By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — Only in Chicago could a t-shirt depicting city neighborhoods spark a debate.
Chicago residents are very particular about where they live, and neighborhood boundaries have long been the subject of heated conversation.
It is hard to find agreement as many neighborhoods evolve and, at least unofficially, expand, contract or even disappear. Real estate agents are famous for this.
Now comes a graphic t-shirt sold at Old Navy that has some people on Twitter and the blogs crying foul.
Artistically, there is nothing wrong with the design.
Accuracy is another matter.
Even taking into account creative license, there are some pretty serious errors.
Lincoln Park has taken over the North Side, reaching from the lake all the way to the West Side.
Similarly on the South Side, Englewood appears to have swallowed multiple neighborhoods and even part of Midway Airport.
Edgewater has moved north to Rogers Park.
Polishville? Not a neighborhood.
Near South? Not a neighborhood.
Stockyards? Not only is it not a neighborhood, but even if it was, it wouldn’t span the entire east-to-west boundaries of the city.
Even the actual stockyards back in the “hog butcher for the world” era 100 years ago weren’t that big.
Adam Harrington, considered a Chicago neighborhood guru, said the map was “accomplished with a minimal amount of research, with a preference for big, garish fonts over an actual representation of the city.”
“Most glaringly, what happened to downtown?” Harrington said. “We jump from Lincoln Park to the nondescript Near South.”
The shirt comes in several colors and is currently available at a 30 percent discount for $9.90, including tax.
The shirt pictured here was purchased at the State Street store. The regular price is $12.94, plus Chicago’s whopping 9.25 percent sales tax.
On the plus side, it’s not a bad-looking shirt.
Also, it does properly locate Garfield Ridge and Lake View, for the most part.
On Twitter, Old Navy had this response.
Old Navy may want to consider taking on Mr. Harrington as a consultant.
“Some of the city’s most fashionable neighborhoods where a T-shirt like this might actually sell … have been swept aside in favor of huge letters representing Lincoln Park,” Harrington said.
While it is hard to edit on a t-shirt, CBS 2 has made a few suggested alterations.