asked the same question over and over until it sounded like a perverse mantra. “Who is The Mandarin? His name? Who is The Mandarin?” He took to trying to remember what he looked like, the architecture of his own face beneath the scruffy beard that now covered it, and found himself flinching at the slightest sound. They had peeled back his defences with a shrewdness and deliberation that had both surprised and terrified him. By the time they freed him, he was a different man.  
Gary Haynes (State of Honour)
A letter from John Pearl asking for news of Chicago. As if I had any to give him. I know no more about it than he does. He wanted to go to New York but now sounds nostalgic and writes with deep distaste about his "peeling environment." "Peeling furniture, peeling walls, posters, bridges, everything is peeling and scaling in South Brooklyn. We moved here to save money, but I'm afraid we'd better start saving ourselves and move out again. It's the treelessness, as much as anything, that hurts me. The unnatural, too human deadness." I'm sorry for him. I know what he feels, the kind of terror, and the danger he sees of the lack of the human in the too-human. We find it, as others before us have found it in the last two hundred years, and we bolt for "Nature." It happens in all cities. And cities are "natural," too. He thinks he would be safer in Chicago, where he grew up. Sentimentality! He doesn't mean Chicago. It is no less inhuman. He means his father's house and the few blocks adjacent. Away from these and a few other islands, he would be just as unsafe. But even such a letter buoys me up. It gives me a sense of someone else's recognition of the difficult, the sorrowful, what to others is merely neutral, the environment.
Saul Bellow (Dangling Man)
The war against the crime syndicate in Chicago never ends. Those who attended the wedding of Tony Accardo’s kid were inspired after they saw how the battle is being waged. Long before the wedding began, dozens of law enforcement agents poured into the area around St. Vincent Ferrer Church on North Avenue, a few blocks west of Harlem. Veteran crime syndicate observers were quick to spot the FBI, the Secret Service, the Chicago Police Undercover Unit, the Crime Commission, and the Quickie Credit-Check Service. This phase of the never-ending battle against the gang-lords is fought, not with guns, but with notebooks and cameras. Nobody knows if this is effective against the mob, but at least no cops got shot in the foot.
Mike Royko (Early Royko: Up Against It in Chicago)
Contrary to popular belief, Chicago has never been a town for practitioners of the concrete block school of pallbearing. “I’d say that this is a sewer town rather than a concrete apron town,” said one sheriff’s man. “New York is more of a concrete apron town. I don’t know why. I guess tastes just vary.” “I’d go along with that,” says a Chicago detective. “But you might add that this is also a quarry town and an auto trunk town. “The concrete block doesn’t go over around here, probably because there are so many skin divers that use the lake and it’s a problem getting a stiff out to your boat when you have to pass through the yacht club. “A quarry, now, is much safer. Some of the old ones are three hundred or four hundred feet deep in spots. All you have to do is drive the car over the edge and forget about it.
Mike Royko (Early Royko: Up Against It in Chicago)
Caterina's townhouse sat a couple of blocks from a well-stocked grocery store. At about ten each morning, I bundled up, walked down, and purchased whatever ingredients amused me. Back in Caterina's kitchen, I baked chocolate babkas with quinoa flour, tartlets with cream and lychee fruit, roasted vegetables with poached eggs on top.
Hillary Manton Lodge (Together at the Table (Two Blue Doors #3))
Anyway, last summer, I accompanied Gina on an errand to the South Side of Chicago. She pointed out Barack Obama’s street as we drove through the leafy, green Kenwood neighborhood, lovely with wide sidewalks and elegant old houses set far back from the street. I voted against Obama, both times. But, oh, to have him now, his dignity and decorum like gold in my hands. As we passed the president’s block, I felt a weight on my heart. I sighed and said, “I miss Obama.” Gina, a lifelong Democrat, laughed and replied, “I miss Bush.
