Casualty of Capitalism

Exiled into Wilmington, Delaware by virtue of corporate layoffs. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2005, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Graduate of University of Maryland School of Law; University of Maryland, College Park (Economics/Political Science).

Monday, May 16, 2005

Finally, We Are Back!

Now that Verizon has seen it fit to return us to the worldwide web, the roommate and I have returned. We blog from a new location: Wilmington, Delaware.

This is not Chicago.

Over the past weekend, I attended a wedding in Chicago of an old friend of mine. Upon driving back into town, a few things struck me about Chicago as opposed to my new location:

1. The pretty people. Chicago is beautiful city, as much for its inhabitants, as for its architecture and lakeside location. I saw more attractive humans in a single Chicago city block than I have seen in three months working in Wilmington. I kid you not.

2. Conveniences. There had to be more restaurants two blocks in any direction from Wrigley Field than there are restaurants in all of Wilmington. When a new restaurant opens here, it's the talk of the town. If you went out every night for dinner in Chicago you could eat somewhere different every night...for LIFE. Again, I kid you not.

3. Traffic. Score one for Wilmington here. When I walked to the garage, across downtown Wilmington on Saturday morning (very early) to get my car, I saw ONE person and ONE car on the streets in a full ten minutes. In Chicago Saturday, being one of those rare, summer-like days during Chicago's Winter-Lite (they don't really have Spring), EVERYBODY in the city was driving, walking or riding a bike. The obstacle course otherwise known as Chicago city streets, was much more difficult to navigate than the deserted streets of Wilmington.

4. Safety. I hate to say it, but I do not feel safe in Wilmington. Maybe I'm spoiled after living worry free in Chicago, but it don't like the idea of being outside during the day, much less the night here. It's like a mini-Baltimore. Too many loiterers for my taste. In Chicago, I used to walk clear across the loop in the wee hours of the night without a second thought. Here, I think a lot walking home from work at 7pm.

5. Taxes. Tax free Delaware shopping beats 8.5% Chicago sales tax every single day of the week! It's still a novelty that I enjoy immensely.

6. Public Transportation. You wouldn't catch me dead on Wilmington's public transportation. The bus is all they have. I did my time in high school riding three DC Metrobuses to and from school every day. The bus is a haven for the scary mentally disturbed and assorted suspicious characters. Yes, Chicago's El smelled like urine, was a moving trash container (both in human and refuse terms), and seemed ready to tumble from the elevated tracks at any moment. But it also made it extremely easy to get around. I'll give Chicago the edge for ease of travel. Both systems are in budgetary disarray and promise hikes in fares. Both are frequented by riff raff and weirdos. In summary, does anyone really win who takes public transportation?

7. Baseball. Cubs and White Sox. Or Blue Rocks. No contest.

8. Waterfront. Wilmington has a nice waterfront area along a tributary of the Delaware River. The Delaware runs in all its glory just to the east of the city. Chicago has Lake Michigan. And beaches. Wilmington has a huge landfill on the banks of the river, and New Jersey on the other side. Advantage: Chicago.

9. Food. Deep dish pizza, polish sausages, alcohol sold even in furniture stores (it's true!). Versus hoagies and cheesesteaks, and highly restrictive alcohol sales. Though I am a HUGE fan of cheesesteaks, I gotta give it to Chicago. Why do you think everyone there is so fat?!

9a. Local Grocery Store. In Chicago, you have your pick of grocery chains. Dominicks, Jewel, SuperFresh, Whole Foods, etc. In Wilmington, there is ACME. I was sickened by the place. I don't like to be sickened at the place where I purchase food. Filthy facilities and obnoxious and lazy workers. And no beer. Horrible.

Well, maybe Wilmington will grow on me eventually. These are all first impressions, and my base of knowledge here is in the embryonic phase. Chicago blew me away immediately. Perhaps Wilmington takes a little longer to unlock its secrets. We'll see...Posted by Hello


Anonymous Julianne said...

Hey, I'm glad you're back (and also that you still show the Chicago love).

12:13 PM  

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