Freeman, 35, who does freelance writing on comedy for the Tribune, tweeted out a picture of the T-shirt on Thursday. He was out looking for pajamas for his young children last Saturday and saw the T-shirt at the Old Navy in Oak Park.
“May have found the worst Chicago map ever — on a shirt at Old Navy,” Freeman tweeted. “Wicker Park has its own listing but #2, #13 and #14 sum up the entire south and west sides.”
Indeed, every neighborhood from Galewood to Little Village to Lawndale to Austin and the Island is part of the “Far West Side,” according to the map. Englewood, West Englewood, Gresham, Marquette Park, Brighton Park and a host of other neighborhoods are part of the “Southwest Side.”…
A spokesman for the city department in charge of official maps pointed out that Old Navy has a presence in Chicago, which might excuse a mistaken T-shirt.
A few quick thoughts:
1. I wonder if this reflects what a suburbanite or a tourist might know. Most of the smaller areas are closer to the Loop and Lake Michigan. The O’Hare and Midway Area neighborhoods are named after the one location in each place that an outsider might ever visit.
2. Another possible defense for the neighborhoods listed: it would be harder to fit all 77 official community areas and 178 official neighborhoods on a shirt.
3. It would be interesting to know how well Chicagoans know all the community areas and neighborhoods.
4. How many of these shirts could Old Navy sell? Several thousand? Perhaps the company should know better but the map may have had more exposure through the media reports about it than through actual sales.