Jen Lancaster (Welcome to the United States of Anxiety: Observations from a Reforming Neurotic)
Residential stability begets a kind of psychological stability, which allows people to invest in their home and social relationships. It begets school stability, which increases the chances that children will excel and graduate. And it begets community stability, which encourages neighbors to form strong bonds and take care of their block.7 But poor families enjoy little of that because they are evicted at such high rates. That low-income families move often is well known. Why they do is a question that has puzzled researchers and policymakers because they have overlooked the frequency of eviction in disadvantaged neighborhoods.8 Between 2009 and 2011, roughly a quarter of all moves undertaken by Milwaukee’s poorest renters were involuntary. Once you account for those dislocations (eviction, landlord foreclosure), low-income households move at a similar rate as everyone else.9 If you study eviction court records in other cities, you arrive at similarly startling numbers. Jackson County, Missouri, which includes half of Kansas City, saw 19 formal evictions a day between 2009 and 2013. New York City courts saw almost 80 nonpayment evictions a day in 2012. That same year, 1 in 9 occupied rental households in Cleveland, and 1 in 14 in Chicago, were summoned to eviction court.10 Instability is not inherent to poverty. Poor families move so much because they are forced to.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
You want everyone on the block to know you as “That Jimmy, good fella. Salt of the earth, give you the shirt off his fuckin’ back, and never ask for anything in return. That’s a good guy right there.
Martha Bayne (Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology)
The problem with crack dealing is the same as in every other glamour profession: a lot of people are competing for a very few prizes. Earning big money in the crack gang wasn’t much more likely than the Wisconsin farm girl becoming a movie star or the high-school quarterback playing in the NFL. But criminals, like everyone else, respond to incentives. So if the prize is big enough, they will form a line down the block just hoping for a chance. On the south side of Chicago, people wanting to sell crack vastly outnumbered the available street corners.
Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything)
I want them to come get us right now.” The little girl drew her mouth down in a pout. “I’m all dirty and hungry. I’m cold too.” “Poor little princess,” her brother mocked. “I’ve got something you can eat.” Kobie’s smile brightened before he dashed across the small clearing to retrieve his backpack. “Just how long are we going to be stuck here?” Wade demanded. He took a step toward the others who were gathered around the fire, then coughed as a wave of thick smoke hit him. “I have important business in Chicago.” “Oh yeah, real important,” Bryan sneered. “You’re just afraid your girlfriend might find someone else before you get back.” “Bryan!” Chelsea spoke in a warning voice. Wade took a step toward his son, his fists clenched and fury showing on his face. Web shifted his weight, prepared to intercede should Wade attempt to strike his son. “Look! M&Ms!” Kobie stepped between the combatants, waving a large package of the candy-coated chocolate pieces over his head, oblivious to the confrontation between Bryan and Wade. He hurried to Rachel’s side. “My grandma gave them to me, but you can have some.” “Perhaps you can share with everyone,” Shalise said. “I think we’re all hungry.” “And thirsty,” Emily added. “Don’t you think it’s ironic that we spent all that time and effort escaping water, and now we don’t have any to drink?” “Actually we do.” It was Cassie’s turn to retrieve her backpack. From its depths she produced a plastic bottle of water and three granola bars, which she quartered and passed around. The tiny squares of breakfast bars and a handful of candy were soon washed down with a squirt of water from the plastic bottle. Web listened for more planes as he munched on his share of the meager rations. Occasionally he caught the drone of the small plane that had flown over earlier, but it seemed to be concentrating its attention on the other side of the main canyon. He wished he could communicate with the sheriff or the pilot of that plane, but his radio and supplies had been left behind in his cruiser. He wouldn’t even have been able to light a fire last night if Bryan hadn’t slipped him a cigarette lighter when his mother wasn’t looking. Gage walked up beside him.“How bad is the slide?” the younger man asked. Web knew he was referring to the slide blocking the trail out of the canyon. “There’s no way we can cross it.” “And there’s no way a chopper can set down here.” Gage answered back, gesturing at the small clearing where they sat dwarfed by towering pines. “By now the water will have receded a great deal, but it will be days before we’ll be able to walk out.” Gage hadn’t heard Cassie approach, but he nodded his head at her words, acknowledging that her judgment was correct. “That means we’ve got to find a spot where the rescuers can reach us.” Gage stared thoughtfully at the steep mountain towering above them. “There is a place . . .” Gage paused and Web turned to him, anxious to hear what he might suggest that could possibly lead them out of this nightmare. CHAPTER 5 Shalise sat beside Chelsea Timmerman on one of the logs near the fire pit. They changed position each time a fickle breeze shifted the plume
Jennie Hansen (Breaking Point)
In 1949, a group of Englewood Catholics formed block associations intended to “keep up the neighborhood.” Translation: Keep black people out. And when civic engagement was not enough, when government failed, when private banks could no longer hold the line, Chicago turned to an old tool in the American repertoire—racial violence.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
Chicago had Mrs. O'Leary's cow. Seattle had Jonathan Back's glue pot... The Great Seattle Fire destroyed thirty-one square blocks before the fire finally burned out.
