Why Chicago?

This poem by Bing Gordon was presented at Chicago Ideas Week, 10/18/13

Yours is the city of big shoulders, windy and all,

Where winter buries parked cars, and the Bears rule the fall;

Where the pizza is deep dish, and your museums have coal mines,

Second City imports Canadians, phase balls get lost in ivy vines.

Groupon is based here, its stock recently rallied,

Illinois engineers are more loyal here than in the Silicon Valley.

You have the Bulls and the Hawks rocking at the United Center,

And now it seems Chicagoland has big Ideas and generous big mentors.

The presenters share wisdom without California-style self-promotion,

The Goose Island beer here must contain drops of truth potion.

You don’t mince words in Chicago, not because you have more class,

But some giant eating bratwurst in the bleachers will kick any braggart’s ass.

Your Festival has unflinching sponsors, and a committed group of leaders,

Rahm Emmanuel could really get the vote out with the energy of the ushers and greeters.

The agenda is overpacked this week, too much to do, hear and see,

The Festival’s organizers must suffer ADHD.

We visitors creep up Michigan Avenue on little cat’s feet,

And unlike New York City, your meat-packing district actually has meat.

We understand why you love it here, think your city is best,

Although the traffic from O’Hare sucks as bad as the Long Island Express.

We come to Lake Michigan’s shores for the Midwest work ethic,

For Northwestern grads, and pulchritude that is mythic.

Once I left the Midwest, because Horatio Alger was right,

It used to take Silicon Valley chips and hippie values to build a big business overnight.

But the world has changed! AWS and new comm channels are the infrastructures that give

You digital disruptors the freedom to choose where you want to live.

Business is good here, you are industrious and frugal,

So stay in Chicago, you don’t need California to create the next Google!