Fancy New York developer named Ian Schrager buys the Ambassador East hotel in Chicago, and sez he's gonna restore the hotel's legendary Pump Room restaurant.
So far so good. Then the guy opens his yap, calls Chicago a "very elegant city."
We don't think of ourselves as elegant, but if he insists, we'll get out the cigarette holders.
Then he goes on.
"I think [Chicago] has probably the most beautiful architecture in all of America, and I just love the people, the simplicity, the basic honesty."
I think I know how the great Chicago columnist Mike Royko felt when novelist Nelson Algren referred to his writing as "visceral."
"He thinks I'm dumb," Royko concluded.
The general lesson here is, don't go into somebody else's city—or their house or their company, for that matter—and start making lots of authoritative editorial comments, even in praise.
Say you dig the joint, and leave it at that.
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