A. J. Liebling, Chicago: The Second City

A. J. Liebling, Chicago: The Second CityChicago: The Second City

A. J. Liebling

I wanted to read this book in Miller’s Pub with an ice cold beer and some fried perch. Miller's is in the loop on Wabash where the El runs down the middle of the street. The Restaurant opened in Chicago in 1935 and my dad ate there with his father before he shipped out for Tarawa during WWII. I ate there with my dad and grandpa during the 50’s and someday will eat there with my grandchildren. I ended up reading the book on the train from Milwaukee to Chicago. When we got to Chicago, Nancy and I ate at Millers for lunch. This book contains 3 articles that A.J. Liebling wrote for the New Yorker in 1952. I liked the book because I like how Liebling writes, his use of language and how he captures the style of the 40’s and 50’s and because I love Chicago. Reading the book I can smell my Dad - Pall Malls, coffee, black, and Old Spice and I can imagine him young and scared eating with his dad at Millers. As a New Yorker, Liebling gets a little snarky about Chicago at times – which is one reason to like the book -  he is snarky as only a New Yorker can be snarky and he manages to capture enough of the times and city to make the book a quick, fun read. You can smell and feel the 40's and 50's and the sweat and tobacco and cheap aftershave in the City of Big Shoulders.

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