Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stressed-Out City

Chicago was recently named the most stressful city in America by Forbes magazine. New York, Detroit, L.A., and San Francisco are next in line.

Chicago apparently made the top because of its rising unemployment rate, expensive gas, high population density and relatively poor air quality. The magazine editors examined quality of life indicators like housing affordability and looked at how a city's environment can play a role in how the residents cope with stress.

Well, that's all fine and dandy. I will admit to feeling pretty stressed lately. But the media around here has picked this apart - my favorite response was from a Chicago Tribune reporter, John Kass. I wanted to include a few quotes from this article, who calls the Forbes article nonsense:

"For one thing, Chicagoans love crowds. Forty thousand stuff a tiny deteriorating ballpark every day to shriek, get drunk and wear funny blue hats, insisting they're going straight to the World Series without first stopping at something called "the playoffs." Crowds don't cause stress. Baseball causes stress."

Cubs fans take baseball VERY seriously around here. My parents went to today's game and I think it was a stressful, but rewarding experience since the Cubs finally won in the 12th inning :)

"Yes, there are crowds on public transportation, which I don't ride because I don't like getting coughed on by strangers who may have tuberculosis. And let's be realistic—is it truly stressful when you're packed into a hot, crowded train and your forearms and back are soaked with perspiration, but the perspiration isn't yours?

"My former legman, Mrs. Flynn, complained that there are creeps on the "L" who like to rub up against women, and others leave little greasy piles of chicken bones on the seats, and some CTA riders have been known to clip their toenails, sending shards zinging into the eyeballs of the guy across the aisle, but Forbes magazine didn't study these issues, so they don't count."

Gross!! Though I've never experienced any of the above myself - and neither has Ben, who rides the train every day. Okay, actually, I have ridden on a crowded, hot train and felt someone else's sweat on my arm. That was disgusting. But I've never seen the famed chicken bones...

"The mayor said no matter what Forbes says, Chicago has fantastic air."We have great air quality," he insisted. "…You don't think New York is stressed today? And London?"

Hello, Mayor Daley - Forbes was only comparing cities in AMERICA...


that girl said...

i can't believe Chicago is the most stressed out city in America. that's ridiculous. i never once thought that the air was bad either, esp compared to LA. the L train quote was so funny, although i've never seen the chicken bones either, it's actually not so hard to imagine. i have seen someone clipping their nails, though, and that was on the Metra!


jcsev said...

Haha, thats funny! Thanks for sharing. Most people that I have ever met, either from Chicago, or who have been there, love it! I guess the stress level isn't enough to turn people off from the city! I love those Forbes Magazine "Most...." articles they are always fun to read, and always fun to see the reactions of the top-rated cities, whether good or bad.

When we first moved to West Linn, it had been in one of those Forbes "Most" articles. It was number 45 in a list of 100 best places to live in the USA. There were articles for weeks, surrounding that very topic.

Kelly Durham said...

Carter just informed me that Salt Lake is eighth! I had no idea we were that stressed!

The Yost Family said...

THose were some funny quotes! I love and miss Chicago.

Beckie said...

Did they interview people FROM chicago??

Keenan and I got a kick out of Mayor Daily and the London comment!