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In this month’s letters: How to have more fun, and a few more tidbits on Hyde Park

 Cover of June 2009 issue of Chicago magazine

REAL FUN

I know that Chicago cannot possibly publish information about all that goes on during a summer season in our area, but, as a “car guy,” I think that the Summer Fun feature [edited by Nora O’Donnell and Jennifer Tanaka] in the June issue could have been improved had you included mention of some of the automobile-related events in our area. Chicago isn’t Southern California, but the car culture here is very much alive and well.

There are several high-end car shows in our area: for example, the 41st Annual Father’s Day Classic Car Show in Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook; the 61st Annual Lake Forest Antique Auto Show in July; and the Geneva Concours d’Elegance held in August. These venues attract some of the finest cars in the country.

Charles F. Falk
Schaumburg

I thought the June magazine cover was extremely lame. For those nonsubscribers, I doubt the cover would have enticed anyone to pick up that “Summer Fun” issue. Nothing says summer fun like an awkwardly posed model in an indoor photo shoot.

Sara Broderick
Chicago

 

NEIGHBORHOOD CLUB

I found the story on Hyde Park in your June issue [The President’s ’Hood, by Christopher Benson] quite interesting. I was struck most of all to learn there is a Francis M. Drexel Fountain. I wonder if your readers are aware that Drexel is the grandfather of St. Katharine Drexel, founder of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, [who was] canonized in 2000. His son / her father, Francis A., was a wealthy banker in Philadelphia. At times in the past, SBS taught at three Chicago schools: St. Monica, St. Elizabeth, and St. Anselm.

John Sherman
Indianapolis, Indiana

I loved your article on Hyde Park, but to us “old Hyde Parkers” ([I was] born at Chicago Lying-In Hospital in 1935 and lived in Hyde Park until 1956), most of us would remember the Hampton House by its former name, the Hotel Sherry. I will always be a Hyde Parker!

Judy Brodner
Buffalo Grove

I attended the University of Chicago (A.B., ’60) and lived in the Berkeley, California, area for 30 years before moving back to Chicago in 2004. In his San Francisco Chronicle column, the late Herb Caen regularly called the city across the bay “Berserkeley” because of its radical politics, and this reminded me of Hyde Park’s unkind treatment by Chicago media on the rare occasions the area was mentioned. Hyde Park and Berkeley are similar in many ways, but the big difference between the two is the latter’s strong influence beyond its boundaries because of the University of California. Conservatives [among] northern Californians damn the city and southern Californians laugh at it, but no one in the state ignores Berkeley. Hyde Park, despite the presence of the University of Chicago, gets little attention even in Chicago. I’m delighted that President Obama is changing that.

Hosea L. Martin
Chicago

 

DISTILLED SPIRITS

In Dennis Ray Wheaton’s “Hog Wild” article [Dining Out] in the February issue, a reference is made to The Bristol’s bartender Steve Carrow making “the best Sazerac in Chicago.” Wheaton then indicates the primary liquor as Maker’s Mark. Maker’s Mark? A true New Orleans Sazerac is made with rye whiskey or at least blended whiskey, not bourbon. You can no more call The Bristol’s drink a Sazerac than you can a turkey hot dog a Chicago-style hot dog. Classic cocktails are classic for a reason, and once you change the primary liquor, it is classic no more.

Phil Purevich
Chicago

 

CELL SHORT

I subscribe to Chicago as a form of punishment. You see, I am serving a federal prison sentence and I miss the city and everything it has to offer.

I grew up in the north suburbs and went to Evanston Township High School in the mid-eighties. I fondly remember hopping on the el and venturing to the Loop all by myself, free as a bird. To me it was an adventure no different than Columbus discovering the new world.

The Closer by Jeff Ruby [“Lake Advisory,” June] reminded me of a time when I was Rollerblading on the lake near Grant Park. I was jumping some steps and didn’t realize how close the lake was. When I hit the bottom, I turned left just before I was about to dive in the lake. Some poor guy was sitting there with his girlfriend and I ran smooth over his fingers. I realized it when he exclaimed “Hey! Oww!” That’s a Lake Advisory.

Anyway, now I’m known as the Suburban Bandit on account of the eight banks I robbed. Oddly enough, the FBI couldn’t decide at first if I should be known as the Blackhawk Bandit or the Suburban Bandit due to the Blackhawks hat I wore during one robbery. They decided on the latter.

I am now rehabilitated. Professionally, I’m a journeyman HVAC technician and electronic controls specialist. I plan to redeem myself through my work.

Brian M. Mcgrath
FCI Greenville

 

CORRECTIONS
A caption on the map accompanying June’s The President’s ’Hood misstated the location of the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art. It is in a building separate from the Court Theatre.

June’s Checkbook article, “Cool. Comfort. Cheap,” contained an incorrect phone number for Biewer Heating and Air Conditioning. The correct number is 847-697-2664.

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