Imrem: Two Chicagos never further apart than this weekend

  • Fans pack the intersection of Clark and Addison before Game 5 of the World Series, Sunday at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

    Fans pack the intersection of Clark and Addison before Game 5 of the World Series, Sunday at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/31/2016 8:22 PM

Perhaps the two Chicagos never were further apart than over the weekend.

One was represented by Wrigleyville, where huge crowds of people gathered to celebrate the Cubs' appearance in the World Series.

 

The other Chicago was the troubled areas of the city, where the worst weekend of a terribly violent year occurred.

Both events received widespread attention.

The Wrigley Field press box was filled with journalists from around the world.

Meanwhile, FOX beamed the games to millions of viewers and placed the city in a positive light.

The violence? Well, it was reported, too, locally and nationally and presumably internationally.

At least 17 were killed in weekend violence, according to reports.

This news placed the city in an entirely different light.

So, which city is Chicago?

Both, of course, the best and worst of it.

The scene around Wrigley Field was uplifting, with citizens from here, there and everywhere celebrating a historic sports story.

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Fans inside the ballpark enjoyed themselves during Sunday night's Cubs victory and even during the two defeats that preceded it.

But the real reflection of the mood surrounding the games was outside on nearby streets and in nearby bars.

All kinds of people -- of all races, religions, ethnicities, sexuality, economic backgrounds and political leanings -- mingled on streets, sidewalks and bar stools.

They came from the city, the suburbs, out of state and even outside of the United States.

Regardless of the outcome of each game, the atmosphere remained a block party rather than a street fight.

Looking down from inside Wrigley Field, the scene looked like the French Quarter during Mardi Gras.

A good time was had by just about everyone and it didn't hurt that an army of law enforcement -- city cops, county cops, state cops and federal agents -- were around to keep the peace just in case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Ah, but then there were the other streets in the other Chicago, where peace is more elusive.

Each death is a tragedy, maybe a child, maybe a police officer, maybe a police officer's relative, maybe some other unspeakable human-interest example of the prevailing violence.

The one expressed on the radio Monday was twins, not gang-affiliated, gunned down for standing with alleged gang members.

Wrigleyville lesson: People can coexist. Other parts of Chicago: They haven't figured out how to.

Mayor Emanuel, the city council, the police ... nobody has found a solution.

Ironically, one of the more amusing stories involving the Cubs over the weekend also involved law enforcement.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon's 83-year-old mother "Beanie" had a long travel day and arrived at O'Hare late.

"We contacted the police," Maddon said, "and they threw her in the back of the car. First of all they had to tell her she's not being arrested."

"Beanie" was delivered to the ballpark, an odd service for the police to provide in a city where they are needed in so many other neighborhoods.

Everybody listening to Maddon tell the story in this Chicago laughed.

This was in stark contrast to the tears shed over the weekend's body count in the other Chicago.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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