Chicago's 'Poorism' Tour
THE ARTICLE by Phuong Ly comparing the South Side of Chicago to Rio de Janeiro is insulting ["I Want You to See What I See," March 9]. Of course, there are some neighborhoods that are in disrepair, but that is common in all large cities. The South Side of Chicago is home to many prominent citizens, a beautiful lakefront, museums and the University of Chicago. There are many historic neighborhoods, such as Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Kenwood, South Shore, Chatham and Pill Hill.
The section of Chicago that is mentioned probably looks like a war zone to Ly because the Chicago Housing Authority recently demolished the high-rise projects that used to line those streets. They are going to be replaced with townhouses and mixed-income properties.
By the way, Barack Obama lives on the South Side of Chicago.
I GREW UP on the South Side and, contrary to popular belief, did not grow up in a housing project or absolute poverty. Chicago is a large city and so are each of its "sides." The area described in the article is only one aspect of the city's South Side, and is not an accurate representation of that entire community. Ly would've known that if she had walked through the city rather than getting on the "ghetto tour bus."
I suggest that Ly take some time and ride all the way up Lake Shore Drive to see all that the South Side has to offer.