Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Hyde Park Snobs vs. North Shore Snobs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rahm Emanuel went to New Trier West High School.

    His children will attend the University of Chicago Lab School.

    This puts his family in a conundrum.

    They’ll have connections to the two most elitist areas of Chicago: Hyde Park and the North Shore. So exactly how are they going to be stuck up?

    Will the Emanuels be North Shore snobs or Hyde Park snobs?

    Your Ward Room Blogger lives across the street from Evanston, and wrote a book about Obama’s years in Chicago, so he’s met plenty of both. Here’s a guide to telling the difference.
          
    COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY
    Hyde Park: Black friends
    North Shore: Jewish friends

    VACATION HOME
    Hyde Park: Drafty, 100-year-old Michigan cottage, inherited from great-grandfather. No Internet,  just hardbound copies of Henry Esmond and This Side of Paradise.
    North Shore: 10,000-square-foot Door County mansion with boat launch and private beach, built in 2002.

    SIGNATURE QUOTE:

    Hyde Park: “In Hyde Park, we don’t judge people by the color of their skin. We judge them by how many books they’ve read.”
    North Shore: Father to a security guard during a dispute at a graduation ceremony in Ravinia: “I make more money than you.”

    HIGH SCHOOL

    Hyde Park: University of Chicago Lab School, Kenwood Academy
    North Shore: New Trier, North Shore Country Day

    FAVORITE SPORT
    Hyde Park: Reading
    North Shore: Polo

    FAVORITE LOCAL COLLEGE
    Hyde Park: University of Chicago
    North Shore: Lake Forest College

    FAVORITE IVY LEAGUE COLLEGE
    Hyde Park: Harvard
    North Shore: Yale

    MOST FAMOUS LINE DELIVERED BY A LOCAL CELEBRITY ACTOR

    Hyde Park: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!” (Mandy Patinkin, The Princess Bride.)
    North Shore: “Oh, it’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!” (Bill Murray, Caddyshack.)

    BUYS CLOTHES AT

    Hyde Park: Lands’ End Catalog
    North Shore: Neiman-Marcus in Northbrook Court

    OVERSEXED LOCAL MUSICIAN

    Hyde Park: R. Kelly
    North Shore: Liz Phair

    POLITICAL STATUS SYMBOL

    Hyde Park: Claiming you knew Barack Obama before he was famous.
    North Shore: Telling people you went to New Trier East when Rahm went to New Trier West.

    STATUS ADDRESS

    Hyde Park: Anywhere within sight of Obama’s house
    North Shore: East of Green Bay Road. (“In Kenilworth, we have the kennel side and the worth side.”)

    BOOKSTORE
    Hyde Park: Seminary Co-op, where Obama has been a member since 1986.
    North Shore: The Book Stall, where Donald Rumsfeld signed “Known and Unknown.”

    ENTERTAINMENT
    Hyde Park: University of Chicago Lecture Series
    North Shore: Ravinia

    RADIO AND TV STATION
    Hyde Park: WFMT, WTTW
    North Shore: WFMT, WTTW (a.k.a, “Wilmette Talks To Winnetka.”)

    After a certain point, you can’t tell the difference.