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The Streets Under The Streets Are Back

When I was a kid growing up in suburban Minneapolis, my parents would sometimes take me and my brother to Chicago for a weekend in the summer. My father had an uncle who lived here and used to work in the cab business; he knew how Chicago worked. Later he married well and moved to a pricey condo in Water Tower Place. We would do the museums and restaurants and so on, blah blah blah. But my favorite thing about Chicago was what I called "the streets under the streets." I always asked for one more drive on these subterranean marvels. It was just the coolest thing ever. (Memo to David Daskal: You don't have to live here to get it; quite the opposite. Native Chicagoans are much more nonchalant about the lower drives.)

Well, the city announced last Friday that the streets under the streets were back - open for driving after a lengthy reconstruction project. Let's take a look.

1. The New Lower Wacker Drive.


2. "This reconnects the fiber of the city."

3. Brighter, Cleaner, But Less Cinematic?

4. Did They Ruin It?

"Many drivers familiar who remember the dark, dank and dirty, Lower Wacker, may not recognize it any longer," the Expired Meter reports.

"It was tough to navigate," said [city transportation commissioner Gabe] Klein about the Lower Wacker of the past. "Someone told me once when they drove down a ramp onto Lower Wacker they said they would 'close your eyes, hit the gas and hope for the best'."

"I'm a believer especially in Lower Wacker Drive," said [Gov. Pat] Quinn. "It helps decrease pollution, decreases congestion - it's the 8th Wonder of the World - Lower Wacker Drive."

Well, Klein would probably prefer to turn it into a bike lane. And Quinn, well, has the Land of Lincoln ever had a more hyperbolic governor?

5. From Another 5-Star Yelp Review.

I love love love you lower wacker. Your fun to just crank the tunes up and start jamming as you make loops and turns.

Via Barbara Brotman's Lower Wacker, A Rite Of Initiation For The Brave.

6. The Old Lower Wacker Drive.


7. The Blues Brothers: This Must Be Lower Wacker Drive.


Comments welcome.


Posted on December 3, 2012

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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