Poll: Obama Presidency Ensures South Side Street Sign Switch, But Where?


RW370 is a South Side institution celebrating the South Sider in the Oval Office.  44th President of the United States Barack Obama went and got himself inaugurated today, meaning the bell can’t be unrung.  The South Side of Chicago has some changes coming.  Not social or economic changes (although you never know), but rather something lasting and incredibly important — a street name change.

And that’s as it should be.  If Mayor Anton Cermak (22nd St.), General John “Black Jack” Pershing (39th St.)  President James Garfield (55th St.) and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Grand Boulevard) each rated highly enough to justify the juicy overtime budget for City Streets and Sanitation Department workers  (and resulting Postal Service mail delivery chaos) then absolutely so does BHO.  The only question is: what South Side street should be renamed for Barack Obama?  Vote in the poll and test your prediction skills:

35th St.: BHO’s love for the Chicago White Sox who play at 35th and Shields is well known.  This change would guarantee a permanent association between the 2005 World Champion Sox and the President  — as well as irritate the living hell out of many Republican-voting racists in my Bridgeport neighborhood.  That makes this the clear sentimental pick.

47th St.: The “Blues Corridor”, famous as the Chicago destination for so many Delta blues musicians, 47th runs through Bronzeville, the African-American neighborhood marked by its famous pre-WWII middle-class finery. Probably the best choice for most appropriate placement of the intersection of King and Obama.

51st St.: The busiest thoroughfare nearest the Obama residence in his Hyde Park neighborhood.  New home to the storied Checkerboard Lounge, world-renowned as the club the Rolling Stones stop in for embalming fluid when in town.  The best choice based  on creepy, cultish adoration of BHO’s every move.

Lake Park Ave.: The north-south Hyde Park artery possibly best-known for the reliable spectacle of University of Chicago Ph.D. candidates wandering off sidewalks and into traffic due to intellectual distraction while walking.  The best choice on the basis of upside for University endowment.

Drexel Blvd.: This South Side drag is beloved by music fans everywhere for being the earthly 1950s home of legendary bandleader and composer Sun Ra.  His El Saturn record label launched in an apartment at 4115 S. Drexel, which doesn’t suffer any loss of charm for being changed to 4115 S. Obama.  NASA’s preferred pick, because “space is the place”.

Cottage Grove Ave.: As Western Ave. is to the western half of the city, Cottage Grove serves the Southeast Side, reaching from 22nd to 129th in an unbroken stretch through neighborhoods like Kenwood and formerly independent company towns-turned-Chicago-neighborhoods such as Pullman. Due to street length, this pick is the best choice for maximum sign replacement crew overtime.

Midway Airport: This stubby-runwayed sky depot is in serious need of a rechristening, if for no other reason than to beat the Mayor to the punch slapping his name on it.  Hearing the name “Barack Hussein Obama Airport” would cause wingnut AM hate-radio fans no end of consternation, so this is the best pick based on administration of poetic justice in the take-your-shoes-off “security theater” airport lines.

2 Responses to “Poll: Obama Presidency Ensures South Side Street Sign Switch, But Where?”

  1. 1 Gantry
    January 20, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Lake Park Ave is a solid candidate – I think another factor is a street with a nice big exit sign off the Dan Ryan or LSD to attract tourists. And by tourists I mean folks from the North Side/Suburbs on their way home from Notre Dame games…

  2. 2 Tom N.
    January 21, 2009 at 5:32 am

    I think they should rename Canaryville Obamaville.. I’d just love to see the reaction of the residents..

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rob [at] warmowski [dot] com

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Rob Warmowski entry at Chicago Punk Database
1984-89: Defoliants
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January 2009

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