On this autumn day, construction workers are building something on the roof of the 5-story Vic Theater at Belmost and Sheffield avenues. Maybe a dozen men are on site, illustrating three reasons Chicagoans have a fondness for being labeled a city that works.
1. Brevity of motion.
If their arms aren’t enroute to actually doing something, like hoist or hammer, they hook thumbs into pockets so their arms are nicely stowed until they need them.
2. Brevity of speech.
When it can’t be avoided, speech is limited to the work. If there were a need for preliminary bows, introductions, getting-to-know-you chat, rumination of any sort, this would be some other city where those things matter, like Los Angeles.
3. Brevity of fashion sense.
The T-shirt is the great cultural leveler, putting into practice what communism fails to achieve, a classless group working toward a common goal. It’s pretty classy. The only variation T-shirt-wear allows is tucked in or not. Workers tuck in.