Michael Ostrogorsky (The Princess Witch: Or, It Isn't As Easy To Go Crazy As You Might Think (2) (Princess Tara Chronicles))
Up next," Henry said, "we have a play on steak-frites. Steak-frites was the first French food I ever had, at a restaurant down the block from ours, back home in Chicago. My dad took me there." Henry remembered the first time he'd been there, squeezing into the tiny tables, the rare steak and the crisp fries, the smell of garlic and butter, the sense that food could transport you far from Damien Avenue. "I've put my own spin on it by using a bulgogi marinade and kimchi butter on the steak, and instead of fries, those are deep-fried batons of garlic mashed potatoes." This was one of his favorite kinds of dishes. From the outside, it looked like a traditional steak-frites, with its melting pat of butter on top, and fries that were thicker than usual but still shaped like fries. But then you started eating, and the flavors were different, and the fries were a totally different texture than what you were expecting.
Stephanie Kate Strohm (Love à la Mode)
On May 16, 1925, a young reverend from Berwyn named Henry C. Hoover arranged to have deputy sheriffs raid Capone’s big Cicero casino, the Hawthorne Smoke Shop. Shortly after raiders burst in, Capone arrived wearing pajamas and an overcoat, unshaven and surly. Rarely rising before noon, he’d been summoned from bed at the hotel next door. When he tried to force his way inside, a real estate broker turned deputy blocked his way. “What do you think this is,” the broker asked, “a party?” “It ought to be my party,” Capone snarled. “I own the place.” The broker took a harder look at Capone, saw the long scar, and bid him, “Come on in.” Another raider brought Capone upstairs, where the men were dismantling and carting off gaming equipment. Capone claimed he was being picked on, then said ominously, “This is the last raid you will ever make.” Reverend Hoover watched the man in pajamas clean out the cash register and asked him who he was. “Al Brown,” Capone shot back, invoking his preferred alias, “if that is good enough for you.” “Muttering and grumbling, Capone went out,” the reverend recalled, “and disappeared down the stairs. Some time later . . . he re-appeared, neatly dressed and shaven and clothed in an entirely different spirit.” “Reverend,” he asked, “can’t we get together?” “What do you mean, Mr. Capone?” “I give to churches,” Capone said, “and I give to charity . . . if you will let up on me in Cicero, I will withdraw from Stickney.
Max Allan Collins (Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago)
EBB: As I recall, “Cell Block Tango” was a very difficult number to write. It’s not so much a song as a musical scene for six women, and each has to tell her personal story in the course of a musical refrain that keeps repeating. It was difficult because each of the stories had to be entertaining and also meaningful. Each one had to be of a length that didn’t go on too long and run the risk of being boring. We kept rewriting and rewriting those stories that the women told to go with the refrain— He had it coming He had it coming He only had himself to blame. If you’d have been there If you’d have seen it I betcha would have done the same! KANDER: When Gwen was sick during Chicago, Liza took over for eight weeks and she came close to making the show a hit. EBB: She did all of Gwen’s blocking. KANDER: She learned that show in a week. EBB: I guess I should confess this. I had been with Liza in California, and when we were on our way back to New York on the plane, when I knew Liza was going to do Chicago, I was egging her on to get little things back into the show that I lost during my collaboration with Fosse. I desperately wanted “My Own Best Friend” to be a song just for Roxie. That was the way it was originally supposed to be done. But Bobby took that song and added Chita as Velma. He had them at the edge of the stage, obviously mocking the high-end cabaret singers with their phony Oh-look-at-me attitude. He hated songs like— KANDER: “I Did It My Way.” EBB: And “I Gotta Be Me.” He hated them.
