To some, Chicago is the City of Big Shoulders and Magnificent Miles, but behind the postcards are blue-collar neighborhoods that are the beating heart of the city. Never Leave Your Block takes you into Chicagos Bucktown and nearby environs to meet the people whose strength, resilience and character are the very bedrock of Chicago. Here in the old stomping ground of NelsonTo some, Chicago is the City of Big Shoulders and Magnificent Miles, but behind the postcards are blue-collar neighborhoods that are the beating heart of the city. Never Leave Your Block takes you into Chicagos Bucktown and nearby environs to meet the people whose strength, resilience and character are the very bedrock of Chicago. Here in the old stomping ground of Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow and Mike Royko, Scott Jacobs explores what happens when gentrification comes to a modern city....
|Title||:||Never Leave Your Block: Adventures in Urban Living|
|Number of Pages||:||195 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Never Leave Your Block: Adventures in Urban Living Reviews
I was expecting this book to be one complete story, and was disappointed that it's just a collection of disjointed stories about Bucktown. There's nothing terribly enlightening or even all that interesting in the book, but I still got a mild kick out of reading a book about my neighborhood that included stories about people I actually know. The multi-story basketball tournament section was totally boring. It could have been good had the author focused on the people more but his play by play review of the games was a snooze fest for me. Perhaps most annoying was the terrible editing and proof reading. I find myself totally distracted by errors and it makes me question the quality of the book overall.
In 1972, the Chicago Sun-Times hired 22-year-old Scott Jacobs from The Milwaukee Sentinel to give the paper a fresh look at its city. Scott brings the pithiness of a daily newspaper writer to the 33 interesting, amusing, insightful and funny column-essays in this book, stretching from 1998 to 2011. Topics include the incoherent buy-a-brick process at the park district, buying bottled water, the two-hour winter towed-car process, and how we judge neighbors by how they shovel their sidewalks.The book suffers from an unfortunate title. Scott gets out to know his block, Bucktown neighborhood and the City of Chicago.
A series of stories about Bucktown, echoing the change it's undergone since the early 70s. Each is interesting in its own way, and some certainly held my attention more than others, but I definitely liked them. The only thing that really bothered me about the book was that it felt a bit too much like a series of incongruous blog entries thrown together - something I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to, but once you get into a seven-part series he writes mid-book, you're sort of hoping there's more development like that throughout the rest of the chapters, too.
If you live in Bucktown, Wicker Park, or Humboldt Park, Chicago, and you want some lovely local color interwoven with historical tidbits, this is a perfect read. I'm grateful to the library for having it displayed prominently -- they didn't waste my time.
Jacobs has an authentic desire for interacting with all kinds of characters in his neighborhood. That makes for a solid book.