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...