John Kander (Colored Lights: Forty Years of Words and Music, Show Biz, Collaboration, and All That Jazz)
The film version of Chicago is a milestone in the still-being-written history of film musicals. It resurrected the genre, winning the Oscar for Best Picture, but its long-term impact remains unclear. Rob Marshall, who achieved such success as the co-director of the 1998 stage revival of Cabaret, began his career as a choreographer, and hence was well suited to direct as well as choreograph the dance-focused Chicago film. The screen version is indeed filled with dancing (in a style reminiscent of original choreographer Bob Fosse, with plenty of modern touches) and retains much of the music and the book of the stage version. But Marshall made several bold moves. First, he cast three movie stars – Catherine Zeta-Jones (former vaudeville star turned murderess Velma Kelly), Renée Zellweger (fame-hungry Roxie Hart), and Richard Gere (celebrity lawyer Billy Flynn) – rather than Broadway veterans. Of these, only Zeta-Jones had training as a singer and dancer. Zellweger’s character did not need to be an expert singer or dancer, she simply needed to want to be, and Zellweger’s own Hollywood persona of vulnerability and stardom blended in many critics’ minds with that of Roxie.8 Since the show is about celebrity, casting three Hollywood icons seemed appropriate, even if the show’s cynical tone and violent plotlines do not shed the best light on how stars achieve fame. Marshall’s boldest move, though, was in his conception of the film itself. Virtually every song in the film – with the exception of Amos’s ‘Mr Cellophane’ and a few on-stage numbers like Velma’s ‘All That Jazz’ – takes place inside Roxie’s mind. The heroine escapes from her grim reality by envisioning entire production numbers in her head. Some film critics and theatre scholars found this to be a cheap trick, a cop-out by a director afraid to let his characters burst into song during the course of their normal lives, but other critics – and movie-goers – embraced this technique as one that made the musical palatable for modern audiences not accustomed to musicals. Marshall also chose a rapid-cut editing style, filled with close-ups that never allow the viewer to see a group of dancers from a distance, nor often even an entire dancer’s body. Arms curve, legs extend, but only a few numbers such as ‘Razzle Dazzle’ and ‘Cell Block Tango’ are treated like fully staged group numbers that one can take in as a whole.
William A. Everett (The Cambridge Companion to the Musical (Cambridge Companions to Music))
The Parker series, by Donald E. Westlake writing as Richard Stark. The University of Chicago Press has just reissued the complete series in trade paperback, and that’s a good thing, because my own
Lawrence Block (The Burglar in Short Order)
It's taken me a long time to figure out one very simple thing: The world is made up of hometowns. It's just as hard to leave a city block in Brooklyn or a suburb of Chicago as it is to leave a small town in Indiana. And just because it was hard to leave Linden Avenue in Flatbush or the Naperville city limits or Lima doesn't mean you can't ever go back. I wish I knew where my mother was so I could tell her that. My mother always told me, Marry yourself first, Jenny. And I did. She also said, When you leave, don't look back. And I tried not to, but for some reason
Cathy Day (The Circus in Winter)
He came up with the idea of letting them take over because they were well known in the streets of Chicago. They were taking over every block in the city and he figured that having them as business partners would attract more patrons.
