Sunday, March 30, 2003

THAT TODDLIN' TOWN. My post on Chicago at the Alicublog Archive (soon to be a major motion picture, released directly to Super-8) prompted this response from my filmmaker buddy Steve Baker of Dallas:

I remember being there for a few weeks in the late '70s. I stayed at the
downtown residential "Y" for $4 a night. Very low-budget tourist wanderings
on my part: jazz bars, Polish restaurants, earnest theater, Heileman Old
Style on tap everywhere (pretty shitty beer, actually), and just taking up
the streets and skyline and lake.

I had a feeling that I could like it there very much.

Here in Dallas, a bar opened up recently, calling itself, "The Corner Tap,"
with a subtitle yet: "A Chicago-Style Neighborhood Bar." So with a certain
wary nostalgia, I entered.

Inside, I found a decor that was heavy on neon, post-industrial metal and
glass, with some misplaced retro lamp fixtures that looked purloined from
TGI Friday's. The joint was fairly crowded with a largely yupp-ified bunch,
so I pushed my way to the overly-gelled blonde barkeep, and asked him: "So
what's about this place that makes it 'a Chicago-style' bar?"

"Damned if I know," he shrugged.

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