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April 2013
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Andrew Patner on Arts and Culture

Critic's Choice: Versus Chicago

While other cities stake their claim on which is “best,” Andrew comments on the decline of journalistic standards.

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  • Janet Sheffer

    Thank you, Andrew. I felt the same way when I read the article by Shteir. She really does seem disgruntled to live here. I’m sometimes amazed with how provincial some people in New York are, in that they really don’t know anything about anywhere outside of their home city.

  • Susan Rosenthal

    Re: Commentary for April 24, 2013. WONDERFUL! Thank You.

  • Thomas J. Lee

    Terrific! Well said! Chicago may indeed boast about itself from time to time, but what city doesn’t? New York?? Please.

  • Jeff

    Thanks for your perspective. I’m amused by the misconceptions of Chicago. There was some truth to the problems mentioned in the article, but as a whole, it mischaracterized the city. You’re right about journalism standards today. Another unfortunate truth is that the controversial and provocative are rewarded with attention, which is seen as success. Any attention at all, whether bad or good, is quantified by page views and comments, and the more, the better. I hope the author moves away to a place that makes her happier; it would be absurd to stay in a city that has such problems.

  • Bruce Mitzit

    As I said elsewhere:
    She didn’t like Chicago, left NY, never ventured outside Hyde Park, rarely, apparently, goes west of Halsted St, “fantasizes” leaving Chicago, but she’s “too old” to move to NY. I suspect Rachel is maladapted to live anywhere. Poor, sad woman: Stranger in a stranger’s mind.

  • max raimi

    …Which reminds me of my all-time favorite New York moment. I was at Yankee Stadium, back in the ’80s. Two testosterone-crazed outer borough guys were in an intense dispute as to which of them was next in line at the concession stand to buy a beer. They are just about to come to blows when one guy bellows at the other: “What’s yer f*&#in’ problem? Haven’t you ever heard of f*&#in’ courtesy?”

  • Milan Vydareny

    Good analysis, Andrew. You’re quite right that the real problem illustrated by this kerfuffle is not that someone dislikes Chicago but that we have awarded that individual celebrity status for trivial, ignorant and slothful effort. Real journalism is tough work. I guess the NYT editors have a shortage of real journalists… or maybe they’re short something else! :-)

    Thanks again and best,


  • Caryn Jacobs

    Well said. I started reading the review but it was so incoherent I stopped. The book review has lost all credibility, not just with this piece, but many over the years. The “I feel therefore it’s true” form of journalism is unfortunately predominant.