Brii (Love and a thug: A hitta's love story)
had to prove a chain reaction was even possible. That’s what Enrico Fermi and his team were trying to do in the squash court under the football stands in Chicago. The black blocks were graphite, the mineral used to make pencil leads. Slid into holes in some of the blocks were small pieces of uranium. Fermi used graphite to slow down the speeding neutrons—he knew that neutrons would bounce off the carbon atoms that
Steve Sheinkin (Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon (Newbery Honor Book))
Now, supposing we should abolish all other taxes direct and indirect, substituting for them a tax upon land values, what would be the effect? In the first place it would be to kill speculative values. It would be to remove from the newer parts of the country the bulk of the taxation and put it on the richer parts. It would be to exempt the pioneer from taxation and make the larger cities pay more of it. It would be to relieve energy and enterprise, capital and labour, from all those burdens that now bear upon them. What a start that would give to production! In the second place we could, from the value of the land, not merely pay all the present expenses of the government, but we could do infinitely more. In the city of San Francisco James Lick left a few blocks of ground to be used for public purposes there, and the rent amounts to so much, that out of it will be built the largest telescope in the world, large public baths and other public buildings, and various costly works. If, instead of these few blocks, the whole value of the land upon which the city is built had accrued to San Francisco what could she not do?  So in this little town, where land values are very low as compared with such cities as Chicago and San Francisco, you could do many things for mutual benefit and public improvement did you appropriate to public purposes the land values that now go to individuals. You could have a great free library; you could have an art gallery; you could get yourselves a public park, a magnificent public park, too. You have here one of the finest natural sites for a beautiful town I know of, and I have travelled much. You might make on this site a city that it would be a pleasure to live in. You will not as you go now—oh, no! Why, the very fact that you have a magnificent view here will cause somebody to hold on all the more tightly to the land that commands this view and charge higher prices for it. The State of New York wants to buy a strip of land so as to enable the people to see Niagara, but what a price she must pay for it! Look at all the great cities; in Philadelphia, for instance, in order to build their great city hall they had to block up the only two wide streets they had in the city. Everywhere you go you may see how private property in land prevents public as well as private improvement.  But I have not time to enter into further details.
Henry George (The Crime of Poverty)
It is hard to imagine a more elegant table at which to share a meal. Yet here it sits-never used, never disturbed-accompanied by a single chair. This table harks back to a different era, a better time in the life of Susan's family, when owning this house in this part of Chicago signaled the achievement of middle-class African American respectability. Before the economic anchors of this far South Side neighborhood closed down-the steel yards in the 1960's, the historic Pullman railway car company in the early 1980's, and the mammoth Sherwin-Williams paint factory in 1995-Roseland was a community with decent-paying, stable jobs. It was a good place to raise your kids. As the jobs left, the drugs arrived. 'It got worse, it changed.' Susan says, 'There's too much violence...unnecessary violence at that.' Given what her family has been through, this is more than a bit of an understatement. Susan's brother was shot in broad daylight just one block away. Her great-grandmother has fled to a meager retirement out west. Susan's family would like nothing more than to find a better place to live, safer streets and a home that isn't crumbling around them. Yet despite all its ills, this house is the only thing keeping Susan, Devin, and Lauren off the streets. They have spent the past few months surviving on cash income so low that it adds up to less than $2 per person, per day. With hardly a cent to their names, they have nowhere else to go.
Kathryn J. Edin ($2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America)
Daley didn’t demand or enforce segregated schools in Chicago. He didn’t have to. The schools were segregated because the city’s neighborhoods were segregated. People called it de facto segregation, meaning that it was a fact, a given, a natural outcome of private individuals’ choices, in contrast to de jure segregation, which was required by law. But the distinction was misleading. Segregation in the North was both de jure and de facto; it was a function of law, public policy, and discriminatory business practices, for starters. Chicagoans commuting to and from work on the new Dan Ryan Expressway saw it for themselves. The original design for the highway had been shifted several blocks to create a firewall of sorts between Black and white neighborhoods. There was nothing accidental or natural about it.
Jonathan Eig (King: A Life)
She tries to remind people that neighborhoods like the South Side of Chicago are packed full of “little Michelles and little Craigs.” They’re in every school, on every block. It’s just that too many of them get overlooked and underestimated, so too much of that potential goes unrecognized.
Michelle Obama (The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times)