James Warren should have left well enough alone. His retrospective on former Rep. Dan Rostenkowski in the NY Times was a good look at a vanished order. His follow-up Op-Ed, "My Kind of Technocracy," begins with a red flag waved at the Tea Party set:
Dan Rostenkowski, a gin and porterhouse kind of guy, surely would have felt out of place at the Chicago restaurant where President Obama celebrated his 49th birthday the other day.
Mr. Obama went to the celebrity chef Graham Elliot Bowles's eponymous new joint, which has featured risotto with green apple, Wisconsin cheddar and Nueske bacon, and foie gras dusted with Pop Rocks. It's one of many dining spots that make this city a destination for foodies, with the now-defunct Gourmet magazine tagging one, Alinea, as America's best.
(The first article mentions that Warren had dined with Rostenkowski at a gourmet fish restaurant in a building preserved through the Congressman's intervention, so the line between old and new is not so sharp.)
Chicago is better than ever. I was born there and am still a great fan. But why diss everything about its past? The old Chicago could be coarse and brutal. But at its best it also had integrity in many of its products (like the Schwinn Phantom) and opportunities for talented blue-collar people like the African-American publisher John H.Johnson.